Which Method is Better for Great Tasting Coffee — French Press or Pour-Over?
Once you graduate from store-bought canned, ground coffee to enter the manual brewing game, you must decide whether to brew your coffee with a French press or the more popular pour over method. Both have advantages, and there is no worldwide consensus on which method is the most reliable way to brew great tasting coffee.
The French Press (“cafetiere” in French) is sometimes called a “coffee press” in English. It is a simple instrument consisting of three parts: a glass cylinder with an open top with a lip for pouring, called the carafe; a plunger; and a filter consisting of a fine circular scree, typically constructed of stainless steel.
Coffee brewing procedure: First, place coffee grounds in the carafe. Add hot water to a level near the top and place the plunger to rest on top of the mixture. Allow the mixture to steep until the grounds are fully soaked and wait to ensure that the grounds have fully released their flavor. When the steeping has completed, push the plunger firmly to the bottom of the carafe, compressing the coffee grounds, separating the grounds from the liquid. Then pour the coffee from the lip of the carafe into your cup and enjoy the drink.
If you prefer to drink a cup of coffee that is especially rich, the French Press brewing method will release a maximum amount of the oils, acids and sugars in the coffee beans, intensifying the flavors and aromas. Because the coffee from the carafe is ready to serve immediately, you can control the strength of the brew by adjusting the coarseness of the grind as well as the time elapsed while the grounds are steeping.
Some people object to the feel of grit on the tongue when drinking coffee from a French press. One issue people take with the French press is the presence of grit. Although the fine meshed steel screen filter blocks out the largest grounds, especially with coarse grinds, small and tiny grounds impart a grittiness, especially when filters wear thin with constant use over time.
Finally, some people find that cleaning a French press can be a tiresome chore because you must dismantle the entire three-part mechanism and clean each part separately.
The Pour-Over Method also works by pouring hot water over coffee grounds, but instead of placing the grounds on the bottom of a carafe, you place grounds in a conical container resembling a funnel. With a filter. The grounds remain at the top of the cone rather than at the bottom of the container. The grounds are wet and then sit for a few moments, and then additional water soaks the grounds thoroughly. The filter reduces the amount of contact between the grounds and the water, producing a brew that is free of grit and both lighter and smoother than coffee from a French press. Check out this resource for more information on how to make the perfect pour over.
Which is “better” for home brewing – French press or pour-over?
Like comparing apples and oranges, there’s no best way to brew great tasting coffee. The pour-over method may seem simple, but the process of wetting the grounds properly is almost impossible without the right equipment – specifically, a gooseneck kettle – to control the amount and flow of water on the grounds. People who rely on a regular kettle must struggle to ensure the quality of the brew and usually find that they must live with inconsistent results day after day. To ensure a great tasting pour-over brew, therefore, it is definitely worth purchasing a gooseneck kettle, especially a convenient electric model.