Is it better to brew French press coffee or pour-over coffee? After all, both methods have advantages and are simple to implement. Continue reading to learn about the main differences between them, as well as the advantages of each method.
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1. The French press is a little simpler to use.
A French press might be a better option if you’re looking for convenience.
This is because everything is taking place in a single large glass pitcher. All of your water and coffee are in one container, as is the plunger and mesh filter, and you pour the coffee out of the single container.
Simple, with little to keep track of.
On the other hand, Pour-over coffee takes a different approach to things. It will necessitate timing a few elements, such as heating the water, how you pour it, ensuring the filter is properly positioned, and allowing enough time for the coffee to brew.
This entails a glass pitcher, a filter, a kettle, and a timer.
As an advantage to pour over coffee requiring more attention to detail, possibly more than a French press, you can make your coffee however you like.
When you prepare your own coffee, you can pour it slowly or rapidly, which results in a stronger or lighter cup of coffee, depending on your preference.
The French press can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. However, for reasons that I will explain later, you cannot allow it to brew for longer than 4 minutes at a time.
So it appears that pour over is the more adaptable of the two.
2. Because grind sizes vary, so makes the coffee.
The main reason you can’t brew French press coffee for too little or too long is that it uses coarse grounds.
This implies that it requires a longer steep time, and you won’t be able to get away with steeping it for only two minutes.
Coarse coffee requires time to release its flavor fully, and French press coffee should be steeped for at least 4 minutes. After the coffee has bloomed, this is what it looks like.
Because coarse ground coffee releases flavors differently than fine ground coffee, it is used in cold brew.
Because of this, the larger your grind size is, the less bitterness and acidity you will taste in your cup of coffee.
But, again, it has to do with which compounds are extracted first, and it appears that coarse ground coffee yields better results.
To get around this, choose a short but intense brew time for a cup of finely ground coffee, for example (think espresso).
Except for coarse ground, pour-over coffee can be made with almost any grind size.
Traditionally, medium or medium-fine grounds are used, similar to drip coffee or a Moka pot.
If fine ground coffee is all you have on hand, you can use it in a pour-over setup. But, of course, you have to be quick when pouring the water or be too bitter.
In general, French press coffee tastes smoother and has more body than pour-over coffee.
On the other hand, Pour-over tastes a little ‘cleaner’ and lighter.
3. French press coffee is grittier and less filtered.
The French press does not use a paper filter at all. Instead, it only uses a metal filter entangled in another fine wire mesh/filter.
This keeps coffee grounds out of your cup of coffee and ensures they stay down when the plunger is pushed.
All of the essential coffee oils are extracted from the ground coffee and deposited in your cup of coffee as a result.
It also allows for very fine coffee dust to stand out in the coffee, much like you would find in an espresso or Turkish coffee. This may be ideal for some, but not for others.
In comparison, the paper filter on a pour-over captures most of the coffee oils and nearly all of the coffee dust. You receive a clean cup of coffee that you can see through if you wish.
In some cases, if you are sensitive to strong-bodied coffee and prefer a lighter coffee, this may be the better option.
One thing to keep in mind is that the presence or absence of coffee oils, as well as the presence or absence of coffee dust, will affect the overall taste of your coffee.
Even if you brew a strong pour-over, the French press tends to taste stronger and have more ‘oomph’ than pour-over.
It has something to do with the texture, and it also holds up better to the addition of milk and sugar. The Advantages of Using the French Press Method
Both the French press and the pour-over method have advantages. It’s entirely up to you and what you’re looking for.
So, the advantages of making coffee with a French press are as follows:
First and foremost, a better-tasting coffee. Sure, the taste is subjective, but French press, along with cold brew and espresso shots, is consistently cited as one of the most flavorful cups of coffee.
Second, if your grinder isn’t very good and can only handle coarse grinding, you’re in luck. Attempting to make French press coffee with anything other than coarse ground coffee would yield an odd cup.
Third, in the 4 minutes, it takes to brew the coffee, you can do something else. It may not seem like much, but in the morning rush, you’ll be grateful for those four extra minutes.
If you’re going to make French press coffee at home, here’s what you’ll need.
If you want to make coffee at home, you’ll need a good French press. A strong, comfortable one that will last for years and years.
I recommend you try the one by KONA; they have a 34 oz/1-liter version that will get you the coffee you’re looking for.
It claims to be able to brew 8 cups, but keep in mind that those are small cups – 4 oz/120 ml, to be exact.
The press is simple to use and can be disassembled and reassembled in minutes if it needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
The advantages of using the pour-over method
Pour over has a unique set of advantages. It’s a more complex coffee, and it might be right up your alley. Here are the main advantages:
First and foremost, you have complete control over everything. If you’re a control freak, you’ll want to be precise about the water temperature, how quickly or slowly you pour the water, how long you let the coffee bloom, and how long the entire brewing process takes.
This isn’t the type of coffee you can walk away from. No, you stand (or sit) there and keep a close eye on every detail. This process can be very soothing and relaxing for some people, and it may be for you as well.
Second, you get a better-tasting, clearer cup of coffee. Pour-over coffee is filtered coffee, and the filter will catch the majority of the coffee oils and dust and the grinds themselves.
That is, you will not find tiny particles of ground coffee in your cup, which for some people, is the best way to taste the origin of the bean truly.
If you’re going to make pour-over coffee at home, here’s what you’ll need. A pour-over setup is more complicated than a French press, but it produces more precise coffee.
To begin, you must examine the vessel itself. Many companies will do this excellent, but the original and best is Chemex.
I recommend getting the 10 cup version because it measures in 10 5 oz cups, for a total of 50 brewed ounces. In metric terms, that’s 1470 ml.
Then you’ll need some paper filers to catch the coffee grounds. They’re a little thicker than standard paper filters. This is good because they must withstand a lot of pressure and weight.
Finally, you’ll need a kettle to heat your water. When it comes to pouring, people always use a gooseneck kettle because it offers far more precision than anything else on the market.
So I discovered one by OXO, and it’s quite nice. It includes a thermometer built into the top. It will provide accurate readings, which means you will have a lower chance of ruining your pour-over by using too hot or too cold water.
It’s a large enough kettle – it can hold up to 1 liter/34 oz of water – so you can brew a lot of pour-over coffee with just one full kettle.
There are similarities between the two methods.
After all, is said and done, the French press and pour-over coffee have a few similarities.
They may operate slightly differently, with varying brewing times, grind sizes, and resulting flavors, but they do share some characteristics. Caffeine levels are roughly the same.
While the French press appears to be the clear winner here (longer steep time), this may not be the case. Because of the grind size, the French press has a long steep time.
On the other hand, Pour-over uses smaller grinds in a shorter amount of time. So if we only consider that, the caffeine levels will be fairly similar.
To make everyone’s day even worse, it’s not the brew method that determines caffeine content but rather the coffee beans themselves.
That is, if you use a light coffee in a French press and strong coffee in a pour-over, the pour-over will win.
You should be aware of the composition of your coffee: is it entirely Arabica, entirely Robusta, or a blend of the two?
Robusta coffee is the strongest but also the harshest. Typically, your coffee will be a blend of the two. There will be more caffeine if there is more Robusta. They pair well with both medium and light roasts.
Another thing to note about these brewing methods is that they work well with medium and light roasts. In addition, you have control over the temperature of the water, which ensures that you do not scald the coffee.
Furthermore, the longer steep times allow light roast coffee to express itself fully. In contrast to a quick process, such as espresso or Moka.
Whether you use the French press or the pour-over method, you’ll get a delicious cup of coffee.
Each has advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you and your personal preferences to choose your favorite.