Manual brewing has become a very popular method for preparing a delicious cup of coffee. This method was invented by the Turks. They were grinding roasted beans in a mortar and adding them to water. Then, they were boiling the mixture in a pot called cezve. This was a method used in the Turk Sultan’s kitchen around the 15th century, but it quickly spread around the world.
Turkish people and other nations too enjoyed this delicious method of brewing. It is still a popular method to use. Europeans were also using this method to brew coffee after it arrived at their lands. After some time, around the 19th century, French people invented the drip method.
They were placing the container full of ground coffee between the chambers of a pot and adding hot water to it. Then they were waiting for the coffee to drip into a pot through the chamber. It became quite popular. This method evolved and became the pour over method.
French press method was invented around the 19th century. It was an early version of this little machine, of course. I will explain this method below. As the name implies, French people did that too! There are also many other methods, but we will not talk about all of them here.
Today, we only need two of them: French press and pour over. We will compare these two popular manual brewing methods and try to find which one is the best for you. Would you care to join me? It will be a fun ride, I promise! French press vs Pour over. Let the battle begin!
French Press Coffee
What is that fancy thing on the corner of almost every coffee enthusiast’s kitchen counter? It’s a bird… It’s a plane… or It’s a French press! Like I mentioned, an early version of this method was first invented in the 19th century and it became very popular. It is still pretty popular, especially in Europe and America.
What is French Press Coffee Maker?
A French press has 3 pieces: a carafe, a filter, and a plunger. It is usually made from stainless steel. It is very easy to use. Even a child can look at it and get the hang of it. I’ll provide you a step-by-step description of how to use this fancy boy.
How to Use a French Press?
- Grind your coffee. Do not grind super coarse! Grind something more like a medium. This will make it taste better. Then add your coffee grounds to your carafe.
- Boil your water and pour it in. You must balance the amount of water with the amount of grounds. For example, I recommend you use 30 grams of coffee for 5000 grams of water.
- Let the mixture sit for 4 minutes at least.
- Grab a spoon and stir the crust. Scoop the foam and floating bits off.
- Wait for 5 minutes or more. The more you wait, the better the taste is gonna be. While you are waiting, all the floating bits start falling to the bottom and that’s what we want.
- Put the plunger in and pour the coffee into the cup. Voila!
French press is not a very quick method, but it is rewarding. If you want the best coffee, you need to have the best coffee grounds. You need to have freshly roasted coffee, or you must grind it fresh. You can also use pre-ground coffee, but it won’t taste good, bud. Trust me.
You also need to use fresh, filtered water to have satisfying results. The better the ingredients are, the better the coffee turns out. I also recommend you use a weighing scale. It really changes the game once you get used to it. But is this the right manual brewing method for you? Answer these two and we’ll find out:
- Do you like strong and bold coffee that slaps you in every sip?
- Do you have the patience for one heavenly cup of coffee?
If your answer is yes for both questions, then French press is your tool. The intense flavor can satisfy your needs if you have the patience for it. Since you are free to choose the ground size and the balance of water with grinds, you are in the control of your coffee. It must feel good, huh? But what are the downsides of French press? I can count three: presence of grit, cleaning process, and a bit of a long preparation time.
Presence of Grit: While its filter keeps larger pieces out, the smaller ones find a way to get through. This gives the coffee somewhat of a gritty texture. If you want a fully smooth coffee experience, you may want to look for products that claim to fix that problem in particular.
Cleaning Process: Although French press has three parts, it is still hard to clean since you must dismantle the mechanism to clean each of the parts.
Long Preparation Time: We talked about it. You have to be patient to have great coffee with a French press.
Oh, the aesthetics! This method feels very calming. The look, the way of preparation, and the sound of that process is just perfectly splendid. As I mentioned before, this method was found in the 19th century by French people. That early version of this method was called the drip method.
It is one of the best methods of manual brewing. It offers you a smooth coffee experience. But what is pour over coffee anyway? How do we prepare that smooth coffee? Follow through and learn!
How to Use the Pour Over Method?
- Pre-wet your filter. This makes sure that everything is heated so there will be no temperature loss which would cost us sour coffee. It also removes some of the paper taste from the filter. After that, empty the water within the carafe.
- Add your grounds. I recommend you use medium coffee grounds. Make them sit flat with the back of a spoon. Let it sit for 35-45 seconds. It releases some of the gas.
- Pour the water slowly. Start from the center and spiral out all the way to the edges.
- Stir it gently in circles. This gets some of the grounds of the walls of the paper.
- Wait until all the water is drained through. Then, remove your filter. After that, let your coffee cool a bit before serving.
Isn’t it easy? Yeah it is! And the good thing is, you do not get any grits or whatever. It really offers you a smooth experience.
- If you want a drip-brew-like experience, this method would be for you.
- The pour over method is also easy to cleans since all it has is paper and a carafe.
- The only downside of pour over coffee is that it does not offer you strong coffee. But this is not an actual downside if you like lighter coffee.
Comparison Between French Press vs Pour Over Coffee
What are the differences between French press vs pour over? What makes them unique?
- While pour over is mostly for people who prefer lighter coffee, French press is for people who like their coffee strong.
- French press is harder to clean because of the various parts it has.
- Both take a bit of time to prepare. French press might take longer.
- Also French press leaves ground bits while pour over offers a smoother experience.
- French press uses immersion brewing. It gives us the opportunity of a dark and strong coffee. On the other hand, pour over uses an infusion method which offers us a lighter and smoother experience.
Before making the final decision, consider these features of both methods: texture, ease of use, and taste. A French press is a kind of easy way to get a thicker and stronger brew. The coffee you make with French press can shock you so hard that you feel powerful and energetic instantly.
Some models of French press say that they solved the grit problem, but you need to be careful anyway. On the other hand, the pour over method offers you a smoother experience with an ease of cleaning. You need to practice to get the hang of it and try many times till you find the coffee recipe that you’ll love. It is a better option for those who are used to making filtered coffee.
So, my dear coffee addicts… We compared French press vs pour over to learn which one is the best. As you see, the result changes according to your needs. Read above and see which one is best for you. Both are great methods of manual brewing. What are you thinking about this topic? Let me know in the comments!