Coffee aficionados always enjoy a particular style for coffee brewing, and are quite vocal about their preferences.
In the world of coffee lovers, there is a strong contention brewing between people who love French press, and others who favour the more contemporary AeroPress device. While the taste of coffee mainly depends on the quality of beans, roasts and temperature, brewing methods rank as the most influential in enhancing the flavour of the drink.
Both the French Press and AeroPress are perfect for coffee connoisseurs who want to control all aspects of coffee preparation. While the French Press came into existence years ago, AeroPress has been a more recent invention that has already won the hearts of many.
One of the reasons why AeroPress has become so widely popular within a short time is because it is convenient to use. However, French Press still stays as quite an affordable choice for many people who are quite fond of its unique results.
What is AeroPress?
AeroPress is more like an espresso machine that looks like a big syringe with markings on the side.
There is usually one main tube which contains the ground coffee beans and hot water, and another tube – called the plunger – is pushed in from the top.
The bottom tube contains the filter that keeps the ground coffee beans from passing through, while the pressure from the top tube ensures that the hot water can absorb the whole taste of the coffee beans.
The filter in the AeroPress device is capable of keeping the coffee silts from mixing into the drink, and this makes for a more refined beverage that a coffee lover can enjoy!
Why is AeroPress coffee so good?
AeroPressed coffee is more refined and free from any raw coffee grinds that might get in the way of enjoying a warm cuppa for some. The air pressure from the top as the plunger is slowly inserted helps to infuse the oils of the ground coffee beans in the hot water properly, thereby extracting maximum taste.
Combination of air pressure and heat (the water needs to be piping hot) helps in balancing the taste quite well. It is actually quite hard to make mistakes while making this coffee.
AeroPress allows brewers to have complete control over the process of preparation. You can manage the time, pressure, quantity and ratio of ground coffee beans and hot water quite well. This gives you complete control to ensure that you can make your coffee just the way you like it.
AeroPress is a really good device to use if you are looking forward to having your coffee on the go. The typical duration required to make a cup of great coffee using AeroPress is only about a minute, and sometimes you can even have it prepared in thirty seconds!
Since air pressure is utilised to extract the taste of coffee, brewers do not need to let the ground coffee beans keep soak in the hot water for a long time.
What is a French Press?
French Press comes with a glass container (although metal cases are also available but not equally preferred) where water and ground coffee beans are infused.
Once the grounds are thoroughly soaked in the water, the metal plunger (which is also available in synthetic) is pushed downwards so as to create more pressure and mix the soluble oils of the ground beans better in the water.
This creates a very special blend that still contains the tiny grinds of the coffee beans. The taste is therefore stronger, as the metal mesh allows coarse coffee ingredients to pass through.
Any coffee lover looking for a strong coffee fix should definitely consider getting their coffee French Pressed.
Why is French Press still popular?
French Press has been around for centuries (designed and patented in 1852 by a Paris metalsmith and a merchant) and a lot of people associate it with the original coffee brewing process. French Press usually does not produce an extremely refined coffee, thereby giving it a more earthly and homely feel that people can enjoy at their leisure.
However, French Press coffee is also quite different because of its stronger taste. The metal mesh creates a lot of pressure when pushed downwards and this helps to infuse the soluble solids and aromatic oils of the coffee beans into the water quite effectively. As a result, the taste of the coffee is much sharper and distinctive.
A French Press device is also very helpful for preparing at least four cups of coffee at one go. The glass or metal container can be as big as required, and people can get their coffee with their morning breakfast without having to wait a long time.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of families prefer to use the French Press on workdays. They can make a large batch for all members at once so they do not have to run late for work.
AeroPress or French Press: which one is better?
While the final verdict would definitely depend on the personal tastes of each coffee brewer, there are some features of each device that are more desirable than the other. The major differences have been listed below:
- AeroPress is certainly quicker in brewing coffee than French Press. AeroPress takes about one minute to two to brew a perfect cuppa, while French Press can take about five minutes on average.
- Since French Press does take longer to brew coffee, the drink cools down quicker. This can become a problem for some.
- AeroPress is the perfect company for single users. If you want to make a large batch for a lot of people, French Press will be your friend.
- AeroPress uses paper filters which does not allow tiny coffee grinds to mix with the drink. This creates a more refined taste. The French Press has a metal mesh which allows some coffee grinds to stay in the drink, thereby creating a more rich bodied taste. However, this might not be preferable for some who want a cleaner beverage.
- French Press can become a bit messy to use. People end up spending a significant amount of time cleaning it. AeroPress on the other hand, are very quick to clean.
It can be a bit difficult to handle French Press, as it usually comes with the standard glass container. This can easily break, and therefore must be used with care. AeroPress is usually made of plastic, which is more durable. This is perfect to use if you are more clumsy in the kitchen.
Both devices have their own distinctive advantages, and brew coffee with unique taste. But AeroPress is definitely more convenient to use and is hence more popular.
AeroPress vs French Press vs Chemex Infographic
Our take on key differences between these three manual coffee brewing methods: