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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Pour Over Vs French Press – Which Coffee Brewing Method Is Better?



Pour Over Vs French Press

Believe it or not, coffee can be a polarizing topic of discussion, and the pour-over vs french press debate has been a fierce one amongst coffee enthusiasts. But which one truly is better? The answer depends on a few factors and is up to you as a coffee lover.

Keep reading to discover more about the difference between pour-over and French press to learn which will be your favorite brewing method.

What is the Pour Over Method?

Let’s start by discussing the pour-over method — which is exactly what it sounds like.

The pour-over method is essentially brewing coffee by pouring water over coffee grinds and letting the resulting beverage drip into a vessel. A pour-over coffee maker is one of the simplest methods for making coffee, as all you need is hot water, a filter, and a vessel for the coffee to drip into.

There are a few variables to consider when using the pour-over method that will affect the taste and quality of your coffee. These variables include:

  • The temperature and quality of your water
  • The ratio of coffee to water
  • The size of your coffee grinds
  • The quality of your filter

The key is to make sure that you saturate all of the coffee grounds for even distribution of water and a smooth flavor. You also want to achieve the perfect grind, which would be about the size of granulated table salt.

How to brew pour-over coffee

Here’s how to make coffee using the pour-over method.

  1. Bring your water to a boil at optimal temperature (about 205 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Place your filter into the top of your carafe.
  3. Evenly distribute your coffee grounds in your filter, ensuring it’s level.
  4. Slowly pour hot water over your coffee beans to “bloom.” Add only enough to saturate your coffee ground. Wait 30-45 seconds.
  5. Pour the remainder of your hot water over the coffee grounds. It should take 3-4 minutes for your coffee to be ready.
  6. Enjoy!

COSORI Electric Gooseneck Kettle with 5 Variable Presets

COSORI Electric Kettle Gooseneck with Temperature Control, 5 Presets Electric Tea Kettle & Pour Over Coffee Kettle, Stainless Steel, Ultra Fast, Auto Shutoff Boil-Dry Protection, 0.8L, Matte Black

The Cosori electric gooseneck kettle is stainless steel for top quality. It has a precision pour spout and a counterbalanced handle, which gives you full control over your pour and ensures the best accuracy.

This electric gooseneck kettle is a top choice as it comes with five preset temperature options, which minimizes your risk of burning your coffee grounds and opens several other brewing possibilities.

If you want to heat your water beforehand, this gooseneck kettle has a keep warm option that keeps your water at your ideal temperature for up to an hour. What’s more, it automatically shuts off when the water reaches temperature or when there’s no more water in the kettle.

For more gooseneck kettle options, check out this article.

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What is the French Press Method?

Unlike the pour-over brew method, the French press brewing process relies on a specific device which is the namesake for the method.

A French press is a device mainly used for brewing coffee. However, you can also use it to make other beverages that need to be steeped, such as tea.

The French press has two components: a beaker and a mesh filter. The beaker is the vessel and is usually sturdy with a thick base for optimal heat distribution. They often come with a handle as well for easy pouring.

The filter is the key brewing component of the French press. It is attached to the lid and acts as a plunger, serving to extract the coffee grounds from the resulting beverage.

As with the pour-over method, there are a variety of variables to pay attention to in order to make the perfect cup of French press coffee. One variable that is especially important to keep track of when using the French press is time. Unlike the pour-over method, your coffee grounds are fully submerged in hot water. While this may result in a better extraction, too much time in this water may result in over extracting your grounds and ending up with a bitter cup of coffee.

How to brew French press coffee

Here’s how to brew coffee using the French press method.

  1. Start by removing the plunger from the beaker.
  2. Add your ground coffee to the beaker.
  3. Slowly pour in your hot water and gently stir the contents of the beaker.
  4. Reinsert the plunger, but stop just above the water. Wait about 3 or 4 minutes before plunging.
  5. Slowly and steadily push down on the plunger.
  6. Pour the coffee into your cup and enjoy!

To get the perfect pour, we recommend using a gooseneck kettle.

Try the French Press: OlarHike French Press Coffee Maker

OlarHike French Press Coffee Maker

If you’re looking to try out the French press method but don’t yet have the proper device, start with the OlarHike French Press Coffee Maker.

This affordable yet stylish French press features four-layer filtering that results in a smooth and flavorful brew without worrying about any grounds at the bottom of your cup.

The glass beaker is extra-thick, which makes it both shatter- and temperature-resistant so that you can rest assured that you end up with the perfect brew every time.

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Pour Over vs French Press — Main Things to Consider

Chefbar Tea Kettle for Stovetop, Barista's Choice Gooseneck Pour Over Coffee Kettle with Flow Control, Food Grade Stainless Steel Water Kettle, Tea Pot for Home & Kitchen Small Tea Kettle 28oz, Silver

Although they both give you a delicious cup of coffee, each method is distinct and even delivers slightly different results.

Let’s start with how simple each method is. While both straightforward, the French press method requires you to get a new device — a French press. Meanwhile, you probably already have everything you need for the pour-over method. However, if you want the best results from the pour-over method, it’s a good idea to invest in a gooseneck kettle for full control over your pour.

However, for extraction, a French press may prove superior. A French press will result in a strong, bold, and rich coffee as the flavor becomes more intense as the coffee grounds are extracted, which is what the French press does best.

What’s more, if you like to make a variety of beverages, a French press is a more versatile device, as in addition to coffee, it allows you to:

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So, Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the pour-over vs French press debate has to end with you, the coffee drinker. Each coffee brewing method has advantages and drawbacks, but the deal breakers are ultimately subject to personal opinion.

Our advice is to try both methods to see which one results in the best coffee for your taste.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Brock Yates

Because Brock is the tallest member of the team at 6 foot 5 inches, when he’s not thinking about food, he’s eating his favorites: pizza, burgers, tacos and burritos. He's always experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets and exploring new techniques in the kitchen.

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