Can You French Press Coffee Twice?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 25 February 2021

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Can You French Press Coffee Twice?

With the cost of coffee today, a daily coffee habit can add up, especially if you make your coffee one cup at a time via the French Press method. So it might be tempting to reuse the coffee grounds for a second cup to save money. But is this a good idea, and can you use your grounds a second time in your French Press?

You can use French Press coffee grounds twice, but it will not be as robust and flavorful as your first cup. But you might want to use the grounds within 15 minutes, or they will get bitter and not as flavorful. If your second cup will be longer than 15 minutes, cover the grounds as they cool.

While it’s not recommended that you use coffee grounds in your French Press twice, there are ways to make your grounds last longer, which can help you save money. Let’s get started saving you money.

Why Would You Want To Use Coffee Grounds Twice?

To save money, some people will use coffee grounds at least twice, if not more times than that. Because he didn’t want to change the grounds, one person put a teaspoon of fresh coffee grounds on top of the old grounds every time he wanted to brew another cup of coffee. Fortunately for him, his wife decided this was a silly practice and now makes him a fresh pot of coffee, using new grounds, daily.

Others reuse their grounds to cut down on their caffeine intake, as older grounds do not have the same amount of caffeine the second time around.

Whatever the reason, some people reuse their coffee grounds for more coffee. But, when they do this, it makes the coffee weaker and more bitter. Let’s look more closely at two of their reasons.

To Save Money

For many people, using coffee grounds in a French Press for one cup seems like a waste, especially when so many are on a tight budget these days. Using coffee grounds twice in a row for two separate cups of coffee can cut down on the expense of buying more coffee, but it can also water down the flavor.

However, considering that specialty coffee houses often charge $4 or more per serving, brewing French Press coffee at home will automatically save you money over the long term.

To Cut Down on Caffeine Intake

Some people are sensitive to caffeine, and after the first cup of coffee, they want to have another cup but don’t want the same amount of caffeine. In this instance, reusing the grounds would reduce the caffeine content by half. Other people who need to reduce their caffeine intake due to high blood pressure might also use their grounds twice for this reason.

Grounds Become Bitter After 15 Minutes From the First Brew

So how do you reuse your grounds for a decent second cup of coffee from your French Press? The first thing you need to know is that coffee grounds need to be used again within 15 minutes of the first brew, or your second cup will be bitter and weak. But regardless of when you use the grounds for a second cup, it will not be as robust or flavorful as that first cup of French Pressed coffee.

Unfortunately, if the grounds are heated when brewed, the flavor might have a burnt taste the second time because it is over-extracted. You will know if it is burnt because it will have an astringent flavor.

Another thing about coffee you should know is that once the coffee beans are ground, more of the surface area is exposed, making a decent first cup. The oils and flavor compounds from the grounds go into that first cup, leaving the grounds bitter and acidic. And when they sit for very long, what flavor compounds are still in the grounds dissipate with the steam.

Protect Your Grounds if It’s Going To Be Longer Than 15 Minutes

If you’re not going to use your grounds within 15 minutes, there are a couple of things you can do to protect the grounds from losing their flavor. A good second cup of coffee from the same grounds requires that you:

  1. Cover the grounds as they cool to keep the aroma from leaking out in the steam.
  2. Use the grounds only twice, but no more.
  3. Let the grounds settle naturally so that more water gets through to get as much coffee flavor out as you can.

However, if you’re not going to use your grounds a second time after a couple of hours, at the most, you’ll need to throw them out and start fresh. Otherwise, bacteria could grow and make you sick.

After the Second Time, Throw the Grounds Out

Once you use the grounds a second time, they will no longer be good for brewing coffee, and your flavor experience will be disappointing. But it may seem to be a waste to get rid of coffee grounds, especially with how expensive coffee can be. (Unless you get a large can of coffee for around $6-$8, that is.)

Can You French Press Coffee Twice?

You could reuse your grounds more than twice if you use the grounds in a cold-brew system. Since the grounds sit in water for at least 24-48 hours, the rest of the flavor will be extracted while brewing that long. It will have a weaker flavor, but since cold brew coffee is usually mixed with milk or cream, and a sweetener, you most likely won’t notice it.

And if you’re worried about wasting coffee grounds, keep reading to the end of this article to find useful ideas on what to do with them.

How To Prevent Flavor Loss in Your Coffee the Second Time

Though this has already been addressed, preventing a complete flavor loss in your second cup of French Press coffee can be possible if you follow the steps already outlined. However, there are more ways you can boost the flavor of your second cup of coffee using the same grounds.

  1. Place up to a teaspoon of fresh coffee grounds with the used grounds to boost your second cup of coffee.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the grounds before brewing the first time to keep the bitterness out of the grounds.
  3. Add sweetener and cream to your second cup to make up for the weaker flavor.

Creating a second cup of coffee from used grounds is not recommended, but if you make your second cup as soon as you make your first one, your coffee should remain as flavorful as the first one.

What Else Can You Use Used Coffee Grounds For?

Once you brew coffee grounds one or two times, you can use them for several other things. Used coffee grounds can deodorize trash cans or your refrigerator. They can clean tarnished silver to like-new condition or stubborn stains on your counter or floors.

Used coffee can also be mixed in with a compost pile, as they help break down food particles faster. Or, mix them with water and use them as a nutrient spray for your plants.

And, if you’re into facial scrubs, coffee mixed with a little soap can take off dead skin cells and leave your face feeling smooth again. Just be sure to rinse with cool water instead of hot.


French Press coffee is rich and robust, especially the first time through. But instead of getting rid of the grounds and starting with fresh coffee, some people would rather use it again instead of starting fresh. Coffee grounds are meant to be used once, then either thrown out or used for non-coffee purposes.

If you’re the thrifty type of person, you’ll want to remember that some things are meant to be used once, even if it does go against your thrifty nature.


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