How to Make Tea With a French Press

By Lizzie Brooks

A French press is known for making coffee, but it can also do double duty and brew loose leaf tea. It's especially useful for brewing larger quantities of tea, as most tea balls don't hold a sufficient amount of loose leaves to make an entire pot. A French press is also helpful when making medicinal teas that require a lot of tea leaves to create a concentrated brew.

Cups of tea with French press
credit: tashka2000/iStock/GettyImages
How to Make Tea With a French Press

Step 1

Wash all parts of the French press thoroughly with hot water if it has been previously used to brew coffee. Any coffee residue left in the French press will affect the taste of your tea.

Step 2

Add loose leaf tea to the French press. Use 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 6 ounces plus 1 teaspoon of water.

Step 3

Heat water to the appropriate temperature for your type of tea.

  • Green tea: 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit; columns of steam just begin to rise from the water.
  • Herbal tea: 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit; the water will not be at a full boil but will be steaming, with large bubbles appearing andsmall bubbles threading along the surface.
  • Black tea: 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Red tea: 190 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit, just under a full boil.

Step 4

Pour your hot water into the French press and put the lid on to help retain heat, but do not press the plunger. Brew the tea in the French press for the appropriate length of time for your type of tea.

  • Green tea: 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes
  • Black or red tea: 3 to 4 minutes
  • Herbal tea: 5 to 15 minutes

Step 5

Cover with a French press cozy to keep the tea hot while brewing.

Step 6

When the tea has finished brewing, press the plunger of the French press.

Step 7

Pour the tea into cups immediately to halt the brewing. Add milk or sweetener, if desired, and enjoy.