French Press coffee makers and the Aeropress are different ways of making a great cup of coffee. They are coffee makers that are designed differently and make a different sort of brew; each giving a unique taste. While the French Press dates back to 1921, the Aeropress is a more recent addition to the coffee lovers’ arsenal, first coming to market in 2005.
You can see the specs of the Aeropress here.
The different styles of coffee that the French Press and Aeropress produce is down to the different brewing and filtration methods used. The French Press requires a coarse grind and a long steeping time, whereas the Aeropress uses a fast pressurized extraction using finely ground beans. The Aeropress makes a small serving of espresso style coffee, whereas the French Press gives a full bodied, rich and strong coffee.
Click here to read up on the differences between coffee and espresso.
The Aeropress user gains the advantage of being able to make a variety of drinks due to the espresso-like coffee it makes, you can make a decent enough latte or cappuccino with it, or dilute it to make a long Americano. The ability to make a range of drinks is very useful, it’s much easier to please a whole family with a range of options and the Aeropress coffee could come with a menu to choose from. To make the latte or cappuccino, you just need to add warm milk. The French Press just makes coffee. Fortunately, we don’t need it to do much else, coffee is our thing.
The Taste Difference
So as far as the taste is concerned, French Press coffee really packs a punch, it is often described as relatively bitter because the long steeping time can over-extract from the beans, especially if care is not takes to let the water cool to the correct temperature before being poured over the grounds. It is strong and contains a lot of sediment, as the metal filters on the French Press let a lot of coffee particles through.
The Aeropress makes a pleasant smooth cup, and while it is not strictly espresso that it makes, it doesn’t get the pressure needed for true espresso, the coffee it makes is a decent substitute, especially when you consider the price difference between the Aeropress and other espresso machines. You get a smooth texture and you can really taste the flavors in the coffee you use. The Aeropress uses great filters that manage to keep the fine grinds out of the cup but let in a lot of the flavor.
One of the most popular French Press pots sold today is the Kona French Press. It’s got a ton of alternative uses in the kitchen too.
Whether you’ll prefer the French Press and its workmanlike reliable strength or appreciate the Aeropress and its versatility depends entirely on how you like your coffee. At Gathering Grounds we see no reason to discriminate, they make different kinds of coffee and we like all kinds of different coffee, why stick to just the one? You could get a French Press pot and an Aeropress for around a quarter of the price of a decent auto-drip machine, why not put one or both on your Christmas list this year?
Lastly the Aeropress isn’t the only unit that makes “near” espresso. Moka pots deliver another type of pressured coffee in small portions and they are worth trying to. You can see our selection of high end moka pots here.