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French Press vs. Chemex

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French Press vs. Chemex

In the coffee world, French press coffee and pour over coffee are two popular types of coffee. Actually pour over coffee and the french press are two different ways of brewing coffee. A French press uses hot water and pressure to extract flavor from ground beans, whereas a pour-over uses gravity and time.      

What is French press coffee?


French press is a popular type of coffee worldwide. A French press makes coffee by immersing ground coffee in hot water and then separating the grounds from the coffee by pressing down the filter. Water should be about 200ºF to optimize flavor extraction. Any hotter ( water boils at  212ºF ), coffee will taste burnt. Any cooler coffee will be under-extracted, tasting flavorless and watered-down. A French press coffee extracts more oils and sediment from the ground coffee than any other brewing method which contributes to its robust flavor and creamy mouthfeel. Most owners’ manual brewing instructions are simple. Add ground coffee to the carafe, combine with hot water, wait four minutes, plunge, and voila. 

The best coffee is a matter of preference but generally speaking, high-quality and freshly roasted coffee beans will give us a great cup. Most French press experts tend to prefer medium and dark roast coffee which lends to the slower extraction of oils, flavor, and character of brewing. For the freshest-tasting coffee, it’s good to grind beans at home. Pre-ground coffee may be oxidized, having lost its flavor over time. A burr grinder is the best option for grinding coffee. An electric kettle is needed to boil the water ahead of time which will make pouring hot water into the French press effortless and safer. A coffee scoop or measuring spoon can also be used. Level the ground coffee on the scoop each time to ensure consistency.                          

What is Chemex (pour over)?


Pour over coffee is attractive to the eye and it delivers complex flavors and aromas into a cup. It’s a perceived simple method that can enthrall even the most inexperienced coffee drinker. Pour over coffee is a fundamentally manual process. In this method of brewing coffee, pour the hot water over ground coffee in a filter. The water drains through the filter, extracting the coffee as it goes, into a waiting mug or carafe below. When preparing a pour-over coffee recipe, the first step is to choose a pour over coffee maker. 

The choice is essential because different brewers can highlight different flavors, even from the same beans. The material the coffee dripper is made from – metal, glass, ceramic, plastic – will affect the taste of the pour-over brew, as will the shape of the brewer and the number of drain holes at the bottom. Pour over coffee contains less caffeine than French press coffee. Due to the differences in the brewing processes, pour-overs tend to create more flavor than regular french press coffee. Because the brewing process takes longer to pour over, the water has more time to pull the flavors and oils from the coffee grounds.

Is French press or pour-over better?


Those who enjoy smooth coffee with a pleasant flavor should use light roast beans in a pour over. On the other hand, those who enjoy rich, bold-tasting coffee should use dark roast in a French press. Comparing ease of use, a pour over may be an easier brewing method to try for those already used to making filtered coffee. Pour over coffee is considered less acidic than French press coffee because it does not have as much extraction of natural oils in the beans. It can also produce more flavor notes that might not be able to be detected with other methods. 

Pour over and French press both produce a rich flavor profile with their own unique taste profiles so there’s no clear answer as to which one produces a better cup of joe. Pour over coffee is healthier than French coffee because it contains less caffeine, a cholesterol-raising agent abundant in coffee prepared with traditional brewing methods. Comparing ease of use, a pour over may be an easier brewing method to try for those already used to making filtered coffee. In terms of expense, both a pour over coffee maker and a French press can be purchased for a reasonable amount.



French press and pour over coffee taste depends on the individual’s choice. If you want a fresh, light, and clear cup of coffee, pour over is a great choice. And if you prefer a strong cup of coffee, a French press is the best choice.                                                                                                                                             


Welcome to my blog! My name is Damian, I live in Chicago since 2015. I love to share my experience and knowledge on 3 subjects Photography, Coffee and Travel! Let me tell your story and capture memories with beautiful photography! Honorable Mention Award from “MIFA” – Moscow International Foto Awards.

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