Aeropress vs. French Press: Which Is Better For Making Coffee At Home?

There are two main ways to “press” coffee at home: the French Press/plunger method or the Aeropress method. The former has been around for much longer and the creators of the latter invented it as a “better” alternative. 

Which one of these brewing methods is better at making coffee? Any budding home baristas out there will want to read on as we look at each option and go through the main pros and cons. 

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Aeropress Pros & Cons

Making coffee in an Aeropress is pretty simple. You have a tube-like device that you fill with a portion of ground coffee. There’s a paper filter and a plastic filter on the end, and then a big plunger that gets pushed through the top. After filling with coffee, you top it up with water and then place the tube onto a mug. Push the plunger down and the air pushes the coffee through the filter into the mug. Et voila, you’ve made coffee. 

The benefits of this method are clear: 

On the other side, it does have some drawbacks: 

  • You need mugs that are the right size for the Aeropress, so not all of your mugs are good to use
  • Sometimes you can spill the coffee as you push down to plunge it through due to the air pressurised air resistance
  • You can’t make that many cups of coffee in one go, unless you only make espressos – in which case, a Moka pot is better anyway

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French Press Pros & Cons

French press coffee is more traditional and most people don’t need to be told how to make plunger coffee. It’s an intuitive process; you put your coffee in the jug, fill it with water, let it brew, and then plunge before pouring. 

As a result, this tried and tested method has some serious benefits: 

  • Can make multiple cups in one go
  • You’re able to go back and pour more coffee in after brewing
  • French presses come in different sizes
  • Minimal risk of spillages
  • Makes a long coffee

From the cons perspective, this is what you need to be wary of: 

  • Mustn’t over brew your coffee or it becomes too strong
  • The plunger and filter can be quite tricky to clean
  • Not great at making espressos

The Verdict: Aeropress vs. French Press

If you have to choose between the two, it becomes a question of convenience and your individual situation. Are you always making coffee for one? If so, an Aeropress is better as it is faster at brewing and once you get the technique down you’ll have no issues at all. 

If you make coffee for multiple people, then a French press is better. It lets you make 2-5 cups all in one go while an Aeropress can only do one – or a few espresso shots. There’s no true “winner” here; it depends on who’s making the coffee. 

To be honest, neither takes up too much space compared to espresso coffee machines, so you may as well buy both to cover all occasions! 

About the author

Martin

Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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