If you’re interested in other home brewing methods, you’ve probably heard of French presses, the famous French Press, and AeroPress. At first glance, the two brewing methods may seem almost identical. They both involve soaking coffee grounds in hot water and then filtering the coffee with a manual pump mechanism.
However, each device offers a few nuances that are worth considering. So, we have compiled them for you. Read on to find out which tool best suits your needs.
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Aeropress: What Is It?
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Aerobie President Alan Adler invented this manual brewing device in 2005. It features two concentric polypropylene cylinders and a plunger that works like a syringe (because we all know coffee is our drug of choice). Air pressure is used to squeeze coffee through a paper filter at one end of the tool directly into the cup.
The main thing that sets the AeroPress apart from other manual brewing tools is its speed. These AeroPress are fast and typically take less than a minute to brew your coffee. To use one, you’ll also need a coffee grinder or electric grinder, but the grind size is up to you. You can easily find an AeroPress online.
French Press: What Is It?
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What is currently known as the French press is a design patented in 1929 by an Italian named Attilo Calimani. Like the AeroPress, the mechanism is fairly simple with two main components: the carafe (a beaker-like container, usually made of glass) and a plunger.
With a French press, you will have a coarser grind and a longer brewing time, as you have to let the ground coffee soak in hot water before compressing it with the plunger. Then the press will push all the particles down as the coffee moves up through the filter
Brew Your Coffee In Style: Your Options
There are two AeroPress brewing methods to choose from: the traditional method and the reverse method.
For the traditional method, you have your mug on a flat surface at the bottom of the press. You rinse the paper filter, then add your freshly ground coffee and pour hot (NOT boiling) water into the large cylinder. After a few seconds, you put the little cylinder on top and slowly press down to push the delicious coffee into your cup.
The reverse method is a bit trickier, but we generally prefer it because it gives you the extended steeping of a French press but with the condensed brewing time of an AeroPress.
You start the reverse process by inserting the plunger into the large cylinder and removing the filter from what is now the top of the device. Then you pour in the coffee grounds and water, stirring as usual before rinsing the filter and placing your cup upside down on top. Finally, let it soak for a few minutes and, in a smooth motion, turn the entire configuration and press down.
The main difference that the reverse method makes is that the flavor is a bit darker and richer, which makes it a bit more like what you get with a French press. Overall, you have a lot of options when it comes to hot coffee, but not so many when it comes to cold coffee.
Brewing with a French press can also be considerably versatile, but in a different way than the AeroPress. With the French press, you have the option of leaving the appliance in your fridge or on your counter for a long time while the coffee brews. This particular type of brewing makes a French press ideal for experimenting with cold brews.
The brewing method is actually quite similar to the AeroPress, as we pointed out earlier. However, there is less room for error due to the lack of pressure. With a French press, you are pushing the coffee and pouring, rather than forcing the coffee through the system.
Filters And Flavors
Whichever coffee press tool you use, you are going to end up with a rich and satisfying cup of coffee. However, there are a few nuances in the flavor you’ll get from each mechanic, and that’s because of the filters.
With an AeroPress, you are probably going to have a paper filter. Although you can use a metal filter, the manufacturers generally do not recommend doing so. Paper filters produce a smooth, low-acid, clean drink. However, the paper retains some of the coffee oils that give French press coffee its signature.
On the other hand, French presses generally use stainless steel mesh filters which allow oils and sometimes a little grounds to pass through in your final drink. This creates a unique, rich, and full-bodied brew that many coffee lovers love. However, some connoisseurs complain about the heavy mouthfeel. Also, while oils can add body, they can potentially cloud the precise flavors of certain grains.
Another thing to consider when looking at these presses is where you are going to use them.
For someone whose coffee maker stays at home and suffers only the usual kitchen wear and tear, a French press is perfect. But, if you want to bring these utensils on your camping adventures, you might have to reconsider.
While the borosilicate glass carafe and stainless steel have an average lifespan and can survive minor bumps and scratches, placing them in a backpack is not ideal.
On the other hand, an AeroPress can travel very well. The BPA-free plastic frame will have no problem slipping inside your backpack or picnic basket.
AeroPress is designed to hold small amounts of coffee which means they are essentially single serve coffee makers. So, they’re great for singles and college students who want a quick cup… not so much for coffee fanatic couples.
French presses, on the other hand, tend to feature larger tanks which makes them a much better option if you’re trying to meet the caffeine needs of more than one person or just one person who drinks several cups each day.
Both of these presses are great tools for alternative brewing, so it’s really about personal taste and lifestyle. Since each of these products costs under 100$, why not buy both and thus cover all your needs whatever the situation in which you find yourself?