This article will be the ultimate comparison between two amazing coffee presses. I will go over a few key subjects that can influence the decision drastically from person to person, depending on their needs.
I have summed up my thoughts and left a final verdict on the last bit of this article. Down there you will be able to make your own decision on which of two suits your needs the best.
I will start with the basics between the two and go more in-depth the further you read on. The things I will cover are the flavor comparison, price comparison, and much more! Grab yourself a nice cup of joe and start reading away.
What is a French press?
The French press is a coffee brewing method, which involves steeping your ground coffee beans in hot water. The French press has multiple parts to it. It consists of a beaker with its base and the handle and the lid, plunger, and filter.
French press coffee is made by adding ground coffee beans to the French press’s beaker and pouring hot water on the coffee beans. You can choose to grind your own coffee beans, or you can buy ground coffee beans in your local supermarket.
The first step in the brewing process of the French press involves the blooming of the coffee beans. The blooming of coffee is letting the gasses that are trapped inside the coffee beans escape. The blooming of coffee beans will take about 30–45 seconds.
I will quickly cover how to brew coffee while using the French press in 8 easy steps:
- Grind your coffee beans in a medium/ coarse grind size.
- Add your ground coffee beans to the beaker.
- Boil your water. Once the water has come off the boil, let it sit on your kitchen counter for 30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
- Pour 1/4th of the total water onto your ground coffee beans and bloom your coffee for 30 seconds.
- After 30 seconds, slowly pour the rest of the water on top. Put the plunger on top of the French press beaker.
- Wait for an additional 4 minutes so that the coffee can steep.
- After that, slowly press down on the plunger. Once the plunger is fully down, pour the coffee into your mugs.
- Throw out your steeped coffee beans and clean your French press. Enjoy your coffee!
Now, there’s a lot of steps to follow here. If you want to learn more about the brewing process of French press coffee, I suggest clicking here as I wrote an article about the James Hoffmann French press method.
What is an AeroPress?
The AeroPress is a whole different coffee brewer in its own league. Coffee made with the AeroPress is made while under pressure. The pressure comes from the plunging down of the vacuum-sealed cylinders.
Making coffee with the AeroPress is quite fun. I have had this pressure coffee brewer for quite a while now and it’s amazing to use.
The brewing process of the AeroPress is quite different from any other coffee brewer out there. Down below I will tell you how to brew coffee with the AeroPress:
- The first step is placing the paper filter into the basket.
- Twist the cap onto the cylinder, place the cylinder onto your favorite coffee cup.
- Add one scoop of coffee into the cylinder, and shake the AeroPress until a flat coffee bed forms.
- Pour hot water onto the ground coffee.
- Slowly stir through the coffee mixture for 10 seconds with the supplied coffee wand.
- Place the second cylinder (with vacuum seal) on top of the coffee filled cylinder and slowly press down.
- Once the press has reached the bottom, remove it from your coffee cup and throw out the coffee puck.
All that’s left is enjoying your freshly brewed coffee. Remember to clean your AeroPress so it’s ready for its next use.
I have shortly explained the brewing method of the AeroPress above. If you are interested in the whole brewing process and learn some more tips and tricks about it, click on the link as I wrote a full article about the AeroPress brewing guide.
Now that you know the difference in brewing techniques, let’s get into some other comparisons. I will compare the two coffee brewers with 5 steps in total.
After that, I will go over my final verdict and will tell you my personal winner. This way you will be able to make your own decision on which coffee brewer suits you best.
Coffee flavor comparison
Let’s start with the flavor comparison between the French press and the AeroPress. The first thing to note is that the Aeropress makes a coffee that comes close to espresso by flavor. The flavor can be robust and out there, so you can always make an Americano out of this and enjoy your coffee this way.
The French press produces a gritty, flavorful, and full-bodied coffee. Because the ground coffee beans are steeped with the hot water, and the French press’s plunger isn’t equipped with a paper filter, the coffee might have some sludge on the bottom of your cup. This is what the coffee sludge looks like:
Although from some people this shouldn’t be a problem, I do know some people who prefer a strong yet cleaner cup of coffee. This is why I recommend the AeroPress over the French press if you are looking for a more balanced yet clean cup of coffee.
Let me put it this way, you’ll love the French press if you are looking for:
- Full-bodied flavor, rich and heavy mouthfeel
- Don’t mind the sludge that remains in your cup
You’ll love the AeroPress if you like:
- A clean and flavorful cup of coffee
- Want to have the option to make an espresso
Now, there’s more to the whole comparison than just the flavor, which is where the ease of use comes in. You will read all about my thoughts about that down below:
Which of the two is the easiest to use?
Both of the coffee presses are easy to use. The only thing you need to do when brewing with the French press is to add ground coffee and water to let it steep and then plunge it down.
The AeroPress requires a bit more attention; however, if you want to make a great cup of coffee with the AeroPress, you need to practice this a bit more. The grind size can be pretty hard to get right for the first time.
The French press is a bit more forgiving in the grind size. If you have a coarser grind than you originally anticipated, steep the coffee a bit longer before plunging.
When you go too coarse with the AeroPress, the water will run straight through the filter and into your coffee cup. This will result in an under-extracted cup of coffee.
If you look at the things you’ve got to do to get your cup of coffee from both brewing techniques, they both require a plunge down.
You need to add the plunger with the filter attached with the French press, and the AeroPress has the vacuum-sealed cylinder.
I think of it like this: the French press will be a bit more forgiving to beginners in the coffee world. If you already have a French press at home, the AeroPress will definitely be a great addition to your coffee cabinet.
Which of the two presses is most durable?
To get the comparison started on which of the two presses is the most durable, I have divided it into two sectors. Let’s start with the materials used on both presses; after that, I will cover the presses’ ability to travel.
What materials are used on the French press and AeroPress?
The French press is usually made with stainless steel and a glass beaker. While the AeroPress is made with plastic components only.
The French press I use at home is from Bialetti and is made of stainless steel, and comes with a glass beaker. However, you can also buy a French press that has a full stainless design. The choices are limitless.
But the AeroPress is only available in the plastic variant. All the AeroPress parts are made of plastic, even the equipment you receive in the package. There is even a dedicated travel AeroPress available, but more about travel down below:
Which of the two is safest to travel with?
The safest press to travel with is the AeroPress. Because of its plastic design, you will have a hard time breaking the components. There is even a great AeroPress travel kit, which you can check out by clicking here.
The AeroPress is great for backpacking and will fit into most travel bags. The French press can be quite heavy, and because most are made of glass, it might not be the best for storing in a bag or suitcase.
However, if you are traveling with an RV or camper, the better choice might be the French press. It will look great on the table and will fit in most cabinets, depending on the size.
Which coffee press has the most brewing capacity?
When comparing sizes and the brewing capacity of the presses. The French press wins by a long shot. The French press comes in 4 different sizes:
- 3 cups version (0.35 liters)
- 4 cups version(0.5 liters)
- 8 cups version(1 liter)
- 12 cups version (1.5 liters)
The 8 cups version is considered the most bought and used version out of the 4. The 8 cups French press will be able to brew for about 6 people. For smaller families, the most commonly bought is either the 3 to 4 cups version of the French press.
While the 12 cups version is not the most commonly bought French press out there, it is really nice for birthdays where you will serve a boatload of coffee. The ease of use when this happens is really nice.
I use both the 3 cups version (on the left) and the 8 cups version (on the right) at home. They are both great and look awesome too!
When comparing this to the AeroPress, which serves 1 to 3 cups of coffee at once, you can’t go wrong with the French press’s bigger sizes if you are looking for the bigger press.
The AeroPress is only available in this one size. Fortunately, you can quickly make multiple coffees by serving Americanos when your family comes over.
The most popular French press of Bodum comes at different prices, depending on the size and brand. With prices ranging from $14.99 for the smallest size to $39.99 for the biggest. You can check out the different brands and sizes on the official Bodum site.
Let’s jump into the AeroPress now, there are currently two AeroPress options you can buy. The travel edition and the “regular” edition.
Depending on the size of the French press you want to buy, the French press is the cheapest option if you want to save some money. But this really depends on needs. The prices can vary a lot depending on your preferences.
In the table down below, you will find my final verdict about the two coffee presses. The ultimate comparison. The French press vs. AeroPress. Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision on which of the two suits your needs best:
|Will easily make multiple serving for larger groups.||Is the most durable out of the two.|
|A stronger, full-bodied coffee with some sludge.||A cleaner tasting cup of coffee because of the paper filter.|
|It will take less prep work, add coffee and water and let steep for a few minutes.||Can be used for multiple recipes where espresso is needed.|
|Less practical for traveling, because of its glass design.||You will be able to travel with the AeroPress without worrying it will break.|
|You need to clean the French press thoroughly, coffee particles will stick to the filter and can leave behind a nasty taste.||Easy cleaning, rinse and repeat.|
|Fresh coffee in about 6 minutes.||Fresh coffee in 3 minutes or less.|
I prefer the French press over the AeroPress. Simply because I like the fuller coffee taste that it brings to the table. Sure, the sludge is not always appreciated, but I learned to live with this a while back.
However, the ease of cleaning and the ability to travel with the AeroPress made this a tough comparison. It had me thinking hard on which of the two would be my favorite.
If you want to try some amazing coffee recipes today, I suggest checking out below. I’ve listed a few great recipes for you to try. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.
Which of the two presses do you prefer and why? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!