French Press vs Pour Over: Differences, Which is better?

Have you ever had to decide between a French press vs a pour-over? You shouldn't worry; the differences between a French press and a pour-over coffee will be discussed in this article, along with some commonly asked questions regarding each brewing technique.

From the rich taste of a French press brew to the crafty satisfaction of pour-over. The most popular debate ever – French press vs pour over. Which is the better manual brewing choice for you?

Both methods give rise to a new coffee-brewing experience. Both are perfectly adjustable and effective for home brewing. So between French press vs pour over – what is your calling?

French Press vs Pour Over – Choosing French Press Coffee

Other popular names for the French press are coffee press or ‘cafetiere’. The ideal French press consists of a plunger, a carafe, and a stainless steel filter.

  • You scoop in the ground coffee and hot water.
  • Wait for a few minutes for the coffee and hot water to mingle and seep.
  • Push the plunger to the bottom to separate the water from grounds.
  • Pour coffee into another carafe or cup.

The plunger keeps the coffee grounds at the bottom. And above it is the brewed coffee – black, of course – which you pour instantly into a cup.

The French press method offers strong and smooth coffee. But it’s not just about taste. A French press is known for its elegant and classic design. It looks as simple as it is to use. You don’t need extra tools to brew a full-bodied cup of coffee.

Just hot water, coffee grounds, and an appetite for delicious coffee! Everything you need for brewing coffee is in the French press.

Now, how many types of French press are there?

There are different kinds of French press based on build material. Such as borosilicate glass, plastic, ceramic, and stainless steel. In all, the stainless steel filter screen is a must. The main component which is the carafe can be of either one of these materials.

Pros:

  • The hot water and coffee extract an intense flavor.
  • You control the time of extraction.
  • The flavor has all the essential oils and aroma of coffee.
  • No need for paper filters or disposable filters.

Cons:

  • It may hold on to some grit or grainy sediments.
  • Cleaning the plunger/carafe can be difficult.
  • The filter screen is prone to clogging.

Pour Over vs French Press – Choosing Pour-Over Coffee

The best pour-over coffee method is notably The Chemex Coffee Maker. If the essential pour-over method had a name of its own, it would be of Chemex. It’s the ideal choice for most coffee fanatics.

If you’re curious about how these works, let me tell you it’s personable.

  • Pick a paper filter of your favorite kind.
  • Put in the coffee in the top cone of the pour-over maker
  • Slowly and gently pour hot water over the grounds. To better results, use a swirling or circular motion while pouring.
  • Allow the coffee grounds to seep in the water and “bloom.”
  • Watch the rich coffee drop into the bottom cone. Discard the paper filter once it’s done.

This is a serious and quick way to brew coffee. The result is rich and clean coffee with an intense aroma and flavor. But this also depends on the kind of coffee grind you use. Pour-over coffee uses a more involved and filtering method. So a medium-coarse grind would work perfectly.

The best pour-over coffee method is that of glass. There are ceramic, plastic, and enamel pour-over coffee makers as well. But for the most delectable and attractive results, I recommend using glass. It’s long-lasting and effective.

Brewing even a single cup of coffee using the pour-over method is timely. You have to heat the water, apply the paper filter, and serve. The coffee takes a few minutes to bloom for intense flavor extraction. This means a little more effort if you’re not in a rush.

Pros:

  • Most affordable and interesting brewing method.
  • You get to control the intensity of flavor.
  • No grit, no sediments, and no bitterness.
  • Perfect for brewing a fresh cup each time.

Cons:

  • Not the best method for extra-strong coffee.
  • You have to keep purchasing disposable paper filters.
  • Heating the water and pouring takes time.

Pour Over Coffee vs French Press – A Comparison

I’m going to compare the likes and dislikes of French press vs pour over based on a few factors.

Flavor Extraction

This is a tough one. But it’s the first thing coffee fanatics want to know more about. French press vs pour over coffee using the same grind and hot water. But what it all boils down to is extraction.

Well, in a French press, the extraction method is steeping. It extracts better essential oils the from coffee. Allowing the coffee grounds to soak in hot water for longer. The result is extra-strong, aromatic, and bold flavor.

Sometimes, if the grind is too bold, some graininess may slip out into the brew. This makes the coffee bitter and black which some of you may not appreciate.

In a pour over coffee method, things are more intense but satisfying. The paper filter doesn’t let even a single grain leave the top of the cone. The extraction method is an immersive filtering method. It retains the smooth and rich texture.

The Verdict

Hard to say, personally I prefer the pour-over method over French press. How you like to taste your coffee differs from how others like it. If you want a rich and clean flavor, go for pour over. If you want a strong and full-bodied cup, go for the French press.

Ease of Use

A French press if the best brewing method if you’re always in a hurry. Even though you must grind the coffee into a coarser grind, you don’t need to put in a paper filter or pour like in a pour-over method.

In a French press, the stainless steel filter keeps the grains and grit out. There’s nothing you can do but plunge slowly and gently, to affect this process.

In a pour-over method, however, you need to heat the water to the perfect brewing temperature. Use a thermometer to make sure it’s the right temperature. Because if it’s not, the coffee won’t bloom and release a full-bodied and aromatic flavor.

You need to then place a paper filter, add the grounds which must be a medium-coarse grind. And pour hot water over the grounds, wait a few minutes, then pour the rest of the water. Until the freshly-brewed coffee reaches and fills the bottom cone.

In a pour-over, allowing the hot water to soak/seep in the coffee affects the quality of taste. So you must be aware and gentle with your coffee.

The Verdict

French press is easier and faster to use than pour over coffee.

Clean-Up

After brewing coffee in a French press, you have to get rid of the sediments from the carafe. You have to wash and clean the plunger and filter screen. And you need to make sure the parts are as good as new.

Cleaning a French press takes effort and a special cleaning brush with water.

A pour-over coffee maker, like a Chemex for example, is simple. You use the paper filter once and throw it away. Then what’s left is the glass carafe itself. You can clean it with a simple soft-bristle brush with mild soap and water. There’s no grain or grit to scrub clean like in a French press.

The Verdict

Between French press vs pour over – pour over is much simpler and faster to clean.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be a professional barista or coffee aficionado to do this. If what you’re looking for is a new way to brew and drink coffee, that’s all you need to get started on this journey.

As the saying goes, “No one can build the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life.” So you must make the climb and experience of the joy of at-home brewing.

French press vs pour over – both have similar brewing methods since they’re manual. But here’s the thing – they are unique. It’s time to find out how.

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Sarah Brighton
Sarah Brighton
Sarah Brighton is the founder of HouseKitchens. She enjoys designing in varied styles, she demonstrates a unique ability to combine elements appropriate to cottage kitchens of the area with highly stylized details tailored to her clients' needs and tastes. Beside being a founder, she is now in charge of the review writer and editor. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in Interior Design, so you can find some articles highlighting the products with aesthetic design.