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Do you know what’s better than a cup of coffee in the morning? A cup of freshly-pressed coffee in the morning. But French press vs. Aeropress? Which makes a better cup?
On the one hand, the French press is tried, tested, and true. It makes a fantastic cup of coffee every time. And it looks classy, too.
But on the other hand, there’s Aeropress, a modern take on the instant cup of coffee using the concept of a French press. It doesn’t look nice at all, but wow, doesn’t it deliver tasty coffee!
Let’s dive right in.
French Press vs. Aeropress Coffee Makers
If you’re trying to decide with which team you side in the French press vs. Aeropress debate, a lot could come down to your personality. For example, are you a classicist, with a flair for all things European?
Or maybe you’re a futurist who sits firmly on the side of entrepreneurial U.S.A.?
Of course, there’s more to it than that. For instance, while both deliver a great cup of coffee, the science of how coffee beans diffuse flavor into the water clearly tells us that one is better.
But first, when choosing between French press vs. Aeropress coffee makers, you should know what each one does. Also, what it doesn’t do.
Le French press
No doubt you have used a French press before. In fact, you probably have one sitting at home.
It’s basically a cylinder that you add ground coffee too, then boiling water, and then press a screen down through the water. The coffee grounds get pressed to the bottom while the water gets turned into delicious brown coffee.
But did you know that the venerable French press dates back to 1928? That’s when the first patent appears on the records.
And get this.
The first patents were actually Italian!
Because the device is so simple, anybody can use it. But there are extra benefits to pressing french coffee grounds through a fine screen. You see, all the oils from the beans mix with the water and are allowed through the mesh. So you get a richer, thicker cup of coffee.
Of course, not everything is perfect. For starters, you need to let the water sit for five or more minutes, so the coffee grounds can flavor it. If you’re in a rush, that stinks. Also, most French presses are glass, and that means they break easily. Not fun.
Now let’s see what this Aeropress business is all about.
The Aeropress is basically a plastic syringe that fits on top of a standard coffee mug. You add a paper cone filter to it, put in some coffee grounds, and then pour in water. With a plastic plunger, you press the water through the filter and into the cup.
A cup of coffee!
And while it doesn’t look as pretty or simple as a French press, the Aeropress is actually quite innovative. Stanford professor Allan Adler came up with the idea back in 2005 when he found he never had time to make a cup of coffee and rush off to classes.
If it seems simple enough, that’s because it really is. However, there are a bunch of plastic parts involved, and it certainly doesn’t help you serve coffee to visitors.
But worse of all, there’s the issue of coffee bean oils. Every coffee maker that uses a filter loses most of those delicious oils in the process, and the Aeropress is no different.
Which Do You Need?
Deciding between French press vs. Aeropress comes down to two simple questions.
First, do you have time to brew a cup of coffee in a French press, and second, do you prefer a pure coffee flavor or a watered-down filtered coffee?
If you take the time to enjoy your coffee
If you don’t mind waiting five minutes, then there is nothing that compares to a French press. A French press creates better coffee than any other method except the pour-over.
For the sophisticated, those who get lots of visitors, or just those who enjoy their cup of coffee, go with a French press.
If you need coffee now!
Alternatively, the Aeropress creates what is arguably the fastest cup of coffee. Even K-cups don’t brew this quickly!
So if you’re busy and constantly on the run, then an Aeropress is the best choice for you. Just remember that you won’t impress any guests with it.
Tips to Pressing a Great Cup of Coffee
French press vs. Aeropress? At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. No matter which one you prefer, there are some things you can do to ensure a great cup of coffee.
Grind your beans
For starters, buy whole roasted coffee beans. The flavor locked inside is so much better when the beans are freshly ground.
Rather than buying coffee that’s sat on store shelves for months, treat yourself to quality. That means to shop from a local coffee shop or tea and coffee retailer. But remember, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee is pretty stale by the time you buy it.
Another good tip involves letting your coffee grounds sit in hot water for longer. You see, the longer the grounds are allowed to absorb into the water, the tastier the coffee will be.
With a French press, let it sit for at least five minutes. And with an Aeropress, let it sit for a minute. If you can do more, even better!
Finally, whether you use a French press or Aeropress, make sure you apply slow but firm pressure. If you push too fast, you risk not only causing reverse water pressure but also ruining your coffee. That’s because you may end up pushing microscopic bean particles and oils down as well.
Instead, slowly press down. Don’t rush it.
A Few Thoughts Before You Go
Choosing between French press vs. Aeropress coffee makers isn’t that hard. Look at your lifestyle. Can you enjoy your coffee, or are you always in a rush?
At the end of the day, though, a French press simply creates better cups of coffee. The oils in the bean are more concentrated, and the grounds sit in the water longer. That creates a much more aromatic and richer cup.
So when asked to weigh in on the French press vs. Aeropress debate, we almost always answer with “French press every day!”
Do you have a favorite between French press vs. Aeropress? Let us know in the comments.