Should your morning brew come from a K-cup pod or a plunger pot? Weighing the convenience of Keurig against the flavor control of the French press is key.
- Keurig offers great convenience but French press maximizes in flavors.
- Keurig uses K-cups to brew single servings fast while French press steeps grounds to extract fuller flavor.
- Keurig machines are expensive upfront and ongoing while French press is very affordable.
- Keurig brews one cup quickly while French press makes multiple servings at a time.
In this breakdown, I’ll highlight the pros and cons of the single-serve Keurig vs French press technique. Comparing factors from ease of use to cleanup to customization and taste, you’ll uncover which method aligns with your coffee priorities.
Brewing Coffee in a Keurig
Keurig is a top-notch single-serve drip coffee maker brand known for its convenience. Insert the pod, push the button, and your fresh and hot coffee will be ready in minutes. How simple it is!
Keurig only brews one cup of coffee at a time and uses K-cup pods that contain 9 to 12 grams of coffee grounds and a filter.
The brewing principle of Keurig is more or less the same as the Drip coffee machine. So, if you love plain and smooth coffees from a drip machine and want a convenient version then definitely Keurig is for you.
There is a variety of Keurig K cups available, from plain coffee to flavored coffee to lattes. Also, many top coffee bean brands manufacture k cup pods, so you can easily find a coffee that fits your taste.
Keurig machines are way more expensive than French Press and the ongoing cost of k cups compared to coffee grounds is also a lot more. But, there is a cost for convenience, Isn’t it?
As Keurig brews coffee using plastic coffee pods there are many environmental concerns related to it.
According to TheAtlantic,
“In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times. Almost all of them ended up in landfills.“
Keurig is the perfect machine for small homes and offices where everyone can brew their coffee with ease in minutes.
Pros of Keurig over French Press
- A great deal of convenience and ease of use
- Brew single-serve coffee quickly
- Fully automatic machine – No brewing expertise required
- A variety of k cup flavors are available to choose from
- Variety of Models from entry-level Keurig mini to advanced Cappuccino and Latte makers like Keurig Café
- The design is very stylish and modern for the counter of the kitchen or office
Disadvantages of Keurig
- The taste of coffee is just ok, not ideal for coffee snobs
- Very Expensive compared to the French Press
- Can’t brew large batches of coffee at a time
- The pods are made from plastic, so their environmental impact is obvious
Brewing Coffee in a French Press
French Press is a simple yet elegant way of brewing a rich and strong cup of coffee. The French Press coffee maker consists of a jar, a plunger, and a filter assembly.
In a French press, coarse coffee grounds are steeped in hot water for a period of time to extract flavor, which is then filtered through a plunger.
French Press makes a full-bodied cup of that is obviously better than anything you get from Keurig.
French Press does require some brewing experience since you have to select the right coffee grounds, steep them for enough time, and push the plunger accurately. Otherwise, you might end up with muddy coffee, which is what many people experience when they use French Press for the first time.
One of the best things about French presses is that they are very affordable, you can buy a good one for under 30 bucks, and also that they are portable and lightweight, making them ideal for camping and hiking trips.
There are multiple types of French presses available. The most popular one is glass, followed by stainless steel insulated French presses. Ceramic presses are also available, but they are not very popular.
Pros of French Press over Keurig
- Makes a Rich, Strong, and Full-bodied cup of coffee. Keurig is nowhere near it!
- Very affordable! A good French press can be bought for under 30 dollars
- Can brew 3 to 6 cups at a time depending on the size you choose
- The perfect coffee device for traveling and backpacking
- You can freely adjust the brewing parameters according to your taste
- A completely sustainable way to brew coffee
Disadvantages of French Press
- You must know how to use a French press coffee maker. Not as beginner-friendly as Keurig!
- Not as quick as Keurig!
- It can raise Cholesterol levels as no paper filters are used in the brewing process.
Also read: Nespresso vs Keurig
Keurig Vs French Press | Side by Side Comparison
1) User Friendliness and Convenience (Keurig Wins)
Keurig coffee makers are popular because of the convenience they offer. They are made to be simple and brew coffee at the touch of a single button.
Some Keurig models are also programmable, so you can easily get the ready cup of coffee at the desired time.
On the other hand, French Press requires some attention while brewing. Ideally, you have to grind the coffee beans first (Yes! You can use pre-ground coffee for French Press but it’s not recommended if you really want something fresh and flavorful).
In the next step, you have to let the ground steep the flavors with hot water for four to six minutes before pushing the plunger.
Yeah! It doesn’t sound very difficult but it does take a bit of work.
2) Brewing time (Keurig Wins)
It takes around two minutes for the Keurig to heat up, and it brews coffee in a minute once it’s ready.
For a French Press coffee maker, if you grind your own beans and add five minutes for steeping as well as three to four minutes for heating water, you’ll need approximately ten to twelve minutes for a ready cup of coffee.
3) Taste and the quality of the brew (French Press Wins)
The Keurig is only designed to provide convenience, which won’t lead to the best cup of coffee. Yes, it can meet your caffeine needs if you are an average coffee drinker but definitely not recommended if you take your coffee seriously.
According to Julia from Business Insider:
“The most attractive part of a single-serve coffee machine is also its biggest downfall when it comes to taste: Quick, easy-to-use prepackaged coffee will never taste fresh”
The French Press tastes so much better than Keurig as there are no paper filters involved in this brewing process, so the drink has a very rich mouthfeel and is full of coffee oils and flavors.
4) The capacity of the Brew (Winner: French Press)
Keurig is a single-serve coffee maker, so it only brews one cup at a time. The brewing time is quick, so you can make multiple cups quickly, but it will definitely take longer.
If you mostly have your coffee alone or with one or two others, the Keurig machine can be perfect for you.
French press comes in different sizes, ranging from two cups to eight cups, so you can easily brew multiple cups at once.
If you’re having a gathering of friends or a big family, French Press is the perfect way to serve coffee.
5) Budget (Winner: French Press)
French press is the most budget-friendly way to enjoy a cup of joe. Just spend 30 dollars to buy a good French press and you’ll love it.
Keurigs, however, are not cheap. The simplest models, like the Keurig mini or slim cost around 100 dollars, while the more advanced models, like the K Café or K Duo, are over 200 dollars.
Also, the recurring cost of coffee pods is also too much for an average coffee drinker. Here’s a quick comparison of the estimated yearly cost of French press vs Keurig.
|Cost of Unit||100 $||30 $|
|Cost of coffee per cup||0.7 $ (Pods cost between 0.5 and 1.2 dollars, on average)||0.4 $ ( Coffee Costs around 0.8-1$/ounce and one ounce can make 2 cups of coffee)|
|Cost per year for five cups Daily||100+0.7*5*365 = 1400||30+0.4*5*365 = 760|
That’s a saving of around 700 dollars per year if you use French Press.
So, Keurig definitely isn’t an option if you want to enjoy coffee in an affordable way.
Is Keurig or French press Better? (Final Thoughts!)
Both French Press and Keurig have their pros and cons, and none is necessarily better than the other. It really boils down to your personal preference.
You definitely should consider Keurig if time and those extra minutes in busy mornings are important to you, and you value convenience above everything else like budget and taste.
For serious coffee lovers, Keurig isn’t an option. With a French Press, you will be able to make the most flavorful and robust cup of coffee with a delicious aroma.
Also Read Other French Press Comparisons
- French Press vs Moka Pot
- French Press vs Espresso
- French Press vs Percolator
- French Press vs AeroPress
- French Press vs Pour Over
Is there more caffeine in French press coffee Than in Keurig?
Yes! The amount of caffeine is relatively higher in French Press coffee and that’s mainly due to the prolonged immersion brewing process. A regular cup of French Press coffee contains 100-140 mg of caffeine, while a regular cup of K-cup coffee contains 75-125 mg.
However, the amount of caffeine mainly depends on the type of coffee beans you are using.
Should you filter French press coffee?
It Depends! You should filter French Press coffee using paper filters if you are a heart or cholesterol patient or if you drink more than 2-3 cups of coffee in a day.
The high amount of cafestol in French Press coffee might be harmful to you.
If you’re drinking only one or two cups of French press coffee a day and don’t have a health condition, you don’t need paper filters since they reduce the flavor of the coffee.
Read a guide on whether French Press is good or bad for health
Can you use Keurig pods in French Press?
No, you cannot use Keurig pods directly in a French press. Keurig pods are specifically designed for pod coffee makers.
However, you can empty the Keurig Pods in a French Press to make a cup of coffee.
Still, it will not make a perfect cup of coffee as the grind size in Keurig K cups is fine to medium whereas French press requires a coarser grind size.