Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress - A 3 Way Brew Battle!

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress – A 3 Way Brew Battle!

When it comes to Pour over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress and the 3 way brew battle it is not our style to tell you which is best, we are all adults, and we are all capable of forming our own opinions based on our own specific coffee taste.

It also depends on what type of beans are used as some beans are better with a specific brewing method.


Keep reading for the details.

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress

These are three different brewing methods with the peculiar Aeropress having multiple ways in which it can be used and different filter types producing different tasting coffee.

A large part of coffee brewing is matching the right beans with a particular brewing method, for example, a French press with light roasted beans and a pour over with deep dark roasted coffee is not helping you to get the best out of the brewing techniques.

In the remainder of this article I talk about the flavor profile, grind size, brew time and the coffee to water ratio for each of the three methods.

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress
Pour Over Coffee Is Great

Read: French press vs Drip Vs Pour over

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress Coffee – What Are They?

To get a good overall understanding of what these three coffee brewing methods are, let’s talk about each one individually and the method of extraction used and what beans work best with each method.

A large part of coffee brewing is using the right beans with the right brewing method. You can use the same bean, use different brewing methods and get different tasting coffees.

Pour Over Coffee

This style of coffee brewing, the pour over coffee, is one that needs the use of special equipment to get it exactly right.

The equipment that you will need are:

  • A ceramic flat burr coffee grinder.
  • A waterproof digital coffee scale with a timer.
  • A gooseneck kettle with digital temperature control.
  • A pour over system like a Hario V60, Kalita Wave or Chemex.
  • Coffee filters.

Some of the equipment you may already have is handy, bordering on essential for brewing other coffee brewing methods. For example, a digital temperature control gooseneck kettle is great for getting exact temperature.

Pour over coffee brewing gives you a level of exactitude and precision that gives you complete control over the brewing process and all the variables, including:

  • Pour rate.
  • Contact time your coffee has with the hot water.
  • Water temperature.
  • Grind size.
  • Brew time.

You can even control how your water is in contact with your coffee; the spiral technique is far better than flooding.

Pour over coffee uses gravity and the constant flow of fresh hot water over the coffee grounds to extract the flavor.

The result is a brewing method that is excellent for getting the delicate, intricate and quite frankly, the delightful flavors of origin into your cup of coffee.

This is the very reason why a light roast like a blonde roast works incredibly well with pour over coffee brewing.

The ideal beans to use are:

  • White Roast Coffee.
  • Blonde Roast Coffee.
  • New England Roast.
  • Medium roast.

If you are spending your hard-earned money on specialty grade, premium quality single origin coffee beans, pour over is the brewing method that will get the best out of them, as long as they are a medium roast or lower.

French Press Coffee

French press coffee is very different from pour over coffee, but they share one key important thing that all great brewing techniques have.

You have full control of all the variables associated with coffee brewing.

Having control over the variables allows you to customize and personalize your coffee to exactly how you want and like it!

The method of extracting the flavor from the beans uses the full immersion of your coffee grounds in hot water and a long extraction time.

The metal filter ensures that all the delicious coffee oils get into your brew.

The beans that work best with a French press are:

  • Medium roast.
  • Medium dark roast.
  • Full city roast (Dark roast).
  • Vienna roast (Dark roast).
  • French roast (Dark roast).
  • Italian Roast (Dark roast).

Basically, all medium roasts and all dark roasted coffee beans work well with a French press coffee maker.

It is not as good as a pour over system at getting the nuanced flavors of origin out of your coffee beans and thus not a brewing method to use with your lighter roasts.

You can use your coffee press for light roasts; it’s just not going to get you the same results as all the intricate flavors are lost due to the full immersion brewing process.

French Press Coffee
French Press Coffee Maker

Read: French press Vs Pour over

AeroPress Coffee

A cool fact about AeroPress Coffee is that it is currently the newest and latest coffee brewing technique having been invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, who was the President and CEO of Airobie, a company that manufactures Frisbees, footballs and Aerodynamic exercise equipment.

This brewing technique works by using pressure which creates a vacuum sealed chamber, while heating a mix of coffee grounds and water to draw out the flavor of your coffee grounds.

It’s a piston style coffee brewer that forces your coffee through a thin paper filter and directly into your cup below.

It makes only one cup of coffee at a time. In its favor is the small size and shape which makes it incredibly easy to take with you when you go camping or for that weekend away, anywhere.

The flavor is clean, crisp and with defined notes due to the paper filter. The flavor can be bolder when you use a metal filter.

Cleaning it is easy as giving it a good rinse with warm water.

An AeroPress coffee maker is also very versatile as you can brew coffee that is similar to what is brewed by a French press as you let the coffee grounds immerse in the hot water before pressing the plunger.

The coffee that works best with this brewing method is medium dark and dark roast coffee.

Pour Over vs French Press Vs Aeropress Coffee Maker – Flavor Profile

Each of these coffee brewing techniques produces a different tasting cup of coffee, even when using the same coffee beans.

Let’s talk about each of the brewing methods and what you can expect from them and how they will tickle your taste buds.

Pour Over Coffee Flavor Profile

The flavor of pour over coffee is different from other coffee brewing methods, and even drip coffee, which can be described as an automated form of pour over brewing.

Pour over has the ability to extract the most TDS, Total Dissolved Solids from your coffee brewing than other brewing techniques and highlights the delicate, exquisite and intricate nuanced flavors of origin.

By far, head and shoulders above all other brewing methods, a pour over extracts the flavors of origin better than all other brewing methods. This is partly due to the constant flow of hot water as the individual flavor of a coffee bean are lost during full immersion brewing.

If you are spending your money on expensive single origin specialty grade coffee, this is the brewing technique that is best to use.

It has its limitations as it is not as good as other methods with medium-dark and dark roasted coffee beans.

Pour Over Coffee Flavor Profile
Pour Over Coffee Flavor Profile

Read: Pour over Vs French press

French Press Coffee Flavor Profile

French press coffee brewing is a long-established brewing technique amongst coffee lovers for the ability to produce a bold, intense and strong coffee.

The full-bodied flavor is due to the full immersion extraction process and the use of a metal mesh filter that ensures all the tasty coffee oils get into your brew.

The steeping process unfortunately loses the unique and intricate flavors of origin, which makes it a brewing method where you will not get the best out of your specialty grade single origin light roasts.

It does compensate for this by getting more of the flavors that comes from the roasting process, making Medium, Medium Dark and Dark roasts a better choice of beans to use with this brewing technique.

AeroPress Coffee Flavor Profile

AeroPress coffee brewed with a metal filter has a smooth, full-bodied and flavorful with a reduced acidity and a strong taste.

It’s strong, but not espresso strong, more, well, French press strong.

You can get a slightly different taste when you use a paper filter; it becomes clean, smooth and crisp due to the coffee oils being filtered out.

If you want a lighter mouthfeel, use a paper filter.

An AeroPress is best suited for medium roasts, medium dark and dark roast coffee beans.

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs AeroPress Coffee To Water Ratio

Using the correct coffee to water ratio is very important for getting your coffee to taste as the brewing method determines.

The coffee water ratio gives produce what is known as the golden ratio for each brewing technique, which varies slightly due to each technique’s ability to extract the flavors.

You can alter this ratio to a higher or lower ratio depending on whether you want a stronger or weaker coffee.

Let’s get to those ratios.

 Pour Over Coffee To Water Ratio

Pour over coffee brewing requires a ratio of 1:16. That’s one part coffee and 16 parts water.

If you want a stronger tasting cup of coffee you can consider a ratio of 1:15 or 1:14.

A weaker ratio with more water of 1:17 and 1:18 can be experimented with, but I advise against getting weaker than a 1:18 ratio for pour over coffee.

Pour Over Coffee To Water Ratio
Pour Over Coffee To Water Ratio Is VIP

French Press Coffee To Water Ratio

The ideal coffee to water ratio is 1:15. Using this ratio will produce a great tasting, bold and intense flavor from your coffee.

If you want a stronger ratio 1:14, 1:13 and even 1:12 can be used. If you go below this ratio, your coffee will be too strong, and perhaps you are better using a moka pot as a brewing technique.

For weaker ratios, 1:16 and 1:17 are both viable ratios but 1:18 is too weak and watery.

AeroPress Coffee To Water Ratio

The standard coffee to water ratio for AeroPress coffee is 1:16; however, the original recipe stated a coffee to water ratio of 1:6, which is incredibly strong!

Most recipes that you will find online state the use of a ratio of 1:12 to 1:16.

It’s a brewing method that you will need to experiment with and find what hits the spot for you.

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs AeroPress Grind Size

Of critical importance to perfectly brewing each of these three coffees is the grind size.

Get it wrong, and your coffee will taste too strong or too weak.

Perfect coffee brewing is about getting the variables correct.

Let’s get to it.

 Pour Over Grind Size

The perfect grind size for pour over brewing is a medium fine to get the perfect flavor. If you prefer a measurement, 0.5 mm is better.

If your grind is smaller, your coffee will end up being too strong tasting while it will taste too weak if your grind size is larger.

French Press Grind Size

To get a great tasting, bold, intense, full-bodied strong coffee you will need a coarse grind size due to the long steeping time.

As a measurement, 0.75 mm to 1 mm is perfect. If your grind size is less than 0.75 mm you will get too strong a coffee. If it is more than 1 mm your coffee will be too weak and watery.

AeroPress Grind Size

Officially AeroPress recommends a super fine grind size, almost the same as you would use to brew and espresso.

If you use this grind size, you will need a short brew time.

AeroPress is a very versatile brewing method and will need a larger grind size for longer immersion times. Medium fine to medium coarse is what I use as a standard grind size to get a great tasting coffee.

Pour Over Vs French Press Vs AeroPress Coffee Brew Time

The extraction time, also known as the brew time, is how long it should take for your coffee to brew under perfect conditions to achieve the perfect tasting cup of coffee.

Either side of the perfect brewing time, and you will end up with a coffee that is over brewed or under extracted.

Pour Over Coffee Brew Time

The perfect brewing time for a pour over coffee is from 3 to 4 minutes total.

The actual brew time, the time in which your hot water was in contact with the coffee grounds, is a matter of seconds for each pour. One does not simply pour all the hot water at the same time as you must not flood your coffee grounds.

The total accumulated brew time is 3 to 4 minutes.

French Press Brew Time

The ideal brew time for a French press coffee maker is from 4 minutes to 5 minutes. Outside of this range, will result in a coffee that is either too weak or too strong.

AeroPress Brew Time

Short brewing times are normal with AeroPress brewing; even with inverted and immersion variation the extraction time is 2 to 3 minutes.

The actual brew time will depend largely on your grind size. The larger the grind, the longer the extraction time will be needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress

Is An AeroPress Really Better Than A French Press?

Coffee is a very personal thing and everyone has their own preference. Some will prefer an AeroPress, while others a French press.

The principle differences in the two brewing methods are the overall coffee experience in terms of body, mouthfeel and clarity while producing the same flavor.

A French press has a greater body due to more coffee oils getting into your brew, however an AeroPress can improve the body when you switch the paper filter for a metal disk filter.

Due to the greater body, a French press produces a heavier mouthfeel for the same reason, the brewed coffee has more of the coffee oils into the coffee.

Generally speaking, an AeroPress has a greater clarity of flavor, particularly when you use a paper filter.

An AeroPress and a French press can match each other when you use a metal filter instead of a paper filter. If you travel frequently or enjoy the great outdoors, an AeroPress would be best for you as it is compact and can be taken with you easily.

Is Pourover Or AeroPress Better?

Which of these two coffee brewing methods is better for you depends on what coffee beans you are brewing with and their roast.

An AeroPress is better for brewing with dark roast coffee beans as it extracts the tasty, deep, intense and bold flavors better than what a Pour over will for the same roast level.

A pour over is a very efficient brewing method for extracting all the fantastic and delightful floral and intricate flavors from your specialty grade single origin light roast coffee, making it better for light roasts than an AeroPress coffee.

Is AeroPress Stronger Than Pour Over?

The flavor produced by an AeroPress does have a stronger and bolder flavor than what is produced by pour over brewing. This is due to the amount of coffee oil removed by the brewing process.

However, each of these brewing methods are best suited for different types of coffee bean.

Which Is Healthier Pour Over Or French Press?

A pour over coffee is generally seen as being healthier than a French press due to the paper filter used filtering out cafestol, a compound that is said to raise your cholesterol levels.

What Is The Downside Of AeroPress?

The biggest drawback from An AeroPress coffee in my experience is the fact that it is not at all that great at retaining heat. If you love a real hot coffee on a cold day, this can be a disappointment.

Heat your cup with hot water prior to brewing to help your cup to retain heat.

Is There Anything Better Than AeroPress?

For a deeper coffee flavor that is livelier and more vibrant, the OXO cold brew maker is ideal if you prefer cold brew coffee or coffee over ice. The flavor is better as it allows your coffee to aerate and bloom for just over a minute while it is brewing and extracting the flavors.

Why Do People Love The AeroPress?

The AeroPress is much loved for its versatility and ability to make different types of coffee, including full immersion coffee, plunger assisted drip brewed coffee and espresso style coffee.

It’s small, portable and can be taken everywhere easily.

Why Is AeroPress So Smooth?

An Aeropress coffee maker uses fine ground coffee and produces a coffee that is more focused, concentrated and smoother. The smooth taste is due to the paper filter used filtering out the coffee oils resulting in a clean, crisp and smooth taste.

Final Thoughts – Pour Over Vs French Press Vs Aeropress

In the 3 way brew battle of Pour over Vs French press Vs Aeropress which is the one that wins out for you?

For, me, it’s a French press for my medium dark to dark roasts and light to medium roasts a pour over coffee and an Aeropress when I travel, it makes sense that way.

What about you, how do you use these three methods?

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and share your French press, pour over and Aeropress brewing secrets! Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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