Difference Between French Press and Aeropress Coffee

The world of coffee is quite interesting. There are more ways of preparing a good cup of coffee, than the varieties of coffee itself. The passion and intent with which people talk about their favorite presses or brews of coffee, can even belittle the intensity of a heated political discussion. Here’s everything you need to know about French Press and Aeropress coffee and which one is better.

French Press vs Aeropress

The main difference between French Press and Aeropress is that while French Press prepares coffee in around 3-4 minutes because it drips slowly into the cup, Aeropress, on the other hand, completes the entire brewing process under a minute, as there is no dripping involved.

French Press vs Aeropress

French Press has been one of the oldest presses that derive its origin from Milan, Italy. It was invented in around late 1920s. Its rich taste, full-bodied texture, strong aroma, classic look, and mechanism as well as affordable cost make it a favorite choice around the world.

Aeropress, on the other hand, has been somewhat of a newcomer in that sense. It has been around only since 2005. It becomes an obvious choice for people who like their coffee clear and finely ground, easy to clean, portable, and convenient to use.

Comparison Table Between French Press and Aeropress

Parameters of ComparisonFrench PressAeropress
OriginThe French Press was made around 100 years ago in Milan, Italy.Aeropress has been relatively newer, and was made around 2005 in California, U.S. by Alan Adler.
Flavor and QualityThe coffee is heavy, voluminous, full-bodied and rich in taste.The coffee is mellow, clear, bright and a pure flavor.
ServingsIt can brew a number of cups depending on the portion of ingredients and size of carafe.It can just brew one cup at a time and is somewhat, restricted to individualistic use.
Brewing TimeBecause of the slow dripping, it takes around 3-4 minutes to brew. The brewing time is under a minute.
Travel ConvenienceVery inconvenient and is generally used after setting it up rather than on the go.It is used mostly while travelling or on camping because of its light weight and plastic body.

What is French Press?

A traditional French Press consists of a carafe, a metal-mesh filter with a lid, and a plunger. Coffee is allowed to brew in hot water for a few minutes in the carafe before pulling the plunger down and coffee is pressed down the carafe by the filter. The time taken for this process completely depends on how you want your coffee to be customized as the beans are more coarse and the brewed coffee drips slowly.

Overall it is an excellent experience as it comes with a strong taste and aroma and leaves you with a great aftertaste. In this press, the sediments and oil also seep in through the filter resulting in a more full-bodied and enhanced taste retaining most of its flavor.

There are some drawbacks to this as well. It leaves a load of residue in both the carafe and the cup which might not be a green flag for people who like to have a clean drinking experience and hate cleaning up the mess afterward. The oil that seeps in could raise your cholesterol levels and also slightly interfere with the coffee flavor, making their taste indistinguishable from each other. However, its advocates claim to like this quality as it makes the coffee more heavy and voluminous.

What is Aeropress?

It came into existence around 2005 in California by a man named Alan Adler. In such a short period, it has created a space in the hearts of coffee lovers all around the world. An Aeropress is a tube-like, cylindrical-shaped press, in which the plunger is used as a syringe or piston i.e. it can be inserted down the cylinder after pouring coffee and water into the press.

This Aeropress is placed on the top of the cup and pressure is applied on the plunger, which presses the coffee and gets poured into the cup. Apart from this standard method, there is another method of making coffee from this press which is called the Inverted method. In this, the “Aeropress” is placed upside down on the top of the piston rather than the cup and once the coffee gets brewed, the piston pushes it into the cup.

Unlike the French Press, it uses a paper filter attached to a filter cap near its mouth, which prevents the residue and oil from seeping into the coffee. The coffee thus prepared, has a more smooth and gentle taste. Using the Aeropress, coffee can be made in several varieties. While using the standard method, one can try to reach nearly the consistency of an Espresso while the inverted method replicates the mechanism of a French Press(but not its taste!)

Main Differences Between French Press and Aeropress

There are some significant differences between these two presses apart from the processes involved.

  1. Servings: A French Press can prepare a number of cups of coffee depending upon the size of the carafe whereas an Aeropress can just make a single cup at a time.
  2. Travel Convenience: A French Press is quite heavy and not very travel friendly. It is generally set up at the place of use. An “Aeropress” is very portable and lightweight (best for tours and camps).
  3. Durability: Due to its heavyweight and glass built, it is very fragile and not as durable as an Aeropress, which is made up of plastic.
  4. Preparation Time: A French Press takes around 3-4 minutes to fill the cup while an Aeropress completes the entire brewing process within a minute.
  5. Cleaning: A French Press leaves a lot of mess both inside the cup and carafe, because of the coarse sediment residue which is difficult to clean unlike an “Aeropress”, which is relatively easier to clean.

Conclusion

In the end, we can say that both have their benefits and shortcomings and cannot be preferred, one over the other. Both have their separate users and they have their reasons for their likings. Many people like their coffee, heavy and full-bodied while others like it mellow and clear. Hence, instead of seeing it as two different products, it should be seen as two different experiences. As a coffee person, one can have both a “French Press” and an “Aeropress” to use on different occasions and extract the best out of them.

References

  1. https://www.mdpi.com/625136
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2796.2000.00728.x
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