Can A French Press Be Used For Tea? (A Quick Guide)

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by John Moretti

Tea. The world’s most popular hot drink. Given its popularity, it is also made in a variety of ways. But did you know that there is one common household item that can be used to make tea as well? Join me as we discuss if a French press can be used to make tea.

A French press is perfectly suited for making tea. However, loose tea leaves need to be used as a dry ingredient for steeping. In addition, the steeping time depends on the type of tea used, so careful monitoring is necessary to avoid a bitter taste. A French press can also be used to make iced tea.

To make that perfect cup of tea sometimes requires a little bit of know-how. So, follow along as I take you through a step-by-step guide to making tea with a French press.

making tea with a french press

1. Heat Water To A Ideal Temperature. 

For this step, the main goal is to heat water to an ideal temperature. Most kettles boil at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit. And depending on the specific type of tea, the perfect temperature ranges anywhere from 175 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a thermometer will help you determine the precise degrees. If you do not have a thermometer, that’s okay. There are other ways to help you determine the temperature; however, these ways will not be as precise as a thermometer. 

Watching the bubbles of the water may help give a further indication of its temperature. If you see tiny bubbles forming on the bottom of the pot, this indicates that the water is about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The bubbles should be about the size of a pin-head.

Once the bubbles slightly grow in size and are accompanied by slight wisps of steam, the temperature is about 175 degrees Fahrenheit. When the bubbles start to rise to the top, in addition to a slight rattling sound, the temperature will be about 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, if you see continuous large chains of rising bubbles, this indicates that the temperature would be about 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Steep Tea

Place your favorite loose-tea leaves at the bottom of the beaker. A general rule is to add one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water. However, the previous ‘rule’ is influenced by other factors. Such factors include the strength of the tea and how much hot water the tea is steeping in.

Therefore, you will probably want to experiment to find that ‘sweet spot’ and see what works best for you.

Afterward, pour the hot water into the beaker to allow the tea to steep. However, different types of teas require different amounts of time to steep. So, I have listed the perfect steeping times for all your favorite teas.  

Recommended Steeping Times:

  • Green tea:    | 1-3 min
  • White tea:    | 1-3 min.
  • Oolong Tea:  | 3-5 min.
  • Black tea:     | 3-5 min.
  • Herbal tea:   | 5-8 min.
  • Rooibos Tea: | 5-7 min.

3. Press Down The French Press

After the desired time has passed to allow that oh-so-tasty infusion of tea, slowly press down the French press. The will enable the filter to act as a sieve, separating the tea leaves from the liquid.

After pressing down the metal mesh filter, pour the tea into the desired cups. If there is any liquid leftover, make sure to pour it out of the French press. This is because, just like coffee, steeping will still occur if left in the French press. So, allowing the tea to sit in the French press for too long will alter the flavor of the tea – leaving it tasting bitter and unpleasant. 

4. Enjoy

Flavor the tea to your desire. Add sugar, milk, cream, honey, cinnamon, mint, or anything else you desire! Also, consider pairing your tea with a good snack or tea time biscuit. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy! 

How To Make Cold Brew Ice Tea

how to make cold brew ice tea with a french press

As you can see, the French press has many uses. For example, in addition to making tea, a French press can also make its cold brew equivalent – ice tea.  Listed below is a step-by-step guide on making this tasty tea alternative in a French press! 

1. Combine Ingredients

For this step, simply add your favorite loose tea leaves to the French press and some filtered water- and that’s it! 

For this step, you can decide if you want to brew the tea as usual with hot water. Additionally, you can use normal cold water to steep the tea. This method will make the tea taste less astringent as well as less caffeinated.

2. Allow To Sit Overnight

Technically, you do not need the ingredient to sit overnight – Your tea can steep during the day too. The main thing to consider is the number of hours your tea is allowed to steep. Alternatively, you can let your tea chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

3. Strain Tea

For this step, you need to separate the tea leaves from the liquid. Again, you can use a mesh strainer, cloth, or whatever you choose! However, since the liquid is already in the French press, it may be better to use the French press strainer to filter out the leaves.

4. Add Final Touches

This step is all up to personal preferences. Add sweeteners, fruit pieces, or whatever else you desire to the tea. If you prefer to leave it as is – Your tea is ready to drink!

5. Serve Cold And Enjoy

Serve the drinks cold and enjoy! Simple as that. Make sure, though, to always keep your tea chilled as this helps keep it consistent with its ‘cold brew’ feel. Plus, who likes lukewarm drinks anyways?

The Bottom Line

Although the French press is a household staple that is seemingly used for one purpose, the French press serves many purposes and excels in its versatility.

Both hot tea drinks and iced tea can be made using the French press, with good results too! So have fun making all your favorite teas with this handy household staple.