french press vs drip

French Press vs Drip Coffee: Which is the Best Coffee Machine in 2021

French Press vs Drip

There has always been an argument among coffee lovers worldwide on how to make the best cup of coffee. To answer the question, it is more important to understand what it is that you like about coffee and what your ideal coffee should taste like. For the sake of this article, we are going to stick with the French press vs drip coffee debate.

A 2018 report indicated over 125 million people in the US whose livelihood depends mostly on coffee, consumed an average of three cups per day. These figures point to one thing; the decade-long debate is indeed not ending anytime soon, so you may as well go pick up the best French press and compare for yourself. For the hesitant and undecided, this article should help you choose which product best suits you. 

French Press

french press

Also known as the coffee press, or plunger, the French press coffee maker is an exemplary device that features regularly in most kitchen cupboards and lodgings. Since being patented by an Italian designer in 1929, the sleek innovation has gone through several modifications over the years.

The present French press coffee machine comprises a narrow cylindrical container, typically made of glass or transparent plastic, fitted with a metal or plastic cover and plunger that firmly fits in the container. It also has a stainless-steel wire and nylon-made mesh filter. 

For many coffee enthusiasts, the French press is ideal for making a profoundly flavored and luxuriously textured mug of coffee. What more? Most coffee lovers consider the press pot for its enhanced mouth-filling experience compared to drip machines. But how do you use the French press? Below is a simple walk-through guide.

Making Coffee With A French Press

  1. Preheat your press by adding hot water, rinse it around until it is warm to the touch. 
  2. Measure the appropriate quantity of coffee beans you want. 
  3. Measure and check water temperature proportionate to the number of your coffee grounds. It is best to maintain 1 part of coffee to every 15 amounts of water. However, weigh instead of measuring the water with a spoon for enhanced control. 
  4. Add your coffee grounds to the preheated French press coffee device.
  5. Cover and begin timing. 
  6. Slowly press down the plunger. While doing this, ensure to press it down as far as possible otherwise, your coffee will keep on brewing into over-extraction. 
  7. Decant your coffee. This is recommended to avoid brewing a bitter coffee. The longer your coffee remains in the container with the coffee grounds, the more flavor extracted. 
  8. Serve and enjoy.

The key to better French press coffee is to find the perfect ratio between grind size and steeping time.

Why Use A French Press

The French press has become more and more popular among coffee enthusiasts as it allows for easy preparation, transportability and stronger brews. With the ability to customize and tweak your extractions by simply changing the time variable or grind size, it allows for a fun and involving process.

For many coffee drinkers out there, taste is everything, as it should be. While one may argue that the French press over extracts the coffee grounds, there is no doubt about it that French press coffee does exceptionally well at providing a heavy cup of coffee. With more amounts of coffee sediment with a French press, your spoon can practically stand on it's own within the cup of coffee.

Why Not To Use A French Press

While the French press is great for producing consistently strong brews of coffee, some may argue that the coffee is over extracted, taking away from the subtle flavor nuances of the beans that the coffee roasters worked so hard to achieve. If you want to experience the true flavors of a coffee, then we recommend brewing with a Chemex coffee maker.

Another problem with the French press is the brew size and the life cycle of the brewed coffee. As you know by now, oxidation is what kills coffee. Since the French press doesn't have the ability to keep your coffee warm, you'll be subject to brewing a fresh pot if you need more coffee, or using a microwave. If you want to brew more coffee and keep it warmer for longer, you probably want a drip coffee machine.

If you suffer from acid reflux, the French press method is not for you as it contains high levels of sediment.

The last item we wanted to touch upon is the acid reflux dilemma. At Black Ink, we get a lot of customers asking about low acid coffee. While we do source coffee beans that are lower in acidity, our first question we ask our customers is how they are preparing their coffee.

Since the French press doesn't typically use a filter, and more often than not will over extract the coffee grounds, it is easily the worst way to prepare coffee if acid reflux is an issue for you. The coffee sediment that some people prefer is the reason why so many people also struggle with acid reflux.

Drip Coffee

Drip Coffee

Drip coffee machines are noticeable in every part of the world. From homes, workplaces, and cafés, you are bound to find a drip coffee machine. A drip coffee maker is the best fit if you always need your cup of hot coffee on-the-go and without having to spend much time and effort in brewing every time.

The use of drip coffee dates back to centuries and remains one of the French colonists' innovations from Europe. The drip coffee pot is usually made from enamel steel or ceramic, although modern variants are glass-made with a conical shape essential for a perfect extraction.

The notion behind the name "drip coffee" largely sterns from how the coffee is prepared. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to drip your coffee. 

Brewing With A Drip Coffee Machine

  1. Stack a filter full of ground coffee into the coffee maker. 
  2. Fill the reservoir with water.
  3. The heating component heats the water, compelling it upwards.
  4. Water streams up to a showerhead, dripping into the filter containing the coffee grounds. 
  5. The brewed coffee then flows from the basket into a carafe. 

Why Use A Drip Coffee Maker

The drip coffee maker is a stable horse, an iconic staple in just about every household and coffee shop across the country. If you need a consistent and simple cup of coffee, capable of producing multiple cups of coffee, we highly recommend a drip machine over a French press coffee maker. It may not be the best brewing method if you like to take control, but it is easy!

Why Not To Use A Drip Coffee Maker

While the drip machine is the more popular choice, that does not mean that it produces better tasting coffee. In fact, the French press coffee maker makes a better cup of coffee compared to most drip machines. While a drip brewer may be capable of staying warm, and producing more volume, the extraction process isn't perfect.

The main concern with these devices are the water holes or tunneling that occurs due to poor extraction engineering. Since the water head stays fixed, water doesn't spray over the ground coffee equally. On the other hand, a French press equally the coffee grounds as they are entirely submerged in hot water.

If you have the time and patience to manually control your brews, you may want to go with a French press.

French Press vs Drip Coffee Differences

Brew Quantity

french press size

One of the significant advantages of a drip coffee maker remains in its ability. A normal drip-maker can prepare up to 12 cups of coffee in just a single cycle, unlike the average French press, which may permit between two and four cups of coffee. Yet other variants can produce up to eight or even twelve cups. 

Additionally, drip coffee makers permit advance preparation. Since the process is closed, you can set the device in advance without having to stress over coffee grounds or water contamination in the meantime. All you do is flip the switch when ready, and you're all set. 

With the drip machine, your coffee will remain nice and hot for an extended period, which means you can have more than one if you need to. This is likewise a factor to consider if you have a company to share your brew with. Leftover coffee is likely to get cold in a French press quickly. Although you can warm the brew, the flavor won't be the same. 

Coffee Bean Preparation

coffee bean preparation

Presently, the majority of homes appreciates the option to receive ground coffee and are pleased with the ever growing number of options to choose from. Still, many coffee drinkers prefer to buy the coffee beans whole and grind based on their personal preferences. Not only is this the preferred option for quality and freshness, but it'll also allow for you to prepare the coffee and make adjustments based on the extraction method.

Furthermore, picking your preferred beans is essential to producing your grind to suit your desired strength, body and flavor, whether using either French press or drip coffee. While the French pressure involves a coarse grind, drip coffee requires a medium grind. If you find your coffee tasting sour or burnt, you may need to adjust the grind size.

Your coffee brewing may turn out disappointing if your grounds are too fine or too coarse in either method. This is dependent on the machine you use to brew the coffee, which requires consistency and equivalent extraction from each coffee ground.


coffee reliability

If you are concerned with reliability, either the French press or drip present great options. For the French press, your only risk is dropping the device on your floor, most likely causing terminal damage. Although, it shouldn't cost so much in repairs. For drip machines, damaged heating components or interrupted power supply remains its only potential trouble.

We have found that the French press is more reliable, simply due to the life span of the device. With no moving or electrical parts, it is tough to say that the machine is not reliable. For a manual device like the French press, you, the user, is responsible for the reliability of the coffee.

Brewing Time

brewing time

The average time spent to brew coffee using a French press is five to eight minutes depending on your preferred strength. For a drip coffee machine, which requires heating the device, brewing the coffee, and allowing time to drip into the pot, you are looking at an average of ten minutes. Meanwhile, the time needed to clean is almost the same. 

While both units allow for a set it and forget it process, the French press is just a tad quicker. Of course, you will produce less coffee, but if you just need a cup of two, the French press is the better option in regards to brewing times.

Ease of Use

ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, drip coffee is the clear winner. There is a reason why your grandparents are using a drip coffee maker over a fancy espresso machine, hipster pour over mechanism, and even the French press. All you need to do is put the coffee grounds into the machine and hit start. Some grind and brew coffee machines have a grinder built within, completely automating the process for you.

Compared to drip coffee, the French press allows for one to exhibit your barista within, since several manual factors come into play when preparing the coffee. These include; plunge rate, water temperatures, grind sizes, etc. For first-timers, you may need a few tries to perfect your skill of measuring the right water quantity, grinding and measuring coffee, and filling or extracting the reservoir.


Clearly, there are no winners in this coffee battle between the French press and drip coffee maker. The choice at the end of the day depends on you and your preferences. Considering this, you can now visit our coffee selection to find the best coffee beans to add to your French press or drip coffee makers.