How to Brew One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Sometimes you just need to brew one cup of coffee. Maybe you live alone or just want a simple way to prepare that afternoon cup without brewing a whole pot. Whatever the reason, we have three different ways to brew a delicious single cup of coffee.

As a bonus, all three of these methods are also easy to transport. That makes them great for travel when you don’t know what type of equipment you might encounter. Each requires a different grind but remember, no matter the method, we always recommend using 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to 6 ounces of fresh water.


Brewing one cup of coffee is easy in a traditional French Press. And you can even buy single-serving French presses if you are typically only drinking one cup at a time. The basic principle of the French Press is that the coffee is pressed in a pot. Simply put, hot water and coffee grounds are mixed together in the carafe (often glass), and then a plunger with a mesh screen pushes the grounds to the bottom of the carafe so that you can pour the coffee into a mug for drinking.

Charleston Coffee Roasters SIngle Cup French Press

Brewing Tips:

  • Coarse grinds are better here since the water and coffee will be sitting together. Once you plunge, fine ground coffee could pass through the mesh plunger resulting in a gritty cup.
  • Don’t let your coffee sit in the press too long.  You need to let the grinds soak about 4-6 minutes before plunging. And once you plunge, drink it right away for a smooth cup.



The AeroPress brews similarly to a French Press. And because there is a small paper filter, none of the coffee grounds escape. The result is a smooth coffee that is clean and flavorful.  But also, cleanup is extremely easy. Instead of scraping out the coffee ground sludge at the bottom of a French Press, you just need to use the plunger to pop out the used grounds and filter directly into the trash can. Plus it’s incredibly lightweight, so it’s perfect for camping or packing in your suitcase for a quick trip.

Charleston Coffee Roasters Aeropress One Cup

Brewing Tips:

  • You only need to let the water and grounds sit about 10 seconds. Then you plunge slowly, for about 20-40 seconds.
  • A finer grind is better with the AeroPress. A coarser grind will take more time and pressure to press the plunger.



The Pour-Over method is by far, the simplest way to brew a single cup of coffee.  All you need is ground coffee, a filter and something to hold the filter.  And as the name suggests, you simply pour hot water over the coffee grounds, allowing the water to drip through and into your cup.  There are a variety of Pour-Over filter holders on the market or you could choose a Chemex, which is simply a Pour-Over with a built in glass pot.

Charleston Coffee Roasters Pour Over Coffee One Cup

Brewing Tips:

  • The best choice for a Pour-Over is a medium grind.  We always recommend a Burr grinder for evenly sized grounds.


No matter which method you choose, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, one cup at a time! Want to learn more? You can read a full breakdown of each method at the links below.

How To Use a French Press

How to Use the AeroPress

How to Make Pourover Coffee