Pour Over VS French Press – How to Choose the Right Brew

The way we drink our coffee has evolved in the past many years. If you are not getting the energy boosts with your drip coffee anymore, may be it is time to learn more about pour over vs french press coffee brewing methods.

The main difference between French Press and Pour Over is that the coffee grounds sit in a filter in Pour Over and doesn’t pass through to the finished brew.

From the traditional dark and rich taste, to a more subtle and light taste – these two coffee making techniques maintain their own uniqueness and appeal to coffee lovers accordingly.

Pour Over Coffee Brewing

Although it is unknown when did the pour over coffee makers originated, however, they have been widely used since hundreds of years.

The finished product that we get from a pour over coffee maker is smooth, light and has no grit whatsoever.

Brewing Methodology

The pour over coffee maker’s working mechanism involves a beaker, cone-shaped component and coffee grinds. Heated water is poured over the coffee grinds placed in the filter.

Once the filter is rinsed enough, more hot water is added in a circular motion over the coffee grinds that allows it to soak through into the beaker.

The soaking or ‘blooming’ process usually takes up to 3-4 minutes and once it stops blooming, your coffee is ready to serve.

French Press Coffee Brewing

The French Press coffee making techniques has existed since as early as the 1800’s. It spread out to the whole of Europe by mid 1950’s.

For the next few years various design improvements were made to the original French Press and eventually, it was introduced to the Americans as well.

Brewing Methodology

Mainly involving 3 basic components – a cylindrical-shaped glass (carafe), a plunger and a built-in mesh filter, this brewing technique is rather considered easy and simple.

Coffee is allowed to settle at the bottom of the beaker followed by little amount of hot water at first. This lets the ground coffee to uniformly soak for better taste.

Add more hot water as per your desired volume (usually it is filled up three quarters) and close the lid. After 3-4 minutes, press the plunger down and your coffee is ready to be sipped.

Detailed Comparison of French Press VS Pour Over

If you are contemplating about both these coffee making techniques using more or less the same ingredients and mechanisms, you might want to think again.

Let us now have a detailed look at some of the differences between these two coffee brewing methods:

Brewing Speed

Not all of us have the luxury to wait for a long time for our morning cup of Joe to be ready. Usually, we are in a hurry to leave and at the same time don’t want to leave without having our coffee.

French Press Brewing Speed: If you have everything well set up for a French Press, the overall brewing time takes around 3-4 minutes until it is ready to serve.

Pour Over Brewing Speed: On the other hand, a pour over method might take slightly longer, 5-6 minutes, as you have to first rinse the filter paper before adding more hot water in it.

Coffee Maker Design & Build Quality

Keeping into consideration the modern-day kitchenware and the rest of the appliances and utensils that you have, nobody wants a coffee maker that looks ugly or is consuming too much of your kitchen space.

Design of French Press: You will find French Press coffee makers available in various sizes, colors, materials, etc. Usually, they are made from glass, plastic or stainless steel.

Depending on your usage, portability requirements and consumption frequency, both glass and stainless steel carafe work equally well for home, office or travel use.

Design of a Pour Over: This type of coffee maker also comes in various designs, beaker sizes and hole sizes. It all depends on your preferences and how many cups you want to brew using your coffee maker.

Some pour over coffee makers are smooth, just like a Chemex, while other might have a rough inner surface with the goal to prevent the paper filter flushing against the brewer walls.

Cleaning Your Coffee Maker

If you are a true coffee lover and consume more than one coffee cups per day, then you would really want a coffee maker that is easy to clean since you would have to do that regularly.

Cleaning a French Press: Since it involves having soaked coffee grounds during each brew, the French Press coffee maker might be a little hassle to clean, specially if you are in a hurry and do not look forward to spending too much time cleaning it.

Moreover, a French Press pot will have coffee grounds that can’t be simply washed away. You would have to scrape them out using vinegar or any other substance that is by no means a quick process.

Cleaning a Pour Over: Contrary to a French Press, the Pour Over coffee maker is rather easy to clean after each brew and will not take much time of yours.

All you need to do is to remove the filter paper that has the soaked coffee grounds in it, throw it in the trash can, wash your beaker and that is it! You don’t even need to add any washing liquids as there are no hard materials that need scraping out.

Taste from Your Coffee Brew

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the flavor and aroma that you get from a cup of coffee. All other factors play a role, yes, however if your coffee doesn’t taste right, all other factors will get easily ignored.

Coffee Taste Using French Press: The final brew of coffee using a French Press is known to give you a heavier, thicker and full-bodied taste that adds more to your overall energy boost.

This is mainly because of the fact that it uses a mesh filter that will not filter all the oils, acids and sediments from your coffee grind. This adds to the final flavor of your coffee giving it a rich and bold taste.

Coffee Taste Using Pour Over: The Pour Over coffee maker will give you a much lighter and smooth taste with a silkier effect on the tongue.

The reason for this is that it uses filter papers that do not let coffee oils and sediment to pass through to your coffee cup. This is great for the clarity your coffee cup gets, yes, but it also takes away considerable amount of coffee strength.

Price of Your Coffee Cup

Since most of us will be regularly consuming our coffee, we would naturally want it to be low on our wallet, won’t we? And that too, over a longer period of time.

You need to consider the fact that even if you have to pay for something slightly more than what you might pay for a different product, but if the long-term costs are low than it is eventually more cost-effective.

Cost of French Press Coffee: Since a French Press will not require accessories afterwards, this is more cheaper in price as compared to a Pour Over coffee maker.

It has its own built-in mesh filter so the only cost that you will incur will be the coffee that you use and that is pretty much it.

Cost of Pour Over Coffee: These coffee makers require external paper filters which are to be replaced after every coffee brew. This certainly adds to the total cost of your coffee cup.

Moreover, brands like Chemex will only use filters that are also made from Chemex, which means that even if you are able to find a cheaper solution for filters, it will probably won’t work.

Our Top Products – French Press VS Pour Over

Once you have decided which type of coffee maker you are going to lean towards, now it is time to have a look at some of the best products you have available in these two categories:

Here are a few good Pour Over coffee makers:

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper

This unique coffee dripper comes with spiral ribs design at the bottom that allow for maximum coffee expansion – resulting in better coffee taste. A good choice in the pour over line of products.

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CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker

Chemex coffee makers are widely known as one of the best pour over coffee makers today. With their elegant beaker and conical filter design, they give an aromatic coffee flavor while maintaining presentation as well.

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KONA French Press Coffee Maker

KONA French Press Coffee Maker

The Kona French Press coffee makers extract essential coffee beans oils that add to the final taste that you get from your cup of Joe. In addition to this, sleek design, ergonomic handle and user-friendliness adds more value to this coffee maker.

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Bodum Chambord Glass French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum Chambord Glass French Press Coffee Maker

If you are in the market for a nice, easy-to-use and portable French Press, then Bodum coffee maker might just be the perfect choice for you.

Comes in both stainless steel and glass carafe, this brand has been serving the needs of coffee lovers since the past many years.

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Is Pour over better than French press?

The main difference between the two is that in a pour over, the coffee grounds sit in a filter and don’t come into contact with the finished brew. As a result, pour over coffee isn’t typically strong – whereas in a French Press, the mesh filter lets a lot of oils and sediments to pass through adding more flavor.

Is AeroPress pour over?

AeroPress brewing is, basically, pressurized French press brewing.

How much caffeine is in a pour over?

Pour over or drip coffee contains 115-175 mg of caffeine per 8 oz, with an average of 145 mg a cup.

Does French press coffee raise cholesterol?

A French press, which brews coffee by continually passing water through the grounds, has been shown to have greater concentrations of cafestol. Research has shown that drinking five cups of coffee daily from a French press brewing method can increase blood cholesterol levels by 6 to 8 percent.

Pour Over VS French Press – In The End, Which Coffee is Better?

To sum it up, it is important to know and understand your coffee needs before jumping to a conclusion regarding pour over vs french press coffee brewing methodologies.

We all have a different set of coffee taste, consumption frequency, associated factors while brewing like convenience, speed, etc. – and this is the reason why there is no clear winner among the two.

Once you know your coffee taste and how frequent you will be having it whether at your home or at work, only then you should be searching for the right product that meets your requirement.