Is AeroPress Better than French Press?

The Aeropress and French Press are two at-home brewing method alternatives you may be interested in adding to your morning coffee routine. 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 actually very different and come with their own pros and cons.

Is Aeropress better than French Press? In terms of taste, the AeroPress is slightly better than the French Press because it makes a slightly cleaner brew, and the flavors in the coffee are more prominent. But to truly know which brewing device is for you, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both.

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.

AeroPress vs. French Press

Let’s start by taking a look at how the AeroPress and the French Press measure up to each other in terms of price point, servings yielded, brew times, use of a paper filter, and travel capability.

Chart comparing the Aeropress and French Press brewing devices. Includes average price of Aeropress of $30 and between $20-$40 for the French Press. AeroPress serves one serving or 6-8 ounces while the French press serves 4 with about 32 ounces. Aeropress has a brew time of 1-3 minutes and the French press has a brew time of 3-5 minutes. The Aeropress uses a paper filter while the French press does not. And lastly, the Aeropress can travel with ease, while I wouldn't recommend traveling with the French press.

When wanting to make coffee for more than two people, I would opt to use the French press as it can make a total of 4 cups over having to make four individual AeroPress’s.

Comparing Flavor & Quality of Aeropress and French Press

Now that we’ve looked at the logistics of both, let’s dig a little deeper into the most important aspect: How the Coffee Tastes! Both brewing devices make excellent coffee that is both balanced and rich. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to taste, I would choose the AeroPress every time. Because it uses filters, the coffee produced is crisper and cleaner than the French press. There are stainless steel Aeropress filter you can purchase if you wish your coffee to be a bit richer.

If a crisper and cleaner cup of coffee aren’t as important to you and you are looking for a coffee that has full flavor and body, then a French press may be the better option for you. Since it does not use a paper filter, the natural oils and microscopic coffee grounds are able to filtrate into your hot cup of coffee. This produces a stronger and more flavorful coffee.

Pros and Cons of AeroPress and French Press

Chart showing the Pros and Cons of AeroPress and French Press
Pros for the Aeropress are that they are portable and the coffee has a high quality cleaner taste. The cons of the AeroPress are that there is a danger of high spillage and it does not make a large volume.
Pros of a French press is that it can brew for more people and you have more control over the taste of the coffee. The cons of the French press are that there is coffee ground or sediment at the bottom of your mug and it has a longer clean-up process.

Two Pros of an AeroPress

1. Portability

Portability is the best thing about AeroPress. You can brew great coffee anywhere where you go without the fear of it easily breaking. Because of its smaller size, it is simple to put in a travel bag without taking up too much space. My Porlex hand grinder even fits inside it too, 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 now and then. You get what feels like a lifetimes supply of filter papers with it as well. I have seen people make AeroPress coffee while camping and on a train.

2. Coffee Quality

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 filter paper (you can also get reusable metal filters). The filters give you a sweeter and cleaner brew than the French Press.

Two Cons of an AeroPress

1. Danger of High Spillage

Be cautious to not 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 simply crack and break from the downward pressure on it. Stay safe and plunge into a sturdy jug or mug, and do not plunge on your scales!

2. Volume is a Problem

If you are looking to brew coffee for multiple people, then the AeroPress is not going to great. You can make a fantastic single cup of coffee in less than five minutes, but if you’re brewing more than two cups of coffee, then the process is going to take quite some time.

Two Pros of a French Press

1. Brew for More People

Unlike the AeroPress that can only serve up to two cups of coffee, the French Press can brew up to four cups of coffee 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 not be able to socialize with their loved ones.

2. 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.

Two Cons of a French Press

1. Coffee Grounds Found in Coffee

Since the French Press does not use a filter during the brewing process, there are sometimes coffee grounds found in your cup of coffee. Now although the absence of a filter allows your coffee to be more robust and full-flavored, many do not appreciate finding sediment at the bottom of their mug.

2. 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 simply throw away the filter with the grounds in it. 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.

Our Picks for the Best AeroPress and Best French Press

Our Pick for an AeroPress

AEROPRESS Coffee and Espresso Maker

Our Pick for the Best French Press

ESPRO P3 French Press – Double Micro-Filtered Coffee

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. Is an Aeropress better than a French Press? It truly depends on what you are looking for. 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.

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