Updated: December 1, 2021 by Owen Richardson
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you finally decided to try out a French press for yourself and went to the store to buy one (or perhaps ordered one online). Upon arriving home or after having it delivered, you find that it is not assembled. The first thing you probably want to know is how to assemble a French press properly, especially if you’ve never done it before!
This actually happened to me, and I’m not afraid to admit it! I had to do some research and watch a lot of videos before I realized how to properly put together all the parts. To save you some time and effort, I want to share with you the easiest way to assemble a French press in only a few short steps.
You can also use this guide if you’ve cleaned your French press and aren’t sure how to put it back together. Fortunately, there aren’t too many parts in the French press so your chances of mucking it up are very slim. After going over the steps below, you’ll never have to think about it again. Soon, you will be able to put together your own machine without any problems! Let’s get right into the guide.
Table of Contents
What Is a French Press?
A French press is a type of coffee maker that has been around for years. It is also often referred to as a “coffee plunger” or “coffee press.” It is very convenient, easy to use, affordable, and most important of all, it can brew rich, flavorful coffee.
The reason why a lot of people use the French press to brew their coffee is that the process only takes a few minutes. You can prepare hot brew, cold brew, double brew, and even tea using just one device. So, if you are looking for a versatile yet affordable device that will make you a splendid cup of coffee, you should definitely look into getting a French press!
What Are the Parts of a French Press?
Before I get into the assembly of a French press, I want to tell you more about its parts you should be prepared to familiarize yourself with.
First, you have the carafe – a metal, glass, or plastic container where the coffee is brewed. It usually comes with a metal construction around it, and it has a handle as well.
The carafe closes with a secure lid that has a plunger in the middle. This plunger is the most important part of the press, as it removes the coffee grounds from the actual coffee. The end of the plunger, which goes into the carafe, is made up of several smaller parts.
Inside, you can find a filter screen, a spiral plate on top of it, and a cross plate below it. These parts are meant to be screwed together with the plunger. When you are disassembling and assembling the press, it is usually this part that you’ll spend the most time on.
A French press can come with fewer or more parts, depending on the manufacturer, the price of the press, and if it has any additional or more specialized functions. The more expensive varieties often come with more parts that will make the brewing process easier and more pleasant. A standard French press, however, usually comes with only the parts that I mentioned above.
French Press Assembly Instructions
First of all, I do not recommend that you assemble and disassemble the French press without a specific purpose. Reassembling the device repeatedly can result in it malfunctioning or falling apart faster than usual.
You should only do the disassembling if you have a purpose for it – for example, if you need to clean the press or if you purchase one that is not already assembled. Now, let’s look at how to assemble and disassemble a French press in a few short steps!
Step 1 – Unscrew Everything.
If you have a new French press that just came disassembled, you can just skip this step and move on right to the next step. If the device is already assembled, though, you’ll need to take it apart by unscrewing its many pieces.
For the most part, you will be focusing on the lid, plunger, plates, and filter. These parts are screwed together. If you are planning on cleaning them thoroughly, you will need to take them apart.
You will notice that the plunger is screwed to the plates with a small screw. Try to unscrew this part as gently as possible. The plunger should come out from the lid, while at the bottom, you will have three separate parts – a spiral plate, a filter, and a cross plate.
Step 2 – Make Sure Everything Is Clean and in Good Shape.
As you might imagine, you never want to assemble your French press with a filthy filter or dysfunctional parts. Check to see if everything is good to go and that none of the pieces have any obvious issues before moving on to the next step.
Step 3 – Start with the Assembling!
First, you’ll want to put the cross plate on a flat surface. Over it, you will place the filter. You should try to get a high-quality filter that will last you a long time without any problems. Lower quality filters won’t last as long and are more prone to having issues.
Next, over the filter, you will place the spiral plate. If the pieces are fitting together properly, you should see a small opening in the middle. That is the place where you need to screw in the plunger using a small screw that comes with the French press.
The plunger should already be in its hole in the lid. Once you screw everything together, you will have an assembled plunger and a separate carafe. The only other thing you’ll need to do is put the lid on the carafe and close it. Now your French press is ready to use!
Here’s a video demo of the entire process:
FAQs on French Press Assembly
Before I finish off this guide, I want to share with you a few other things regarding French presses and how they work that I think will come in handy at some point. Let’s see what else you should know before getting your first French press!
How often should you replace your French press filter?
The answer to this question will vary slightly depending on how much you use your French press. If you use it every day or even several times per day, the filter will go bad much more quickly than if you use it less frequently, i.e. weekly or biweekly.
In general, I would recommend that you change the filter a couple of times per year. That way, you will extend the life of the French press and ensure that it will always brew great-tasting coffee. If you are replacing your filter, go over the steps above and be careful when disassembling and assembling everything!
Do you have to clean the French press every time?
You should ideally clean your French press after every use. By that, I do not necessarily mean a thorough deep cleaning and disassembling every single piece. Just give the carafe a nice scrub and maybe check on the plunger to see if any coffee grounds are stuck on it.
As mentioned before, a thorough cleaning with a filter replacement should happen only once or twice per year. You should do it more often than that only if you notice a problem with the coffee’s taste or with the press itself.
Is a French press worth it?
In my opinion, the French press is completely worth it. I have tried a lot of coffee makers over the years, but none are as convenient as the French press. Additionally, I’ve found that no other coffee maker can make such a rich, flavorful cup of coffee in only a few minutes.
I would highly recommend that you invest in a quality French press if you’re a coffee lover. If you drink coffee every day, you will find French press coffee very enjoyable and easy to make.
This particular type of coffee maker is both durable and inexpensive. It is also quite low maintenance, and you can easily find replacement parts if you need them. All this amounts to the fact that the French press is worth giving a shot, so I hope you decide to do just that!
Ready to Take the Plunge(r)!
If you were initially worried about the assembly process being difficult or overly complicated, you should now see that the process is actually quite straightforward. Once you learn the steps, you will be able to do it even with your eyes shut!
In the end, I hope this guide will give you some peace of mind when it comes to the whole assembling and disassembling French presses problem. If you read this guide to the end and paid close attention to every step of the process, you should have no problem fixing, putting together, or cleaning your French press in only a few minutes.
Remember to be extra careful while cleaning and assembling each piece, and you will be good to go! Let me know in the comments how the assembly process went and if this guide helped you at all. I cannot wait to read all of your stories, so make sure to share them with me!