French Press vs. Pour Over – Our Recommendations

making french press coffee

 

The process of manually brewing coffee has become extremely popular throughout the past few years, particularly pour over and French press methods. You’ll find that everyone, including busy professionals and college students, are preferring to use a pour over or French press method instead of a coffeepot.

French Press

French press coffee has been made for over a century; it’s also called a coffee press or cafetière. It has three components: a filter that is typically stainless steel, a signature plunger, and an open-topped cylinder glass called a carafe.

The French press process includes putting coffee grounds into the carafe, then pouring hot water over those grounds, and letting it sit for about 4 minutes. All you have to do after it’s been steeped push the plunger down to separate the grounds and the coffee.

The result of using a French press is that you get a rich and satisfying tasting coffee. The feel and texture of coffee made with a French press are very different from pour over coffee because the coffee is thicker. Thicker coffee happens because the water stays in contact with the coffee grounds from start to finish when using a French press vs. pour over.

Plus, you’ll find that the oils that are drawn from the coffee grounds during the brewing process are more pronounced when using a French press. This is why this method is so popular among those who love strong coffee.

One negative to using a French press vs. pour over is that the coffee doesn’t hold well in the press pot. This is because it will quickly cool down and because your coffee can start to go bitter if you leave it sitting in the grounds for too long.

Pros:

  • Makes a rich, bold, and strong coffee
  • You can customize your brew to match the way you like your coffee. From the brew time to the size and type of your grind, you get to control the richness and strength of your brew
  • You can also use your French press to make loose leaf tea

Cons:

  • The screen filter is great at keeping out larger grounds. However, smaller ones can get through; this creates sediment at the bottom of your cup.

pour over coffee making
pour over coffee making

Pour Over

It’s not clear when pour over coffee originated, but they’ve been around in some form for hundreds of years. Modern-day versions of pour over coffee have been changed to make the process easy and efficient, and they’re inexpensive.

The process of making pour over coffee is straightforward. You take boiling water and let it cool down a bit, then pour it slowly over your coffee grounds in the filter.

The main differences are that pour over utilizes a filter, so the grounds don’t come in contact with the coffee. This means that the coffee made from the pour over method is not as strong as what comes from French presses.

Another difference is the grit issue. It’s completely normal for a French Press to have some grit and to be thicker. However, pour over coffee has no grit, and the texture is similar to what you would get from a coffeemaker: lighter and smooth.

The flavor of pour over coffee is nice, but it doesn’t have the strong hit that coffee from a French press has. This is the reason that some people would choose a pour over setup instead of a French press brewing process.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to clean. You only need to throw away the coffee filter and rinse out the pour over frame
  • Makes a smooth, light brew because of the use of the paper filter and shorter extraction time
  • The paper filter holds grounds and oils, which prevents sediments and bitterness

Cons:

  • It’s not as simple as pouring water and waiting. You have to put a bit of time into making the perfect coffee
  • Pour over is typically best for making one cup of coffee at a time

Best French Press vs Pour Over Coffee Makers

Below you’ll find reviews of the best French press and pour over coffee makers. 

French Press by KONA

KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless...
KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless...
$29.99
KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless...
KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless...
$29.99

The biggest selling point of this French press is its filtration system and the design. This French press features a borosilicate glass carafe and a stainless-steel filter screen. The filter screen is said to leave you with no grit in your cup of coffee, plus it’s simple to clean and durable. 

Pros: 

  • Great design
  • Durable
  • Leaves zero grit in your coffee

Cons: 

  • There is a lack of insulation, so your coffee cools down quickly 

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Hario V60 Ceramic Pour Over Maker

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, Red
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, Red
$26.50
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, Red
Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, Red
$26.50

To use the Hario V60 pour over brewer, you only need to add a filter and your coffee grounds, and the spiral ribs of this maker will do most of the work. The unique design of this pour over maker makes for a highly efficient brewing process and experience. 

Pros: 

  • Gives the grounds room to expand to help you get the most flavor from your coffee
  • Highly efficient
  • Variety of colors

Cons: 

  • Not the best pour over maker for beginners

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Bodum Chambord 

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34...
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34...
$39.99
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34...
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34...
$39.99

This French press is easy to clean with its borosilicate glass carafe, plastic base and handle, and stainless-steel plunger and mesh filter. This is an inexpensive French press and is great for beginners. The stainless-steel filter reduces the amount of grit that ends up in your coffee while keeping the thick, rich taste and feel you’d expect from a French press. 

Pros: 

  • Makes great quality coffee
  • Great for beginners
  • Easy to clean

Cons: 

  • Makes less than eight cups of coffee like it claims, instead of making four to five cups

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Chemex Classic Glass Pour Over

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series -...
CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series -...
$44.95
CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series -...
CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series -...
$44.95

This is a great pour over option for people who love making more than two cups of coffee at a time because it comes in four size options. It features borosilicate glass, a leather tie, and a polished wood collar. 

Pros: 

  • Comes in four sizes
  • Easy to use
  • Great for coffee lovers

Cons: 

  • Getting the right combination of grounds, water, and grind size can be tricky

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