The world of coffee is huge, and we know it can be overwhelming. For both new and old coffee drinkers.
Before diving too deep into beans, coffee makers, filters and grinders… let’s first figure out the best coffee brewing process for your personal taste.
Consider these 3 coffee brewing methods: French press vs pour over coffee vs drip coffee.
Quick Pros and Cons Overview
Don’t have time to read the full guide? No problem coffee lovers, we got your back! Just check out these short tables:
|✅ French presses don’t need filters
|❌ Higher chance of grounds in French press cup of coffee, compared to brewing with a filter
|✅ French presses don’t need electricity
|❌ French presses are messier than other brewing methods
|✅ A French press can extract more flavor than other brewing methods
|✅ A French press gives more control than other brewing processes
|✅ Pour over coffee has the most natural flavors and aromas
|❌ Pourover coffee needs more time and manual effort than other brewing processes
|✅ Pour over method is safest: don’t need high temperatures or pressure
|❌ Requires filters, so either creates more waste or needs cleaning
|✅ Filter means less acid and grounds in the final cup of coffee
|✅ Pour overs give most control over extraction process
|✅ Can make lots of coffee at once (12 cups or even more)
|❌ Least control over brewing method except for the coffee machine
|✅ Easiest method: simply add a filter, water, and coffee ground then push a machine button
|❌ Less flavorful coffee – because lower temperature and longer brewing time means more coffee flavor escapes
|✅ The coffee maker might have special features for safety, temperature, and brewing factors
|❌ Hardest to clean due to coffee maker crevices
Hopefully from the tables above: you have a good idea which coffee brewing method to try out first! Let’s now explore each more in depth. We suggest you skip directly to which of the 3 stood out from before.
French Press Coffee
Check out our full article on making coffee with a French Press. We’ll go way into way more detail there about the French press method than we have space for here.
But basically you put coarse ground coffee into water for a few minutes. Then press down on a PLUNGER with high pressure to separate the coffee grounds from water.
How much coffee? Try 1:10 for a stronger cup of rich coffee or 1:15 if you prefer lighter coffee.
You’ll get the richest cup of coffee from the French press out of the 3 methods.
Some more recap on the best tips and tricks for your French press:
Best Beans for French Press
We suggest for French press: dark roasts with more earthy and woody notes. Use freshly ground coffee beans if possible, as otherwise your extraction won’t be as good. This could affect the flavor of the French press coffee.
Best Grind Size for French Press
For good French press coffee you should aim for a coarse grind. Something like sea salt or peppercorn size. This way you get better separation of grounds from the liquid at the end of the brewing process.
Brewing Factors for French Press
In general: aim for a high temperature, longer brewing time, and higher ratio of coffee to water. Take advantage of the French press method to create a delicious cup of full bodied coffee.
Cleaning and Maintaining a French Press
Remember to rinse with hot water after every use. Wipe with a soft cloth if needed.
You won’t need to deep clean a French press as much as other coffee makers.
Pour Over Coffee
Place ground coffee beans into your filter. Then pour hot water over – this is how we get the name “pour over” coffee.
Out comes a smooth cup of balanced coffee, without too much acid.
Since this is the easiest brewing method out of the 3 we’re covering, there’s not too much you can get wrong. But we’ll still give you some tips and tricks here:
Best Beans for Pour Over
Try to find light roasts with fruity and floral notes. Don’t worry if you don’t have the freshest beans, as the pour over is more forgiving.
Best Grind Size for Pour Over
A medium grind size works best here. Think along the lines of sugar.
Brewing Factors for Pour Over
Pour over coffee needs a medium temperature, amount of coffee, and brewing time. This can depend on two factors: how focused you are on pouring heated water + if you want to bloom the coffee.
Drip coffee and pour over coffee are pretty similar. But here you let the machine help you brew coffee.
Just press a button and the machine will heat water. The machine then pipes the water until it drips through a grounds basket filled with a filter and coffee grounds. Finally out comes coffee into a glass or metal pot.
You’ll get the largest amount of coffee with the least amount of effort. Which explains why drip coffee is so common in corporate offices and other group settings.
Again since drip coffee takes little to no effort from you, there aren’t too many secret tricks out there. But a few tips to consider are:
Best Beans for Drip Coffee
Just like for pour over coffee: Try to find a lighter roast with fruity and floral notes. And you don’t need super fresh coffee beans here.
Best Grind Size for Drip Coffee
Drip coffee is flexible with grind size. You can grind coffee anywhere in the coarse to medium range. With slow but steady gravity extraction – you should be able to get good coffee flavor and aroma from the grounds no matter the grind size.
Brewing Factors for Drip Coffee
Drip coffee requires the least amount of coffee and lowest temperature out of the 3 brewing methods featured in this article.
The brewing time needed will depend on the drip coffee maker you have.
These are some reasons why the My Kitchen Sensei team think drip coffee is the most EASY method to brew coffee!
Cleaning and Maintaining a Drip Coffee Machine
Make sure to wash the carafe, filter basket, and reusable filter (if you’re using one) with hot water after every brewing cycle. Discard the grounds and the paper filter (again if you’re using one).
Every month or two you should deep clean the coffee maker.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the fastest method to brew coffee?
Drip coffee is the fastest if you have a good coffee maker. A fast coffee machine will quickly heat up the water and pass it through the grounds.
Both French press and pour over will take longer since you need to steep and maybe bloom the coffee.
What about the easiest method to brewing coffee grounds?
We think drip coffee is the easiest. You just add the coffee filter, coffee grinds, and clean water. Then press a button and wait a few minutes.
Voila, you have cups of hot coffee to enjoy!
What is the cheapest method of brewing coffee?
Pour over coffee is the cheapest method of brewing for many coffee lovers.
The French press needs more coffee grounds and more water. And good drip coffee makers can cost you a lot.
What if I still can’t choose?
We think you should start making coffee and see which method you like the most. Luckily, pour over coffee makers are very cheap and easy to use. Especially if you pour using a paper cup or mug – then you don’t need a gooseneck kettle.
Just get some pre-ground coffee and paper filters. Then practice your pouring technique and taste test your finished brew.
If you don’t mind paying a bit of money, then drip coffee is easier to get started with than pour over or French press coffee. Again just put all the grounds in a paper filter, add water, then push a button and wait.
Manual home coffee brewing is that simple!
Now you know 3 more ways to get that perfect cup of coffee. You can produce coffee with a French press, drip coffee maker, or a pour over coffee maker.
We also covered simple tips for the best French press coffee, pour over, and drip coffee.
Try them all and let us know which one your favorite is. Happy brewing future coffee connoisseurs!
By day, Bryan is a software engineer with experience at startups and top software companies. By night, he runs and writes for My Kitchen Sensei. Bryan is especially proud of his cheap excursions to cheap Michelin rated restaurants throughout Asia and in Hong Kong during his exchange there. His favorites include nitro-cold brew coffee and steak.