Pour over vs French press coffee – Which is the best?

French press and pour over coffee brewing methods are typically the favorites among coffee lovers in terms of manual brewing. Although they both have similar characteristics, each technique offers unique features and tastes that will make one method stand out more that the other. So what is it that really makes pour over coffee different from French press coffee and how do you prepare them? Let’s go ahead and measure up pour over vs French press coffee.

What is French press coffee?

A French press also called a cafetiere or coffee press, is a round cylinder shape beaker with a plunger. Attached to the plunger is a stainless steel filter that forces the grounds to the bottom and allows liquid to flow through it. A French press is the most widely used method of brewing coffee, specifically in the United States and Europe.

Unlike the name suggests, the French press was patented by an Italian designer dating all the way back to 1929.

What’s the flavour of French press coffee?

Due to the design and brewing process, a French press delivers a bold and rich taste unlike any other. For French press coffee, the grinds stay in the bottom of the beaker throughout the entire process. Because the grinds remain in contact with the coffee, the bean extraction never ends, creating an oily and bold taste. If you prefer a more mild coffee, this taste may be overbearing. If you prefer a stronger coffee, however, the richer taste and texture is what will get you hooked to this unique and full flavour extracting brewing technique.

How to make French press coffee

Follow our simple French press coffee instructions below. Use 1 tablespoon of medium to coarse grinds for every cup of coffee you want to brew.

What you’ll need:

1. Remove the lid and the plunger from the glass beaker and fill it with the coffee grounds.

pour over vs. french press | French press step 1

2. Carefully pour boiling water (195-205 F) in a circular motion making sure to cover all grounds.

pour over vs. french press | French press step 2

3. Place the lid and the plunger in the beaker and let grounds and water sit for about 1 minute.

pour over vs french press | French press step 3

4. Push down the plunger and serve.

pour over vs french press | French press step 4

Our most popular French press coffee maker- Madrid (featured above)

The MADRID is a premium French press that lets you enjoy perfectly brewed coffee or tea. It features a dual stainless steel filter, chrome housing and a German SCHOTT DURAN® borosilicate glass beaker.


What is pour over coffee?

While a French press coffee maker has been the go-to brewing device for years, the pour over coffee maker is quickly gaining interest amongst caffeine addicts.

Unlike a French press, pour over coffee relies on a cone-like filter for its full extraction. It works like your standard drip coffee maker, the major difference is that you pour the boiled water yourself. That way, you have full control over the coffee brewing process and can customize it to your personal liking. The faster you pour in water, the lighter the flavour will be and the slower you pour, the stronger it will taste.

What’s the flavour of pour over coffee?

Pour over coffee brewers tend to produce a lighter and smoother flavour compared to that of a French press. This may be the factor that determines whether pour over vs French press is for you.

How to make pour over coffee

Follow our simple step-by-step guide on how to make pour over coffee. Use 2-3 tablespoons of medium coarse coffee for every cup of coffee you want to brew.

What you’ll need:

1. Put the coffee grounds in the top of the cone.

pour over vs french press | Pour over step 1

2. Slowly pour boiling water over it in a circular motion ensuring all the grounds get soaked.

pour over vs french press | Pour over step 2

3. Let the coffee grounds sit for 30 seconds to let it saturate.

4. Slowly pour more boiling water in a circular motion and repeat several times until you have the desired amount of coffee.

pour over vs french press | Pour over step 4

pour over coffee maker, pour over coffee with reusable filter, fine mesh stainless steel coffee filter, coffee carafe pour over set, pour over manual coffee brewer, GROSCHE Austin G6

Our most popular pour over coffee maker

The AUSTIN  pour over coffee maker will make you the smoothest, tastiest coffee while looking extremely good. It comes with a permanent stainless steel mesh filter, so you don’t need to buy any more paper filters that trap the natural oils of your coffee.


Essential Tool for Pour over: Marrakesh Pour over kettle

With any Pour over coffeemaker you will need a good goose neck water kettle. These kettles give you a smooth water flow that is needed to make coffee well in these filters. The Marrakesh is specially engineered to give you the smoothest flow of water. Also you can place these kettles on the stove top to heat your water. Next gently pour the water over the coffee to brew it just the way you like it. A good kettle will help you extract the best and most complete flavor from your coffee beans.


Pour over vs French press coffee makers: The verdict

After we have explored both craft brewing options in more depth, one thing is clear: both of these coffee makers make extremely tasty coffee. Who wins the pour over vs French press battle? It depends on your taste and how much time and effort you want to invest.

You will need to spend a few minutes on both brewing methods. But while you can sit & relax when using a French press, the pour over coffee maker requires you to be a bit more involved and slowly pour the water over bit by bit.


 The Category Winners are!

FLAVOR:  French Press!        It gives a richer and bolder tasting cup overall due to the immersion brewing method extracting maximum coffee oils. Second place is stainless steel filter Pour overs, last place is Paper filter pour overs.

SMOOTHNESS:Pour over!        A fine Pour over will give you a smoother cup of coffee overall, without the grittiness from a french press. This is due to the mesh size of a press filer being larger.

CLEANING & CARE: Pour over!        A Pure Stainless steel pour over like the AMSTERDAM is the easiest to clean. Just compost the grinds and throw it in the dishwasher with some detergent, or take a sponge or scouring pad to it to keep it squeaky clean.

LIFE SPAN: French Press!          A Glass Pour over will have a similar lifespan as a French Press. But if you break your Glass pour over youre gone, while you can replace beakers on most french press coffee makers for a fraction of the price of a new one.

TIME TO BREW:  Its a tie!        For both of these methods its about the same time to brew and clean , 4-5 minutes in all.

FUN TO BREW FACTOR: Pour over!         Making a cup of Pour over coffee is a more interactive experience, making this our winner in the Fun to brew factor category.





  FIRST PLACE: Stainless Steel Pour overs!         Easy to clean, easy and fun to brew, and above all excellent rich and smooth flavored coffee. Win win win!

  SECOND PLACE: Second place… by a hair… is the French Press.         We still love it dearly, and is often the go to way to brew for us. It wins on flavor every time.

  THIRD PLACE:  Paper filter Pour overs.         The Paper filters take away the natural oils of the coffee bean taking away richness of the coffee. The paper filters also can impart flavor, especially if they are bleached or treated. They don’t compare well to the Stainless steel filters. Paper filter pour-overs were last place in our test.

So what’s your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!

Next Up: What’s the best coffee grinder? 

4 thoughts on “Pour Over vs French Press Coffee Makers

  1. Cathy A says:

    Can you compare the flavor to Syphon coffee? If i’m to ditch other methods might as well see if these are better or Siphon coffee makers are better.

  2. Coffee Chick says:

    I Used to use a Chemex pour over, now Im with the stainless steel pour overs all the way. The paper filters were taking away the flavor of my expensive coffee. But I also make cold brew in my french press to avoid acidity which bugs my stomach from time to time.

  3. Emory Allen says:

    Great article about making coffee.. thanks for writing it. I will be buying one of your pour overs as Im looking for more smoothness in my coffee than I can get with A french press. i find the french press is a little gritty when I make it.

  4. Darell says:

    Truly interesting. I like Pour over myself because its smooth and not as gritty as french press. but sometimes i like the press for richness. anything is better than drip from a machine. D.S.

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