The French press and AeroPress are both manual coffee makers that involve steeping coffee grounds in hot water, followed by pressing the grounds to filter the coffee.
But! They have some major differences such as
The main difference is that the French press utilizes an immersion brewing technique where coffee grounds soak in water for a while and give a rich and full-bodied brew. And the AeroPress uses air pressure to push water through the coffee grounds quickly. It also incorporates a paper filter thus resulting in a cleaner and somewhat faster brew with a different flavor profile.
We’re gonna discuss the “Pros and Cons” of both French Press and Aeropress thoroughly and how these coffee machines are different which will surely help you in making a decision.
An Overview of AeroPress
Aeropress is a relatively new innovation in the World of coffee devised in 2005 by toy inventor Alan Adler.
It’s made of BPA-free Polypropylene plastic with no phthalates and uses a paper filter to filter out the coffee drink.
An Aeropress basically comprises ”Two parts”:
- Chamber: A circular jar made of food-safe polypropylene.
- Plunger: It consists of a lid and an airtight seal made of silicon, and a paper micro-filter.
In the coffee world, Aeropress is known as a manual espresso maker since it makes concentrated shots of coffee much similar to Espresso.
But without the signature layer of Crema as the brewing pressure is much less than the Espresso machine.
Aeropress forces water through a thin paper filter for smooth, grit-free, and clean-flavored coffee with no oils and sediments.
An Aeropress only offers a single design and that’s the traditional one.
Pros of Aeropress over French Press
- The taste of coffee is much more concentrated and strong similar to Espresso.
- Aeropress is made of BPA-free plastic that is unbreakable, which makes it highly portable and perfect for travel.
- Makes a quick cup of coffee in under a minute.
- Aeropress is relatively easier to clean afterward.
- Can be used to prepare delicious milk-based coffee drinks like Cappuccino and Latte.
Cons of Aeropress
- Less brewing capacity can make only 1-2 shots of coffee at a time.
- Requires a little manual effort to brew a cup of coffee
- Not ideal for coffee lovers who prefer a standard 8 oz serving of coffee rather than a dense small coffee shot.
An Overview of French Press
A French Press also known as Cafetiere or Coffee Press is a popular manual coffee brewing machine.
A French Press mainly comprises “Two Parts”:
- A Plunger– It consists of a lid and a mesh filter assembly
- The Carafe- The carafe or coffee jar which can be made of one of three different materials: Stainless steel, glass, or Ceramic with Glass being the most popular one.
French Press is quite popular in the USA, a good 4 percent of American coffee drinkers brew their coffee using the French Press.
French press coffee is known for its bold and rich flavor although you do require some brewing expertise otherwise you will end up with a muddy cup of coffee.
Unlike other coffee makers, French Press only uses metal filters (you can also use paper filters in the French press though). These metal filters let most of the coffee oils pass through and give the coffee a unique and stronger mouthfeel.
Pros of French Press over Aeropress
- French Press makes a rich cup of coffee with a stronger mouthfeel and is full of coffee oils (As there are no paper filters involved).
- You can easily make 3-8 cups of coffee at a time using French Press (depending on the capacity).
- French Press is certainly a better choice if you prefer a large regular serving of coffee.
- Can keep coffee hot for longer (if you opt for a metal one).
Cons of French Press
- You may end up with a muddy cup of coffee if you don’t know how to use it.
- Can be an unhealthy choice if you are a heart or cholesterol patient (French Press is certainly not harmful if you drink 2-3 cups a day).
- The brewing process is longer compared to Aeropess and cleaning is also a little trickier.
Difference between Aeropress and French Press
Let’s discuss the differences between French Press and Aeropress in detail.
1) How Aeropress and French Press Compared in Taste
Considering the taste profile, both brewing devices can make exceptional coffee. Yet, they’ve some significant differences. Mainly, because of the brewing time and filter.
A French Press coffee is rich, full-bodied, and has a stronger mouthfeel as it is full of flavorful coffee oils. However, it will be a little bitter in taste because of the prolonged brewing process.
On the other hand, Aeropress coffee has a smoother taste. It uses a microfilter, which removes much of the grit, resulting in a coffee that is clean and doesn’t have the sediment sometimes found in French Press.
With AeroPress, you can make both strong and dense shots of coffee similar to Espresso and regular serving coffee similar to pour-over.
In short, if you prefer a regular serving of coffee with a rich mouthfeel go with the French Press and if you like smooth and clean coffee go with the Aeropress. In taste, I must say I like French Press more!
2) The Grind size
Whether you’re brewing a French press, cold brew, latte, drip coffee, or espresso. Grind size matters!
It’ll have an impact on taste, texture, and the final outcome.
For a French press, an ideal grind size should be anywhere between Medium Coarse to Coarse. That’s simply because French Press only uses metal strainers to filter coffee. If you use fine grounds you will end up with a cup of coffee full of fine coffee sediments.
For an Aero press, the ideal grounds should be Fine or Medium fine. That’s simply because Aeropress is a quick brewing method and fine coffee grounds with large surface areas extract flavors more quickly.
I always recommend buying whole-bean coffee and grinding your beans right before brewing. It can be a game-changer for a fresh coffee drink!
3) Ease of use
French Press and Aeropress are both completely manual coffee makers that let you control the entire brewing process.
That’s both a good and bad thing at the same time!
Good for coffee lovers who want to adjust brewing parameters such as coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, water temperature, and steeping time according to their taste.
The bad thing you can easily mess up the taste of your brew if you don’t know how to use it properly.
Although both French Press and Aeropress are fairly easy to use but in French Press the margin of error is high. A beginner can easily ruin a cup of coffee using the French Press. That’s why the ease of use point goes to Aeropress
4) Ease of Cleaning
It’s an Important Thing to consider which “Press” is easy to Clean. As it’s an Important Task that needs to be done on a Daily, Weekly, And Monthly Basis.
French Press contains oil residues and coarse coffee ground remains that make it relatively harder to clean.
This time, an Aero press got a plus point as it’s easier and a matter of seconds to clean as compared to the French press.
5) The Type of Filters in French Press vs Aeropress
The type of filter you use while brewing a coffee will eventually have an impact on the taste and the texture.
A French Press uses a “metal filter”, That lets coffee oils and fine coffee grounds pass through resulting in a bit different taste.
Coffee filtered with a Metal filter is Rich, thick, and Full-bodied. Also, fine coffee grounds can pass through these Filter Pores resulting in sediments at the bottom of the cup (which some people hates and other enjoy).
Meanwhile, AeroPress uses a “Paper Filter” with finer perforations that Filter excessive oils and make a grit-free smooth cup of coffee.
6) Capacity and time for a brew
If you’re living in a house full of java addicts or have to prepare coffee for a bunch of people then French Press is a coffee device for you.
- It can easily make 3-8 cups of Coffee of time (different sizes available)
- A French press takes around 10 minutes to brew a cup of coffee (From bean to brew)
If you’re buying a device for traveling purposes or for solo use. Then an Aeropress is going to be a great choice!
- The capacity of Aeropress is typically around 10 oz.
- An Aero press is faster- Can brew a cup of java within a minute.
Mr. Adler concluded a motive behind inventing an aero press:
“I want to have good, quick coffee always at hand, so I invented the Aero Press”
Ask a few questions to yourself before making a decision! Are you looking for a device for solo use or for family use? How much coffee do you need to prepare daily?
7) Which is best for travel AeroPress or French Press
While French Press also has a portable design and can be used for traveling and camping trips but it certainly can’t match the portability of an Aeropress.
The glass jar of French Press can break due to pressure or turbulence. (However, you can buy a metal one that can’t break easily!)
Aero press is designed with BPA-free plastic that’s easy to carry, portable, and lightweight.
8) The versatility of French Press vs Aeropress
In terms of versatility, both Aeropress and French press have their advantages.
French Press gives you the option to make hot coffee, cold brew, and iced coffee. You can also froth milk in the French Press to prepare the milk-based coffee drink Cafe Au Lait. In addition, you can also make tea with a French press.
In contrast, Aeropress can make hot coffee in various different ways. Coffee that is simple and smooth with a low coffee-to-water ratio or Espresso-styled rich and dense shots of coffee that can be used to prepare Cappuccino and Latte.
9) The Budget
Both “presses” are quite affordable so any coffee lover can easily add these to their coffee collections.
A French Press offers a wide range of Prices. A cheap one is easily available for under twenty dollars, while an expensive double-walled or ceramic French press can cost up to 100-150 dollars.
However, if you are looking for something good and reliable you must have a budget of around 30-50 dollars. Bodum Chambord is my personal favorite
While an Aeropress has a Standard price that’s around $30 and other than that you have to purchase paper filters separately.
Which is Better Aeropress and French Press
I have made both the Aeropress and French press transparent in this detailed comparison
Now to conclude “which one’s going to be best for you?”
Well, the answer is it depends!
Since it all comes down to what your preference is and what’s the purpose of buying one? Both of the “press” have specific qualities and a few drawbacks.
French presses are perfect for preparing coffee for a bunch of people, take almost five minutes to brew, and are better for household purposes.
Meanwhile, an Aero Press is suitable for solo coffee lovers, brews within a minute, and is perfect for traveling.
Nevertheless, my vote goes to French Press as I love the taste of rich and full-bodied brew from French Press.
Also Read Other French Press Comparisons
- French Press vs Moka Pot
- French Press vs Espresso
- French Press vs Percolator
- French Press vs Keurig
- French Press vs Pour Over
- French Press vs Drip Coffee
Is French Press Or AeroPress Healthier?
According to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Coffee filtered with a paper filter is better for health than unfiltered coffee”.
Nevertheless, you can safely use French Press if you don’t drink more than 2 cups a day and you don’t have any heart condition.
How much caffeine is in AeroPress vs French Press?
The regular serving of French Press and AeroPress have almost the same amount of caffeine somewhere between 100-150 mg.
Rather than the brewing method itself, the caffeine content is mainly influenced by the type of coffee beans and the coffee-to-water ratio.