Mulling over which side to pick in the battle between a pour over coffee maker vs French press? We understand the seriousness of the decision! In a world of fast food, online shopping, mobile banking, and even instant coffee, there’s one commodity that’s breaking norms—coffee!
In places where instant coffee used to be the standard, artisanal coffee is changing and refining palates enough to convince people to go through the lengths of coffee preparation over the convenience of opening a sachet of instant coffee. And if you have lived all your life drinking fresh-ground coffee, then we understand why you’re not willing to forego the taste for the convenience!
If you’re new to the art of coffee preparation and in a quandary of choosing between a pour over coffee maker and French press, then here’s our guide to finding the perfect fit for your lifestyle and taste.
Pour Over Coffee Maker vs French Press: Which Side Should I Pick?
One important consideration to make when you’re deciding between a pour over dripper and a French press is your lifestyle. While it is great to be able to enjoy good coffee anytime and anywhere, time is a resource you should be willing to trade for it. And that’s something you need to check and see if the contraption makes for a practical choice.
Basically, discounting the time spent to boil water and grind coffee beans, pour over coffee takes less time than French press coffee.
- Pour over coffee
Pour over coffee preparation requires 30 seconds of blooming period—that is time for wetting and letting the coffee grounds to absorb water—and 2.5 to four minutes of slow and steady pouring of hot water, including 20-60 seconds of drip time.
For dark-roasted coffee, brewing time is at 2.5 to three minutes. For medium- to light-roasted coffee, brew time is three to four minutes.
- French press coffee
As for French press coffee, it requires anywhere from 3.5 to eight minutes to prepare—30 seconds to soak the coffee granules in the carafe with hot water and three to eight minutes for brewing time. Before you push down the plunger, you’ll have to wait for three to four minutes if you’re using fine granules and six to eight minutes if you put in a very coarse grind.
It is important to note, however, that while pour over coffee looks like it requires less time to prepare, it demands more of your attention. In preparing French press coffee, you can do some tasks in between while waiting for the brew time to complete, making it the go-to choice for busy coffee drinkers.
As for the pour over coffee that requires only four minutes of your time at most, you will have to give it your full attention as you wait for the coffee to bloom, brew, and drip through.
Another important point you need to put into consideration is the quantity of coffee that a pour over coffee maker or French press can do in one go. Are you making coffee only for yourself or for the whole family?
A French press offers a faster way to prepare coffee for a big party than using a pour over dripper since pour over cones are originally used to make only one cup of coffee at a time.
Thankfully, you can now find bigger cones that can prepare up to 1000ml of coffee. So, if you enjoy pour over coffee but discouraged by the fact that you can only make one cup at a time, then don’t be. Larger cones or drippers are now available!
Still, French presses offer you greater options if you want to prepare big quantity at one time. Some French press coffee makers can hold up to a whopping 1.75 liters of coffee.
Ease of Installation and Cleaning
Other valid concerns are ease of installation and cleaning. In this respect, the pour-over coffee maker has the upper hand over the French press.
The pour-over set up requires only the stacking up of the carafe, dripper, and the paper filter. Cleaning the device is just as easy. Simply pick up the paper filter that holds the coffee granules, wash the dripper, and it is ready for your next brewing session!
As for the French press, you need to re-assemble the coffee maker, insert the mesh and the spring-loaded base plate into the plunger. Consequently, cleaning also requires a lot of work. You’ll have to collect the coffee grounds at the bottom, disassemble the device, and wash each piece thoroughly—particularly the stainless steel mesh.
While the above considerations are important, I think the most important—if not the deciding factor—should be the taste. In the first place, you’re willing to forego convenience to chase after that wonderful taste that you simply can’t get from instant coffee or that machine-made caffeine fix, right?
For this same reason, it is important that you try the best versions of both for it is only by tasting pour over and French press coffee that you can determine which device you should get.
But if it helps you now to know what each device produces, we can give you an idea. With the French press coffee maker, you get a thicker texture and a bolder taste. This is the result of the coffee granules having longer contact time with water. As for the pour over coffee dripper, it achieves a smooth and light taste from the water running through the coffee bloom on the paper filter.
So, which side should you take in the pour over coffee maker vs French press battle? We have it all sorted out for you except for the taste part. For a real coffee enthusiast who shuns instant coffee, that’s all that matters. Time, technique, ease of use and installation are all essential yet secondary considerations.
So, do you like your coffee thick and bold or do you want it light and smooth? But then again, you’ll never fully appreciate what you have or what you’re missing unless you give both a try. After all, life’s too short to stick to just one coffee.