Would you ever consider switching from your traditional drip coffee blend over to the French Press brewing method? Since we’ve worked with an endless list of crafty coffee makers, including endless French Press makers, we’ll outline the pros and cons between traditional drip coffee and the French Press. Spoiler alert: French Press yields a better cup than what you get from a coffee maker — we’ll explain.
French Press Vs Traditional Drip Brewing
At some point, you might find yourself in a debate about the best method to make a perfect cup of coffee.
In this case, you’ll want to know your way around the French Press before defending drip coffee methods. On top of that, it’s all too easy to get called out on differences in flavor, strength, and differences in brewing times. Since not everyone knows that French Press coffee produces such an incredibly robust and edgy taste simply because of how it’s brewed.
Now, whether or not you happen to know that French Press coffee allows more interaction time for the coffee grounds, there is a little more to it than that. A lot is going on between the scenes when water steeps coffee grounds for 4-5 minutes while it’s brewing. To get an idea about this process, you can read more about that here. Aside from that, you can achieve a naturally flavored cup that’s essentially cleaner than most drip machines…
It’s also a healthier option that still packs plenty of caffeine than you might get with a traditional drip machine. But what is the difference that links both of these brewing methods? The result might surprise you!
Both Use The Immersion Brewing Method
Traditional drip coffee and French Press coffee are both using a brewing method called “Immersion”. It’s a process where the water and coffee grounds are brewed together for a set amount of time so they mix together. Yet there is a slight difference with true immersion brewing since hot water is added over coffee grounds that slowly drain from a filter. This can be achieved with pour-over brewing and with drip coffee machines.
Immersion brewing also involves contact time with water which will affect the flavor and strength of your coffee. Limiting the time that your coffee grounds are ‘immersed’ by pouring slowly can release flavors you can immediately taste. It can also limit the level of intensity since the coffee grounds aren’t immersed in water the entire time -as you get with French Press coffee. This is why slow brewing immersion for an extended period will produce better results.
This deep immersion allows flavor compounds to become extracted from the coffee grounds, giving the finished coffee an intense flavor. In short, you get robust-tasting coffee rather than extracted coffee that is simply poured over coffee grounds. In a nutshell, the biggest difference between pour-over coffee and French Press is the contact time between water and coffee grounds. However, there are further differences between these two when it comes to filtering.
As mentioned before, contact time is the amount of time that water and coffee grounds are in contact with each other. Brewing with the French Press method, coffee grounds are completely submerged in hot water. This type of brewing method will have different steep times where the coffee is allowed to remain for select amounts of time. Each of these time limits produces different results of flavors that are unlocked with stronger flavors than traditional drip coffee.
When brewing with the pour-over method or filter brewed coffee, this is limiting the amount of water that is poured over the coffee grounds. This creates lower contact levels between coffee grounds through this kind of immersion brewing, resulting in weaker-tasting coffee. To get stronger flavors with full-bodied notes, it will always take longer contact between water and coffee grounds.
Yet as simple as the French Press brewing method sounds, it does require more attention to little details while brewing. This is where many coffee fans will appreciate the ritualistic aspect of making French Press coffee brewing methods.
Filtering is a major key difference when brewing the French Press coffee method or when making drip brew coffee. French Press doesn’t use a traditional filter and instead relies on a plunger that filters the majority of coffee grounds pushing them to the bottom of the carafe. Depending on the type of French Press model you buy, each plunger and filter will prevent larger coffee ground pieces.
With any drip brew coffee method, there is a paper filter that prevents coffee grounds from getting into the final brewed coffee. Paper filters also have disadvantages since they can absorb essential oils that flavor brewed coffee. This can be remedied by using metal filters but isn’t the same taste like you would get with French Press brew. Drip brew coffee won’t have the same intensity as French Press does, resulting in a weaker-tasting cup.
One final exception to making pour-over coffee is the method of how hot water is poured over the coffee grounds. This can increase the strength and unlock flavors similar to French Press, but this method relies heavily on the process and standards for quality control when brewing each cup. This is why many novice coffee brewers shy away from making pour-over coffee because of the attention to detail when preparing their coffee. French Press doesn’t require nearly as many preparation details making it easier to prepare.
Flavor Showdown – Which Brewing Method offers The Most Delicious Cup Of Joe?
Now it’s time to settle a bitter dispute once and for all. Which brewing method can offer the best results for an amazingly delicious coffee? But for this epic showdown, only two brewing methods are allowed and this includes classic drip brew and the French Press brewing method. Since both of them have separate unique features, the nagging age-old question remains as to which one has superior taste in terms of flavor.
And since each brewing method has something different to offer, we’ll dive deep to explore what makes them different. When it comes to overall texture or health benefits, we’ll reveal which one is the determined winner between the two.
Have you ever wondered why some coffees have such a distinguished texture profile? The answer is simple as this has everything to do with the brewing process. In this section, we’ll find out how the French Press and traditional drip produce their overall texture. And if you ever thought that one could feel grainier than the other, this comparison will be especially uplifting.
It’s no surprise that traditional drip coffee is very smooth while French Press has subtle grit through and through. It all has to do with the paper filter for drip and pour-over, coffee whereas French Press typically doesn’t. Yet there’s always something missing from drip coffee that feels flat or lacks enough bite. It might be that your paper filter is removing flavors and oils that make it smooth as silk, but is stopping short of brightness and punch.
Health Benefits of French Press Coffee
Are you ready for an eye-opening view into what makes a cup of java healthy? Here’s where we’re shedding light on the health benefits of French Press coffee. You see, traditional drip coffee only provides you with half the benefits you’ve heard about. To get that extra added layer is all a matter of brewing with a French Press. The real secret all comes down to science more than anything.
The brewing process all starts with heat transfer and filtration using freshly-ground coffee beans. Once the grounds are exposed to boiling water, these grounds then turn into a concentrated liquid that is packed with loads of flavor, body, and aroma. This seldom happens with your average drip coffee machine. But what the coffee grounds additionally do is act as a natural filter during the final plunge that pushes down volatile acids that can ruin the taste of your coffee.
This allows higher levels of antioxidants to rise up through the coffee grounds with less acidic byproducts that make your stomach feel uneasy. But that’s not to say there’s not plenty of controversy related to French Press coffee and your health. The result is what most coffee aficionados call the perfect cup.
Caffeine Content Comparison
Answering the old question of which coffee brewing process packs the strongest punch is futile unless we look at caffeine levels. You can still brew a stiff cup with drip coffee that is strong in taste, but short on caffeine levels. French Press brewing doesn’t rely on making stronger tasting coffee aside from the fact it does yield higher caffeine instead. Amazingly, the average cup from a French Press has 25% more caffeine than drip coffee!
You also get a fuller and thicker texture with each cup that can provide that extra energy kick you’re looking for. Drip machines still give a descent jolt, yet it requires a second cup to keep that kind of pep going.
Honestly, your average morning cup is always going to be a matter of choice. Yet this is where flavor, texture, and caffeine are all playing a big role in the best-tasting coffee you’ll drink every day. After reading these comparisons, you might be more curious about the health benefits and added appeal of French Press that traditional drip brew can’t compete with so easily. However, it’s also true that some folks prefer the filtered drip coffee convenience for smoother tasting results.
This is where preference over brewing methods will weigh heavily on your choice to find the right balance. And since you make that choice, it also makes perfect sense to try both methods for yourself to experience these major differences firsthand. In the end, you might be very surprised at which coffee brewing method you’ll like more.
Best of Both Worlds
Of course, getting the ultimate full-flavored coffee with all the benefits from the French Press over traditional drip brew is easy. That’s not to say that there are downsides that some coffee drinkers can’t appreciate so easily. This is obviously addressing the ‘fines’ that come from the metal filter which make each cup robust and textured. But once again, there is always a simple remedy that fixes this in a jiffy.
Simply pour your fresh-brewed French Press coffee through a regular drip coffee filter to remove the extra sediment. Be sure to wet out the paper filter beforehand with some boiling water so there is less chance of tasting paper-flavor notes in your re-filtered French Press coffee. It might absorb some of the coffee oils but not all of them, so the final result is a lot closer to what you love most about drip machine coffee.