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Differences Between The French Press And Pour Over Brewing Methods

Pour Over Brewing Method

There’s no question about it: everyone prefers their coffee in a different way. Some people prefer to drink it black while others like to add in a fair amount of cream and sugar. Some people prefer blonde beans while others like to have a darker bean roast (what’s the difference? Read this post). And some people are so specific about their coffee that they even have a preference for if their coffee is brewed in a french press style vs. a pour over style.

French Press Vs. Pour Over Brewing Method: What’s The Main Difference

While each of these coffee brewing methods involves heating the coffee grinds to get the liquid into your cup, they also have some very subtle differences in how the two are brewed. 

Pour Over Method

coffee brewing method
You’ll slowly pour the hot water over the coffee beans until the filter becomes full…

With the pour over method, you set up a cup below a paper filter. You then put your desired coffee beans on top of the filter. From there you’ll take a hot kettle of water (you’ll want to make it warmer than the ideal coffee temperature that you want to drink it at) and you’ll slowly pour it over the coffee beans until the filter becomes full. This is how the brewing method receives its name.

Once the water filters through the beans and into the cup you’ll continue the process until the cup has the desired amount of liquid. 

Many like to brew their coffee this way because it’s a relatively quick method and it is a manual drip method that relies on the paper filter. Because of the paper filter, any of the oils from the coffee beans are absorbed. 

This way, when you finally sit down to drink your coffee, there is little to no aftertaste that is left for your palate. 

French Press Method

The french press brewing method tends to require a little more precision and attention, but many people who prefer this method find that the flavor profile it offers is worth the extra challenge. 

French press coffee
The french press brewing method tends to require a little more precision and attention.

Unlike in the pour over method, a French press uses a metal filter. You’ll add the coffee grinds into the canister, and then you’ll add in the hot water and you’ll let it brew for several minutes (typically four or so). 

From there, you’ll press down on the metal filter. This filter won’t trap any of the oils like the pour over method, so you’ll end up with more of a full-bodied flavor along with a syrupy mouthful. For a deeper guide on preparing a french pressed coffee, you can read this post on Kitchn

While you can walk away from the French press, unlike when you’re brewing for the pour over method, many people find that the French press requires more precision in terms of the amount of beans and water that they use while brewing it.

Regardless of whether the french press or the pour over method is your preferred choice for creating a cup of coffee in the morning, try to give one or the other a try to mix it up! 

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And if you’re not sure if you’re coffee is good or not – learn how to test your coffee with this guide.