The Aeropress and French Press are two at-home brewing devices. If you are new to these brewing methods, they seem nearly the same since they both are considered full-immersion brewers (coffee grounds steep in hot water before a manual pump mechanism is used to filter the coffee.) These brewing devices are different in many ways.
Is Aeropress better than French Press? Aeropress brews cleaner and produces more prominent flavors while being portable and easy to clean. Regarding taste, the AeroPress is slightly better than the French Press.
After questioning all my coffee enthusiast friends and being one myself about their thoughts on both devices, I gathered why some preferred the French Press over the AeroPress and vice versa.
Which is Better, AeroPress or FrenchPress?
Let’s start by looking at how the AeroPress and the FrenchPress measure up to each other in terms of price point, servings yielded, brew times, use of a paper filter, and travel capability.
When making coffee for more than two people, I would use the French press as it can make 4 cups over having to make 2-4 individual AeroPress’s.
Comparing Flavor & Quality of Aeropress and French Press
Now that we’ve looked at the logistics of these manual coffee makers let’s dig deeper into the most important aspect: How the Coffee Tastes! Both brewing devices make excellent coffee that is both balanced and rich.
When it comes to taste, I will choose the AeroPress every time. Since it uses filters, the coffee produced is crisper and cleaner than the French press. You can purchase stainless steel Aeropress filters if you wish your coffee to be a bit richer.
If you are looking for a coffee with full flavor and body, then a French press may be the better option. Since it does not use a paper filter, the natural oils and microscopic coffee grounds can filtrate into your hot cup of coffee. This produces a stronger and more flavorful coffee.
Pros and Cons of AeroPress and French Press
What is Special about AeroPress?
Portability is the best thing about AeroPress. You can brew great coffee anywhere you go without fearing it easily breaking. Because of its smaller size, it is simple to put in a suitcase without taking up too much space. My Porlex hand grinder also fits inside it, which is a huge bonus.
Since the AeroPress is made of robust plastic, it is acceptable in a bag full of stuff and will live through being dropped on the floor occasionally. You get what feels like a lifetime supply of filter papers with it as well. I have seen people make AeroPress coffee while camping and on a train.
For a coffee brewer that costs around $30, it makes excellent coffee. The coffee quality is so good that there are AeroPress Championships where baristas compete to see who can make the best coffee with an AeroPress. So what makes it so good?
It’s a combination of a few things. First, it is well-designed and thought-out. You immerse the coffee in water (like you would with a French Press). Then you add pressure and filter it through a paper filter (you can also get reusable metal filters). The filters give you a sweeter and cleaner brew than the French Press.
Another great use of Aeropress is the ability to make tea. Click the link to learn how.
My favorite aspect about AeroPress is how easy it is to clean-up. All that is needed is to twist off the cap, push the puck into the trash, and rinse it with water.
What are the Negatives of AeroPress
The Danger of High Spillage
Be cautious not to knock over an AeroPress full of boiling water. I love using the inverted method (brewing the coffee with the AeroPress upside down, then flipping it over to plunge), but easy to knock it over and watch your precious coffee go everywhere.
The other element of danger is plunging an AeroPress onto a glass jug or a pair of scales. If you’re AeroPressing correctly, there should be a slight resistance when you plunge. At some point, that jug will either slip and go flying across the kitchen or crack and break from its downward pressure. Stay safe and plunge into a sturdy jug or mug, and do not plunge on your scales!
Volume is a Problem
If you are looking to brew coffee for multiple people, then the AeroPress will not be great. You can make a fantastic cup of coffee in less than five minutes, but if you’re brewing more than two cups of coffee, the process will take quite some time.
What are the Benefits of French Press Coffee?
Brew for More People
Unlike the AeroPress, which can only serve up to two cups of coffee, the French Press can brew up to four cups at a time. This is a great plus if you have family or friends over. No one wants to spend the whole time brewing multiple cups of coffee and be unable to socialize with their loved ones.
More Control Over the Taste of your Coffee
With a French Press, you can control the water temperature and brewing time, which allows you to experiment with your coffee. You can determine precisely how you like your coffee to taste and get that rich, delicious taste.
As with the AeroPress, a French Press can also brew tea.
Related Reading: What kind of coffee is best for a French Press?
What are the Negatives of a FrenchPress
Coffee Grounds Found in Coffee
Since the FrenchPress does not use a paper filter, coffee grounds are sometimes found in your cup of coffee. Now although the absence of a paper filter allows your coffee to be more robust and full-flavored, many do not appreciate seeing sediment at the bottom of their mug.
Often, the FrenchPress’s mesh filter will get clogged with small particles. This can lead to bitterness and grit in your mug.
Longer Clean-up Process
Most models of a French Press will leave you taking more time to clean them after use. With AeroPress, you can throw away the filter with the grounds. The French Press is different because there is no filter, so clean-up is more intensive. Scooping, scraping, and rinsing the grounds away can be a hassle.
What Makes AeroPress Coffee Different?
When brewing with an AeroPress, grind size is crucial. Medium-fine ground coffee should be used in this immersion brew method. Once the coffee grounds and hot water is added to the chamber, you typically push the plunger down within a few seconds (compared to a few minutes with the FrenchPress). Extraction continues as the plunger is pushed down the chamber, creating pressure.
What Makes FrenchPress Coffee Different?
Unlike Aeropress, with a FrenchPress coffee maker you’ll need to use coarsely ground coffee. Once you have your coarse grounds and boiled water from your favorite gooseneck kettle, you’re ready to start brewing. The coffee-to-water ratio for a FrenchPress is 1:17. One part coffee to 17 parts water.
Is AeroPress Healthier than FrenchPress?
If you’re like many other coffee drinkers, coffee acidity often messes with your stomach. If this describes you, you’re in luck. Using an AeroPress to brew your daily coffee will be much more gentle on the stomach because it produces less acidic coffee. Compared to the FrenchPress brew, coffee made with AeroPress contains 89% less acidity.
Another health benefit of AeroPress is the use of paper filters. Along with filtering the coffee’s oils, they also filter out molecules known to increase our blood’s cholesterol.
Lastly, AeroPress is made with BPA-free plastic—another essential factor when considering your health.
Is AeroPress Worth the Hype?
AeroPress is different from those fancy coffee items in your kitchen. Its intent is to be portable, easy to use, affordable, and make great coffee. Functionality is valued over appearance. You don’t have to be an experienced barista to use it, and that’s what I love about it.
If time is limited in the mornings, AeroPress is always my go-to. Add your coffee grounds, and hot water, stir, insert the filter, and push the plunger. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! Afterward, cleaning is a breeze and takes under a minute. It’s as easy and straightforward as that.
Which Coffee is Best for AeroPress?
Once you have your handy AeroPress, ensure you use the best coffee beans, so your cup is amazing. Of course, any flavor you choose will work. It’s more about the quality of the bean. Ensure your beans are 100% Arabica beans and purchased from a quality roaster.
Roast profile will also affect the taste of your coffee. Light roast coffee highlights the beans’ distinct flavor with a mellow body. Medium roast coffee produces a well-rounded cup with more sweetness and bold flavors. Dark roast coffee has the heaviest body while tasting more of the bold flavors.
Deciding which roast level to use is entirely up to you and your preferences. To learn more about each roast level, check out “Differences Between Light, Medium, and Dark Roast Coffee.”
Which Coffee is Best for FrenchPress?
Many coffee lovers prefer dark to medium roasted coffee beans when using French Press due to their heavy body and bold flavor. As with AeroPress, you should always use fresh, high-quality beans versus pre-ground coffee.
What is the Best Grind Setting for AeroPress?
As mentioned previously, medium-fine coffee grounds are needed for AeroPress. The particles will be about 0.5 mm in diameter and are slightly larger than an espresso grind.
Smaller particles are required for AeroPress due to its short brew time. Ground coffee doesn’t need to be in contact with the water for long periods to extract the flavors.
Is Espresso Grind Too Fine for AeroPress?
Espresso calls for the finest grind out of all the coffee brewing methods. We suggest adjusting the grind setting to just over this. Of course, everyone’s preferences will be slightly different, so experiment a little to see what is right for you.
How Much Coffee do you Grind for AeroPress?
Determining the amount of coffee to grind for your AeroPress is a bit of trial and error to see what you like. As a basis, we suggest a single heaping scoop. If you own a coffee scale, measure out 14 grams of coffee.
Related Reading: 4 Reasons Why You Need a Coffee Scale?
What is the Best Grind Setting forFrenchPress?
We’ve already touched on grind size, but let’s look deeper into why you need coarse ground beans.
Grinding for a French Press is more straightforward than grinding for any other method. Since the coffee is continually submerged in water, it has the greatest contact time. Therefore, you can use a coarser grind than any other brew method.
You’ll know the grind is too coarse if it lacks flavor or tastes grassy. If the grind is too fine, you’ll notice coffee sediment at the bottom of your cup, or the French Press will be difficult to plunge. If either occurs, adjust the grind accordingly – finer if the coffee lacks flavor and coarser if it’s thick or hard to plunge.
Which AeroPress is Best?
There are two sizes of Aeropress: travel and regular. I prefer the regular because you can brew more espresso at once.
Which FrenchPress is Best?
There are many brands of FrenchPress. I’ve owned a couple in my life, and the one I now recommend to everyone is the ESPRO P5 French Press.
Compared to other presses, this one has a micro-filter that keeps your cup free of grit and sludge. You can drink every last drip of your morning coffee.
So, there you have it. Is an Aeropress better than a French Press? It truly depends on what you’re preferences are. Do you want a cleaner tasting coffee just for yourself, or are you looking for a more robust flavor to enjoy with friends and family.