French Press or Drip Coffee: Which Brewing Method Is Better?
The French press and drip coffee pot are two well-known coffeemakers that can be found in many homes, restaurants, and cafes. Each brewing method has its own advantages, and the right one for you depends on what you’re looking for in a pot of coffee.
Here’s a guide to both the French press and drip coffee maker, along with why you might use either one:
How to Use a French Press
The French press coffee brewing method is relatively simple. To get started, you’ll need the following:
- A French press coffee maker
- A water kettle
- Coarse-ground coffee
- Hot water
Glass French presses, plastic French presses, and metal French presses are all available. Either option is acceptable – the choice primarily comes down to preference. Additionally, there’s no need for a filter because French presses have built-in mesh screens to keep the coffee grounds out. For the best results, use freshly ground coffee and heat the water to between 195 and 205 degrees. If you don’t have a temperature-setting kettle, you can get water to the proper range by boiling it and waiting 30 seconds before pouring it into the press.
To brew French press coffee, follow these steps:
- Heat your water and grind your coffee (if necessary).
- Add the coffee grounds to the French press.
- Pour hot water over the grounds.
- Place the top on the press.
- Let the press steep for four to five minutes.
- Push down the plunger.
- Pour and enjoy your fresh cup.
The proper ratio of coffee to water is about 0.5 ounces (250 grams) of coffee per 8 fluid ounces of water.
How to Use a Drip Coffee Machine
Drip coffee brewing is a popular choice for individuals across the globe. These machines provide a completely hands-free way to make your morning cup of jo. To make coffee with this method, you’ll need the following:
- A drip coffee maker
- Medium-ground coffee
- Coffee filter (paper or metal)
The main reason why so many people prefer drip systems is that they don’t require hot water, as they have a built-in heating element.
To brew your coffee, use this simple procedure:
- Pour water into the drip coffee machine.
- Add the filter and coffee grounds.
- Turn the machine on and let it brew.
- Once the coffee is done brewing, pour it into a mug and enjoy.
You should utilize the same ratio of 0.5 ounces to every 8 ounces of water, even though the coffee grounds are finer than those used for a French press.
French Press vs. Drip Coffee Maker
When selecting the right brewing system for your needs, there are several characteristics to keep in mind, including taste, convenience, functionality for large groups, health, and caffeine level.
Here’s how each brewing method stacks up:
Best Taste: French Press
Because the coffee grounds are submerged for several minutes in a French press, they produce a richer and fuller cup of coffee than a drip machine. You’ll notice a fuller mouthfeel and bolder profile when brewing with a French press, and the coffee will also have more flavor notes because the metal mesh won’t absorb any oils.
When a paper filter is used in a drip coffee maker, the material absorbs some oils, which subtly mutes the coffee’s finer notes. However, this issue can be avoided easily by using a metal filter. Wondering how to up your coffee game? This is a great way to do so without investing in a completely new brewing system. Even with a metal filter, though, a drip coffee maker won’t ever produce quite as rich a body because the grounds aren’t submerged long enough.
Best Convenience: Drip Coffee Maker
If convenience is your primary concern – and there’s a lot to be said for having a convenient cup of coffee during a hurried morning – then drip machines have the clear upper hand. The French press isn’t necessarily hard to use, as you can rinse it out quickly after brewing. However, the system’s design means that you have to be physically present to make the coffee. Specifically, you’ll need to heat the water, pour the grounds and water in, and push the plunger down. This all occurs over a five- to six-minute span.
In contrast, a drip coffee maker can be set up in about one minute. Once the machine starts brewing, you can come back at your leisure to find a steaming hot pot of coffee. Moreover, drip coffee makers often have timers on them, which allows you to set them up the night before and wake up to a brewed pot in the morning.
Best for Entertaining: Drip Coffee Maker
If you’ll be entertaining a large crowd or serving an office frequently, a drip coffee maker is a more effective choice. Its hands-free nature makes it easier to use when you have guests to accommodate, especially if the machine has a timer that can be set before everyone arrives.
Drip coffee makers are also widely available in larger sizes, and you can purchase replacement coffee carafes that hold up to 12 cups. Most French presses only make a few cups at a time, and even the larger options max out at around four cups. This is simply not enough if you’re serving more than a few people.
Best for Health: Drip Coffee Maker
If you’re concerned about the cholesterol in coffee, brewing with a drip machine and paper filter is a healthier option. Because the paper filter absorbs some of the coffee’s oils, it effectively removes the cholesterol in your final brew. French presses, on the other hand, don’t have this ability. In fact, you can often see the cholesterol-containing oils floating on the surface of the brewed coffee.
Keep in mind that this is the only major difference in health between the two brewing methods. If you’re not concerned about cholesterol, then either option is fine.
Best Caffeine Content: Either Coffee Maker
How much caffeine ends up in your cup of brewed coffee depends on two factors: the amount of caffeine in the beans and how much of it is extracted during brewing. However, neither aspect will be affected by your choice of brewing system, so long as you make your coffee properly.
Extraction is determined by the grind size of your beans and how long you soak them in water. The finer the grind or the more time the grounds are exposed to water, the more caffeine is extracted and found in your final coffee brew.
French press brewing and drip brewing both alter these two factors in different ways. Drip coffee machines expose beans to water for less time, so it’s important to use a finer grind. Meanwhile, French presses require a coarser grind because the grounds are exposed to water for a longer time.
Choose Your Favorite Brewing Method
Both French presses and drip coffee machines are excellent brewing systems. If you’re wondering how to brew your coffee in the best way, the answer simply depends on your preferences. Consider what’s most important to you each time you go to make coffee and use the best coffee brewing methods to meet your expectations. You might even want to invest in both and alternate based on your needs!
Café Brew by Medelco has been creating high-quality coffee, tea, and kitchen accessories for over 40 years. We are a family-owned and operated business committed to creating useful coffee products at a great value.