Aeropress vs. French Press – How Do They Compare?

There are many ways to brew coffee. The question is, which method makes the best coffee? In this article, we will talk about the Aeropress vs. French press way of making coffee. These are full-immersion brewing methods that are similar but give different results, which we’ll discuss in a moment. But first, let’s talk about how each method works.  

So what does “full immersion” actually mean, anyway? It’s essentially the steeping process, where the coffee sits in hot water before being separated from the plunger.

Aeropress vs. french press

Aeropress vs French Press

What is an Aeropress Coffee Maker?

An Aeropress is a plastic cylinder designed for making espresso. It can brew up to 3 servings of espresso or an 8-ounce cup of coffee or cold brew. You can use hot or room temperature water. This coffee maker uses a paper filter and a fine drip or espresso grind. Espresso grinds take longer to press, but make a richer brew. Here’s how to use it.

Making Espresso with an Aeropress Coffee Maker

The Aeropress sits over your coffee cup allowing the coffee to be pressed directly into your cup. To get started: 

  • Place a paper filter in the filter cap
  • Twist the filter cap onto the chamber
  • Place the Aeropress on a coffee mug
  • Measure one rounded scoop of finely ground coffee beans
  • Shake to level the coffee
  • Add hot water to equal the number of scoops
  • Stir for about 10 seconds
  • Insert the plunger and press gently until you feel resistance
  • Take the Aeropress off the mug

You now have a delicious espresso! Since the Aeropress makes an espresso, you can easily make lattes, cappuccinos and cold brew in addition to coffee. 

The Aeropress is easy to clean, portable and durable. You can use it anywhere you have access to hot water and fine drip coffee grounds. It’s also quite small so it can easily fit in a suitcase, travel bag, backpack, or large purse. You can even use it to make coffee on the plane!

The Aeropress is ideal for making coffee for 1-3 people. It is not suitable for making coffee for a large group of people. By using a paper filter, you get a very smooth cup of coffee. You don’t have to worry about sipping any stray coffee grounds. And it’s very easy to clean. Just twist off the lid, throw out the filter and coffee grounds, and rinse.

How does the French press coffee maker compare? 

What is a French Press Coffee Maker?

French press coffee makers are very popular. You may also know them by their other name–Cafetieres. French press coffee makers make coffee using a plunger – much like the Aeropress. But that’s where the similarities end.

The carafes or beakers come in glass, plastic, and metal. They use a metal filter and do not require a paper filter. Depending on the size of the carafe, you can brew between 2-10 cups of coffee.

How To Make Coffee With a French Press Coffee Maker

Using a French press coffee maker is a similar process to the Aeropress method.

  • Add coffee ground to the bottom of the carafe
  • Add hot water
  • Stir to circulate the water
  • Place the plunger on top of the carafe
  • Wait approximately 4 minutes
  • Press the plunger down until you feel resistance
  • Pour into coffee cups

The one step missing from the French press method is the paper filter.

The coffee grounds used with French press coffee makers is a coarse grind. They can also be used to make tea.

The Similarities Between the Two Methods

Aeropress vs French Press are extremely easy to use and require no electricity. The only power you need is to boil water and perhaps grind your own coffee beans.

Both methods are quite simple to use. Put the coffee grounds in the bottom of the container, fill it with hot water, stir the coffee grounds and water, let the mixture sit for 4-5 minutes, then push the plunger down and pour.

Both use a plunger to extract the coffee from the grounds.

How These Two Processes Differ

The biggest difference between these two methods is the size of the products. With the French press, you can make up to 10 cups of coffee. With the Aeropress, on the other hand, you can only make 1-3 cups of espresso or coffee.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each method.

Pros:

French Press

French press coffee makers don’t use paper filters

The metal filter is attached to the plunger

They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and materials

Can also be used to make tea and cold brews

Aeropress

The Aeropress uses a finer grind that gives a smoother cup of coffee

The paper filters eliminate grit for a smooth cup of coffee

Can also make lattes and cappuccinos

Cons:

French Press

The metal filter can change the flavor of your coffee

Glass carafes are very fragile and can crack or break easily

The French press has more parts to clean

Aeropress

Only available in plastic

Only available in one size

Limited to 1-3 cups of coffee

No matter what method you use, water temperature is important. If you use boiling water straight from the kettle, the coffee will taste more bitter. The temperature should be between 175oF and 195oF maximum.

Which Method is Best? 

One thing I haven’t addressed yet is the difference between using a paper filter and a metal filter. When using a paper filter, the oils are extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in a smoother taste without bitterness.

Metal filters, such as those used in a French press, retain the natural oils of the coffee, which can cause your coffee to taste a little bitter. It really comes down to your personal preference.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all about these two immersion methods, you should have a good idea which one you would prefer. You may even have tried them already. Both methods of making coffee will still give you great taste. It will probably come down to convenience. 

For one person, the Aeropress is an easy and convenient way to make coffee. However, if you are making coffee for more than one person, you may prefer the French press.

Which one would you choose? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

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