Both the French press and Aeropress are popular coffee brewing devices that are known around the world. The French Press has been around for decades and can be found in most households, whilst the Aeropress is relatively new but has surged in popularity. There are many things to consider when it comes to the Aeropress Vs French Press, all of which we will look at today.
These coffee brewing devices both use a plunging mechanism but produce different results. The french press allows the coffee to steep for longer whilst the coffee oils are extracted whereas the Aeropress uses manual pressure to extract the coffee.
Our overall opinion is that the Aeropress produces a smoother but weaker coffee, whereas the French Press creates a bolder thicker coffee.
Let’s go over both in more detail.
What Is An Aeropress?
An Aeropress is a manual coffee maker that is small, portable, and can produce less-acidic coffee in 2 minutes. It was invented by Alan Adler in 2005 and has been gaining popularity amongst amateur and pro coffee makers ever since.
- Made of plastic
- Uses small specific filters
- Can make espresso and full-cups
- Uses hand plunging for pressure
- Coffee is smoother but can be weaker
- Costs around $30-$40
- Uses a fine grind size
An Aeropress is a coffee maker that is very popular with coffee enthusiasts. Its plastic design, limited parts, and ease-of-use make it the perfect device for travel, especially camping. In fact, the company even sells a travel version. The great thing about the Aeropress is that it can make a full cup of coffee, and also espresso, due to the pressure applied through plunging.
The Aeropress device itself consists of two cylinders and a filter chamber; one cylinder acts as the plunger which has a rubber section of the end, and the other one contains the ground coffee. The filter chamber is a round plastic section that screws on the bottom of the container with the coffee in – an Aeropress filter is placed inside this filter chamber.
Hot water is poured slowly on top of the coffee either through the coffee cylinder (regular) or upside down before screwing the filter chamber on (inverted). The coffee is then stirred and left for 30 seconds before the plunger pushes down onto the ground coffee to extract the flavor from it.
This can be done directly over your coffee cup so there is no need to transfer the drink, you can just drink it straight away.
Adjusting different ingredients and brewing techniques can also result in different outcomes. The coffee community is rife with different recipes for the Aeropress which involve different steeping times, coffee, water, and other variations.
Pros & Cons of the Aeropress
- Quick and easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Can travel with it
- Not expensive
- Produces a weaker coffee
- Requires filters (not expensive)
- Only has one size so need to rebrew for multiple drinks
Learn more about what is an Aeropress.
What Is a French Press?
The French Press is a glass coffee brewing device that uses a plunging action to push coffee grounds to the bottom, whilst retaining the coffee drink above the filter. It was invented in 1929 by an Italian designer, Attilio Calimani.
- Made of glass
- Has built-in mesh or stainless steel filters
- Only makes full-cups, no espresso
- Uses hand plunging but allows coffee to extract without pressure
- Coffee is stronger and bolder
- Costs between $10-110
- Uses a medium-coarse grind size
The french press comes in many different styles, unlike the Aeropress that only has 2. Generally, the French Press is a glass carafe with a separate mesh filter attached to a plastic pouring spout at the top. Some designs come in stainless steel and different color variations. Another pro of the french press is that it comes in multiple cup sizes so you can have enough for a family of 12 if needed.
To make French Press coffee, you need a medium-coarse grind, hot water, and a French Press pot. Use a french press ratio suited to your needs, this calculator might help, then add the coffee to the French Press carafe.
Fill the pot with hot water and gently put the mesh filter plunger just below the waterline. Allow it to steep for 2-3 minutes before you press down on the plunger to trap all of the grounds at the bottom. The longer you leave the coffee, the stronger it will be.
You can then pour and enjoy your cup of joe.
A French Press is designed to separate the ground coffee from the water and create a rich and full-bodied coffee. They are great for brewing because they don’t let any of the bitter oils get through, unlike other brewing methods.
Pros and Cons of the French Press
- Brings out the flavors of coffee well
- Doesn’t take long
- Can make large amounts
- Easy to use for beginners
- Mesh filter is fragile
- Some coffee sediment ends up in the cup
- Is thicker than other coffee brewing
- Can be difficult to clean
Learn more about what is a French Press.
Is Aeropress the Same as a French Press?
The Aeropress is similar to the French press in that it uses a plunging mechanism. However, the two brewing devices are not the same. The Aeropress uses more pressure and brews quicker than the French Press. The French Press takes a couple of minutes longer but doesn’t use pressure when plunging, creating a fuller-bodied cup.
Aeropress Vs French Press
French Press and Aeropress are two types of coffee makers that are popular in the market and are considered to be very similar. They are considered to be full-immersion brewing devices, both are affordable, and they use the same “pressing” technique.
When it comes to the French Press Vs Aeropress, the choice will depend on your preferences for taste, time, and quality. We will run over our comparison of both to give you more of an understanding:
Ease of Use
The French Press is very easy to use for beginners. Getting the grind size and steeping time correctly can be a learning curve, but using the brewing device overall is very simple. There are only 2 parts and very few steps involved in the brewing process.
The Aeropress has a couple more steps to the brewing process but is still very easy to use. Putting the filter in, screwing the cap, adding the coffee, water, and plunging is all that is required.
Winner – Both of these brewing devices are easy to use, we don’t believe that there is a clear winner in this aspect.
Cost of Device
The French press can be purchased for as low as $10-$20 if you want a basic 1-2 cup carafe. If you start looking at fancy designs, stainless steel models, and larger capacity options, the price can exceed $100.
The Aeropress costs around $40. If you purchase a bundle that includes other accessories, then you could end up paying $10-$20 extra. There aren’t any variations in sizes for the Aeropress yet, so that is the standard price.
Winner – The French press would have to win this one. You can get cheaper models that are still high-quality and produce the same quality coffee.
Time of Brewing
The brewing time can take between 3-6 minutes. You have to factor in grinding the beans, then allowing the coffee to steep for 2-4 minutes based on your preference. Then plunging and pouring.
Aeropress – Time for brewing with the Aeropress can take around 2-3 minutes. You don’t have to wait as long to steep (you can if you want), but you still have to prepare the beans and device.
Winner – The winner of Aeropress VS French Press for brewing time is the Aeropress. Both methods are pretty quick, but the Aeropress edges ahead.
Coffee Outcome / Taste
Coffee in the French Press is allowed to steep longer, allowing more oils and flavors to be extracted. This produces a full-bodied cup with a stronger and bolder coffee taste. The texture is slightly thicker than other coffee brewing methods.
Aeropress – The coffee in an Aeropress can come out lighter and weaker depending on how long you steep and the coffee ratio. Aeropress recommends a short amount of time before plunging which doesn’t allow the coffee to extract for long enough to produce a strong cup. Still, people enjoy the flavors of this coffee.
Winner – For us, the winner here is the French Press if you truly want to enjoy the coffee taste.
Due to the fragile mesh filter part and the glass exterior, the French Press isn’t really built for travel. However, some coffee fanatics have traveled with it, whilst protecting it with something soft.
The Aeropress comes in a travel version for those who want to take it camping, on the road, or abroad. It’s made of plastic but it’s still sturdy and you won’t really have to worry about it breaking the cup. Still, people enjoy the flavors of this coffee.
Winner – The Aeropress is a clear winner here as it has a specific version built just for travel, the Aeropress Go.
Options Available / Capacity
You can purchase various types of French Press online and in-stores. This includes different colors, materials, and more importantly, bigger capacity carafes. This is useful if you make coffee for an entire family.
Unfortunately, the Aeropress only comes in 2 sizes, the original and the travel option. There is nothing else to offer with this device.
Winner – The winner here is the French Press with its selection of sizes, colors, and types.
Linking to the point above, the French Press has options that make 10 cups or more. There are always new designs and models coming out that accommodate larger brewing capacities.
Aeropress – The Aeropress makes enough for 1 cup, maybe 2 if you push it. Therefore it’s not convenient if you are making coffee for multiple people.
Winner – The French Press wins when it comes to capacity or cup size. There are many options available, even enough for large families.
French Press VS Aeropress – Overall Winner
When it comes to these brewing devices, the French Press is a clear winner. It is slightly better than the Aeropress as it produces a stronger coffee taste and has larger capacity options. Both of these immersion brewers are still similar in nature and affordable, so you can try out both to see which one you like best.
The Final Sip
With the Aeropress VS French Press, there are many similarities between the two, but some key differences. Which one you choose will ultimately depend on taste preference and budget. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.