How many oz is a normal French press?

A standard French press coffee maker typically holds around 32 ounces (oz) of liquid. However, French press sizes can vary from around 12 oz up to 50 oz or more. The most common sizes are:

Typical French Press Sizes

  • 12 oz – Good for 1-2 cups
  • 17 oz – Good for 2-3 cups
  • 32 oz – Good for 3-4 cups
  • 34 oz – Good for 4-5 cups
  • 40 oz – Good for 5-6 cups
  • 50 oz – Good for 6-8 cups

A 32 oz French press is considered a standard, normal size that can make around 3-4 servings of coffee. However, the amount of coffee ultimately depends on how much you fill the French press and the size of your coffee mugs or cups.

Measuring Coffee in a French Press

While French presses are sized in fluid ounces, the amount of coffee is typically measured by volume in tablespoons or cups. Here are some general guidelines for measuring coffee in a 32 oz French press:

Using Tablespoons

Tablespoons of Coffee Cups of Coffee
2 tbsp 1 cup
4 tbsp 2 cups
6 tbsp 3 cups
8 tbsp 4 cups

As a general rule, use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 oz of water. So for a 32 oz French press, you would use around 4-5 tablespoons or 1/4 cup of ground coffee.

Using Cups

Cups of Ground Coffee Cups Yield
1/4 cup 3-4 cups
1/3 cup 4-5 cups
1/2 cup 6-8 cups

For a 32 oz (4 cup) French press, use around 1/4 to 1/3 cup of ground coffee. This will produce 3-5 cups of brewed coffee.

Tips for Brewing French Press Coffee

Here are some tips to get the best flavor and right concentration when brewing with a French press:

  • Use a coarse grind size – this allows for proper extraction and an optimal flavor profile.
  • Use filtered water if possible – this reduces compounds that can make the coffee taste bitter or off.
  • Use a coffee to water ratio between 1:12 and 1:16 – this prevents over or under extraction.
  • Fully immerse the grounds in water and give a gentle stir to saturate evenly.
  • Steep for 4-8 minutes depending on desired strength.
  • Press the plunger slowly and evenly to separate the grounds from the coffee.
  • Pour immediately into mugs or carafe – French press coffee will continue brewing if left standing.
  • Clean the French press thoroughly after each use.

Ideal French Press Size

The best French press size depends on your needs:

For 1-2 People

A 12-17 oz French press is ideal for brewing 1-3 cups of coffee.

For a Small Family

A 32 oz French press can make 3-5 cups – perfect for a couple or small family.

For Entertaining

A 40 oz or larger French press allows you to make coffee for 4 or more people.

Factors in Choosing a French Press

Here are some things to consider when selecting a French press:

  • Number of people – Choose a size that allows you to make coffee for the number of people drinking it.
  • Occasion – Larger presses are good for entertaining crowds while small ones are best for everyday individual use.
  • Quantity of coffee – Make sure the capacity matches how much coffee you want to brew at once.
  • Durability – Pick a high-quality press that can withstand daily use and cleaning.
  • Aesthetics – Choose a style and design that appeals to your tastes.
  • Features – Some presses have double filtration, measurements, and other handy features.

Ultimately, the “right” French press depends on your specific needs and preferences. But a standard 32 oz press is a very versatile option for most users.

Benefits of a 32 oz French Press

A 32 oz French press is popular for good reason:

  • Brews 3-4 cups of coffee at a time.
  • Standard capacity for a couple or small family.
  • Allows flexibility in coffee to water ratios.
  • Easy to find replacement parts and accessories.
  • Takes up minimal counter space.
  • Affordable and widely available.
  • Makes enough for entertaining a few guests.
  • Easy to brew coffee to your preferred strength.
  • Lets you make a second pot if needed.

For most home coffee drinkers, a medium 32 oz French press offers the ideal balance of brew capacity, efficiency, ease of use and versatility.

Downsides of a 32 oz French Press

While very useful, a 32 oz French press does have some potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Too small for serving large groups or parties.
  • Requires multiple brew cycles to make coffee for more than 4 people.
  • Not ideal if you always drink just 1-2 cups per day.
  • Quantity of coffee may go stale before it can all be consumed.
  • Not the most compact option for small kitchens.
  • Glass carafe requires careful handling to prevent cracking.
  • Hand washing and cleaning can be time consuming.
  • Requires caution not to overfill or make too diluted coffee.

For high volume coffee needs or very small needs, a different sized French press may work better. But for most users, the 32 oz strikes a great balance.

Alternate French Press Sizes

While 32 oz is the standard, French presses come in many other sizes:

Small French Presses

  • 12 oz – Great for single use.
  • 17 oz – Good for 1-2 people.
  • 20 oz – Decent for a couple.

Large French Presses

  • 40 oz – Accommodates 4-6 drinks.
  • 48 oz – Makes 6-8 cups.
  • 50+ oz – Good for large gatherings.

The right size depends on your daily coffee requirements and number of people you regularly serve. But most find the 32 oz size to be the ideal medium choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many cups of coffee does a 32 oz French press make?

A 32 oz French press yields around 3-4 cups of coffee, depending on the coffee to water ratio used.

Is a 32 oz French press too big for 1-2 people?

A 32 oz French press may be larger than necessary for 1-2 people, but the extra capacity gives room to add more coffee grounds or water for stronger flavor.

What is the standard French press size?

The most common and standard French press size is 32 oz, which can brew 3-4 cups of coffee.

What size French press should I get?

Choose a French press size based on how many servings you need to make at once. A 32 oz press is ideal for 3-4 servings, while a 12-17 oz press is best for 1-2 people and a 40+ oz better accommodates 5+ people.

Is a 32 oz French press good for 2 people?

A 32 oz French press gives flexibility to make anywhere from 2-4 servings, so it is a very good option for 2 people. You can adjust coffee amounts and water to brew the right volume.


A standard 32 oz French press makes approximately 3-4 cups or servings of coffee. This mid-sized option offers a versatile capacity for the needs of most individuals or couples who regularly brew coffee at home. While French presses come in a range of sizes from 12 oz up to 50 oz or more, the 32 oz size strikes an ideal balance of brewing flexibility, efficiency, and ease of use for the majority of users.

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