How To Make Plunger Coffee With Milk

How To Make Plunger Coffee With Milk – Making A Latte With A French Press

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 17:27

That age old question that French Press owners and Latte Lovers ask — how to make plunger coffee with milk? After reading this article, you will know exactly how to complete this task perfectly with all the top secrets to making a great latte and iced latte o cappuccino if you so wish, with your plunger coffee machine (also known as a French press).

Now let’s get on with that rather pressing matter!

How To Make Plunger Coffee With Milk — Using A French Press With Milk Instead Of Water

On the face of it, this sounds like an awful idea, using milk to make a plunger coffee latte as if you get it wrong it can go horribly wrong, and you end with a rather milky and weak cup of coffee, and perhaps this is why you don’t see coffee shops using a French press with milk.

There is a certain knack of getting it right and when you do, and get the process right, you end up with a great tasting full flavored latte.

Milk, as you would expect as an experienced barista, coffee lover or coffee aficionado, does not work well when brewing with it due to the sugar and calcium.


you just don’t get the right brewing temperature to extract the oils and get the complete flavor profile from your coffee beans.

This is why you almost never see milk used in the brewing or extraction process. It is only added later in the coffee brewing process.

Otherwise, it will be a weak milky nothingness of a coffee!

French Press With Milk
French Press Coffee And Tea Maker Set.

Read: French press Vs Brewed Coffee

Making A Plunger Coffee With Milk Step By Step

Let’s now get down to sharing the secrets of making a great Plunger coffee with milk. With the right ingredients and the right technique, you can and will end up with a great latte, French press style!

Ingredients Needed

  • 30 Grams (1 Oz) of coffee.
  • 300 Grams (10 Oz) of hot, almost boiling water at 200F. If you must, boil the water and let it cool for 1 minute.
  • 150 (5 Oz) Grams of hot, almost boiling milk.

Read: Can you use espresso beans for French press?

Step 1: Making Your French Press Latte

Let’s get the first top secret to getting the best out of your French press out of the way. Preheat your French press coffee maker with your hot water and ensure that you heat the plunger too. This is a step that will help you to get the full flavors, and delicate flavor range, out of your beans.

While you are boiling your water and letting it cool off, you can now get your coffee grounds. Since you are using a French press, it would be a good idea to use your best flavorful coffee beans. Use your grinder to get a coarse grind that is similar in size to sea salt.

Now your ground coffee is ready, your water is boiled, and has cooled down a little to 200F. Your French press (or plunger coffee) as it is also known, has been preheated you can move on to step 2.

Step 2: Add Your Delicious Full Of Flavor Coffee Beans

Add your freshly ground coffee to the carafe. Shake gently to ensure an even distribution of your coffee grounds.

Step 3: Add Your Hot Water

Pour your hot water slowly and evenly in a circular motion until the carafe is full with half of the water you are using. Wait for 30 seconds for the grounds to bloom. Once your grounds have bloomed, stir gently in a circular motion, then fill your carafe until 2/3 full or where the rest of the 310 grams of water takes you.

It shouldn’t take more than a minute for your coffee to bloom.

Step 4: Add The Lid And Close It

Add the lid and lower the coffee plunger slowly until the mesh touches the surface of the water. Don’t push all the way down just yet. Now let your coffee brew for 4-5 minutes, whatever suits you. Use a timer.

While you are waiting, move on to Step 5.

Step 5: Heat up your milk

Heat your milk to an almost boiling point of milk and let it simmer and then cool down for a minute.

Step 6: Decant Your Coffee

As in step 4 above, let your coffee brew for 4 min or 5 min, whichever suits you. Decant your coffee to avoid over brewed coffee. It is at this point that you slowly press down on the coffee plunger. Do not add extra force. You can pour a coffee as desired as at this point your French press plunger coffee is ready.

Step 7: Make A Café Quality Latte!

With a cleanly rinsed or second French press as above, preheat it with hot water for 30 seconds. Simply fill your preheated French press 1/3 full of milk or as high as the 150 (5 Oz) grams go. Your milk should have just stopped simmering and cooled for about a minute.

Slowly put the plunger and lid on the carafe and get ready to pump it like you would inflate a bicycle tire. Keep pumping until your milk expands and foams to twice the volume. Do this right; it takes a little practice, and you will have coffee shop quality frothy milk that is like a velvety microfoam.

You have made your frothy milk without an expensive milk frother, steam wand or any specialist equipment.

Step 8: Now for that Latte

In your coffee mug, pour coffee with 1/3 coffee and 2/3 milk and top it up with a nice foam on top for a beautiful tasting aromatic coffee latte style.

For a cappuccino, you can pour 1/2 coffee and half milk and add a foam topping and a sprinkle of cacao.

You have just made this with your French press! Well done.

A Beautiful Latte

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Plunger Coffee With Milk

Can You Have Milk With Plunger Coffee?

Yes, if you love a coffee with milk, like we do at Latte Love Brew, you can use your French press to make frothy milk if your handheld frother has broken.

Fill your French press carafe with warm milk to the 1/3 way full mark and start by slowly pushing down on the plunger and pump it as if you were inflating a tire. After a short while, the milk will aerate and expand until it is twice the original volume and ready to use in your coffee.

What Happens If You Put Milk In A French Press?

Putting milk in your French press will not damage or destroy it in any way at all. You can even use your press to make milk foam and a very frothy milk.

Should I Add Milk to French Press Coffee?

There is no “should” in coffee brewing. If you enjoy milk with your French press coffee, you can add milk directly to your press or to your cup of coffee. Test and find out which one is best for you, which makes the tastiest cup based on your own opinion.

Can You Put Hot Milk In French Press?

Yes, you can heat your milk in a microwave or the stove top and add it to your French press. Be careful if you are making foamy milk with your press as to not burn yourself.

Is Milk Frother Same As French Press?

No, a milk frother and a French press are not the same; they are two very different pieces of equipment. A milk frother is much better and more convenient to use for creating a rich foam.

You can use your French press coffee maker to froth milk in an emergency as a back-up solution. 

Can You Make Plunger Coffee With Milk?

Yes, you can make plunger coffee with milk. You can get more fancy by creating frothy milk and even cold foam and sweet cream by using your French press. Simply fill to no more than 1/3rd full and pump the plunger until your milk doubles in volume. 

Can You Put Milk In Cafetiere Coffee?

 Yes, once you have brewed your coffee with your French press. Clean it with hot water and then add your warm milk to no more than 1/3 full. Pump the plunger until your milk expands and doubles in volume.

What happens If You Pour Milk In Coffee?

When you add milk to coffee, it reduces the bitter notes due to the natural sugars, the lactose that is in the milk. It also adds texture and body to your coffee beverages.

Frappé-ing it All Up — How To Make Plunger Coffee With Milk The Conclusion.

Now you know how to make plunger coffee with milk, you can do it to your heart’s content. I will add it is much better to do it with two French press’s for convenience and time. I am a big fan of brewing coffee with the French press as it is one of the best ways to get the full flavor from your coffee bean and right into your cup.

When it comes to making the milk, heating it up first is key and not filling your French press too much as you need to be aware that the milk will expand a fair bit.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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