AeroPress vs French Press: What’s the Difference?

Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
Reviewed By
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: September 02, 2023
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A nice cup of coffee can be just what you need to get you motivated and ready for a great morning. Whether you are planning on sitting at home or need to rush to work, there is a coffee and brew for just about everyone. However, with so many options, it can often be overwhelming when deciding how exactly you want to go about making your coffee.

Today, we will look at the AeroPress coffee maker vs. French press coffee makers to see what the differences and similarities are between the two styles. We’ll take a look at what it takes to use each method of coffee making and then look at what separates the two methods. Additionally, we will look at the specific differences between the brewing methods so that you can learn which would be best for you.

What is an AeroPress?

AeroPress vs French Press: What's the Difference?

The AeroPress is a new and unique way of getting the coffee you love with an interesting twist. Many people use normal coffee machines that are designed to slowly let water drip over coffee beans to make a cup of coffee. With the AeroPress, you are employing the same basic method of making your coffee, but in a much more unique and faster method.

When you use the AeroPress, you place the whole unit right on your drinking cup when you make the coffee. This is unlike any other method and makes the entire process much more efficient and easier to make. When you have the unit on your cup, you will u the beans in followed by the water, which you will then use the plunger to press the water through the filtered coffee and into your cup. This method is great for making single cups of coffee and is one of the faster methods on the market.

What is French Press?

Where the AeroPress is nice and fast for one person, the French Press offers a more methodical and drawn out way of making your coffee. The beauty of the French press comes from the care you put into making it, so this will require you to have patience and time to make your coffee. For this brew, you will start by precisely measuring out your coffee and add it to your press chamber.

Once the coffee is added, you will add some water and then wait. The waiting person for the French press is what gives the coffee such a rich and bold flavor that people love it for. Once you let the coffee mix and heat up with the water, you will place on the plunger and separate the coffee grinds from the water so that you now have an upper layer of fresh coffee with a bold flavor.

What’s the difference between French press and AeroPress?

While both of these brewing methods may seem somewhat similar in how they are made, they are actually very different in their intended function and coffee outcome. From the AeroPress vs. French press flavor to what each cup will taste like, there are many factors you have to consider before deciding which method you will want to try out.

Each person has their own preferences for making coffee, so it is important to understand what differences and similarities these two coffees making machines have and will offer to you. There is a good chance that the factor that determines which one you will prefer will be something you never even considered until now.

Brewing method

AeroPress vs French Press: What's the Difference?

As mentioned earlier, each of these coffees has a very different brewing method that leads them to make distinct coffee flavors and amounts. With the AeroPress, you are making one cup of coffee in a relatively short amount of time. You simply place the device and coffee over your mug, pour in hot water, and press it through a filter and into your cup. This method is fast and efficient for one person.

On the other hand, the French press is almost the exact opposite. You use a French press when you have plenty of time on your hands and are looking for a more pronounced cup or two of coffee. With the French press, you are waiting for the coffee and water to mix for around five minutes, so the flavor and wait times are quite unique. You then press the filter through the coffee and water, which is the opposite of the AeroPress.

Grind size

The grind size of your coffee refers to the size of the individual grains you are using to make the coffee. The primary reason this differs between brewing methods comes down to how the water needs to work with the grinds. For the AeroPress, you will be needing to use a fine drip grind of bean because the water will be getting pushed through the grind and a filter before getting to your cup. This requires small and easily pushed grind particles.

French press, on the other hand, is not as picky. Most French press brews are made with a coarse grind that has much larger particles than the AeroPress. The reason for this is that the coffee and water spend time together to mix and don’t need to be forced through each other. This larger grind makes for a richer body for the coffee and requires less time to physically grind at home.

Caffeine content

Caffeine content refers to how much caffeine you are getting from a cup of coffee. Even if you use the exact same beans, the caffeine content you can get from different brew methods can be drastically different. The AeroPress is unique in that you can make an Espresso style coffee with high caffeine or and American style with less concentrated affine content all by adding more or less water to the brew.

The French press, by design, is usually going to have a higher caffeine content than other forms of brew. The reason for the higher caffeine content once again comes down to how the coffee is made. Since the grinds and water are with each other for so long, the concentration of the caffeine is going to naturally be higher than in other types of brews. You can generally see upwards of a 20mg caffeine increase over standard coffee brews when you use a French Press.


AeroPress vs French Press: What's the Difference?

Taste is a very important factor when it comes to making coffee, as it is very personal and subject to opinion. Regardless, each of these methods offers a unique flavor that must be tried on an individual basis to make a conclusion. The AeroPress will naturally make a rather concentrated cup of coffee like an Espresso, but you can add water for a lighter flavor and a larger cup if desired.

The reason many people try out a French press is that it offers a unique and rich flavor when making it. The time that the coffee and water spend together to mix and combine means that you are going to be getting a whole flavor that has lots to unpack. It can be a lot to take in with a first sip, but many people fall in love with the flavor and are hooked afterward. The way that your coffee tastes also can be affected by the beans you use as they are the real source of the flavor of your coffee.

Calories and nutrition

When it comes to coffee, most cups will generally not have too many calories to worry about. The AeroPress allows you to determine the amount of coffee you will want to make and how strong you want it. In general, you can go for a calorically dense espresso or lighten it up with more water for a more traditional cup of coffee.

A French press is a little different in that you can’t really change the number of calories. The longer time that the grinds and water spend with each other give the coffee a more pronounced flavor, but it also slightly increases the calories a small amount. With coffee, the calories really start to add up when you add additional things to the normal coffee. Most coffee that you make with either of these devices will have a relatively low-calorie count.

In Conclusion

With many differences between the two types of coffee making processes, there is something to be said for each method. One method offers a fast and easy way to make one cup, while the other offers more of an experience that allows you to make a more personal. Regardless, both methods will make a great cup of coffee.

We have looked at what makes each method unique and what it takes to use them to make the perfect cup of coffee. In the end, it really comes down to your personal preferences and how you like to make your coffee. Many people choose to try out multiple methods of making their coffee so that they can choose how they get to enjoy their mornings.

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