Pour Over Vs French Press: A Detailed Comparison

Coffee is the beloved drink of so many people. And that is especially the case for America and its neighbors, seeing how we prefer coffee a lot more than tea. So it’s no surprise that at-home coffee brewing is becoming more and more popular. And when we talk about the coffee brewing methods, there is often a comparison between French press vs Pour-over

Indeed, both the Pour-over or French press are rather popular coffee brewing methods. And have their own pros and cons. That’s why so many java-enthusiasts often wonder which to choose: French press vs Pour over. Both of these are great ways to make some delicious cup of joe, however which is actually better? What is the difference between French press and Pour over? That is what we’ve decided to find out!

In this article, we’ll share with you our coffee brewing methods comparison, to determine which of them would be a better option!

What Is a French Press

To decide between Pour over vs French press, it’s important to review each of these methods separately. So then let’s familiarize ourselves with a French press!

This coffee-making device is also called a press pot or coffee plunger. The first design for the device was patented by Frenchmen Delforge and Mayer in 1852. However, this did not exactly resemble what people know today. And you’ll be surprised to know, that the “French” press is not exactly French. The first design closer to the French press available today was patented by Italians Giulio Moneta and Attilio Calimani in 1929. Arguably, the most popular design was by Faliero Bondanini, a Swiss man who patented his design in 1958. The brewer was later known across France as ‘Chambord’.

How Does French Press Work?

What talking about French press vs Pour over, it’s necessary to understand how each works. And using a French press is actually fairly easy. 

The French press consists of a cylindrical beaker, a lid and plunger, and a filter, constructed with nylon mesh or stainless steel wire. You begin by filling the cylindrical glass with coffee grounds, then add hot water and allow the mixture to steep. When the steeping process is complete, push down the plunger to separate grounds from the coffee. Pour over a cup and enjoy!

How to Make Coffee on a French Press

Of course, this wouldn’t be a good coffee brewing methods comparison, if we didn’t teach you how to brew coffee correctly. So if you just got some coffee beans for French press and want to get started making coffee, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Mix the coffee with water and dump the grounds into the French press cylindrical tube (carafe). Follow with hot water in a circular motion to ensure all grounds are saturated.
  2. Set a timer for four minutes and wait.
  3. Check after one minute and submerge any floating grounds. This makes sure they brew evenly.
  4. Lastly, lower the plunger. At this stage, you’ve achieved balanced extraction. Push the plunger and pour out the coffee.

Advantages and Disadvantages of French Press

Advantages              Disadvantages
  • Consistent extraction every time
  • Simple brewing process
  • Flavorful coffee
  • Can make 1 – 4 cups
  • Good for making cold brew coffee
  • Zero paper waste
  • Gritty last few sips
  • Overpowers complex, nuanced flavors
  • Cleanup is easy but not fast

What Is a Pour Over?

The next step in comparing Pour over coffee maker vs French press is understanding how the Pour over works. Also known as hand brewing, the Pour-over coffee is brewed by, as you can guess, pouring water through coffee grounds in a filter.

It’s a simple solution if you want to brew a crisp, clean coffee. And while it’s considered a slow way to make coffee, the pour-over method is simple. If you want coffee full of flavor and aroma, this is one of the methods you definitely should try! Plus, it’s pretty mesmerizing watching coffee drip from the filter into a carafe.

How Does a Pour Over Work?

The biggest difference between French press and Pour over is that in a pour over, you add coffee to a pre-wet filter. The method requires pouring hot water over coffee grounds, which are placed in a cone-shaped filter component. Then, you leave the grounds to sit for a moment before adding more water. The water soaks through the grounds, creating a lighter and smoother brew.

How to Make Pour Over Coffee

If you want to know how to make pour over coffee at home, here’s a good way to do it:

  1. Start with rinsing the filter to remove the papery taste. This also pre-heats the brewer. Once done rinsing, add medium-course grounds and place the brewer over a server or mug.
  2. Pour a small amount of water to initiate the bloom. Rest for 30 seconds to allow the grounds to expel any gas trapped within. This prepares coffee for flavorful extraction.
  3. Pour hot water in slow circles, ensuring the grounds are evenly saturated by the water.
  4. Let the water drain through the grounds to make brewed coffee.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pour Over Coffee

Advantages Disadvantages
  • The process is meditative, so it draws you into the coffee
  • Balanced, complex coffee flavors
  • You can use it forever as unlikely to break
  • Simple and fast cleanup
  • Perfect for iced coffee
  • A slight learning curve
  • Can get inconsistent flavor if you use poor technique
  • You need paper filters
  • Brewing can take up to 7 minutes

Comparison: Pour Over vs. French Press

Grind Requirements

To compare Pour over coffee vs French press, you also need to consider factors like grind requirements. On a French press, you can use a coarse grind to ensure minimal grit is left in the coffee. And remember: if you’re using a pour over, always choose a fine to medium-fine grind.

Brewing Speed

Another thing to consider when choosing between French press or Pour over is brewing speed. Typically, the best French press takes about 5 minutes, excluding heating up the water and grinding the beans. On a pour over coffee maker, you need 3 to 4 minutes without counting the time, required to heat water and prepare the filter and beans.

Flavor and Texture

The winner in this category depends on your preferences. Because the grounds are filtered at the end of the brewing press. Thus, using a French press produces a richer, bolder flavor. The coffee is also textured, so you will always get sediment at the bottom. However, while a pour-over coffee is still flavorful, it offers a smoother texture, as there’s no grit or sediment in your cup of coffee.

Convenience and Cleanliness

When comparing the Pour over coffee vs French press, the former wins on both fronts, compared to French Press. You don’t need to disassemble parts to clean a Pour over – the process is quick and easy. Meanwhile, a French press requires cleaning multiple parts, which you must take apart.


The design difference between a French press and Pour over is obvious. The French press features a simple, classic design, which is instantly recognizable. Meanwhile, pour-over coffee makers can differ in design depending on the manufacturer. You can find one with a flat dripper, ribbed, or with tiny holes.


And that’s all we wanted to share in our comparison of French press vs Pour over! So, overall, what can we say about these two brewing methods? Who should choose French press vs pour over? 

The French press is ideal when you want to make coffee with a bolder flavor, but it leaves sediment. On the other hand, a Pour-over offers a smoother texture, and it’s the easiest to maintain as there are not many parts you need to take apart. 

But all and all, both Pour over vs French press will not cost you a lot of money and won’t take too long making. Thus, you can use these methods to effectively brew coffee and improve the quality of the drink you pour into your cup!

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