French Press vs. Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Coffee fanatics out there would agree with the fact that French Press machines and Pour-over devices are best manual brewing methods today. Both these brewing processes are somewhat similar, yet deliver very different taste and texture. Not just baristas, but even novices can use these coffee makers to enjoy instant coffee at homes.

French Press vs. Pour-Over Coffee Maker

So, you might be wondering,

What is a Pour-over coffee maker? What differentiates it from French Press machine? Both manual procedures give you the advantage of customizing the strength of brew. Let’s have a look at their comprehensive differences and what each end result has got in store for us.

Everything you need to know about French Press Coffee Maker:

What is French Press Coffee Maker?

Popularly known as a Coffee Press or Press pot, a French Press Coffee Maker is a cylindrically shaped glass pot whose lid is integrated with a plunger. The plunger is further attached to a mesh filter screen usually made from stainless steel. An Italian designer first patented this design in the year 1929.

french press coffee maker

How to make French Press Coffee?

  • You need to fill the pot with any of your preferred coffee grounds and soak them with boiled water for about 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Once the grounds are slightly bubbled up, add remaining boiled water (that’s just off boiling point) into it.
  • Close the lid by inserting plunger at a level that’s right above coffee and water. Let it steep for about 3 to 4 minutes
  • Press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee
  • Grounds will remain at the bottom and brewed coffee will be lifted up

Tip: The beans used here must be coarsely ground. That’s because filtering process in French Press is not so precise. If you grind coffee beans too fine, it will be transferred into your brewed coffee easily.

coarse grind for french press coffee

Flavors of French Press Coffee:

Coffee taste and texture created with French Press is much bolder and gritty as compared to Pour-over method. Also, brew from French Press machine is heavy and full-bodied.

Want to know the best part?

Throughout the process of brewing, the coffee grounds stay in contact with the water. So, all of the essential oils and flavors from the coffee grounds are profoundly extracted. Thus, delivering a classic rich and aromatic coffee taste with just the right amount of thickness. And this is the reason why French Press coffee is so popular amongst coffee aficionados today.

Pros of using French Press Coffee maker:

  • Easy to use; You just need to know the proper water-to-coffee ratio for mastering it
  • You don’t need to arrange a filter whatsoever; Plunger has inbuilt mesh filter
  • You can customize the strength and ground size of the coffee

Everything you need to know Pour-Over Coffee Maker:

What is a Pour-Over Coffee Maker?

Pour-over coffee maker uses a glass carafe featuring an open end that holds a thick paper or mesh filter. These pour-over devices are more recent as compared to French press machines. You can use Chemex or Drippers, whichever feels most suitable to you.

pour over coffee make

How to make Pour-Over Coffee? (Using Chemex)

  • Place a cone filter at the open-end of the glass carafe. Insert thick paper filter into this cone so as to hold coffee grounds.
  • Boil water (just off boiling point) and pour it over these grounds in a particular pattern (circular) and with gradual timing. Pour till all of the coffee grounds are soaked.
  • Stir this mixture briefly
  • Let the coffee grounds steep for up to 30 seconds
  • Once the coffee grounds saturate, the coffee will start to drip into the carafe
  • Pour remaining water in the same manner. Repeat the whole process till you have your desired amount of coffee.
  • Whole brewing process takes about 4 to 5 minutes

Tip: You can use mesh filters, paper filters or even golden-tone screen filters. While working with paper filters, the coffee grounds must be fine in texture. This will allow better flavor extraction and slow down the dripping process. Remember, if you pour water too fast, the coffee might end up being too lightly flavored.

Flavors of Pour-Over Coffee:

Due to a profound filtering process, the coffee produced with Pour-over devices is much cleaner, bright and residue-free. If you use screen filters, the coffee will be aromatic and rich with essential oils.

paper filter or metal filter

As for paper filters, they filter out most of the natural oils and fine grounds. You will be getting a very clean, smooth and light cup of coffee here. Metal mesh filters offer a much enhanced taste of coffee as compared to paper filters.

Pros of using Pour-Over Coffee Maker:

  • Clean and pure way of brewing; No residues are left in the coffee
  • Efficient way of making Single-serve coffee
  • Cleanup process is very easy

French Press vs. Pour-Over Coffee Maker:


As a final point, let’s have a look at some key comparative features that differentiates both brewing methods.

  • French Press is an immersion type of brewing, whereas Pour-over is a drip brewing procedure.
  • As for French Press, coffee grounds are likely to escape from the bottom into the brewed coffee. That’s because the mesh filter screen is not too constricted. It is deliberately designed that way, otherwise, you won’t be able to press the plunger down so easily. Pour-over coffee is free from residues.
  • French Press coffee maker needs thorough cleanup, given all the small parts and heaps of coffee grounds at the bottom
  • If you keep coffee into the French Press pot for too long, it will continue to extract flavors from the grounds. Result being, too bitter and grittier coffee.

French Press vs. Pour-Over

  • As for convenience, pour-over device is much easier to use. You just need to dispose the paper filter and the cleanup process takes just a few seconds. However, you will also need to buy paper filters frequently.
  • For a strong brew, the pour-over device needs to use a lot of coffee grounds, which is undesirable. That’s not the case with French Press, as it can produce a strong brew even with regular quantity.
  • Pour-over method can be a little complex. For better coffee making, you might need to invest in extra equipment like digital Scale, high-quality filters, timer, etc. French Press coffee making is very easy to learn.
  • Pour-over coffee making needs hot water for better extraction of flavors. The french press can do its job with a slightly lower temperature of water as well.


Final Words:

To be honest, both of these brewing methods deliver exceptionally delicious and rich coffee. Who is the winner you would ask? It completely depends on your own taste and the amount of efforts you are willing to put into brewing.

Let’s say for experimentation sake you can just try out both these brewing methods and decide for yourself.

French Press brewing method does not demand too much of your involvement. On the contrary, pour-over coffee maker needs you to be more participated and pour water little by little.

In terms of flavor, if you like a bold, full-bodied and rich cup of coffee – go for French Press Coffee Maker. On the other hand, if you prefer a smooth, low-acid, non-gritty and crisp cup of coffee then Pour-over coffee maker is your terminus.

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