Coffee Making with French Press vs. AeroPress

Our morning coffee making rituals help determine the first sip’s flavors.  Besides the beans, a coffee maker and brew recipe affect the final coffee flavor outcome.  Wondering about the differences and similarities between a French press vs. an AeroPress?  It’s all explained below.

Originating from Milan, Italy, the 80-year-old French press is the most popular manual brewing device in the world according to  To use a French press, steep coarsely ground coffee in hot water for several minutes.  Then use the plunger to press the grounds to the bottom of the carafe. At the end of the plunger a metal mesh filter keeps the coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe.  Typically, a cup of coffee made with a French press yields a heavy, robust taste and mouthfeel.  Since coarsely ground coffee has less surface area exposed to hot water, French press coffee requires a longer brewing time.  The advantage to this is that it can be left unattended for 3-5 minutes while the coffee steeps before plunging.  Think of the brew time as a perfect meditation opportunity!

 The AeroPress, invented 15 years ago by American Alan Adler, uses coarsely to medium ground beans. An AeroPress plastic cylinder sits directly on top of a coffee cup. A cap with a paper or metal filter inserted inside is screwed onto the bottom end of the cylinder.  Coffee grounds are placed into the brewing chamber, followed by hot water.  A second cylinder, the plunger, is placed into the brewing chamber of the first cylinder. Then using pressure to push the plunger down, the water extracts all of the ground coffee flavors.  According to, an AeroPress allows you to change the pressure depending on how you like your coffee.  Pressure leads to a more complete extraction allowing more soluble solids and coffee oils to pass into your cup, and resulting in a deep and full-bodied coffee flavor.  The pressure method of brewing takes 2-3 minutes tops.

 The French press method uses no pressure and a metal mesh filter, while the AeroPress method extracts under pressure and filters the grounds with a paper or metal filter. AeroPress brews only one cup at a time, while French press is available in a variety of sizes. If you’re brewing for more than one, AeroPress will require some repetition.  In addition, advises that a French press responds best to a consistent coffee brewing procedure and recipe, while the AeroPress allows for more experimentation. 

Let us know in the comments if you have tried the AeroPress!

1 comment


Never tried a AeroPress, but it sounds interesting.

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