If you’re a coffee enthusiast and you want to take your coffee making to the next level, there are several options. This article will discuss the differences between pour-over coffee and a French press.

Pour Over Coffee vs French Press

You can choose higher-quality coffee, or you can adjust the grind size to create a coffee that suits your preferences. Using a different brewing method can also yield various results.

Using a French press or a pour-over coffee system are two of the most popular options, and each option has advantages and disadvantages.

Method

Pour-over and French press systems use two different brewing methods that create different flavors and textures.

With a French press, the ground coffee beans are placed in the bottom of a glass carafe.

Hot water is poured on the beans, and they are left to steep. A metal filter with a long handle is then fitted into the carafe. The filter acts like a plunger.

french press coffee system

You push down on the handle, separating the grounds from the coffee until all of the grounds have been gathered at the bottom of the carafe and are trapped under the filter.

With a pour-over system, coffee grounds are placed in a cone. The grounds are wet and left to thoroughly dampen for a moment. Then, when the grounds are equally damp, hot water is poured over the grounds.

pour over coffee system

The dampening of the grounds makes the hot water wash over the grounds in a circular motion, brewing the coffee. The coffee then trickles into a container at the bottom of the device.

French presses can be used to make just one cup of coffee or several, depending on the size of the carafe. Pour-over systems are usually used to make only one or two cups at a time.

Brewing Time

If you’re using a French press, the brewing time is usually four to five minutes. A pour-over system usually takes only three to four minutes.

Flavor

When a French press is used, the oils from the beans are drawn out. This, paired with the constant contact of the water on the beans, creates a full, bold flavor. Many people feel that a French press creates a richer flavor.

With a pour-over system, the beans are not constantly in contact with the hot water. This creates a much lighter, less intense flavor. The flavor is more similar to that of a drip-style brew.

pour over coffee system
Pour over coffee system

Texture

The secure filter components of a pour-over system ensure that the final cup of coffee does not have any grit in it. One of the drawbacks of a French press, on the other hand, is that the filter usually lets some grounds through.

Fine grounds might also float or creep up around the sides of the filter as it is pushed down, so most coffee made with a French press will have a little grittiness at the bottom of the cup.

Because of the oils that are extracted during the French press brewing method, the final cup of coffee has a thick texture. This texture is closer to that of espresso than it is to an average drip method brew.


Pour over coffee vs French press

A Pour over coffee system takes about 3-4 minutes to brew. A French press system can take 4-5 minutes to brew.

Customization

Because the process of a French press is so simple, it’s also quite versatile. This means that you can use any type of beans that you like, and the beans can have a large, fine, or medium grind.

This makes a French press a good choice if you like trying a variety of beans, as some beans work best with particular grinds.

The pour-over method is also simple, but because of how it works, this method is most effective when used on a medium grind. Finer or larger grinds can also be used, but you may find that the flavor is not as strong as you might like, as the brewing won’t always work as well.

If you use a different grind with a pour-over system, you may also need to change how much coffee you add, as the brewing time will change.

For example, a finer grind equals a faster brew time, since water will flow through more quickly. In this case, you’ll want to add a bit less coffee to achieve the right brew.

french press coffee system
French press

Cleanup

A pour-over system is very easy to clean. This makes it a fantastic choice if you want just one or two quick cups and prefer to clean everything quickly.

A French press, however, can be a challenge to clean. You will need to remove the top and the plunger filter from the carafe. The filter must then be taken apart.

You will have to wash not only the carafe but also each small piece of the filter, and grounds can often become stuck in the smallest parts of the filter.

Because it’s so time-consuming to clean, many people use their French press for special coffees or occasions.

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