French Press Vs Drip

By Paul Carabis | Reviews

Feb 07

For those who truly love coffee, they are well aware that different techniques and different equipment can produce different types of coffee.  Two of the most popular ways that are easily available at home are the French press and drip coffee machine.  If you’re not sure of which one to get, here’s a guide to their similarities and differences to help you decide.

What is a Drip Coffee Machine?

Drip coffee machines are automatic coffee making machines that can be easily operated by almost anyone.  You can find them in homes, offices, and businesses.  Ground coffee beans are arranged inside the filter, the cup is placed below the filter basket, and the machine is switched on.  Within minutes, the machine heats the water, runs it through the beans and the whole process begins.  All you need to do is wait for the coffee to drip into the cup.

What is the French Press?

Found in a good number of homes and hotels, the French press is a reliable kitchen tool for making great-tasting coffee.  To use the French press, you first place ground coffee beans inside the container.  Next, hot water is poured inside and the lid replaced to let the coffee brew for a few minutes.  Afterwards, the plunger is pressed down slowly so that the coffee grounds or residue is pushed to the bottom and separated from the resulting brew.

How easy is it to use?

The French press takes some skill and attention to detail to work.  The way you grind the coffee beans is important so you will also need to purchase a separate coffee bean grinder.  The length of time you brew the coffee is important as well; this affects the taste of the coffee.  Even the speed with which you push the plunger downplays a part.  Once you’ve mastered the correct process and routine, you just need to follow it exactly to produce delicious coffee every time.

Drip coffee machines, meanwhile, are easy to use even for beginners.  Just remember to prepare the right amount of coffee beans, and ensure that the machine has the appropriate amount of water.

How many cups of coffee can you make in one round?

If you’re making coffee for yourself and your guests, you’ll want to know how many cups of coffee you can expect to make.  More or less, both the coffee drip machine and the French press can produce a maximum of about 10 coffee cups.  The clear edge of the drip coffee machine here, however, is that it can keep your coffee warm thanks to its heating plate so that guests can grab the coffee any time they want.  When using the French press though, it’s best that the coffee is drunk while it’s still hot and freshly made.

Which tastes better? 

Coffee lovers can attest to the rich taste of coffee made from a French press coffee maker.  Because the French press does not utilize a paper filter, the flavor from the coffee beans is retained, unlike the coffee drip machine where some of the flavors stick to the filter.  If you prefer full-bodied flavorful coffee, you can rely on the French press to make this for you every time.  Another thing to consider is that for drip coffee machines, there’s a tendency to over-brew the coffee if you’re not drinking it right away and just keeping it warm in the machine.  Drip coffee is often lighter in taste and weaker but some people also like their coffee better this way.

What types of coffee can it make? 

Both the French press and the coffee drip machine can make all sorts of coffee.  You can make different types of coffee when you have different varieties of coffee beans and different qualities of ground coffee produced.  The most important thing to take note of is that for the French press, you need to have coarsely ground coffee while the coffee drip machine requires medium ground quality.  For this reason, you want to make sure to get a first-rate coffee grinder so that you can grind your beans precisely and in the same way every time.

How much brewing and preparation time will it need?  

When it comes to the French press, expect to take around 4-5 minutes in preparing your coffee and 2-3 minutes of wait time while it brews.  That’s a total of around 8 minutes maximum.  For drip coffee machines, it can take a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 10 minutes, including brewing time.

You will also need to clean and maintain these tools and machines regularly.  The time it takes to clean each is more or less the same but you can see that the French press has the advantage in faster preparation and brewing time.

Both the French press and drip coffee machine have their own strengths and weaknesses.  However, if you’re looking for convenience, the drip coffee machine is ideal for you.  If the flavor is what you’re after, then, choose the French press.

Related article: French Press vs Aeropress

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!