French Press vs Aeropress: Which One is Better?

French Press vs AeroPress

Two of the most popular manual methods for making coffee are the Aeropress and French press.

While the latter is a time tested method enjoyed around the world, the former has been around for just over a decade but has already made an impression on coffee lovers.

Wondering which is best for you? Here are the major differences between the French press and Aeropress and the advantages of each method.

Advantages of the French Press

The French press, also called a cafetiere or press pot, is a simple device that consists of a carafe, plunger with an attached filter screen, and a lid.

You place coffee into the carafe, pour in hot water that's between 185 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, and allow it to brew for at least three minutes. Once brewing is complete, the plunger is gently pressed down and the finished coffee can be enjoyed.

This sounds simple, and using a French press really doesn't have to be more complicated than that. However, one of the perks of using it is you can customize just about every aspect of the brewing process.

If you prefer coarsely ground coffee from home roasted beans, you can use that. If you only have access to regular ground coffee, that's acceptable to use as well -- simply decrease your brewing time to compensate for the smaller grind size.

With a French press you can brew for a longer time to get a very bold and robust flavor, or you can brew for a shorter time for a smoother and more subtle taste.​

Compared to the coffee produced by an Aeropress, French press brew has a fuller bodied mouthfeel, is more aromatic, and the flavor has more of a strong bite.

There are several other reasons why the French press is still a favorite with coffee drinkers:

  • It's quite economical and affordable
  • You can make a variety of coffee drinks with a French press
  • It looks attractive sitting out on a counter
  • This is an excellent way to make coffee that's full of flavor in just a few minutes
  • There's no need to use paper filters
  • A French press can make coffee for a crowd, whereas as the Aeropress makes one serving at a time

Advantages of the Aeropress

The names may sound similar, but there are many factors that set the Aeropress apart from the press pot.

The device has several components, but one of the main differences is that the finished brew is dispensed into your chosen mug or cup rather than into a carafe.

An Aeropress makes just one cup of coffee at a time, which is ideal if everyone in your house wants to customize their brew or you want a manual method that you can easily take on the go.

In many ways, an Aeropress is more similar to an espresso machine because it relies on pressure to extract flavor whereas a French press doesn't.

Fine grounds should be used with an Aeropress for the best result, and brewing time lasts just one and a half to two minutes.

The Aeropress comes in a kit and contains a brewing chamber, plunger, paper filters, and filter cap. The filter cap is placed over a cup, coffee is placed into the chamber, and then hot water is poured inside.

After a short brewing time the plunger is gently pushed down and coffee is extracted into a cup.

Here are some of the top reasons that people choose the Aeropress:

  • The resulting coffee is quite similar to an espresso made with a machine because the Aeropress produces more pressure than a French press
  • The device is highly portable and can be taken just about anywhere
  • Brewing time with an Aeropress is shorter than brewing with a French press and can last as little as one minute and 30 seconds
  • There's no grit, which is common with with French press coffee
  • Coffee made with an Aeropress has a more mellow taste, but it's still strong
  • It's a bit easier to clean than a French press

Conclusion:

Both methods of making coffee work well, and many coffee aficionados own both for variety and because each is so affordable.

However, if you're forcing yourself to choose just one, the method that you should use simply depends on your preferences.

If you need something that's quick, travels well, and brews coffee that's close to a traditional espresso, look into getting an Aeropress.

On the other hand, if you enjoy the process of creating the perfect cup, prefer to slow down to enjoy your coffee, and you want a richly flavored classic brew, a French press will serve you well.​