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Pour Over vs. French Press: The Battle Of The Most Popular Manual Brewing Tools

Dave Carter

July 1, 2020

With the caffeinated drink's ever-increasing popularity, numerous methods have been introduced to make the perfect coffee cup. The manual process, especially, has increased in popularity. Most coffee connoisseurs agree that using older and time-honored methods in brewing coffee produces the best version of our favorite drinks.

Because modern manual brewing techniques include the pour-over and French press, we've come to realize that the ease and convenience that automated coffee makers don't always provide us with top-quality coffee. Here, we will discuss the vast differences between some of the most popular manual brewing processes, Pour Over vs. French Press.

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Pour Over vs. French Press​

Great coffee is all about its quality. If you want to have a good coffee experience, you have to execute the process seamlessly. The French press and pour-over are some of the best ways to achieve the ideal coffee cup for hectic mornings. But you may ask yourself what makes them get compared to each other so often? It's because both techniques produce the best brew.

Advantages of the French Press:​

  • It allows the grounds to be brewed directly in the heated water, which saves you more time.
  • All control over the whole process relies on its filter plunger, press the plunger down when you think the blend reaches your desired consistency.
  • The drink made using this method is more intense than other brewing processes because of the grounds being directly brewed in the heated water.
  • It doesn't need a disposable filter, which effectively helps in saving the environment's health.

Disadvantages of the French Press:​

  • The final product of the drink may contain grit, though it has an embedded filter which filters out most sediments, some may still get pass through it.
  • Cleaning the products takes some effort because sometimes its filter screen gets clogged, which you have to detach from the plunger mechanism.

Advantages of the Pour Over:​

  • The pour-over equipment is very affordable; some of these products are made of plastic, which is still durable but moderately priced.
  • The product only needs a simple operation, which gives you less brew time and gets your favorite drink in just a few minutes.
  • Produce more fresh brews because the final stage of the process is filtered into a separate container, which provides you with fresh hot roasted coffee.
  • It creates milder drinks because of the use of cloth or paper filters, which is perfect for coffee lovers and novices alike.
  • It produces less grit because of the cloth or paper filters used in the process, which filters most of the sediments.

Disadvantages of the Pour Over:​

The drink is not as strong because of the filters removing all sediments, which includes the coffee oils that create more potent beverages.

Both coffee makers use filters to ensure the natural flavors of the coffee remain unhindered. We suggest using the Cuisinart coffee maker filter for both products for optimal results. Regarding French press vs. pour-over, One of their notable differences is that the coffee grounds placed on a pour-over sit in a filter that doesn't come into contact with the final brew.

The pour-over coffee isn't as strong as the French press coffee, although the former exhibits excellent flavor, and the grind size of the pour-over coffee is another difference between the two.

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What is the difference between drip coffee and pour over?​

Filter coffee is a modest way of making a barista-quality brew. You can easily make the drink in the comfort of your home without needing to buy an expensive coffee machine to achieve the ideal drink. It allows you to savor the intricate flavors of specialty coffees.

There are numerous ways to filter coffee, and each different brew method brings different nuances in the brew, from crisp quality to more excellent quality. The most common filter methods are split into two main categories: pour over vs. drip coffee. But what exactly differs them from one another?

  • Brew Quality

Though the expensive coffee brewers can make a great cup of coffee with good quality beans and appropriate grind sizes, nothing rivals the pour-over coffee. The pour-over brings your favorite brews to unprecedented levels because it fully retains the coffee's natural flavors.

  • Consistency

When comparing the consistency of the drip coffee vs. pour-over. Most drip pots have inconsistent showerheads, leading to some areas of the coffee grounds getting too soaked with water, and some areas don't get enough.

Those factors give you an imbalanced, unsatisfying brew. Meanwhile, pour-over brewers allow you to fully control the whole process, including the water pouring.

  • Durability 

Pour-overs are made with either metal, glass, or plastic, which are pretty durable. If you maintain this product properly, it will serve you for a long time. Drip coffee makers need regular maintenance, which can lead to getting broken if not adequately maintained, which means it has poor durability.

  • Correct Temperature

Most drip brewers can't reach the ideal water temperature range for coffee which is between 195°F or 205°F (91°C or 96°C). Pour-over brewers also have no control over the temperature, but you can easily put a special kettle on the stove till the water boils.

Controlling the temperature by boiling the water by yourself is an impactful way of improving your coffee, which most drip coffee brewers aren't capable of doing it mechanically.

The differences of pour-over coffee vs. drip are extensive. However, the key point is that these brewers have their advantages or disadvantages. It's up to you to decide which works best for you, make sure to read different coffee maker reviews to help you find the ideal companion for your ultimate coffee experience.

The Process: pour-over coffee maker vs. french press​

From professional settings to humble kitchen households, you'll notice French presses or pour-overs in their collection. Here, we're going to give you a step by step guide on how the processes of these two popular manual brewing procedures work.

French Press​

The French press coffee maker mechanism that this product uses was first designed back in 1929 in Italy. Now, it's most prevalent in Europe and the United States. The French press (a.k.a coffee press) contains three main components:

  • Carafe - An open-topped cylindrical glass.
  • Signature Plunger (a.k.a French press) - Lets you brew coffee without being exposed to the boiling process.
  • Filter - Usually made of stainless steel.

Using French presses is relatively simple. You fill the carafe with your favorite grounds, add hot water, and let the mixture steep. Once the steeping phase finishes, push down the plunger or press it down; this separates the grounds from the coffee. Below is a more intensive step by step guide of the french press method.

  1. Place the French press on a dry, flat surface.
  2. Hold the handle of the device firmly, then pull out its plunger.
  3. Add 7 to 8 grams of coffee (add more based on your preference) to the French press per 200ml of water.
  4. Pour hot water into the pot, then gently stir.
  5. Reinsert the plunger into the device, stop above the edge of the ground coffee and water.
  6. Let the mixture sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Slowly press the plunger down while exerting consistent pressure.
  8. Pour in a cup.
  9. Enjoy.
  10. After each use of the device, wash its pot with soapy water and let it dry thoroughly.

Pour Over​

The pour-over method requires pouring hot water over coffee grounds, which is similar to the French Press. However, with a pour-over coffee maker, you place the grounds in a cone-shaped component. It would be best if you stored the grounds at the top of the cone. The grounds are then wet, left to sit for 30-40 seconds for it to "bloom" before adding more water. The best pour over coffee maker in the market still follows this method of brewing.

Using paper filters is preferred for this method. The filter causes the remaining water to soak through the grounds smoothly. The finished brewed coffee is lighter than a brew made from a French press, making it the perfect brewing for coffee at home. Below is a more intensive guide on the process.

  1. Grind coffee beans of your choice.
  2. Measure your grounds and water (6 ounces of water for every 10 grams of ground coffee).
  3. Heat the water (between 195°F-205°F).
  4. Wet the grounds.
  5. Empty the rest of the remaining water into the cup.
  6. Enjoy.

The French press and the pour-over coffee brewing methods may be strikingly similar, but they still differ in a lot of areas, for instance, you have to "press" the grounds when using the French press method. Meanwhile, in the pour-over technique, you don't have to.

You can manually grind these coffee beans or use the best commercial coffee grinder for optimal results when you make your favorite cups of coffee and ensure that you have the appropriate grind size to meet your specific tastes. If you're looking for faster ways to brew your favorite drinks for busy mornings, try to look for the best Stainless Steel Coffee Maker for more convenient coffee-making procedures.

The Coffee: pour-over coffee vs. french press coffee​

Both the French press coffee and pour-over coffee have similar brewing processes that involve manually boiling water, letting it cool for 30-40 seconds, then pour the heated water over coffee grounds. The real difference between french press vs. pour-over is in the cup.

French Press Coffee​

Its long full-immersion brew and lack of paper filters let the French press produce brews with a more substantial body, resulting in the more potent blends. It's more rich or creamy when compared to pour-over caffeinated drinks

Pour Over Coffee​

Because of the filters, the pour-over brewer uses it produces lighter blends. The filters hold back the sediment of the grounds, even the coffee oils. Its flavor is more robust or fruiter because of the filtering process.

Is pour-over coffee really better?​

It depends on your preference, but the technique highlights the finer qualities of the caffeinated drink's beans. So, if you're more into lighter, flavorful drinks, this drink may be the one for you.

If brewing at home, the ability to control the speed of pouring heated water over the caffeinated drink's grounds is essential. The slower you decant the water remaining in the jar, the more time the fluid pulls out more flavor from the ground, resulting in richer or bolder flavors of the drink.

Is Pour over better than the French press?​

It depends on your taste. For people who prefer their caffeinated drinks to be bolder or more vibrant, the French press is better for you to use. The pour-over is the perfect companion in making your favorite caffeinated drinks if you like more fruity and natural coffee. The difference of these flavors is because of the filters used on the conventional pour-over, which effectively eliminates all sediments from the caffeinated drink's grounds.

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If you're still having trouble deciding if you should get a pour-over coffee maker or French press, the decision of the best machine and method will ultimately come down to your taste preferences and lifestyle. If you're a busy person that wants caffeinated drinks that are rich, strong, and bold, don't mind the thicker texture, the French press is the one for you. For java aficionados who prefer their caffeinated drinks with more subtle but detailed flavor, the Pour-over coffee maker is the one for you.

We hope this Pour Over vs. French Press guide helped you understand the differences between the two favored manual brewing machines, since both are cost-effective we encourage you to try the best of worlds and decide which one is the best.


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