French Press VS Pour Over: Here’s an In-Depth Coffee Comparison
Whether you like cappuccinos, lattes, or espresso, there are many amazing coffee beverages to choose from. However, for many people, nothing beats the convenience of fresh French Press or Pour Over coffee.
Both of these methods are great for purists who want to make their coffee the traditional way! Plus, neither method requires electricity. This makes either technique ideal for camping in a cabin, rustic retreats in a chateau, or any other aesthetic of bespoke tranquility.
If you are stuck deciding between making Pour Over or French Press coffee, don't stress. This is actually a pretty common debate among coffee enthusiasts! The thing is, both of these coffee-making methods are great.
Below, we will discuss each method in-depth and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of them both. That way, you can decide whether to get a French Press coffee maker, try the Pour Over method, or do something else. Before you know it, you'll be a coffee brewing pro!
WHAT IS FRENCH PRESS COFFEE?
French Press coffee is made using a French Press coffee maker. Coffee is extracted from grounds through pressing and filtering. Here’s how it all works.
HOW THE FRENCH PRESS METHOD WORKS
A French Press, also (sometimes called a coffee press or Cafetiere) has three essential components. French Press coffee makers have a cylindrical open-topped glass, a plunger, and a filter. Usually, these materials will be made of glass or stainless steel.
This design was first introduced in Italy in 1929. Ironically, there isn't really a French design component to this type of coffee maker. These days, French Press coffee is most popular in the United States in Europe.
How to Use a French Press
Using a French Press is a fairly simple process. This form of manual coffee brewing begins by filling the carafe (the open-topped cylinder) with coffee grounds. Then, hot water is added and the mixture will steep.
After steeping has been completed, you push down on the plunger. This separates the coffee grounds from the coffee. From there, you can pour it into a coffee cup and enjoy!
Here’s an in-depth tutorial video on how to make French Press coffee, how long to steep it, and the right coffee-to-water ratio.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS
There are many advantages to making French Press coffee. French Press coffee is bolder, more decadent, and stronger than other types of coffee.
With this coffee brewing method, more of the coffee’s inherent oils are drawn out of the grounds. This makes the flavor intensely noticeable in each sip! With our single-origin coffee, this is a wonderful technique to try. After all, you definitely want to taste every signature flavor note.
Also, with French Press coffee makers, you can customize the way your coffee tastes and how it is served. You can even control the richness and strength of your coffee by altering how long the grounds are steeped and how much coffee is added.
Plus, most French Press coffee makers have reusable stainless steel filter screens. So, this is an eco-friendly method of making coffee. It also saves you money over time, since you don't have to constantly buy coffee filters at the store!
On the downside, French Press sometimes leaves behind a little bit of grit. The screen filter can only keep out larger grounds. So, smaller grounds can get through. This is why we offer all of our coffees in a unique French Press grind Style! It helps to reduce the amount of grid that gets through the filter screen.
One thing you can do to ensure that your coffee won't have any residue is to let it settle for a minute or two after pouring before taking your first sip.
One final drawback is that cleaning a French Press coffee maker can be a little bit of a hassle. You have to dismantle the entire thing and carefully clean each part separately after each use. This video will show you how to clean your French Press coffee maker.
French Press Advantages:
- Strong, bold flavors
- Easy to customize coffee strength
- Traditional and electricity-free
- Can save you money
French Press Drawbacks:
- French Press coffee makers can be hard to clean
- You might have some grit sneak through the coffee filter screen
WHAT IS POUR OVER COFFEE?
Pour Over coffee techniques involve putting your coffee grounds at the top of a Pour Over coffee maker and then slowly adding hot water. There is also a little bit of steeping time where the grounds are moistened before hot water is added to ensure complete extraction.
How the Pour Over Method Works
Similar to French Press coffee, the Pour Over method involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds. This method is also electricity-free and versatile. However, Pour Over coffee makers require you to place your coffee grounds in a cone-shaped component at the top.
The grounds are then moistened and left to sit for a little while before you start adding water. This component may have a reusable screen or require specific, disposable filters.
The Pour Over coffee-making method is effective because it ensures even extraction and reduces grit. Since you allow your wet coffee grounds to sit for a moment, the hot water is absorbed evenly. This allows the oils and flavors of the coffee to come through nicely. In a sense, the coffee blooms.
Then, hot water is poured through the coffee grounds so that all of the flavors and oils are completely extracted and deposited in the coffee reservoir below. From there, you get to enjoy each delicate flavor note!
How to Use a Pour Over Coffee Maker
To use a Pour Over coffee maker, you will first grind your coffee beans (fresh is best) and measure them out. Place the coffee on top of the cone funnel apparatus within the filter screen. A filter screen must be used to prevent the coffee grounds from sneaking through the cone.
The cone-shaped filter screen also ensures that water will seep through evenly. This prevents your hot water from scalding any of the grounds for a smoother, more evenly distributed taste.
Next, you have to wet the coffee grounds so they can bloom. This ensures even extraction and helps to get the coffee ready for the final step, pouring hot water over it all. You can watch a video on how to make Pour Over coffee by clicking this link.
BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS:
Many people like the taste of Pour Over coffee because it has less grit. It is also slightly more delicate than the taste of French Press coffee. If you want a smooth cup of coffee that resembles what you would get from a normal, electric drip brew coffee pot, Pour Over is best.
This method also makes cleaning up easier. Since you don't need to dismantle the entire apparatus, you can make one or two cups of coffee and simply rinse out the reservoir and toss the filter when you are done.
On the downside, most Pour Over coffee makers require a specific type of coffee filter. You have to get these special cone-shaped coffee filters or a lot of grit will sneak through. Some Pour Over coffee makers do come with reusable filters. Also, Pour Over coffee isn't as strong as French Press coffee.
Pour Over Advantages:
- Smooth flavors
- Similar to drip grind coffee
- Easy and effective
- No electricity required
- Coffee grounds bloom nicely
Pour Over Disadvantages:
- Specific filters may be needed
- Flavors are less intense
The Bottom Line
If you want to make coffee at home without electricity, French Press and Pour Over coffee techniques are both great places to start. Both of these methods are eco-friendly, effective, and produced delicious coffees.
French Press coffee is stronger and contains more coffee oils. Pour Over coffee is smoother and the clean-up afterward is easier.
What kind of coffee do you prefer? Do you like making bespoke, old-fashioned, artisan coffee, or do you prefer putting your coffee grinds in an electric coffee pot and letting technology do the work? Let us know in the comments below!
Don’t forget, we sell all our fine coffees in a French Press grind. That way, you can easily make Pour Over or French Press coffee at home without having to purchase a coffee grinder. Or, you can grind your own coffee beans by purchasing any of our coffees in whole bean format. Whatever you need coffee-wise, we’ve got covered!