If you’re a coffee lover, you probably have more than one coffee brewing gadget. But have you considered which produces the best coffee for you and your family? Suppose you’re ready to expand beyond your drip coffee maker. In that case, you may consider brewing devices like the French press and the AeroPress, making brewing coffee at home more accessible and flavorful. We’re taking an in-depth look at the benefits of each and the differences between the two. Then you can decide which brewer will work best for you.
All About the French Press
A typical French press is a 48-oz container with a metal lid attached to a filter. After putting in measured amounts of ground coffee and hot water, you let it steep for 4-5 minutes, allowing the flavor to develop. After steeping, you push down the top with the metal filter. The amount of coffee made can be altered by changing the proportion of grounds and water. Depending on the size, French presses can create a batch of hot coffee for one or many people to enjoy. The French press is known for creating intensely flavored coffee due to having all the oils and acids from the beans present.
The French press has been around for about 170 years. The concept of the French press coffee brewing method appeared in the 1850s. According to legend, a Frenchman making coffee over an open fire improvised a filter using a metal screen and a stick. Though he thought the results would be mediocre, he was surprised that it was the most flavorful cup of coffee he’d ever tasted.
The first patent for the device came from the Italians in 1928. French presses have been reliable and famous ever since. Throughout the decades, slight changes have been made to different French press models and new patents. However, the process and the basic design of the device have stayed the same.
- Simple, classic design
- May be made of high-quality glass
- Can create multiple cups at once
- Consistent and easy to use
- Doesn’t require paper filters
- Full, robust flavor with natural oils
- May leave fine grounds in your cup
- Leaves in cholesterol-raising oils
- Longer brewing time
- A little harder to clean
All About the AeroPress
Invented in 2005, the AeroPress is similar to the concept of a French press. Like a French press, it pushes water through the coffee grounds. However, AeroPress is smaller and somewhat more convenient. It’s a cylindrical tube with a plunger that pushes the water through the coffee grounds. The AeroPress brews one cup of coffee at a time, and the device is typically mounted directly over the cup. The AeroPress brews a single 7-8-oz cup of coffee in under a minute. It also includes a microfilter so no grounds will get in your cup.
The total immersion technology creates a full-bodied cup of coffee. AeroPress advertises that their system makes coffee that has low acidity. It can brew a full cup of American coffee or espresso with some adjustments to the amount of grounds and water. The AeroPress company and its users have provided many recipes on their website. There are many AeroPress brewing methods, though we’ve outlined two to get you started.
1. The Standard Method:
This is essentially the same process as a French press. Coffee grounds are measured and put into the tube. Hot water is then manually added to the tube. The user guide on AeroPress’s website suggests stirring the coffee grounds and water before letting it steep. After 10-15 seconds of steeping, the plunger is pushed down and coffee goes straight into your cup.
2. The Inverted Method:
This method requires you to put the coffee grounds and water in the tube, then push the plunger halfway into the tube. Leave the AeroPress to steep on a table or other solid surface. As usual, the longer you steep the coffee, the fuller the body and the deeper the flavors. When your coffee is ready to drink, put the filter and filter cap on the top and flip the AeroPress onto your cup. Press the plunger, releasing the coffee.
- Lower acidity and smoother flavor
- Short brewing time
- Very easy to clean
- Many ways to brew
- Very portable
- Requires paper filters
- More complicated process
- Can only produce one cup at a time
AeroPress vs French Press: Which Method is Better?
The French press and the AeroPress have a lot in common. Cleaning both products is easy—they must be rinsed with hot water. Making coffee while traveling or outdoors is convenient with either product, but the AeroPress is smaller and easier to pack in a suitcase or purse. Both products allow the coffee to steep to develop flavor.
One of the significant benefits of AeroPress is that it lowers acidity and makes a richer cup of coffee. Plus, it’s a fast brewing method: a single cup of coffee can be finished in less than a minute. If you want to brew more than one cup of coffee, it would still take only 3-4 minutes to make at least 3 cups.
AeroPress brewing is easy to customize. Look at the website, and you’ll find various coffee recipes, including how to make iced coffee, espresso drinks, and even regular cups of coffee with different intensities and flavors.
Another benefit is that the microfilter prevents you from getting grit or grounds in your cup, like with a French press. This results in a cleaner cup with a smoother mouthfeel.
French Press Advantages:
The French press’s main advantage is that it can create multiple cups of coffee in one brew cycle. Unlike the AeroPress, you can make up to 6 cups of coffee at once if you want a bulk batch of coffee. The French press is also a more specific product with a tried and true design. Look no further if you want an easy, consistent cup of coffee.
The French press allows more steeping time and does not have a paper filter. Paper filters can soak up some natural oils steeping produces and can have less depth of flavor. Therefore, the natural oils would appear more in coffee made from a French press than an AeroPress. This can give you a more authentic taste of your drinking blend.
One product is not better, but one might be better for you. If your goal is to make a rich, less acidic cup of coffee quickly, AeroPress is for you. If you need to make a bulk amount of coffee or prefer all the natural oils and a more authentic taste, a French press is better suited for your needs. No matter which product you choose, you will have a flavorful cup of coffee every time.