French Press vs Drip Coffee: Which One Is Better?

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/04/21 •  7 min read

The Best Answer:

The French Press coffee maker is a manual process and typically uses coarse grounds so it has a smoother, full-bodied flavor whereas drip coffee makers are automatic and generally use finer grounds. It depends on a person’s preference whether he/she prefers the taste of French Press coffee maker or Drip coffee maker.

Because it is simple and straightforward to use, the French Press is a popular coffee maker among coffee enthusiasts. It is delicious because it is made with coarse and dark ground coffee, which’s sweet. It also does not require power or other expensive accessories, making it popular among campers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

A drip coffee machine, on the other hand, requires electricity and uses finely ground coffee, which results in a somewhat different taste. People who choose convenience over flavor prefer the drip coffee maker.

In this post, we’ll go over the pros and cons of both of these coffee makers, as well as their pricing, so you can make a better-informed selection!

The French Press

french press vs drip coffee

The French Press is one of the most popular coffee-making devices because of its simplistic design. It consists of a container (typically glass) and a plunger that slowly pushes the ground coffee to the bottom of the carafe, where there is a filter that seperates the grounded coffee and the final drink.

Mastering the French Press is not an easy process, because it requires a little bit of skill and patience to learn but after that it will only take you 5 minutes to make an amazing coffee! Some people are unable to make it work without a mess. You have to pour the hot water very slowly and press it down slowly.

The process is very time consuming (but not that much as making coffee with the drip machine as we will see later) but if you are a perfectionist, it is worth it.

Read Also: The History of French Press

The Drip Coffee Machine

french press vs drip coffee machine

For those who value convenience above flavor, the Drip Coffee machine is a popular option. You don’t need any particular skills, and you can prepare coffee in under 10 minutes. You only need hot water and ground coffee.

Because the drip machine has numerous parts, it is important to always clean it after using it to avoid blockage or other difficulties. It takes longer than the french press as you have to warm the water in the machine first and then start making the coffee.

The drip coffee maker also has a wider range of uses such as making tea or even hot chocolate!

The Taste Test!

French Press coffee flavor is smoother and full-bodied than drip coffee. It tastes better because it uses coarse ground coffee and the additional time required to make this java allows the flavors to mix well together.

Drip coffee has a lighter flavor and is not as thick as the French Press, but it still tastes good. The different consistencies and brewing times of each coffee maker are what makes them taste differently.

Time To Brew

As previously said, brewing coffee using a French Press takes less time than making coffee with a drip coffee maker (about 5 minutes), but you must wait for the water to heat up.

Water boils at about 100°C-100°C (212°F-212°F) depending on the temperature so it can be slow but not by much if you have a gas stove. The drip coffee machine takes longer (7-10 minutes) since you have to heat the water in the machine.

The drip coffee machine utilizes a finer grind size than the French Press. The finer the ground coffee, the more water it absorbs, resulting in a lighter drink. The coarse grind of the french press absorbs less water and is stronger than the drip coffee machine, resulting in a more flavorful overall experience.

Grind Size

The grind size drip coffee machine uses is finer than the French Press. The finer ground coffee absorbs more water giving a weaker drink. The coarse ground of the french press absorbs less water and it is stronger than the drip coffee machine which makes more tasteful overall.

Price Level

The typical price range of the drip coffee machine is from $50– $250. It depends on the type, such as cup capacity, control and design. Regardless of the kind or brand you buy, it will be a good investment if you can afford it, since you will use it for years to come.

The French Press costs around $10 – $80. It is a durable and affordable option for coffee lovers who do not mind doing everything manually.

Winner: The Winner here is the French Press, because it is cheaper solution. It gives you full control over the brewing process and it does not take too long.

Skill Required

With A French Press there is more skill required than with the drip coffee maker because the ground coffee must be pressed down slowly and carefully. You have to pour the hot water very slowly and wait until it is completely absorbed by the coffee.

Brewing with a drip machine is pretty easy. You can make it fast, but you will not get as strong of a flavor as you would using a French Press.

Read Also: French Press Brewing Guide


The French Press is very easy to take care of. Just rinse it with hot water and then wipe it with a towel to remove any leftover coffee grounds. To ensure longevity, you can boil water and throw it right into the carafe with a bit of white vinegar to clean off any residue or sediment that may be stuck inside of it.

Taking care of the drip machine is harder. You have to disassemble it to clean it and use special cleaners. It is not as easy as with the French Press. Another issue is that it requires electricity which in the long run it may cause technical problems.

Cup Sizes

French Press has a variety of sizes to choose, from small and elegant to large and bulky. There are 4 different french press sizes: 3 cup, 4 cup, 8 cup and 12 cup.

Drip coffee makers can make from 4 to 10 cups of coffee, but there are also 12-cup and even 24-cup models. The number of cups it can make depends on the capacity of the machine.


The French Press does not require electricity to work, but you have to mind the electric kettle and stove to heat up the water.

Drip coffee makers use electricity, but they save a lot of energy on its usage because it does not make a new cup of coffee every time.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a French Press worth it?

The answer is yes, but it depends on what you are looking for in a coffee maker. The french press gives the best coffee for the least amount of effort or time. It is an all-day coffee maker, not just for brunch. A French Press is a fantastic tool to have in your home!

Is French Press coffee less Acidic?

The answer is yes, because the grounds are steeped in hot water longer and more slowly which results in a much better and less acidic coffee.

Last Thoughts

Because it is dependent on your tastes, there is no obvious winner here. The French Press provides you a superior flavor, but it also takes more effort to master the proper technique. 

Drip coffee machines are more convenient to operate, but the flavor isn’t as wonderful. So it all simply comes down to how much time you have and how much you love coffee.

We recommend both products depending on what kind of person you are: A perfectionist who wants a delicious cup of coffee or your average Joe.

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Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.