French Press vs Drip Coffee – Which is the Best Brewing Method?

What Everyone Ought To Know About French Press vs Drip Coffee

Do you want to know the secret to making a better cup of coffee every single day?

That’s exactly what I wanted to know. 

On my quest to make the best cup of coffee I can, I’ve discovered the absolute best way to get the most flavor out of my coffee.  I have discovered the difference between french press vs drip coffee.

French press vs drip, what’s the difference?

So what is the difference between french press vs drip coffee anyways?

What is drip coffee?

Everyone knows what drip coffee is.  It’s the kind your mom makes or the kind your work makes in a traditional drip coffee machin. 

It’s the simplest, most common way that coffee is made.

Coffee grinds are placed in a filter and boiling water is filtered through the coffee grounds and the paper filter into a pot that usually sits on a heater.

What is a french press coffee maker?

A French press is used to steep the coffee grounds in water inside a container then a plunger is used to separate the grounds from the coffee.  (for exact process, see at the end of this post)

Coffee press vs drip, which is better?

We’ve learned in previous posts that grinding our own beans is essential to delicious coffee, so here we are going to assume that you’ve ground your own beans and you are using the same grinds for both methods.

The significant difference between the two methods is the coffee brewing methods. They take completely different approaches.  

You have to consider ease of use AND best coffee. 

French press vs dripBenefits of a french press

A french press will steep the grinds in boiling water, which extracts more of the flavors from the coffee than the drip method. 

The french press method will retain more of the natural flavor of the coffee and more of the oils will come out in the water.

In other words, this is the way to make the BEST cup of coffee we can.

You can decide if you want a coarse grind or a fine grind.  You may have to test out different grinds before you decide on which one is best for you. 

When you make coffee in a french press, you must:

  1. Grind the coffee beans (for best flavor – in my opinion, I wouldn’t bother unless I was grinding my own coffee beans)
  2. Measure out the ground coffee beans and place them in your french press
  3. Add about an inch or two of hot water at optimal water temperature and mix a little
  4. Push the coffee plunger down and wait 30 seconds
  5. Pull the coffee plunger back up and  add the rest of your hot water
  6. Stir and place the plunger back into just the top (just above the water) for about 3 minutes
  7. When the 3 minutes have passed, push the plunger all the way down and serve

The french press has no heating elements, so you’ll have to drink right away or I’ll sometimes put the remainder of the coffee in a thermal mug to keep it warm. 

Disadvantages of a french press

It is a bit more tedious than the drip maker method.  Getting from start to finish with a french press can take somewhere around 5 to 7 minutes (depending on how tired and slow you are moving) and requires a few different manual steps:

  • Boiling the water
  • First steep (approx. 30 seconds)
  • Filling remainder of press and steeping again(3.5 minutes or to taste)
  • Plunging (just a few seconds)
  • Decanting (another few seconds)

To get the main benefit of a french press (incredible taste), you need to buy whole beans and grind them yourself.  Automatic drip machines don’t give you the same taste because the brew method is set up for mass-producing coffee, so beans are usually already ground.  You can grind your own beans for drip coffee, but it’s not the same. 

A french press also uses a mesh filter and a metal filter.  These aren’t as easy to clean as a paper filter, but they last a while. 

Benefits of drip methodcoffee press vs drip

This method is the best if you are entertaining a crowd and need to make a lot of coffee really fast.  It’s not the tastiest way to make coffee, but it is the quickest.

If you are exhausted in the morning and want to brew your coffee without really thinking about it, or you’re in a hurry, this is the best method for you.

If you’re entertaining a lot of people or want to drink a TON of coffee (aka make 10+ cups of coffee), using a drip coffee machine is a better choice. 

If you’re looking at ease of use, the drip machine is a bit easier. You add the coffee grinds, figure out the water ratio to coffee grinds (one scoop per two cups usually), add water, push a button, and walk away until it’s done. 

The brewing process is so simple and doesn’t require any timing.  As coffee drinkers, it’s good to know this method and I’ve always kept a drip coffee maker in the house for when I entertain guests.  

Disadvantages of drip method

Some say the drip method can sometimes add flavors to the coffee from the filter, making the coffee taste bad.

Compared to the french press method, the drip method makes coffee quite dull.  And let’s face it, it’s not as fun.

Depending on how much coffee you’re making, the brewing time can be a bit long. 

Which Is Best?  Drip Coffee Vs. French Press?

Which is better, the french press or drip method?  For the purposes of making the best possible cup of coffee we can, the french press is the clear winner. 

If we want to make the best cup of coffee we possibly can, we need to invest in a good french press.

I’ve experienced hundreds and hundreds of terrible cups of drip coffee in my lifetime.  It’s time to get a french press.

I, myself, have gone through several french presses.  They don’t make good travel companions. 

That being said, if you’re talking about brew time, the drip method is the best for “set it and forget it.”

When people use the drip coffee maker, they don’t really worry about grind size – they just buy coffee grinds in a can and call it a day. 

It really is a matter of personal preferences.  I use both.  I use the drip coffee maker when I don’t want to think about making coffee.  I use the french press when I have the time and just want a soothing cup of coffee. 

True coffee lovers usually have a french press.  If you’re ready to take your coffee-loving to the next level, grab yourself a french press. 

If you want to duplicate or rival your favorite coffee shop, a french press is the way to go.  If you have enough time, go with the french press. The main difference is the ease of use and flavor.  

Check out this video by HowcastFoodDrink that shows you how to use a french press.




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