French Press Vs Brewed Coffee

French Press Vs Brewed Coffee: The Battle Of The Brew Showdown!

When it comes to brewing coffee,, the big question that often arises is French Press Vs Brewed Coffee. In this article I will detail French Press Vs Drip Coffee Maker as brewed coffee is a very general term that covers all brewing methods.

This is the first part of many articles that compare and detail one brewing method Vs another with a whole series on the French press Vs another brewing technique.

The aim is not to convince you that one method is better than another, even though I may express my opinion slightly or directly in some areas and aspects of this series or articles.

The goal, here as it is in the whole series, is simply to show, teach and detail the difference between the brewing methods.

Let’s get on with this pressing article and see what percolates!

French Press Vs Drip Coffee Maker: Extraction Of Flavor And Oils

The delicate flavors and bold flavors in your coffee come from the oils and compounds that are in coffee beans. How well, and how many of them are extracted will depend on the brewing process and brewing methods used. It is a fine balance between a well brewed and perfectly extracted flavoursome coffee and an over extracted, very off tasting very bitter brew.

With a drip coffee machine the paper filter removes the majority of the oils and don’t make the journey into your final brew.

With a French press coffee maker, your finished brew will retain all the coffee flavors and oils, is what makes it one of the most popular brewing methods.

French Press Vs Drip Coffee Maker
The flavor profile of both methods are different.

Coffee Curiosity: What Type Of Coffee Do You Use For A French Press?

The French Press Method

The world-famous French press coffee maker is known by different names across the globe Cafetière or cafetière à piston is how it is known in France, caffettiera a stantuffo in Italy, Kaffeepresse or Stempelkanne in Germany.

In other nations, it is known as a coffee plunger, plunger coffee or a press pot.

It was invented by Giulio Moneta and Attilio Calimani, two Italians, at the end of the 1920s.

The design is very simple, and you have probably seen it hundreds of times and maybe even have one of your own or used one before or many times. It’s a simple container usually cylindrical that you fill with coarsely ground coffee grounds and hot water.

To make your cup of coffee, while using it you gently stir your ground coffee beans, replace the lid and allow them to steep. When your coffee has reached the strength and flavor that you desire, slowly press down on the plunger, emphasis on slowly!

The pressing action pushes the grounds that are floating in your coffee to the bottom, helping to remove coffee particulates from your brew.

The French Press Method
The French press method gets you a full flavor coffee.

Coffee curiosity: How to make plunger coffee with milk

Benefits Of French Press Coffee

The greatest benefit of French press coffee is the individuality of it, allowing you to make your cup of coffee exactly according to your own personal taste. You can vary the coffee flavor and strength based on the size of your ground coffee, the amount of time that they are in contact with the water (the brew time), the water temperature and other variables such as water quality.

This is what makes this very simple and very popular brewing technique.

More Advantages Of Brewing With A French Press Coffee Maker

It’s a very cheap low-cost way of making coffee: You can get your hands on one for less than US$20 or go right they way to beyond US$150 and more if you want to splurge on an excellent one.

It is very portable: You can take it with you anywhere you go as you can easily fit it into your backpack, suitcase, weekend bag or even your handbag. It will not weigh you down or take up a lot of space.

You end up with a full flavor coffee: This coffee brewing method helps you to get more of the coffee flavors, aromas and oils into the finished brew than other techniques.

Trains your pallet For Great Coffee: Due to the lack of a paper filter used, the oils and compounds of every single ground bean make their way into your coffee cup! This will help you to learn how to differentiate Tanzanian beans to Brazilian, Vietnamese, Colombian and various coffee roasts and distinctively know the difference between a dark roast, light roast and, yes, a French roast.

Control of flavor: You have full control of how your coffee tastes will taste as you have full control over the variables including the brewing time, size of grind, water temperature etc.

Disadvantages of Brewing With A French Press Coffee Machine

Of course, nothing is ever perfect and there are some draw backs with this way of brewing coffee. Let’s talk about the drawbacks of this way of elaborating coffee.

It Can Be a Pain to Clean!

Due to the way in which you elaborate your coffee, you end up with a mass of coffee grounds at the bottom that you need to empty and clean. Not a biggie at all, but it can be a bit messy, and, of course, you need to wash and clean the other parts.

Talking of which, there is the disadvantage of…

Some Grounds Getting Into Your Coffee

From time to time, you will find that a tiny amount of coffee particulates slip into your brew. Even though they are a coarse grind, at the smallest medium grinds, but you can still end up with some grounds in your brew, not a lot, just some.

If you get a gritty like brew, you should have a look at the mesh filter and consider replacing it. Ensure the mesh is fitting tightly.

Some Grounds Getting Into Your Coffee
Some grounds can make their way into your coffee.

Brewing Can Be A Little More Time Consuming

It will take you longer than normal to make your Cuppa Joe than it normally would if you are not used to brewing with this method, but you do get better and quicker at getting your own taste preference right.

French Press Coffee Characteristics

This brewing method is often associated with the ability to get a strong tasting coffee that is full of flavor, complete with the natural oils and all the healthy compounds such as antioxidants, B complex vitamins, potassium, manganese and other minerals.

Skill Level Required To Use It.

Make a great coffee is a fusion of art and science. Some people will tell you that a French press is for an absolute beginner, and it is, but there is a nack of getting it right, getting your coffee spot on every single time takes practice.

The skill level to use it is low.

There is really nothing to it but a certain understanding of how coffee works, what grind to use, how long to let your beans  steep for and what temperature of your water works best.

How Much Caffeine Is In French Press Coffee?

75 mg to 140 mg per 8 ounce cup.
Despite getting a strong and full coffee flavor this method doesn’t pack so much of a punch in terms of caffeine.
The low caffeine content is due to using a coarse grind size.

Calories In French Press Coffee?

2 Calories per 8 ounce cup of coffee

Assuming you enjoy your coffee free from milk, dairy creamer, and sugar an 8 ounce cup will contain only 2 calories.

The Drip Coffee Machine

You are absolutely familiar with what a drip coffee machine is. These are the most commonly seen ones across the world. There is probably one in your home, office or both and, of course, in hotels. These are perfect if you want an instant coffee quickly without having to wait for it to brew every single time.

All that is required is that you select your grounds, put them in the machine and not forgetting the filter, and to fill it with water.

And then switch it on.

The drip coffee machine then goes through a process which results in heating the water to almost boiling point. As it boils small bubbles of the hot water flow to the drip area and then drip slowly and evenly into your coffee grounds, slowly filling the coffee pot at the bottom, which is usually sitting on a hot plate.

It is a very automatic way of making coffee since there is very little, almost nothing for you to do. You also have very little control over the end result of the coffee.

The Drip Coffee Machine
A basic drip coffee system, no machine

Benefits Of Drip Coffee

One huge benefit of a drip coffee maker is that it is there, ready made coffee literally effortless to make. And an easy Cuppa Joe on the go is obtainable.

Cleaner crisper taste: Despite having the coffee oils filtered out by the paper filter, you will end up with a crisper cleaner, more “traditional” coffee taste.

Easy to clean: A drip coffee machine is very easy to clean, and can be done relatively quickly and effortlessly. The only “gunge” is the removal of the filter.

Good for your heart health: Drip coffee is good at stimulating the good LDL cholesterol levels into your brew.

Biodegradable paper filter: This is great for composting, grab the paper filter and used coffee and bang it in your compost pile.

It is super convenient: Nothing is easier than effortlessly filling with water, adding a biodegradable filter and some coffee. Keep it on, and you have full coffee pot of ready warm coffee. You have 6-8 cups of coffee at the ready in the glass carafe.  Another plus point is no need for a thermal carafe.

The Disadvantages Of Drip Brewed Coffee

Nothing is ever a rose garden and there are disadvantages with drip  brewed coffee. Let’s talk about those.

They can be annoying to clean: Despite what I mentioned earlier. Daily cleaning is a walk in the park, but once per week you will need to flush it out. Vinegar water doesn’t have the greatest of smells, and you need to rinse it well or have a few batches of vinegar tasting coffee.

Not at all the best of coffees: Taste wise, it is just coffee. This is not at all for coffee connoisseurs or real coffee lovers at all. The flavor potential is significantly reduced. You will be wasting your top beans if you use them in a drip coffee machine.

The Disadvantages Of Drip Brewed Coffee
The very basic taste of drip coffee is what you can expect.

Drip Coffee Characteristics

With drip brewed coffee you end up with a lot of the flavorful oils are filtered out by the paper filter. This type of machine effectively boils your coffee and keeps it hot. The longer your coffee sits there the more it is going to pick up a bitter, stewed taste.

The taste is just as you would expect an ordinary coffee to taste. Plain Jane ordinary. Despite being a popular choice any experienced coffee drinker and coffee enthusiast will know that it tastes like leftover coffee. Still, you will get a hot coffee every single time due to having a whole pot of coffee sitting there.

Just don’t have pot sitting there for any lengthy period of time.

Skill Level Required To Use It

In the great drip coffee debate, it has to be said that you will get low end coffee shop quality that is far from amazing coffee regardless of what beans you use. Honestly, there is nothing to it at all to using this type of coffee making machine.

Make sure it is filled with water, make sure you have coffee in the filter and wait until your coffee is ready.

Skill level is literally zero.

How Much Caffeine Is In Drip Coffee?

65 mg to 120 mg per 8 ounce cup.

A typical cup of drip brewed coffee contains between 65 mg to 120 mg of coffee. The large variation is due to the differing beans used and caffeine content of the beans, and of course, if you are using a medium grind or a fine grind.

Calories In Drip Coffee?

5 calories on average, 8 ounce cup.

Assuming your coffee is sugar free and free from dairy creamer, milk or anything else, the average drip coffee will have 5 calories per 8 ounce cup.

Bean Selection And Grind French Press Vs Drip Coffee Machine

With your French press, by far you want to look out your best beans and get the full flavor from them. With a drip coffee machine, any coffee ground will do. I certainly would not waste my expensive beans in a drip machine at all. There is no need to use French roast coffee beans with this brewing method.

Grind, with your French press you will get the best results if and when you use a coarse grind.

A drip machine will need a medium grind. If and when your finished coffee grounds are too fine or too coarse the end result is a sub par coffee with both brewing methods.

Brew Time For French Press Vs Drip Coffee Machine

Brew time is a deal breaker when it comes to your morning coffee or when you are in a rush. The amount of time it takes may help you to determine which brewing method you want to use will help you with your brewing option that you have in front of you.

The average time to make a brew with a French Press will be in the 5 to 8 minute range including the time it takes to boil your water and the brewing time.

For a drip machine, you are looking at 5 to ten minutes at least to brew hot coffee.

However,

you can have your morning coffee ready sooner. Just ensure the drip coffee pot is empty and use a timer to switch on your drip machine about 5 to 10 minutes before your alarm goes off or switch it on before you go in the shower in the morning.

By the time you are out, or awake your coffee is ready with enough coffee in the coffee pot.

The clean-up time is broadly similar for both a drip machine and a French press.

French Press Vs Drip Taste Test

As a coffee geek and coffee fan you will undoubtedly want a flavorful coffee. The average drip coffee maker is not going to be able to deliver anything better than a regular coffee.

Due to having much more control over the variables from coffee brewing process you can make a truly delicious coffee with a French Press and get all the flavorful oils into your brew, something no automatic drip coffee machine can do.

French Press Vs Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: The Winner Is…

It is the age old coffee conundrum, and search for the best brewing method and the most delicious coffee. Every single time when it comes to the taste and quality of the brew, the French press wins hands down.

However,

The drip coffee maker wins on those lazy mornings when I just don’t want to put in the effort that a French press requires. The simplicity of just switching on the drip coffee maker right before I jump in the shower and having my coffee warm and effortlessly ready as I come out, and freshly brewed.

Also, when I am doing a lot of work at home or in my office, a good drip coffee pot with several cups of coffee ready in and kept warm beats breaking my concentration and taking the 5-8 mins that a French press requires.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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