French Press vs Drip Coffee: The Aficionado’s Take

French Press vs Drip Coffee
Buying Guide Coffee Lover Articles

Coffee lovers all around the world are in constant debates about every aspect of the brewing process. The dispute over french press vs drip coffee is one such example. People count on that cuppa every morning – be it for a kick of caffeine, a sweet moment of bliss, or both! Thus, being able to create the best cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home is essential.

By the end of this article, you can count on knowing the following:

  • All about french press vs drip coffee makers
  • Pros and cons of each type
  • How each type works

French Press vs Drip Coffee Makers: Which Should You Buy?

The French Press


French Press Coffee Maker (34 Ounce) with 4 Level Filtration System - 304 Grade Stainless Steel - Heat Resistant Borosilicate Glass by Cafe Du Chateau


The french press is a beautiful piece of work and is very popular within the coffee community. Often called a coffee press, or a coffee plunger, this design was patented all the way back in 1929. This doesn’t mean it’s outdated – if anything, timeless is the right word to describe this work of art.

This device consists of a cylindrical container and a plunger. All you do is add hot water to some pre-ground beans and wait approximately two to four minutes. You can choose a brewing time to suit your tastes, and slowly press the plunger down when you’re ready. The aroma is rich, and the flavors are intense.

There are many reasons that people love the press. It is portable, compact, and they are generally easy to clean. If you’re the eco-friendly type – then this is the coffee maker for you! The plungers do not use filter paper, opting instead for wire mesh. These are perfect for a few people, a small office, or household.

Main Features

  • Makes use of ground beans
  • Doesn’t use filter paper
  • Perfect for a few people
French Press Coffee Maker (34 Ounce) with 4 Level Filtration System - 304 Grade Stainless Steel - Heat Resistant Borosilicate Glass by Cafe Du Chateau

The Drip Coffee Maker


BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black, CM1160B

There’s a good chance you’ll have seen a drip coffee maker around too. These are a staple item in many places as they’re efficient, easy to use, and brew delicious coffee. Drip coffee involves hot water being poured over ground beans that have been encased in a filter. This means that all you need to do is ensure there are ground beans, a clean filter, and water for a delectable cuppa joe.

You can make this beverage one of two ways: either by the pour over method, which uses a cone, or with a machine. We’re going to focus on the machine in this article, but the pour-over method has its merits too and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Using a machine, this drink is tasty and simple. Some of these devices come equipped with a grinder, which is really useful in optimizing the taste. Many of these machines also come with a hot plate, which the pot sits on. This is perfect if you’re in an office, are brewing for some friends as well, or simply need a couple of cups to get you going – no judgment here!

Main Features

  • Brew for a gathering
  • Makes use of ground beans
  • Automated process
BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black, CM1160B

Brewing Process

The brewing process is an important consideration, depending on the type of coffee drinker you are at heart. If you need your java when you wake up and want to spend less time waiting for it to brew – then the french press is your device. This appliance takes approximately 5 to 8 minutes to brew. You need to have heated the water prior to pouring it into the cylinder, which we’ve included in the brew time.

After the brew is finished, which you can time according to how strong you like it, you need to slowly press the plunger down. This herds the ground beans to the bottom of the press, although you won’t actually be pressing down on them. This device leaves space at the bottom to avoid this. Leaving your drink in the press with the beans can lead to a strong and bitter taste – although some people like that.

On the other hand, the drip machine takes around five to ten minutes to brew. You can plan ahead with this appliance, which is useful. By putting water, a filter and ground beans in this coffee maker, you can simply flick the switch on when you’re ready. The machine will heat the water up, fill up a pot for you, and often keep it warm.


While drip coffee makers have a lot of merits, they are relatively more untrustworthy than their opponent for one reason: mechanics. The press is an incredibly basic design and doesn’t have much that could break.

Unless you throw it on the floor, it’s pretty much good to go for years. A lot of the designs on the market make a point of using strong glass. If you grab a good quality device, it’ll be good and durable. Even if it does break – it won’t be the most expensive replacement.

Drip coffee makers are automated, and thus, have more parts that could break. Furthermore, you could forget that you need to buy filters, which isn’t something that you need to worry about with the other coffee maker. That could make for one incredibly frustrating morning!

Drip machines are not really made to be taken around. They can be bulky, and definitely weren’t made to be taken on holidays. French presses are portable, and you can use them anywhere you have hot water. In the french press vs drip coffee debate, we have to say that the former wins the race.


Capacity is something that is really important to take into consideration. If you’re in a big office, where coffee runs are a standard, then it’s going to be inconvenient to have a machine with a two-cup capacity. In this case, you’ll need a machine with a high capacity. On the other hand, however, having larger capacity can promote waste, which is far better to avoid.

The french press generally makes about two to four cups – although you get exceptions. For example, some of these coffee makers have the capacity to make eight cups of coffee. If you love to sip your coffee fresh each time or enjoy playing around with different flavors, smaller capacities will suit you well.

Drip coffee makers come with a whopping comparative capacity of 12 cups. This, paired with the hot plate that a lot of these machines come with, make it easy for people to drink the coffee at their leisure. You can make a pot, and whoever else wants some caffeine can come and pour for themselves when they’re ready. In terms of the french press vs drip debate – drip coffee wins in terms of capacity.

Ease of Use

For ease of use, in the french press vs drip coffee comparison, drip coffee makers seem to take the cake. These machines are nearly fully automated – all you really need to do is flip a switch, and the coffee drips out. Ensuring that there’s a paper filter in is just one small step that’s easy to remember and repeat.

You can use pre-ground beans, which are easy enough to find and purchase. It’s very simple to measure out how much you need (this information will be available online, or in your user manual).

Cleaning wise, drip coffee makers are a bit more technical than the press. However, it’s still very simple to separate the components and give them a good wash.

The french press just requires a rinse of the cylinder and the plunger for cleaning. It is very easy to use, although does require a bit more admin than the drip machines. This is just because you need to boil the water first, and then be around to press the plunger down.

Taking this into account, a drip maker is probably easier to manage. Because its capacity is higher than the other, you also need to make less, which will save you time.

Bean Selection

Luckily for ease, both of these two types of coffee makers use ground beans. If you can grind your own, it’s highly recommended. Freshly ground beans have a much better flavor, which means better tasting java. When you grind your own beans, you can choose the texture you prefer – which makes all the difference depending on whether you have a french press vs drip machine. Who can resist?

The grind texture depends on the filtration in the maker. Evenly ground beans are essential for extracting the optimal flavor from the beans. For the french press, you’ll be looking for a coarse grind. On the other hand, a drip machine requires a medium grind. Both of these grind types are common and are sold in most places. Make sure you get the right grind type – results can be subpar otherwise.

Which Is The Winner?

The french press vs drip coffee debate has really been looked at from all angles. The press is more reliable and is perfect for two to four people in most cases. If you’d rather prevent waste, this is your baby. These are portable, and allow you to experiment throughout your cups. They do, however, require more admin.

The drip machines are easier to use and have a greater capacity. They can come with added benefits, such as a hot plate and a grinder. However, they can break more easily, and you need to make sure you have filter papers.

It all boils down to what, and who, you need a coffee maker for! The french press can be tailored, whereas the drip coffee machine can be used for getting coffee out for the office. Enjoy!

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