Do you want to know whether you should get an Aeropress or a French press? Both are excellent methods for brewing your morning coffee, but they provide very different experiences.
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Which is better for you and your day-to-day needs?
As a result, I’ll compare the two so you can see the differences and decide which is the best option for you.
1. Aeropress brews similar to espresso.
Most people now enjoy a good cup of espresso. The problem is that an espresso machine, especially a high-quality one, can be quite costly.
Here’s where the Aeropress comes in handy. Its brewing method – rapidly pushing hot water through finely-ground coffee – is similar enough to espresso that it has become a favorite among some coffee drinkers.
No, sir, it’s not a true espresso. But it comes close, especially for something that isn’t even designed to make espresso.
Yes, there is crema on top. If you brew it correctly, you can get a thin layer of crema. However, keep in mind that it is similar to, but not the same as, an espresso.
A French press will brew coffee similar to Turkish coffee but with a different coffee grind. As a result, it will taste different and have a completely different feel.
It’s impossible to compare because it’s coffee.
2. French press coffee has more grit, texture, and coffee oils.
Because the French press does not use a paper filter, there will be some texture and body.
Although there will be no large chunks of ground coffee in your cup, very fine sediments may pass through the metal mesh and filters on the plunger of the press and into the cup.
You’ll also notice coffee oils. Because there is no paper filter to catch them, the result is a very thin sheen of essential coffee oil rather than a pool of oil.
This all adds up to a cup of coffee that’s a little darker than an Aeropress but more flavorful.
Aeropress coffee contains no fine dust, grit, or coffee oils because it uses paper filters to catch them before they reach your cup.
You can also brew your Aeropress as strong or weak as you like, resulting in a difference in taste and texture.
What you’ll notice is that when you’re done brewing, the Aeropress may leave you with something resembling crema. This is uncommon in French press coffee.
If you use a French press, the coffee will bloom and then the foam will subside over a period of 4 minutes. Because of the pressure applied by the Aeropress, it does not require as much time as a traditional press and produces something that is very similar to crema.
It will, however, vanish in a few minutes because it is not as stable as true espresso crema. But it’s better than nothing.
3. Fine ground coffee is used in the Aeropress, while coarse ground coffee is used in the French press.
Another thing to remember is that the ground coffee sizes used in the Aeropress and French press are vastly different.
This is significant because it can significantly alter the flavor of your cup of coffee.
Coarse ground coffee, in general, produces a less acidic and bitter cup of coffee. In addition, because it requires a longer steep time, it becomes more flavorful than bold, releasing all of the caffeine it can.
By the way, this is what is used for cold brew coffee, which is known for its mild sweetness and great flavor.
On the other hand, fine ground coffee is required when brewing with an Aeropress. This is due to the short brew time and the fact that this is intended to be a quick cup of coffee.
Because fine grounds tend to leave a little coffee dust in the cup, you’ll get an intense cup with a lot of body. So even if you use a paper filter, your Aeropress coffee will have more body than regular drip coffee.
This resulted in a strong cup that will impress you with its strength rather than its flavor. The results will be determined by the water-to-coffee ratio you use.
4. The French press is made of glass, whereas the Aeropress is plastic.
If the material of your coffee maker is important to you, you should know that the French press is mostly made of glass and metal, whereas Aeropresses are entirely made of plastic.
The French press is made of glass for two reasons: it holds up well in the aroma-over-time department and looks great.
The plunger and filters are made of metal, always stainless steel.
Plastic parts may also be found in a French press. Most notably, the plunger’s lid/top comes into contact with your coffee for a very brief period. Therefore, it will only take a few seconds while you pour the coffee.
An Aeropress is entirely made of plastic, but their official website and their Amazon listings state that their plastic is BPA and phthalate-free.
As a result, no harsh or harmful chemicals will enter your coffee. Even so, some people may still be opposed to using plastic for how drinks or foods are prepared.
If that’s the case, a French press might be a better option for you.
To keep in mind: hard plastic, such as that used for Aeropress, tends to break more easily than glass beakers. In addition, French presses have been reported to develop hairline cracks after being washed or lightly tapped against other dishes.
So, if you do get a French press, make sure it’s in a good, protective case.
5. Brews in smaller batches using an Aeropress
Another feature that may be a deal-breaker for some is that the Aeropress does not brew in large quantities. They are only available in 4 cup increments.
Keep in mind that each cup is a 5 oz/150 ml serving, so keep that in mind when making your choice.
If you’re the type of person who drinks 20 oz of coffee every day, you’ll brew a lot of Aeropress coffee.
However, if you prefer small cups of coffee resembling espresso, the Aeropress may be perfect.
A French press comes in various sizes, but the most common is a 15-20 oz (500 ml) capacity.
This means you’ll be able to make a large mug of coffee in the morning if that’s what you’re looking for. Alternatively, depending on the size of your coffee cups and the size of your French press, you can serve more than four people at once.
6. It takes longer to brew a French press than an Aeropress.
While the French press has a much larger brewing capacity, it also has a much longer wait time.
It does not take hours to brew a full press; it only takes about 4 minutes.
Perhaps this isn’t a deal-breaker, but it could be. So if you’re in a hurry in the morning and need that cup right now, you’ll have to wait a little longer for the French press coffee.
An Aeropress can be completed in under a minute, depending on how quickly you push the plunger and how much coffee you make.
Please keep in mind that the times I’ve given do not include the time to heat the water. With that in mind, a French press can last up to 10 minutes and an Aeropress up to 5 minutes.
It may not be long enough for some people, but it depends on what you need your coffee for. If you’re in a hurry, the faster method is preferable.
So, which method of brewing is best for you?
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make coffee, Aeropress is the way to go:
- You need a quick cup of coffee.
- You’re looking for an espresso substitute.
- In the morning, you don’t have more than 2 minutes.
Here’s an Aeropress you’ll adore.
The original Aeropress, with a 3 cup capacity. Brewing three actual cups will be difficult, so I recommend brewing two cups and then another.
This version does not include filters, but they are easy to find online. If you don’t want to look for them, here’s a duplicate set (700 counts).
A French press, on the other hand, might be better suited to your needs if:
- You have a little spare time.
- You’re looking for flavor, not speed.
- You don’t care for espresso or other similar coffees.
- This French press will make the best coffee for you.
I highly recommend KONA’s French press. It’s a large bottle (34 oz/1 liter). So if you brew the whole thing, you’ll have coffee for a whole day.
Simple to disassemble, simple to reassemble, and simple to clean. I mentioned that you’d need a good, safe French press that comes in a protective casing.
A tough plastic casing protects this one, so it should last long.
The best brewing method will vary from person to person, depending on what they’re looking for.
If you want a flavorful cup of coffee and don’t mind waiting a few minutes, I highly recommend the French press. The body and coffee oils give the coffee a lot of depth and intensity.
But if you want a smaller cup, something a little more intense, and a completely different flavor profile, I recommend the Aeropress.
They both have advantages and disadvantages, so I recommend that you try a cup of coffee brewed using each of these methods to compare them truly.