French Press vs Drip Coffee: Which Will You Choose?

Last Updated on February 8, 2022

Coffee lovers around the world will agree on this point: making a great cup of coffee can be a learning experience, but is definitely worth the effort when you find the brewing method that hits your java sweet spot.

There are so many different ways to brew a cup of coffee, and each one has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It can be tough to decide which is the best way for you. Coffee drinkers are very specific about their brewing methods, and it is definitely a personal decision.

french press vs drip coffee

No worries, my friend. In this post, we’ll take a look at both French press vs drip coffee maker brewing methods and discuss the pros and cons of each one. With this information, you’ll be able to choose the best brewing method for you and make a delicious cup of coffee every time.

By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

What is a French Press?

what is French press coffee

A French press, also known as a coffee press or plunger pot, is a popular way to brew coffee. It works by placing the coarsely ground beans and hot water in the cafatiere and letting it steep for several minutes.

Then you push down on the strainer and voila! You have your delicious cup of Joe. Well, it’s not quite that simple, my friend.

There are some considerations that can alter the result, and the enjoyment, of your French press coffee:

So as you can see, there are a lot of things to consider and if one is off your coffee can be ruined.

But when you do get it just right, there’s nothing quite like that smooth creamy cup of French press coffee in the morning.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to making delicious French press coffee, here are some simple instructions you can follow to help familiarize you with the process. Once you get the hang of it, the brewing process itself becomes somewhat of a relaxing ritual. It’s all part of the experience!

How to Brew Coffee with a French Press

How to Make French Press Coffee

how to make french press coffee
1 | Heat the filtered water: Your water should be at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just short of boiling. Pour a little bit of water into the press to warm it up, then discard.
2 | Grind fresh coffee beans to a coarse grind, kind of like sea salt. Remember the ‘golden rule’ of 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water as you decide how much coffee to use. Add the freshly ground coffee beans to the French press.
3 | Pour in the water slowly, making sure that all of the grounds are completely immersed. It’s best to stir with a non-metal type spoon or stick…wood works really well.
4 | Place the plunger on the press and leave it at the top…don’t let the filter touch the water and grounds. Steep for 4 minutes.
5 | Press the plunger down slowly and evenly. Now pour yourself a delicious cup of French press coffee.

Why You Might Want to Use a French Press

There are a few reasons you might want to use the French press method. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Convenience – it’s about as simple as you can get with coffee brewing. The method itself is pretty straightforward, and once you’re familiar with it, the process becomes even easier
  • Cleanup is fairly straightforward – there aren’t too many parts to the French press, so cleanup is pretty straightforward. A quick rinse with some warm water should make it good as new!
  • Coffee – Whether you like light or dark roast, medium or full-bodied flavor, French press works with just about all varieties of coffee. A dark roast is usually the preferred way to go, to get that rich cup of pressed coffee, but it is up to you.

And, preparing and drinking coffee from a French press is, well, cool. 🙂

Why You Might Not Want to Use a French Press

If you want an easy way to get your coffee every morning, the french press might not be for you. It takes some time and attention to get it just right, so if you’re looking for something quick and simple this method may not be ideal.

Here are some reasons you might not want to choose a French press:

The coarseness of grind – if you’re not careful, it might be too coarse and the coffee will come out weak. Or, too fine and the coffee may be bitter. There is a definite learning curve.

Coffee grinder – yes, you’ll want to grind your own beans to a coarse grind just prior to brewing with a French press. It takes a little more time (but it’s so worth it!) as well as the investment in a coffee grinder. It’s possible to use pre-ground coffee with a French press if you don’t want to grind your own beans.

The lack of a filter – because there is no paper filter used, French press coffee has the natural oils on the top as well as some sediment at the bottom of the cup. They are trademarks of French press brew and are meant to be discarded, but you might not love to see them in the bottom of your coffee cup.

The consistency – depending on how fast you push down on the plunger, different levels of coarseness will make it through the filter and give you different flavors.

The coffee temperature – with French presses, the carafe does not keep the brewed coffee hot. Will it keep the coffee warm for awhile? Yes. Hot? No.

The effort required – like we said before, French press is pretty simple, but there are some considerations to take into account when brewing coffee with a French press. Some people might see that as more complicated than they’re looking for in their coffee maker. And, when you add in the prep time with the brewing time, it might be more than you want to invest on a busy morning.

The capacity – in general, the French press coffee maker is best for one or two cups of coffee. If you’re looking for a larger batch, this method may not be the best choice.

The cleaning it takes time – as we mentioned before, French Press is simple to use, but there are parts that need to be washed each and every time the carafe is used and the coffee grounds are discarded. That’s why you might not want one if you’re in a hurry.

So as you can see, brewing French press coffee takes some effort. There are definitely some pros to using this method, but it’s important to know the cons as well. If you’re considering adding a French press to your arsenal of brewing methods.

Are you shopping for a French Press? Here are the current best sellers:

What is Drip Coffee?

automatic drip coffee maker

Drip coffee makers are the most popular method for brewing drip coffee in North America.

The process consists of putting ground beans into a brewer, then slowly dripping hot water over them to extract all the flavors and oils. When you are using an electric drip coffee maker the process is made really simple for you.

Here is a simple breakdown of the automatic drip system that occurs inside the drip coffee machine:

  • The cold water you pour into the water reservoir flows through a tube that is a heating element
  • When you turn on the machine, the heating element heats the water to boiling
  • The heated water flows up another tube and is dispersed over the ground coffee in the filter
  • The resulting brew flows out of the machine and into your cup
  • You enjoy the fresh brewed coffee!

To make drip coffee with a drip machine, you will need:

  • ground coffee – medium grind
  • a coffee filter in the brewer OR a paper filter
  • hot water
  • automatic drip coffee maker

After adding your ingredients to the brewer, just turn it on and wait for the magic! Once you are done brewing, you can pour yourself a cup of hot delicious drip coffee.

How to Make Drip Coffee with a Coffee Maker

Simple 3-Step Guide for Making Good Drip Coffee

Drip Coffee Maker or Pour Over Dripper

what is the best coffee for espresso
Step 1: Use fresh, whole coffee beans and grind them yourself just prior to brewing the coffee. Most of the time you’ll want a medium grind if you’re using a standard drip coffee maker, with a medium-fine grind if the filter is cone-shaped. Experiment a bit and see what gives you the best result. The “golden rule” of coffee, 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water, is a good starting point.
Step 2: The water temperature should be between 195-205 degrees for proper brewing And, please use filtered water for the best tasting coffee!
Step 3: Clean the coffee maker daily, and deep clean it monthly. Here are some basic instructions and reminders for cleaning an auto drip coffee maker.

Why You Might Want to Use a Drip Coffee Maker

There are a number of reasons you might choose to use a drip machine to brew your java. Some of the top reasons people like them include:

  • Inexpensive – a basic automatic drip coffee machine will generally retail for around $50, give or take.
  • Convenience – while there are some single-cup brewers, or pod machines out on the market, for the most part, these coffee makers are pretty simple to use. Just add some water, add some ground coffee beans, press a button or two and you’re good to go.
  • Hot coffee – a drip coffee machine will keep the brewed coffee hot for a period of time.
  • Clean-up steps – it’s a pretty simple process to rinse out the coffee pot after use
  • Skills – aside from the most basic of common sense, there aren’t a lot of specialty tools or skills involved in using a drip coffee maker

Why You Might Not Want to Use a Drip Coffee Maker

No matter how convenient the drip coffee maker is, there are some drawbacks to using them that you need to consider before deciding if this method is right for you. Some of the top reasons people choose not to use a drip coffee maker:

They may not last a long time, depending on the price and model. Coffee makers are not known for their longevity.

They aren’t portable – aside from the single-serve brewers out there, a drip coffee machine is meant to be stationary. If you’re the kind of person who likes to take your drink with you on the go, you’ll need to also have a travel cup handy. Not a big issue, but something to note.

It’s harder to control the taste – since you’re not controlling and monitoring the water flow, it can be challenging to find exactly what you want out of your brew.

Are you shopping for an affordable drip coffee maker? Here are the current best sellers:

FAQ

French press vs drip coffee

Is drip coffee better than French press?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on personal preferences. Some people prefer the taste of drip coffee, while others find French press coffee more flavorful. What matters most is finding the brewing method that works best for you and using quality ingredients. So, if you’re unsure which brewing method to choose, experiment with different methods and see which one you like best!

Is drip coffee more acidic than French press?

Generally speaking, a French press will result in coffee with a higher acidity level than drip coffee. This is because the former method skips the paper filter which filters out some of the essential oils and acids from your beans. The more oils you have in your cup, though, the harder it’ll be to regulate how much caffeine you’re consuming.

What is different about French press coffee?

French press coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in hot water for several minutes, then pressing the grounds to the bottom of the pot. The result is a more full-bodied and flavorful cup of coffee than what you’d get with a drip machine. One downside is that it can be difficult to control the strength and flavor of your brew, so it might take some experimentation before you find what you like.

Which brewing method is best for you?

Drip coffee vs French press. What do you think? There are a number of things to consider before making your decision. If you’re looking for convenience, then a drip coffee maker might be the way to go. However, if you want more control over the brewing process and have the patience to stick with it, then perhaps a french press will suit your needs better. Either way, both of these methods have their pros and cons, but they both produce a delicious cup of joe.

French press vs drip coffee - which will you choose?