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The Battle of the Brews: French Press vs. Drip

Dave Carter

October 8, 2020

It's no secret that people love their coffee, from classic espressos to intricate cappuccinos, coffee-making has evolved into fine art. Because of the popularization of the drink, there are now several coffee-making types of equipment that allows you to create barista-quality brews at home. Two of the most popular brewing methods that you can do is French press and automatic drip, which are useful in different applications. But regarding French Press vs. Drip coffee, you may wonder which one best suits your lifestyle and coffee preferences?

While it may boil down to a matter of preference, knowing the differences and advantages of each one can help you find the best brewing method for your morning cup of coffee. To make it easier for you, here's a thorough guide about French press coffee and drip coffee, making your daily coffee routines much more vibrant and delicious.


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French Press vs. Drip Coffee​

After learning about the French press vs. percolator, you may wonder, what's the difference between French press coffee and drip coffee? Why are these two often compared with one another, and what makes them so great? To answer your aching questions and see which coffee-making method works best when making a cup of coffee, here are the significant differences between the two.

French Press​

A French press is a piece of Italian coffee-making equipment that consists of a glass or metal beaker, mesh filter, and a coffee plunger. The brewer itself resembles a teapot, and the French press coffee you produce is typically full-bodied and robust because it's minimally filtered. You'll notice stray coffee grounds will end up at the bottom of your cup of coffee.

Drip Machine​

A drip machine is also known as an automatic coffee maker, and it's a more modern means of whipping up a cup of joe. Inside the coffee machine, water is heated and mixed with coffee grounds, and then the resulting brew goes through a paper coffee filter into a pot or cup. Because of the filter, the resulting drink contains little to no sediment, unlike the coffee you get from French presses.

To help you even more, here are the differences of drip machines and French press coffee makers, from brewing time to flavors, helping you know which brewing process is right for you.

  • Brewing Time 

The brewing time needed to brew a cup of coffee from a French press ranges around 5 to 8 minutes. While using an automatic drip machine can take about 3 to 10 minutes, making it a faster brewing option. If you're rushing through your morning routine, it's best to settle with drip coffee, but if you want to enjoy a tasty brew and have plenty of spare time, opt for French press coffee.

  • Ease of Use 

Several variables affect each brewer's usability, including the correct water temperature, brew time, and rate in which you push the plunger-filter. Getting the right brewing time when using French presses is vital. If you under-extract or over-extract coffee, you'll get unpleasant results. While you can never go wrong with a drip coffee machine, giving you consistent cups per session. The only mistake you can make with the drip brewer is if you use the wrong coffee grounds.

  • Serving Capacity 

All coffee brewing systems come in different shapes and sizes. The typical French press starts as a single-serve and maxes out around ten servings per operation. In contrast, drip makers can start making a couple of cups and maxes out at fourteen brews.

  • Taste

If you're an avid coffee aficionado, you should know that the most critical factor in any decision that involves coffee is the resulting brew. A cup of coffee's natural flavor comes from its oil, and a drip coffee machine's paper filter retains most of the flavor-packed oils, and they never make it your brew. While the French presses' lack of paper filter ensures you get every last bit of the flavorful oils, maximizing the taste of each cup you make.

If you're looking for convenience, the drip method is the best choice for you, and if you're after full-bodied and rich-tasting brews, the French press is the way to go. However, the ultimate decision will depend on your lifestyle and preferences.

What is French Press Coffee​

With all the rave surrounding the brew methods, you may wonder, what is French coffee press? How to use a french press coffee maker? French press coffee is a brew made using a classic French press coffee maker. It's a cylindrical container that allows you to perform steep brewing, giving you more robust coffees.

The French Press is easy to use. You need to add grounds in the container, hot water, give it a quick stir, place the lid on top of the device, and brew around 5 to 8 minutes. Then slowly push its plunger-filter downwards, forcing the packed ground coffee to the bottom of the container while the vibrant brewed coffee stays at the top.

What makes it unique is that the French press follows a process where the grounds stay in contact with hot water throughout the brewing period, and its metal filter doesn't retain the essential oils of the coffee. These factors contribute to the brew's richness and strength, providing you with a more aromatic and flavorful cup of coffee

Does French Press Have More Caffeine than Drip?​

French press and drip coffee often get compared to a shot of espresso because these variations are known to produce jitter-inducing cups. The caffeine content of each coffee version varies, but one of the essential factors that affect the caffeine levels is the brewing time. For instance, because drip coffee undergoes a longer process than espressos, it tends to have more caffeine in the espressos shot. While the French press requires a steep time of 4 minutes, this method can extract more caffeine from the grounds, giving it a higher caffeine content than drip and espresso coffee.

Why is French Press Coffee so Much Better?​

Although having the best fully automatic espresso machine can provide you faster coffee drinks, nothing beats the classic like the French press. Many people believe that the device whips out the best brews, and here are some of the reasons it's better than other coffees.

  • It Retains The Natural Oils and Flavors 

When you use a French press, you get some of the richest brews because it doesn't use a paper filter, unlike the automatic brewers. These filters absorb the natural flavorings and oil of your ground coffee, and because French presses don't have this, it provides you with more robust and full-bodied drinks.

  • It Allows for Steeping

The device allows you to steep the grounds, meaning you soak them for some time in the water, giving you a mouth-watering coffee, enabling you to taste all the flavors and experience the coffee through all five senses.

  • It Doesn't Contain Any Impurities

When you use an automatic brewer, you typically get impurities, including the brewing process the device undergoes. However, when you use a French press, you get coffee the way it's supposed to be, and that's without the added impurities.

  • The Right Temperature

French presses maintain the appropriate water temperature throughout the brewing process, unlike modern brewers that often heat the water too fast, giving you unbalanced brews.

The device provides some of the richest and best-tasting coffees you can get at home, allowing you to have full control of the entire brewing process. If you're a fan of full-bodied drinks and would like to indulge in gourmet caffeinated beverages at home, invest in getting the unique brewer, and enjoy cups of flavorful coffee with minimal effort.

Is a French Press Worth It?​

If you want to make rich and vibrant brews at home if you're looking for a different coffee experience, getting a French press is worth it. Because the device uses coarse metal filters than the conventional paper filters of most brewing methods, you can extract more particles of the coffee grounds after steeping and pressing. It gives you a richer-tasting and more potent drink, helping you start your day right. You can also make different kinds of coffees with the device, so grab your brewer, and start learning how to make espresso in French press for a gourmet caffeine-rich at home.

What is Drip Coffee​

If you're an avid coffee lover, you should be aware that drip coffee is the most preferred modern brew method. You can make the drink by using hot water, ground coffee beans, and a Cuisinart coffee filter. You need to pour the water over the grounds and through the paper filter, and that's it, you've made it. The brew method's convenience found its way to most commercial brewers, filtering grounds with filters, producing lighter-flavored brews than the classic French press. This method is typically used for faster and automated brewing purposes, designed to make more brews in one session.

If you want to get the best results, you need to consider several factors, including using filtered or spring water heated between the ideal water temperature of 195°F and 205°F. However, most automatic brewers don't allow you to adjust the temperature manually. You also need to perfect the ideal ratio of grounds to water, but you can change it according to your preference.

Advantages of Drip Coffee​

Drip coffee makers are an everyday staple for modern households and offices, providing individuals with the unbeatable convenience of whipping up consistent brews at the touch of a button. Here are some of the advantages of drip coffee.

  • It's More Convenient to Make

You can get your favorite drip coffees with ease because most coffeemakers are now nearly 100% automated, so you don't have to think about whipping up a cup when you're half-sleep. Some machines even have a built-in timer, allowing you to wake up to freshly brewed coffee.

  • It's Lighter 

Unlike other coffees, Drip coffee provides lighter flavors because the brew passes through a dense paper filter that retains most of the grounds, leaving you with no sediment. It gives you a lighter-bodied and bright drink.

If you're a fan of convenience and milder brews, it's best to opt for automatic drip brewers as it provides you with your favorite coffee in a couple of minutes.


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So, after an intense battle between French Press vs. Drip, is there a winner? No, because at the end of the day, whatever brew method you choose will be up to your preferences. The French press gives you more control and offers richer-tasting and more robust brews while an automatic drip machine gives you the convenience of decent coffee. Base your choice on your lifestyle and preferences, and you'll quickly see which one is the best method for you.


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