Aeropress Vs French Press: Differences Explained

Like many other people in the U.S, for years, we were making coffee with a good old coffee drip coffee machine.  Of course, we preferred the espresso from a nearby coffee place. However, it never occurred to us to invest in a super expensive coffee machine such as the espresso maker.  However, several years ago, traveling through Europe, we discovered that it is possible to make a fantastic tasting coffee using other types of machines like Mocha pot, French press or Aeropress, etc.  Now, we have to say that the difference between Aeropress vs. French press confused us a bit. On the surface, these were pretty similar devices. However, it was clear that there is something different about them. We just couldn’t understand what it was!

Upon returning from three months-long travel throughout Europe, this question was still in our heads. Hence we decided to consult some professional baristas and coffee aficionados and try to get some answers.  They were more than happy to help us out, and now we would love to share with you all the info we learned about the Aeropress coffee vs. French press differences!

What Is An Aeropress

Okay, so first we need to see what is an AeroPress!  In appearance, it is very similar to the French press. It is a manual coffee maker that comes with a cylindrical chamber and a plunger. The plunger has a silicone seal like a syringe. It also has a filter cap designed to hold either paper or metal filters in place. It was invented by Alan Adler, a retired Stanford engineer who later founded the company Aeropress. Adler started developing this machine in 2004 in an attempt to reduce the acidity and bitterness of his favorite beverage. But more than that, he created a device that brews a vibrant and smooth coffee that can satisfy any drinker.  Besides that, the device is compact, durable, and lightweight. That makes it a perfect addition to any kitchen. It is also ideal for camping and traveling. 

Now how does an Aeropress work? Despite having a name that reminds us of a French press, this machine works more like an espresso maker. Generally, its operation method is fairly simple. You need to pour coffee and water into the cylinder; stir and put the plunger on the top. Let it brew for several seconds and press the plunger down. That way, you are forcing the water through the coffee grounds. 

So now when we know what is Aeropress coffee it is time to see some pros and cons:

Aeropress Benefits Aeropress Downsides
  • It is versatile. You can use it in a lot of ways
  • It makes a wonderfully flavorful coffee with an excellent balance of body and clarity
  • It is affordable and durable
  • It is portable
  • It can be messy
  • You can’t make multiple cups at once
  • It can be physically challenging

Brewing with Aeropress

If you want to use this device, you need to know that there are two brewing methods: traditional and inverted. 

The traditional method consists of pretty much of the process we described earlier. The inverted method is more challenging, but it gives you a much better-tasting coffee. You need to put the plunger in the cylinder and remove the filter from the top. Then you add coffee and water and stir. Remove the filter and put the cup upside down. Let it brew for several minutes and then turn the entire device and press down.

Useful Brewing Tips

  •         The temperature of the water should be at 175 °F.
  •         Use fine or medium-fine grounds.
  •         The inverted method is better for a longer extraction time.

What is French Press?

It is also a manual coffee maker, invested in France in the mid of 1800s. While most people call it a French press, many know it under other names such as press pot, coffee machine piston, etc.  It is a fantastic brewing method for people who enjoy full-bodied, flavorful coffee.  The French press has a cylindrical carafe, a percolating filter, and a carafe. It uses boiled water, unlike the Aeropress.  

And to use it, first put the coffee grounds at the bottom of the carafe. Then add the boiling water (about 200 degrees Fahrenheit), stir, and let it steep 4 minutes. After that, press down the plunger. Keep in mind that coffee beans for French press need to be more coarse.  And if you are wondering what does French press coffee taste like, we can tell you that it has a full-body, rich coffee flavor.

French Press Benefits French Press Downsides
  • It is affordable
  • Versatile. You can make different coffee drinks
  • Full body taste
  • The coffee can quickly get cold
  • Challenging to clean
  • Fragile

Brewing with French Press

Making coffee in a best French press is pretty straightforward.  Ideally, you should warm the empty press by rinsing it with very hot water.  By doing this, you make sure to get the perfect temperature of the brew.  Depending on the size of the carafe and the amount of beverage you want to make, measure and grind the coffee beans. Keep in mind that coarse grind is best for this device. When the French press is warm enough, empty it and adds the coffee grounds.  Bring water to a boil and pour it into the carafe. Wait for one minute and then stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. At four minutes, press the plunger to the bottom.

Useful Brewing Tips

  •         Make sure to use coarse grounds
  •         Warming the French press contributes to better extraction

Aeropress vs. French press: In-Depth Comparison


Looking at the difference between Aeropress and French press, you will notice that the first one mainly uses paper filters. Although there are metal filters on the market, most manufacturers don’t recommend them. French press, however, comes with a metal mesh filter.


French press coffee is known for its full body but a bit of oily flavor. And it goes perfectly with dark roast coarse grounds. Aeropress coffee is smoother and lighter-bodied.   It doesn’t leave sediments in the cup. Interestingly, the coffee always has a bit of fruity taste regardless of the type of beans you use.

Brewing Capacity & Travel Friendliness

It is essential to know that Aeropress is a single-cup brewer. More importantly, it is made for a little cup. If you like Americano, though, you can dilute it with water and get a bigger cup. But there is no way that you can have two cups of joe with this coffee maker. On the other hand, depending on the size of the French press, you can make two, four, or more cups of java.  While both devices are relatively lightweight and portable, Aeropress is better for traveling because it is made of plastic.

Brew Time

Aeropress takes very little time to brew coffee.  For example, your cup will be ready in one minute. For making coffee in French press, you will need four minutes. However, keep in mind that you can brew only a single cup.


Aeropress French Press
  • Brews under pressure
  • Paper filter
  • Plastic
  • Single-cup brewer
  • Light taste
  • Brews in a minute
  • Fine/medium grind
  • No pressure
  • Metal mesh filter
  • Glass or steel
  • Multiple cups brewer
  • Rich, full-bodied taste
  • Brewing takes four minutes
  • Coarse grind


And that’s all we wanted to share with you on the difference between Aeropress vs. French press! As you could notice, although they appear similar, these are two very different coffee makers. 

And when we’re talking about Aeropress coffee maker vs French press, it’s essential to understand that Aeropress works more like espresso makers and uses paper filters. However, you can only make one cup of joe. 

Meanwhile, the French press is a full-bodied coffee maker with a metal mesh filter and uses coarse grounds. But you can make more coffee with it. 

Thus, whichever option: Aeropress or French press is entirely up to you and your preferences! And we sincerely hope that our little guide helped you learn all about these two amazing machines!

So, have you ever used Aeropress vs. French press before? Which one do you prefer? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *