French Press vs Pour Over Coffee: Which One Is Better?

By Evelina •  Updated: 11/18/22 •  6 min read

We all know the feeling. You wake up groggy and in desperate need of caffeine. You make your way to the kitchen, start a pot of coffee, and wait. And wait. Finally, you have a cup of joe that’s been sitting on the burner for too long.

It’s time to invest in a better brewing method. But which one?

Today I’m going to compare the French Press and Pour over methods of brewing coffee to help you decide the best for your needs!

Why Not Just Use An Automatic Drip Coffee Maker?

An automatic drip coffee maker is easy and convenient. You just put in the filter, fill it with grounds, add water and press a button. But being easy doesn’t always mean it’s the best. There are a few drawbacks to using an automatic drip coffee maker:

So when it comes to coffee, what’s your fancy? Do you prefer to have a cup of coffee made by someone else or do you love the idea of brewing your own? If you lean on the second idea, keep reading to learn more about these two manual brewers!

French Press Overview

A French press is a coffee maker that is popular for its simple design and ability to make a strong cup of coffee. The press consists of a carafe, a plunger, and a filter.

To use a French press, you must first coarsely grind your coffee beans. Then, you add hot water to the carafe and let the coffee steep for four minutes before pressing down on the plunger.

The French press is ideal for making a strong cup of coffee because it allows all of the coffee’s natural flavors to come through. It’s a pretty simple process, but there are a few things you need to know in order to make the perfect cup of coffee with a French press.

These include:

1. The Right Water to Coffee Ratio

In order to make the perfect cup of coffee with a French press, you must know the exact ratio of water to coffee. You’ll need about 2 or 3 tablespoons of ground coffee beans for every 6 ounces of water.

This will give you a strong, rich cup of coffee. If you prefer a weaker taste, use less coffee and more water.

2. The Right Grind of Coffee Beans

French presses are designed to work with a coarse grind of coffee beans, but you can use any type of coffee bean you like. There is one drawback, though. If you use a finer grind, the grounds will slip through the press and into your cup.

3. The Water Temperature

When it comes to making the perfect French Press coffee, water temperature is key. Too hot and you’ll end up with a burnt, bitter brew and too cold and your coffee will be weak and watery.

So what’s the ideal water temperature for French Press coffee?

Some say that the perfect water temperature for French Press coffee is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. But I think that’s a little too precise. After all, who has time to check the temperature of their water before brewing?

Here’s my foolproof method for ensuring that your French Press coffee is always brewed at the perfect temperature: Simply boil some water, let it cool for 30 seconds, and then pour it over your grounds. That’s it! No need for a thermometer or any fancy equipment.

These three things will help you get the perfect French Press everytime. Note that these apply to any coffee brewing method, not just French Press (with a few differences here and there).

The French Press Sizes Available

A French press can be found in many sizes, but the 3 cup, 4 cup, 8 cup, and 12 cup are generally the most famous.

Once you determine the desired amount your French press will make at any given moment, you can select the size that’s right for you. If you only want to make a small quantity of coffee, then the 3 cup size is ideal for you. If you want to make a bit of extra ground, then the 4 or 8 cup size will do the trick.

Lastly, as you probably guessed, the 12 cup is for large gatherings and cafes.

So which size should you choose? The choice is up to you, but it’s advised that if you don’t have a lot of experience with a French press, then the 3 cup size will do just fine.

The Pour Over Coffee Maker: How Does it Work?

Pour-over coffee is a process that involves slow, steady pouring of hot water over coffee grounds that are contained in a paper filter.

The grind size for pour over coffee is important – too fine and the water will take too long to filter through, making the coffee taste bitter; too coarse and the water will filter through too quickly, making the coffee taste weak.

The key to a perfect cup of pour over coffee is patience – you need to let the water drip slowly and evenly over the grounds, and don’t be tempted to remove the paper filter before all the water has dripped through.

Doing so will result in a less than ideal cup of coffee.

Many baristas worldwide believe that the pour over method produces a better cup of coffee than any other method.

The Chemex is the most popular of the pour over coffee makers, and it was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm who was born in Germany but moved to New York when he was young.

Other pour over style brewers besides the Chemex include the Hario V60, and the Kalita Wave.


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.

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