French Press vs Aeropress

By Paul Carabis | Reviews

Feb 07

Many people rely on a good cup of coffee to start their day. While the fastest way to grab a cup is through the coffee shop, a lot of coffee drinkers know that investing in a brewing machine is a more economical option in the long run. Finding the best coffee maker, however, can be an overwhelming task. French Press and Aeropress are two of the most popular brewers today that this article will feature and compare. Read on.

Getting to Know the French Press and Aeropress

French Press

The French Press weighs 17 ounces and stands 7.5 inches tall. It is considered to be a veteran in the coffee-making industry. In fact, the brand continues to remain popular after it was introduced to the world more than 80 years ago.

This manual brewing machine features a metal mesh filter and a tall carafe. The coffee grounds are soaked in hot water for several minutes before they are pressed to the carafe using the metal mesh filter. This results in a freshly brewed cup with a robust taste.

It is important to note that this machine does a coarse grind, meaning the grounds will not pass through the metal filter into your favorite cup. The machine needs a longer brewing time to achieve the desired extraction. The good news is that the brewer is low maintenance and you can leave it for a few minutes as the coffee steeps.

The sediments and oil will pass through the metal filter. You should be prepared to see some sediments in your cup. Many coffee lovers like their cup this way, but others want theirs cleaner (using a paper filter).


Aeropress, on the other hand, weighs 6.3 ounces and stands 5.5 inches tall. It is a relative newcomer to the scene and has only celebrated its 10th year in 2015. In a span of a decade, Aeropress was able to attract loyal customers and has made its presence felt in the competition.

This piston-style coffee maker makes cleaner cups. It forces the coffee through a paper filter, and then into your cup. However, this brewing machine only makes a single serving at a time. Two of the major reasons why it became so popular are durability and portability. The result is a clean taste, thanks to the thin paper filter that prevents sediments and oils from getting into your cup.

The Aeropress has two distinct ways of making coffee. The “standard” method involves placing it on top of the cup, filling it with coffee and water, inserting the plunger, and then pressing on the filter to squeeze out the essence into your cup. This one offers the versatility that many coffee drinkers love. It lets people make adjustments on things like brewing time and grind size to produce unique cups. If you love experimenting with your coffee, then this might be the best for you.

Quick Pros and Cons

This part will help you have an idea on their pros and cons before moving on to the detailed review.

Aeropress Pros

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Flavorful
  • Clean
  • Portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Single-serving

French Press Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Set and forget
  • Heavy and rich in flavor
  • Minimal prep work
  • Consistent
  • Multiple servings

Aeropress Cons

  • Challenging to use
  • Messy
  • Single-serving only
  • Less forgiving

French Press Cons

  • Less healthy (due to sediments and oils left in the cup)
  • Slightly difficult to clean up
  • Heavy mouthfeel
  • Muddled taste

Comparing the Two

You now have enough knowledge of each coffee maker. This time, these two will be compared based on three aspects: ease of use, brewing time, and the result.

Ease of Use

The French Press has a bit of a learning curve to achieve that perfect brew. Once you have learned the process, making your cup of coffee is no longer stressful. Cleaning the unit is easy, as well. Simply rinse the chamber and then wash to clean. It does not need any disposable filter, allowing you to save money and the environment.

The Aeropress is not that difficult to use and clean, either. It features a pre-measured scoop, and chamber markings to help you make the perfect brew. The whole process involves more steps than the French Press, but making your cup of coffee will become a breeze once you get the hang of it. Furthermore, the Aeropress ejects used coffee grounds for quick clean-up. The filters are not expensive, too, and are easily ejected along with the used grounds.

Brewing Time

A cup of French Press coffee will take you around five minutes to make, sometimes longer. The coffee grounds must be soaked in hot water for a few seconds to release the aroma and oil. It will take another four minutes to steep the coffee grounds with more hot water. If you love the usual brewing process and making your own cup manually, then this brewer might be for you. It also has the ability to make eight cups, with a single brew serving up to four mugs.

The Aeropress, meanwhile, has a much shorter brewing time at about a minute and a half. The coffee grounds do not require steeping. Simply stir them and then push the top down on the main chamber. It only makes a single cup, but using more grounds will allow you to make more servings.


The French Press gives you a strong and full cup of coffee that feels denser than other brewing processes. It also extracts the rich and earthy flavors of the beans but gets rid of the sour and tangy elements. The only issue with this one is the over-steeping of the grounds, and leaving them soaked in hot water too long will affect the quality of your cup. Some people, however, prefer bitter-tasting coffee. In addition, the French Press can leave you with some silt in your cup as it uses a metal filter. It does not strain out the fine grounds. This is why steeping time and using coarse coffee grounds are important.

The Aeropress allows you to make a single serving. It gives you that strong flavor without the bitterness. It also does not require a steeping time, unlike the French Press. This is a plus for forgetful people who tend to oversteep. Since steeping is not required, there are lesser coffee oils present in your cup, resulting in a lighter and cleaner brew.


The French Press gives you a robust brew from your preferred beans. It also provides the thickest cup, and does not need filters. You have the option to choose between the stainless steel or glass French Press, too.

The Aeropress, on the other hand, has a cleaner and lighter finished product with just the right amount of strength. It is recommended for people who dislike drinking from a bitter brew, but want it flavorful. It is also designed for portability, so you can bring it wherever you go. There is no steeping time needed, and the paper filters are inexpensive, as well.

The best brewer depends on your personal preference. Each of them offers unique features that will satisfy the different types of coffee drinkers. If you are torn between the two, then why not have both in your home to have the best of both worlds?

About the Author

Hi, I'm Paul Carabis, coffee lover (ok, maybe coffee addict). I started this website as a way to document the best coffee machines, products and information for personal use and it took off from there! Now I help thousands of readers per month and I trust that I've helped you too!