French Press vs Pour Over Coffee

French Press vs Pour Over Coffee

When you get a particularly great bag of coffee beans, do you choose French press or pour-over coffee making? In recent years, because of the epidemic, homemade coffee has become the preferred choice for many people. If you don't have a coffee maker at home or don't want to go through the trouble of cleaning a coffee maker, a portable, small and flexible French press, pour-over coffee will become our first choice.

So, which one makes better-tasting coffee? Are they different in any way? Let's continue to learn more.


Must master the basics of taste

People's perception of acidity is much higher than sweetness, when the acidity and sweetness are equally concentrated, the acidity will be far greater than the sweetness in the human taste buds, that is, when your coffee water powder ratio is lower, the human taste buds will feel stronger acidity.

In the extraction stage of coffee, the first taste is salty, then acidic, and finally sweet, because the size of the molecules are different, when in contact with water, salt will be the first to dissolve, then to the acidic substances, and finally the large molecules of sugar.

After understanding the basics of our tastebuds, let's look at the differences between French press and pour-over coffee.


Differences in extraction methods

Different coffee brewing appliances have different extraction methods, different extraction methods sometimes confuse us, the French press pot type of steeping and drip filter type, belong to two different extraction methods, there is no good or bad, let us see what the difference between the two points

Steeping Extraction

During the steeping extraction process, the soluble concentration in the coffee increases rapidly as the water touches the ground coffee, and then continues to keep increasing the extraction at a slow and gradual rate.
French press
A clear example of this is that when you are making coffee with a French press, there is no great difference in the color of the liquid from a few tens of seconds to a few minutes after the coffee begins to extract.

When using a French press for extraction, you will notice that the strength of the interstitial liquid that remains in the coffee powder is almost the same as the strength of the coffee in the cup. If you squeeze the coffee powder after filtering out all the liquid in the French press pot, the strength of the liquid that leaks out is approximately equal to the strength of the liquid in the coffee, perhaps slightly stronger. The overall extraction of coffee made with drip extraction is very uniform, but the strength of the coffee is rising at a slow rate.

Drip Filtration Extraction

Drip filter extraction is the extraction process where the liquid is passed through the coffee powder to extract the soluble matter in the coffee.
pour-over coffee
Most drip filter extractions use filtered water injected in circles over the coffee grounds, a method that causes the concentration of solids in the coffee to decline throughout the brewing extraction. As a result, while the strength of the coffee liquid extracted by the French press increases, the strength of the coffee solubles in the drip extraction process becomes weaker, which is the main reason why drip extraction is a more effective extraction method than steeping.

Why we love drip extraction for pour-over coffee

Using pressure extraction gives you a very complex cup of coffee in the end - it tends to be very full-bodied and has a depth of flavor. And drip filter extraction also does a good job of highlighting the complexity of the coffee - it tends to highlight the different subtle flavors and aromas in the coffee. Because there is a longer period, water does a good job of extracting the well-defined aromatics and dissolved substances in the coffee during the extraction process.

Depending on the flavors you want to highlight, different hand-brewing equipment will often show different characteristics of the coffee, even when extracting the same coffee. For example, the V60 does a good job of emphasizing acidity and floral notes through a thin filter paper, allowing the oils containing the coffee aroma to seep out and flow into the coffee for added body.

In the Chemex, the thick filter paper can filter out more of the oils contained in the coffee beans, thus producing a complex but bright coffee taste. Kalita's cake cup and three exit holes tend to lower the flow rate and allow the coffee to have a longer extraction time in the filter cup, resulting in a fuller coffee and deeper sweetness.

So these drip brewers are better suited for extracting high-quality single-origin coffees and have the added advantage that they are easy to clean.


Why do we like to extract French press coffee by steeping

Depending on the equipment, steeping extractions will not be as precise as trickling extractions. There is no need to monitor the entire process from start to finish, so if you prefer a simple and hassle-free extraction method that is also easier to achieve consistency, then infusion is a very ideal extraction method.

In general, infusion extraction results in a bolder flavor and a higher body to the coffee. By pass is a great option for those who like the flavor of an infusion extraction but don't quite like the heavy mouthfeel.

By pass is the process of adding water to the already extracted coffee liquid, which essentially means diluting the taste of the coffee, in the same way as making an Americano. Using a By pass will make the flavor of the coffee more pronounced and have a clean taste. For most people who are new to single-serve coffee, coffee made by bypass brewing is the most intuitive. If you try to introduce people to the third wave of fine coffee, they usually rarely understand it, but By pass is a very forgiving approach.

How the coffee bean affects the extraction

Steep vs. drip coffee: One is known for its rich, bold flavors and full-bodied body; the other is known for its clean, complex, and prominent acidity.

There are coffee extractors that combine these two extraction techniques to produce coffees that have both bold flavors and a clean taste.

Does this mean that certain origins of coffee are better suited to a particular extraction method? For example, should a single bean with high acidity always be extracted using a drip filter method?

It is more important that you understand the principles of the different extraction methods and the differences in the flavor of the coffee they produce, to find the best way to extract the flavor you like in your coffee.
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