Pour Over Coffee VS French Press: Which One is Best for You?

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Pour Over Coffee VS French Press
Pour Over Coffee VS French Press

When it comes to coffee, it’s easy to get stuck while deciding which one to go for. There are tons of good and bad choices out there.

If you are confused between pour over coffee vs French press, then stick on to help yourself derive at the best possible solution.

You are going to be 100 percent sure about your personal coffee game by the end of this.

Spoiler alert – both of them are great options. However, we will critically analyze to figure out which one is perfect for you so that you can extract the maximum benefits and satisfaction.

Pour over coffee and French press has been extremely popular because of excellent final results.  Also, they are easy to master for any coffee lover.

Let’s understand each of them one by one, and then, in the end, we will set up a comparison table to make the final decision more obvious.

French Press Coffee Vs Pour Over: Brief Summary

French Press Vs Pour Over Coffee
French Press Vs Pour Over Coffee

French press is a full immersion brewing procedure whereas the pour over coffee is a drip brew system.

You are taking coarse ground coffee beans, putting hot water, and then you are separating the ground beans from the water by using a steel mesh. That’s all, you are done with brewing your French press manual coffee brewing.

On the other hand, you are taking medium coarse ground coffee beans, putting ground beans over a filter, and then pouring hot water on top of it so that gravity does the rest. That’s all, you are done with brewing your Pour over manual coffee brewing.

Both of them are easy to make, need minimum equipment, and provide you with excellent flavorful coffee.

French press is comparatively stronger and bolder, whereas pour over imitates the regular coffee from a drip coffee maker, but slightly better in richness and room for experimenting.

Now that’s a gist that can set you up for a detailed explanation. Let’s get into it. If you prefer videos, then check out what our friends at Roasty Coffee have to say about the differences between French press and pour over coffee.

French Press Coffee: Everything You Need To Know

What Is French Press

What Is French Press Coffee?

French press coffee refers to a brewing method where coarse grind coffee beans are diluted with warm water in the correct ratio, and then separated using a plunger (French press maker); as a result, you are left with flavorful coffee with rich, strong, and full bodied taste.

History Of French Press Coffee

Interestingly enough, French coffee actually belongs to Italy. In the city of Milan, the French coffee design was patented by Attilio Calimani back in 1929.

However, there are stories about how it was originally invented by the French people in reality. But on paper, it belongs to the Italian and they get the proper credit. On the other hand, by name, the French get the proper credit. It’s a win-win situation from my perspective.

Check this article for a fun and detailed history –The History Of French Press By European Coffee Trip.

French coffee has some other names as well – press pot, coffee plunger, coffee press, cafetière, and cafetière à piston.

On a similar note, if you want to know a brief history of coffee, where do coffee beans come from, and how it spread all over the world, then check out our History Of Coffee article.

How To Make French Press Coffee What You Will Need

Things Need To Make French Coffee

Things you need to make French coffee can be divided into two parts – basic and add ons.

Basic materials will allow you to make a great cup of coffee, however, if you are an enthusiast and want to get more precise, then getting the add-on equipment would be nice. 

Basic: Hot Water, Ground coffee, spoon to stir, and a French Press Maker

Add on: Burr Grinder, Scale, Measuring cup, Timer, Thermometer

French press makers are pretty inexpensive and they last for a long time. Basic French press makers are a mix of glass, plastic, or steel.

Bodum Chambord might be the most popular choice here. You will get different variants when it comes to size; 8, 12, 17, 34, 51 ounces variants are available.

However, if you want to get something fancier, stronger, and the one that keeps your coffee warmer for longer, then you can check out the famous – Freiling USA Double Walled Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker.

On the other hand, it’s a no-brainer, freshly ground coffee beans can help you get a better cup of coffee. If you want to know all the why, how, and what regarding burr grinders, then check out our article for choosing the best burr coffee grinders.

No Fuss 5 Step Process To Make The Best French Press Coffee:

How To Make French Press Coffee

Step 1 – boil water (200F/96 C), grind your beans (coarse), and preheat the French press maker

Step 2 – Take freshly ground coffee and put the desired amount in the bottom (1:12 ratio)

Step 3 – Fill the French press maker with some hot water, stir, and let it bloom for 30 seconds

Step 4 – Pour the rest of the water, stir, put the lid, and wait for 4 minutes (standard time)

Step 5 – Slowly, press the plunger down, and your awesome French press coffee will be ready

1:12 means 30gm of coffee will be needed for 350 gm of water. In other words – 30gm for 12 ounces. Also note that – typically, 1 cup of French press coffee is considered to be 125ml.

Tips For Making Better French Press Coffee

  • Use freshly ground beans – fresh beans mean a rich cup of coffee that can’t be replicated if you use pre grounded beans. To get the maximum and optimum taste, you must opt for freshly grounded coffee beans. And of course, use the best coffee grinder for french press for grinding your beans.
  • Use quality water – fresh and filtered water makes a minor difference, but it adds up in the end. You can go for bottled water if you don’t have access to fresh water.
  • Consistent grind – this is a big part that a lot of beginners overlook. But changing the grind size can have a huge impact. To make sure you experience a fine cup of coffee, keep your grind consistent. If your coffee grind is too fine, then the coffee will taste bitter, and if the grind is too coarse, then your coffee will turn out to be weaker.
  • Follow the proven ratio – make sure you follow the water to the coffee ratio that is proven. The simple ratio is 1:12. If you are using 350 gm of water, then you’ll need 30 grams of coffee.

You might feel like skipping a small step because it makes a little amount of difference, but understand the fact that – 10 small differences can make a huge impact on the end result.

When it comes to making the best French press coffee for you, it’s always possible to play with the variables to make it suitable to your liking. Remember, The best coffee is the one that makes you the happiest.

In simple words – don’t be afraid to experiment. Play with the ratio, time, temperature, grind to get the tailored result you want.

How Does French Press Coffee Taste And What Is The Caffeine Content?

How Does French Press Coffee Taste

French press coffee has a naturally stronger and much more pronounced taste. This is due to the large amount of oil that is drawn back into the coffee during the brewing process.

Unlike other coffee, the oils are not filtered, and fine particles remain in the coffee.

Hence, the true taste of coffee stays intact and some of the experts claims French press coffee to be the best coffee on the planet. French press is strong, bold, rich, and full bodied in taste.

The caffeine content in French press coffee is proportionately not very low and not very high either. On average, a 4oz cup will have 80 to 100 mg of caffeine. This is mainly because the grind is coarse and caffeine is not retrieved in the maximum amount.

However, since people consume French press coffee in more volume, one might end up consuming more than what a small shot of espresso has.

RELATED ARTICLES: What is Caffeine? And How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?

Time Needed To Make French Press Coffee

As we have discussed above, the making of French press coffee is pretty simple. Even if you take a bit of time, you are not gonna take more than 10 to 15 minutes.

The whole coffee making process takes about 5 to 8 minutes on average, however, you have to add in the time required for boiling the water and grinding the coffee beans incase you like it fresh.

Advantages Of French Press Coffee

  • Rich, full-bodied, strong, and flavorful quality coffee
  • Portability makes it ideal even when you are on move but want quality coffee
  • Customizable to your taste– can control and experiment
  • Super Easy to make
  • Low caffeine content
  • Low cost and super reliable
  • Can make cold brew coffee

READ NEXT: How to Make the Best Cold Brew Coffee using a French Press

Disadvantages Of French Press Coffee

  • Coffee doesn’t stay hot for long
  • Can’t brew a large batch if you have a small French press
  • Some might not like the grit that stays in coffee
  • Cleaning is not the easiest

READ NEXT: How to Clean a Burr Grinder and How to Clean a Coffee Maker with Vinegar.

Who Is French Press Coffee Best For?

Someone who wants to take some time and put some effort to brew a strong cup of coffee that is fullbodied and rich in taste would love French press coffee. It won’t be ideal for someone who drinks coffee all day long since it takes a bit of time and patience to brew a cup and it doesn’t stay hot for a long time.

READ NEXT: How to Keep Your Coffee Hot for Long and How to Make Strong Coffee

3 Fun Thing You Can Do With French Press – Coffee, Cold Brew, And Latte

Pour Over Coffee: Everything You Need To Know

What is Pour Over Coffee

What Is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour over coffee refers to a manual coffee brewing process where, using a filter paper, hot water is run through grounded beans to make a flavorful cup of rich and clean coffee.

It is very easy to make, and the end result is beautiful. The coffee brewed by this process is similar to a cup of coffee by a drip coffee maker but even better in every aspect.

Check out 11 more reasons why you should start brewing pour over coffee from today.

History Of Pour Over Coffee

Check The mechanism of Pour over coffee has been here for a long time, but it got refined and proper identity in the 1900s.

A German named Amalie Auguste wanted to develop a better way of making coffee. She was successful in doing so and she filed a patent for her pour over invention in June 1908.

Check this out to learn more: History of pour over coffee

Pour over coffee is also commonly known as filter coffee, Chemex coffee, or hand brewing coffee.

How To Make Pour Over Coffee And Things You Need

Things Need To Make Pour Over Coffee

Pour over is yet another brilliant coffee-making technique that is extremely easy and inexpensive, but results in awesome coffee.

Basic materials will allow you to make a great cup of pour over, however, if you are an enthusiast and want to get more precise, then getting the add-on equipment would be nice. 

Basic: Hot Water, Ground Coffee, Stirring Spoon, Filter Paper, Gooseneck Kettle, and Chemex or Hario v60

Add on: Burr Grinder, Scale, Measuring Cup, Timer, Thermometer

When it comes to Gooseneck kettle, the Coffee Gator pour over is the most reliable one we have tested. You can also go for an electric one so that you don’t have to boil water on a separate machine.

Chemex and Hario V60, both are proven for making pour over coffee. It depends on which one is more functional and appealing to you. Either of them will help you get the job done awesomely.

No Fuss 5 Step Process To Make The Best Pour Over Coffee:

How to make pour over coffee

Step 1 – boil water (200F/96 C), grind your beans (medium coarse), setup Chemex or HavioV60, and rinse the filter paper with hot water

Step 2 – take freshly ground coffee and pour your desired amount (1:16 ratio)

Step 3 – Pour some hot water to wet the coffee and leave for 30 seconds to bloom

Step 4 – Using a circular motion – pour out the rest of the water properly from your gooseneck kettle

Step 5 – Stir a bit to extract the remaining water (don’t overdo it), and remove the filter paper

1:16 means 20gm of coffee will be needed for 320 gm of water.

A fun thing that you might wanna know is, you can actually get coffee makers that imitate the pour over technique and gives you the exact result without putting in the effort. Check out our article on the best automatic pour over coffee makers that can help those who are busy to take the time for making coffee.

However, for some people, the fact that they are taking time to make coffee itself is something rewarding. They enjoy taking these few minutes to create their art.

Tips For Making Better Pour Over Coffee

  • Use freshly ground beans – fresh beans mean a rich cup of coffee that can’t be replicated if you use pre grounded beans. To get the maximum and optimum taste, you must opt for freshly grounded coffee beans. And of course, use burr coffee grinders for grinding your beans.
  • Use quality water – fresh and filtered water makes a minor difference, but it adds up in the end. You can go for bottled water if you don’t have access to fresh water.
  • Consistent grind – Don’t overlook this point if you want better coffee. Altering the grind size can make a huge impact. To get the best and consistent result, keep your grind consistent.  Pour over works best with medium coarse grind.
  • Follow the proven ratio – make sure you follow the proven water to coffee ratio; do change it if your taste palate says so. The simple ratio is 1:16. If you are using 320 gm of water, then you’ll need 20 grams of coffee.
  • Be patient with pouring – It might be challenging for the beginners to keep the circular motion right as you pour hot water over your coffee; the good news is – you will get better within a week or so.

Never overlook the small steps, because they can make a huge impact in the end result as they add up. Small improvements here and there make a great impact altogether.

If you want to learn more details, then check this out – detailed pour over making guide.

To make the pour over perfect for your taste, feel free to play with the variables, and see what works the best for you.

How Does Pour Over Coffee Taste And What Is The Caffeine Content?

How Does Pour Over Coffee Taste

You can think of pour over coffee as an upgrade to drip coffee. It follows the same principle as water runs through the coffee ground via a filter, but it does the job better.

In simple terms – you get more aroma and better taste.

Compared to the French press, pour over coffee is slightly less pronounced, as the oils and fine grounds are filtered by the filter paper.

You can say that pour over coffee will typically taste smoother, lighter, and cleaner, than a French press but definitely better than a regular coffee from a drip machine.

Caffeine content of a pour over coffee is comparatively lower than a French press coffee. For a typical cup of pour over coffee, the caffeine content is 60 to 100mg.

Why Is My Pour Over Coffee Bitter? Solved

Brewing pour over coffee and getting bitter results? Don’t worry, because you are not alone and we know how to help you.

There are 4 main reasons why your pour over coffee might be bitter. Take care of these variables, and you will be left with a beautifully brewed cup of pour over that you will be proud of.

Reason 1 – Water temperature is too hot – it’s kinda cooking the coffee and giving it a bitter taste. Go for 200F or 96 C to make sure you are not overdoing it.

Reason 2– Running too slow– If you are taking a long long time to pour the water, then chances are, you are over extracting. You shouldn’t be super fast either, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be super slow as well. Also, make sure you are making the right circular motions instead of pouring the whole water through one place.

Reason 3– Grind is too fine– chances are, your grind is too fine and you are extracting too much. Hence, moving on to a coarser grind will help your feat. Pour over coffee requires a medium coarse grind that is consistent as well.

Reason 4– Wrong coffee to water ratio – it’s a no brainer. If you are taking too much coffee and too little water, then it is supposed to get bitter. The golden ratio for pour over coffee is 1:16. For every 1gm of water, you will take 16g of water. However, feel free to go against the ratio if needed.

Time Needed To Make Pour Over Coffee

Just like we have shown the brewing process above, the making of Pour Over coffee is pretty simple. Even if you take a bit of time, you are not gonna take more than 10 to 12 minutes for the whole process.

The coffee making process itself takes about 4 to 5 minutes on average, however, you have to add in the time required for boiling the water, grinding the coffee beans, and rinsing the filter paper.

Advantages Of Pour Over Coffee

  • Super Easy to make
  • Super inexpensive
  • Rich, flavorful, clean, and smooth coffee
  • Very easy to clean
  • No grit in coffee because of filter

Disadvantages Of Pour Over Coffee

  • Not the boldest coffee
  • Can’t make in huge volume

Who Is Pour Over Coffee Best For?

If you are someone who prefers a clean coffee similar to what you get from a drip coffee machine, then you will like pour over coffee better. The taste is not too strong and there is no grit in your coffee, unlike French press. Besides, it is super affordable, easy to make, and easy to clean as well.

Visual Instruction For: How To Make Pour Over Coffee

French Press VS Pour Over Comparison Table

 French Press CoffeePour Over Coffee
Brewing Time5 to 8 minutes4 to 6 minutes
TasteStrong, Full bodied, flavorfulSmooth, Less strong, similar to drip
Things neededMain: Hot water, Ground Coffee, French press maker

Optional: Scale, Spoon, measuring cup, timer, thermometer  
Main: Chemex or Hario v60, Filter paper, Gooseneck kettle

Optional: Scale, Spoon, measuring cup, timer, thermometer  
Caffeine Content80 to 100mg/4 oz cup60 to 100mg/4 oz cup
Ease of makingVery EasyVery Easy
Ease of cleaningModerateVery Easy
PortabilityHighHigh

Summing It Up

French press and pour over both are two amazing coffee for anyone to start with. These are easy to make yet they are loved all over the world because of how extraordinary coffee you can get following these simple brewing techniques.

Among you, the ones who want richer and bolder coffee can go for French press, and the ones who want cleaner and less strong coffee would love pour over.

With all these being said, according to me, the smartest course of action would be to get each of both brewing utensils in your home so that you can let your mood of the day dictate which coffee you want to have.

As they are both pretty inexpensive, it wouldn’t hurt much to enjoy them both at your own pace. You can have the one that you like more often and the other can stay for your occasional caffeine fix.

Hopefully, this was able to answer all your queries related to pour over coffee vs French press. Don’t forget to share your final decision in the comments down below; all our effort and love for the coffee have led us here to help and share useful information with each other.

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1 COMMENT

  1. John Mwangi Maina

    Nice, I would go with French press

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