Pour Over Vs. French Press Coffee Maker- Which One Is Best?
Pour-over and French press are two methods that have notably become more widely used than others. Mostly, because they are an easy and a cheap alternative to expensive coffee makers. But you can make a great cup of coffee with it, too!
Although the taste of the coffee produced by the two methods is different, both methods are very affordable and easy to use. If you’re considering buying one of these or finding it difficult to choose the most suitable method, you are in the right place.
What is the French Press?
A French press, which is also known as a press hot or coffee plunger, is a device that was first patented in 1929 by Attilio Calimani. In simple terms, a French press is a device used to brew a French press coffee.
This coffee maker comes with a simple and stylish design that lives up to its expectations. Even though it comes in different sizes, colors, and materials, they all have the same mode of operation.
How is a French Press Coffee Brewed?
1. Warm the French Press
Although you can avoid this step, it will ensure that your coffee stays warm during the brew process- extracting more flavors. To warm your French press, heat water to boil, and rinse out the French press with it.
2. Measure and Grind the Coffee Beans
The coffee to water ratio for the French press is 1:12. So, for every three cups of coffee you want (8 ounces each), you’ll need about 4ounces of beans. Grind the coffee beans in a burr grinder in the coarsest setting. Alternatively, you can use a blade grinder to grind in brief, sharp pulses intermittently.
Mind you, your beans, after grinding, should be coarse, rough, evenly sized, and with little fine grit.
3. Heat and add the water to the French Press.
Heat the required cups (coffee to water = 1:12) of water for about 4minutes- depending on your heating device- until the water gets to 212F.
4. Fill and Stir
Pour the hot water into the French press and stir vigorously in an up and down motion.
5. Steep for 4 Minutes
Allow your coffee to steep for four minutes.
6. Plunge the Press
After steeping, press the plunger down. Meanwhile, you should not push too hard as that will over agitate the coarse coffee ground. Thus, making your coffee taste a little bit bitter.
Serve and Enjoy!
What are its Advantages and Disadvantages?
What are its Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of a French Press
- It has an active and continuous brewing process, which means it will continue brewing until when you want to pour it into a cup. As a result, it makes it always fresh and flavorful.
- It is environmentally safe and easy to dispose of as the leftover grounds go directly into the compost.
- The French press efficiently extracts a considerable chunk of the flavor and nutrient from the beans during brewing. Besides, it allows the coffee to brew in hot water.
- It allows you to customize the grind size, richness, and strength.
Disadvantages of a French Press
- The final brew contains grit. Although the screen filter takes care of larger particles, it does not remove the smaller ones.
- It is difficult to clean and time-consuming.
When it comes to brewing time, the French press is not very quick. However, it does not consume much time either. For the French press, it has a brewing time of about 4 minutes, excluding the time it takes to grind the beans and heat the water.
What You Will Need
One feature that makes the French press stand out compared to the Pour over is that it doesn’t require a large number of materials and equipment.
A French press requires just a few pieces of equipment, and they include:
- Measuring tablespoons
- Stirring spoon
- Measuring cup
- Coffee grounds
- French press
- Coffee grinder
- Kettle for heating water
Tips and Tricks
- Grind Your Coffee Beans Right Before Brewing
We recognize the convenience you’ll get from using pre-ground coffee for your joe. However, that comfort comes with a price- the taste of your coffee. Using pre-ground coffee can make your coffee taste stale. So, it’s better, tastier, and fresher to grind just before brewing.
- Use A Good Grinder
For a French press, you will need a uniform, coarse grind with little fine particles (if possible, no fine particles). However, this grinding efficiency is only achievable with a top burr grinder.
- Clean Your French Press Always
Always ensure your French Press is clean before each use as it helps to prevent you from having a taste of your old coffee. You can clean the leftover oils using water and soap to eliminate the oils.
- Use Good Quality Water
One of the secrets to brewing coffee is the quality of water. Also, you must ensure you pay attention to the water to coffee ratio so that you get the best mix for your desired taste.
- Warm Up the Pot Before Brewing
For a tastier and flavorful cup of coffee, ensure you warm up your French press before use. You can do this by pouring boiled or hot water into the coffee maker and then leaving it inside for some minutes. It will help in preventing the coffee from getting cool quickly.
What is the Pour Over Method?
The Pour-over coffee, also called manual brewing or hand brewing is simply coffee made by adding hot water to coffee grounds and placed in a filter. Here, the water flows into the coffee and then filters into a carafe.
Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz created this coffee brewing method in Germany in 1900. One exciting feature of the Pour-over coffee is that it is also excellent when it comes to brewing tea.
The Pour-over coffee maker is simple and easy to use too. Additionally, it is vital to note that features like size and number of holes play vital roles in determining the quality of the final coffee brew.
How to Brew with the Pour Over Method
1. Select Your Coffee Beans
Since different people have the kind of beans they love, it is left for you to decide. If you don’t have a favorite coffee type, you can consult with your local barista.
2. Grind the Beans
After selecting your favorite beans, the next thing to do is to grind it. The ground should be to a medium-fine to a medium-coarse level like sea salt. More so, burr grinders are exceptional at achieving the required grind size.
3. Prep Your Filter
Place a suitable filter inside the dripper of the coffee maker. When making use of a paper filter, ensure you wet the filter with hot water before continuing with brewing as it helps to eliminate its paper-like taste.
4. Heat the Water
We recommend you heat 2 cups of water for two tablespoons of coffee. You can tweak it slightly for a stronger taste.
If you are using an electric little, you can also heat the water to a temperature ranging from about 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your preference. If you are using a stove, just allow the water to boil for 30 seconds.
5. Set Up to Brew
Place the tumbler, cup, or carafe on the scale, add the coffee in the filter, and set the scale to zero. With this arrangement, you will be able to see the amount of water you are pouring.
The water to coffee ratio of 17:1 is a great way to start. However, you can tweak it depending on your preference.
6. Bloom The Grounds
Evenly wet the coffee grounds with enough water to make it saturated. The excess gas bubble will escape hence allowing the final Pour to pass through the coffee grounds.
7. Pour the Water
After blooming, wait for 30 seconds and then slowly begin to pour the hot water from the outside edge to the center in a circular motion.
8. Clean Up
When you finish pouring the water, ensure the coffee filters ultimately. Throw the used grounds and then rinse and the Pour Over tool after it has cooled.
9. Tweak It
Since Pour over coffee is very customizable, you can adjust everything about it from the water’s temperature, grind size, concentration, and the speed of your Pour.
Serve and enjoy!
What are its Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of a Pour-over
- The Pour-over is easier to clean compared to the French press as it does not need dismantling.
- Its equipment is cheap as some of the system’s construct is from hard plastic.
- The Pour-over has less grit as it has a filter that removes all particles leaving the brewed coffee only.
- It allows you to brew small amounts of coffee.
Disadvantages of a Pour-over
- The filtering process involved makes the coffee lose its rich oils from the beans.
- The coffee is not as strong as the French press. However, it is perfect for those who prefer a mild cup of coffee.
The Pour-over has a brewing time of about 3 minutes. However, it does not include the time used in heating your water, inserting the filter, grinding the beans, and cleaning.
What You Will Need
Just like the French press, the Pour over does not require a large amount of equipment to brew coffee. To use the Pour over to brew coffee, you will need the following:
- Coffee beans
- Pour-over coffee maker.
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee grinder
- A cup, carafe, or tumbler
- Stovetop or electric kettle
- Quality water
Tips and Tricks
- Grind Your Coffee Beans Last
Grinding your beans last before you start pouring helps to ensure the coffee beans are fresh. You should consider grinding the beans not more than 15 seconds before pouring.
- Grind Size
When grinding your coffee beans, ensure it maintains the same consistency all through. It should have a coarseness level resembling sea salt. Variation in the sizes will cause either over-extraction or under extraction of the beans. Hence, affecting the taste and quality of the final brew.
- Pre Wet the Filter
Pre-wetting your filter also helps to improve the taste of the coffee. If you are using paper filters, pre-wetting the filter will eliminate the chances of having the taste of paper in your coffee. Besides, pre-wetting your filter helps in releasing the carbon dioxide in the beans as a result of grinding.
- Preheat your Cup, Carafe, or Brewer
When you carry out this process, it helps to maintain a constant temperature, thus leading to a more integrated cup of coffee.
- Always Clean
Always clean the Pour over set up thoroughly before every fresh use. It will help in removing leftover coffee oils, which can affect the taste of your coffee.
- Use Freshly Ground Coffee
Although there is pre-ground coffee available, it is advisable to ground coffee freshly. Unlike freshly ground coffee, pre-ground coffee tends to lose its flavor due to prolonged exposure to air or poor storage.
- Customize Your Coffee
Regularly customize your coffee to your taste by adjusting the coffee to water ratio, grinding the coffee to a finer coarseness level, and adjusting the temperature of the water.
Overall, it is relatively difficult to select which method is the best between pour-over and French press as it depends on your taste and preferences. More so, both coffee makers are quite affordable, require time, and produce a great cup of coffee.
In terms of brewing, both methods are easy and straightforward. However, the poured coffee produces cleaner, smoother, and lighter coffee. At the same time, the French press creates a more potent and full-bodied coffee.
Pour-over coffee provides you with more customization options than the French press hence making it ideal for those who always love to tweak their cup of coffee. If you are lazy in cleaning your coffee machine, then the Pour over might just be perfect for you as it is easier to clean compared to the French press.
That said, feel free to go through our detailed guide before making your final choice.