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Pour Over Coffee vs. French Press Coffee: A Complete Breakdown

If you're a pretty experienced at-home coffee brewer (and by experienced, we mean you've just moved beyond the Keurig 😉), there's a chance you're either team French press or team pour over. If you're loyal to one method but curious about the other, or using a Keurig but looking to move beyond, here's a breakdown of each coffee machine. French Press THE GIST: It requires you to pour ground coffee beans into the glass container, pour in hot water, and let it steep. Once you let it steep, you push down the plunger to separate the brewed coffee for drinking. (Like steeping tea!) Advantages
  1. If you're looking for a strong brew, this is about as strong as it gets. There is a lot more oil drawn from the coffee during brewing, so the end result is rich and bold in taste.
  2. It's totally customizable. From grind size, to strength and richness, you have a choice, depending on the ingredients you use.
  1. There are more manual operations required with a French press than with a pour over machine. You have to heat the water and depress the plunger, making it a bit more complicated.
  2. If you're looking to brew a lot of coffee at once, the French press makes it a bit harder.
Pour Over THE GIST: Similar to the French press, the pour over machine requires you to manually boil water and pour it over coffee grounds. The main difference is that the coffee grounds sit in a filter and don't come into contact with the brewed coffee, (like they do in the French press). Advantages
  1. If you're looking for a creamier brew, pour over coffee is generally smoother and not quite as bitter as French press coffee. Plus, there are fewer actual grinds in the brewed coffee because of the way it's made.
  2. A pour over machine is a lot easier to clean than a French press, (which has to be dismantled).
  1. Although it's at an advantage in the flavor department, when it comes to strength, pour over coffee is a bit weaker than French press coffee.
  2. Like a French press, it's also harder to brew a lot of coffee at one time with a pour over machine.
Depending on what you're looking for, either of these machines could be the machine for you — it all just depends on what you want in your morning cup.