French Press vs Drip Coffee

When it comes to brewing coffee, there are many different methods to choose from. Two popular methods are the French press and the drip coffee machine. While both methods produce delicious coffee, they offer completely different experiences.

If you’re trying to decide which brewing method suits your taste and lifestyle, then sit back, relax, and read on! 

The French press is an immersion-type brewing method and gives a rich and robust cup of coffee. On the other hand, drip coffee provides a smooth and invigorating coffee experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of French Press vs Drip Coffee and determine the ultimate winner. So, let’s dive in and find out which one will become your coffee companion!

French Press vs Drip coffee

Key takeaways

  • French Press is rich and full-bodied while Drip coffee is Mellow and smooth.
  • Drip coffee makers are quick and easy to use while French press requires expertise.
  • In French Press, you have full control over the brewing process while Drip machines are generally automatic.

An Overview of French Press Coffee Makers

The French Press is known by various names like cafeteria, press pot, and coffee press. It is a simple yet elegant way of brewing coffee and is considered one of the best ways to get a rich and bold taste with very less acidity.

So, how does it work?

You start by filling the cylindrical French Press Jar with coarse coffee grounds. Then, you pour in hot water (not boiling) and give it a quick stir.

Next, you place a lid on top and let the coffee steep for 4-6 minutes. When the brew reaches the desired strength, you will slowly push down the plunger filter.

And voila! You have a delicious cup of coffee ready to be enjoyed.

French Press

The Pros of French press coffee maker

  • With a manual coffee brewing method, you have the freedom to adjust all the coffee brewing factors such as water temperature, grind size, and brewing time, allowing you to tailor the coffee’s flavor to your liking.
  • Perfect for making full-bodied coffee with a rich and bold flavor, as it allows the natural oils and flavors of the coffee beans to be fully extracted
  • Eco-friendly – no paper filters required, reducing waste
  • No maintenance and it’s very simple to clean a French Press. Once you’ve done brewing, just give it a quick rinse, and you’re ready for your next cup 
  • It’s an excellent option for coffee enthusiasts who want a delicious cup without splurging on expensive equipment
  • It’s very lightweight and portable – A perfect device for your traveling adventures.
  • Very diverse brewing device – You can make Iced coffee in a French press, brew different varieties of teas, and also froth the milk in it.

Cons of a French Press Coffee Maker

  • Less practical for brewing large quantities of coffee at once
  • Requires manual effort and attention to detail, which can be a drawback for those seeking a more convenient and effortless coffee-making experience
  • Needs an external source to heat the water to the desired temperature before pouring it over the coffee grounds
  • Due to a lack of Paper filters, some fine coffee grounds end up in your coffee (Especially if you don’t know how to use it properly) and some people hate coffee full of sediments.

An Overview of Drip Coffee Makers

Electric drip coffee makers were invented in 1954 and became a big thing in the US in the 70s – Americans couldn’t get enough of their ease and convenience.

Drip coffee makers can be found in homes, restaurants, and even offices where investing in an espresso machine might not be a priority.

These machines are ideal if you’re looking for a quick and convenient cup of coffee without the need to wait for each brew. 

Drip coffee makers work by placing a paper filter and coffee grounds in the machine, then filling the reservoir with water. The water flows through a heated tube, reaching the boiling point. Then the heated water is slowly dripped through the coffee grounds extracting flavors from it.

drip coffee maker

Pros of Drip Coffee Maker

  • Perfect for smooth coffee lovers – Coffee prepared in a drip coffee maker is smoother and less bitter
  • You can prepare a full pot cup of (up to 12 cups) in drip coffee machines in one go
  • These coffee makers are fully automated, which makes them very easy to use.
  • No attention is required when brewing and drip coffee makers can often be set on brew timers

Cons of a Drip coffee maker

  • It can be expensive depending on the features
  • While paper filters aid in producing a cleaner cup, their ongoing cost and environmental impact can be a drawback
  • All the brewing parameters like the water temperature and brewing time is not in your hand
  • A drip coffee maker might not satisfy the taste buds of those seeking a more robust and aromatic brew

Drip Coffee vs French Press | The Differences

Now that we know how both coffee makers work, let’s compare them side-by-side

Differences between Drip coffee and French Press

1- The Brewing Method

French press is an immersion-type brewing method. This means the coffee grounds remain immersed in hot water for some time to extract flavors. Once the steeping is complete, you separate the grounds from the coffee by pushing the plunger.

On the other hand, drip coffee relies on the dripping brew method. You pour hot water over ground coffee and a filter. The water drips through the coffee grounds and filter, extracting the flavors along the way. The process is much similar to pour over coffee makers

2- Which Makes the Better Coffee?

French press coffee offers a highly flavorful and strong coffee experience, while drip coffee provides smoother and mellow coffee flavors

When using a French press, you have complete control over every aspect of the brewing process, allowing you to perfect it and indulge your taste buds.

Although the extra intricacy may be a drawback, the French press is still highly regarded for its exceptional taste.

One significant factor is the contribution of oils to the coffee’s flavor. In a drip machine, the paper filter traps most of these oils, preventing them from reaching your cup.

In contrast, a French press does not use a paper filter, maximizing the potential flavor.

Personally, the weaker and lighter flavor of drip coffee does not fascinate me, but many people like it. I like the rich and full-bodied flavor of French Press coffee. However, some people call it muddy and full of sediments.

3- The Brewing Time

The French Press method involves several steps: boiling, steeping, stirring, plunging, and pouring. This entire process usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

On the other hand, electric drip machines offer a convenient and speedy solution. With just a flick of a switch, these machines do most of the work for you. 

While you do have to wait for the machine to heat up and for the coffee to drip down (not as fast as espresso), in general, most drip coffee makers can produce great coffee within 5 to 8 minutes. Some drip machines can even brew coffee in as little as 3 minutes. 

4- Which One is More Easy to Use and Clean?

Both methods require a similar amount of time for cleanup. With a French press, you simply need to rinse it with water.

On the other hand, a drip coffee machine’s pot requires the same rinse, along with disposing of the coffee filter.

However, unlike a drip coffee maker, a French press doesn’t require ongoing maintenance. This is because drip coffee machines have water pumps, heaters, and reservoirs that require maintenance.

When it comes to ease of use, a French press offers more variables to consider, such as grind size, brew time, water temperature, and plunge rate. It takes some practice to achieve the perfect cup of coffee with a French press.

On the other hand, a drip machine is straightforward to use. You simply measure the right amount of coffee, load the machine with your preferred grind, fill the reservoir with water, and switch on the machine. It’s hard to go wrong with a drip machine.

5- The Capacity

When it comes to capacity, drip coffee makers have a clear advantage. With a typical drip coffee maker, you can brew up to 12 cups of coffee in a single cycle.

This generous capacity allows you to cater to a larger group or have plenty of coffee available throughout the day. Another benefit of drip machines is their ability to be prepared in advance. You can easily program the machine to prepare a cup of coffee at your desired time. 

On the other hand, a typical French press is designed to make 2 to 4 cups of coffee, although there are some versions that can brew up to 8 cups.

6- Which is Healthier?

When considering your health, it’s crucial to think about cafestol – a compound present in coffee that has been associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).

According to McGill University, filtered coffee is generally a better choice in terms of health.

The reason is that filtered coffee eliminates oily compounds like cafestol.

French press coffee, on the other hand, lacks a filter, allowing these compounds to end up in your cup.

If you’re keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels, it’s recommended to stick with filtered or instant coffee, even though they may not be as flavorful. 

However, if you don’t have any heart or cholesterol problems you can safely consume 2-3 cups of French press coffee in a day

Read a guide on whether French Press is good or bad

7- Reliability and Durability

When it comes to reliability and durability, there’s a clear difference between drip coffee makers and French presses.

The French press takes the lead in this aspect due to its simple design without any mechanical parts. With a French press, the worst-case scenario would involve accidentally dropping the glass carafe and causing irreparable damage.

However, even if this happens, replacing a French press is generally affordable.

On the other hand, drip coffee makers are also known for their reliability. The main concerns with these machines are potential interruptions in the electricity supply or a broken heating element. These issues can affect the brewing process and impact the quality of your coffee.

Another advantage of the French press is its portability. It can easily accompany you on your travels, allowing you to enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee wherever you go.

French Press vs Drip Coffee | Finally, What’s Better?

After considering all the factors, it’s clear that the French press takes the crown. With a French press, you have the power to control various variables and achieve your perfect cup of coffee, from the desired grind size to the brew time and water temperature. 

This level of control allows you to extract rich, bold, and intricate flavors from your coffee, resulting in a consistently delicious brew every time. In my opinion, there’s nothing quite like the full-bodied and robust taste that a French press delivers.

Admittedly, there are advantages to using a drip coffee machine. It offers convenience, quick brewing time, and the ability to make large quantities of coffee with minimal effort. Additionally, it can keep your coffee hot for longer periods.

So what’s better? Well, the answer is: It depends! And it’s a matter of subjective preference.

I hope you find this French Press vs Drip coffee debate useful, if you have anything to say do let us know in the comments!

Read other related comparisons


Does French press have more caffeine than drip?

Yes, French press generally has a higher amount of caffeine compared to drip coffee. On average, a cup of French press coffee contains approximately 100-137 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce serving, while drip coffee typically ranges between 65-120 mg. 

Is it okay to drink French press coffee every day?

Drinking French press coffee in moderation, typically 1 to 3 cups per day, is generally safe for most individuals.
However, if you have a heart condition or take medications that affect blood cholesterol, it is advisable to drink filtered coffee or use French Press paper filters.

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.

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