Pour Over vs French Press

In this article, we are going to compare between two of the most common types of coffee makers – Pour Over and French Press. We will also go over the pros and cons of each coffee maker based on their ease of use and the coffee they produce. From there, you should be able to decide which is more suitable for you or which one would interest you more to get started experimenting with.

What is Pour Over, and How Does It Work?

The pour-over technique is an infusion method of coffee making that works by pouring hot water over coffee grounds through a filter paper of sort into a cup or carafe for consumption. Hence pour-over is also known as filter coffee.

Once the filter and coffee ground is set, simply pour hot water over it in a paced circular movement. The hot water will start flowing through the coffee ground, bringing with it the flavour of the coffee.

Pros and Cons of Pour-over

One of the biggest pros of using the pour over technic is the flavour and aroma of the cup of coffee it produces. Being an infusion coffee making method, the hot water extracts the coffee ground flavour naturally at its own pace, resulting in a light coffee. Cleaning of the coffee maker is very easy as there are no dismantling necessary.

It is also because of the infusion method, that it takes more time to prepare the coffee with this. Hence for individuals in an hurry, this coffee making method might not be that ideal on a work day.

What is French Press and How Does It Work?

Also known as a coffee press, the French Press comes in 3 major parts:

  • The open-topped cylinder-shaped glass called the carafe
  • Signature plunger
  • Filter made with stainless steel

Prepare a cup of French Press coffee by first filling the carafe with coffee grounds and then filling it with some hot water. Allow the mixture to steep and push the plunger down. Doing so extracts the flavour and aroma of the ground coffee used. This is also called the immersion method (as compared to the infusion method of the pour over).

Pros and Cons of French Press

With the immersion method of the French press, more flavours and caffeine strengths are being forced out during the process, resulting in a richer and stronger coffee. French press also allows more customisation to your coffee and you get to go with any grind size of the coffee ground to tune the richness and strength of your coffee. Preparation is also faster as there’s no waiting around for the water to flow through the filter.

One common problem with the French press is that fact that while the screen sift does a pretty good job filtering out most of the coffee grounds, the smaller ones may still get through. Resulting in a bit of gritty texture in the final product. Cleaning of the French press also requires dismantling of the parts.

Similarities and Difference

Both the Pour over and French press comes in various sizes that caters to the consumption needs (i.e. whether it’s for your own consumption or for the entire family). For traveling, there are actually options for both as well that’s designed for traveling and on-the-go coffee making. The Coffee Gator Pour Over Travel Mug and the Bodum Travel Press are some great traveling options.

There are definitely more parts to maintain when it comes to a French press as compared to a Pour over coffee maker. A pour over method takes longer while the French press makes the coffee almost instantly. The pour over definitely produces a cleaner and smother cup of coffee simply because lesser of the coffee ground gets through.


Generally, if you prefer strong and bold coffee, and wants it quick, a French press might works better for you. Do be mindful that the drink might have gritty texture due to what we mentioned earlier. The ability to customise the coffee might also be another reason to opt for the French press.

On the other hand, if you prefer your drink to be smoother and subtle, and have a bit of time to spare for the water to drip through, the pour over method might be better suited for you.