French Press Vs Drip – Exploring the Difference

French Press Vs Drip – It is no secret that coffer has experienced a certain renaissance across the globe over the last two decades, more so in the United States. As the interest in coffee grows, the methods for brewing a good cup of coffee have also become more complex and refined. French Press and Drip coffee are two of the most prevalent ways of producing coffee, but what’s the difference between French Press vs. Drip?

French Press Vs Drip

What’s French Press?

Also known as cafeteria, coffee plunger, press hot, or coffee press, the French press is a simple construction that entails a mesh stainless steel cylindrical breaker with a steel or plastic lid and plunger. The stainless steel mesh filter is attached to a rod with a steel lid that fits tightly into the cylinder on top. The fine mesh filter in the plunger is used to capture coffee grounds to prevent them from ending in the final cup.

In the French press method, coffee grounds and hot water are added into the bottom of the cylindrical breaker. The grounds are stirred briefly and the lid put on, allowing the grounds to brew for the recommended amount of time. The filter mechanism is then pressed downwards at a slow rate so the plunger-filer can force the floating grounds to sink to the base of the breaker.

This action leaves the delicious and unpolluted brewed coffee on top, ready to enjoy. Simply put, a French press is designed to filter the brew directly through a metal screen. Consequently, the essential oils in the coffee grounds are neither absorbed by the filters nor evaporated. Rather, they stay in the brew and yield a richer and stronger coffee brew with a superior aromatic flavor.

What’s Drip Coffee?

Unlike the French press, drip coffee is more straightforward and easier to understand. Traditional drip makers are automated and you have slightly less control over the brewing process, particularly when it comes to brewing time. There’s also a huge difference in the resultant flavor because the water goes through the grounds instead of mixing with it for some time. Using the drip coffee method is very easy, which is perhaps the reason why it has risen in popularity over the past few years.

To use the drip coffee method, simply place a paper filter over the container and fill the filter with roasted, ground coffee beans. Add water to the reservoir inside the filter and press on the switch button. As the water flows through an aluminum tube inside the heating elements, it’s brought to a boiling point.  

As the water boils, it creates bubbles which rise up a secondary tube. Small water bubbles enter the drip section where the water is dissolved to drip consistently onto the grounds. Hot water passing through the grounds creates the delicious coffee brew, which drips down into a pot seated on a hotplate below.

French Press vs. Drip Coffee – The Differences

In terms of brewing times, the French press can take over 10 minutes since you have to grind the beans, heat the water and wait for approximately 2-3 minutes for the coffee to brew. On the other hand, the drip method only requires you to grind the beans after which it takes over the process.

Regarding the grind, the French press needs a coarse grind to properly extract the oils and flavors from the beans. On the contrary, the drip method needs a medium grind.

As far as capacity goes, the French press generally yields a maximum of 10 cups whereas the drip coffee method can produce an average of 12 cups. The drip method can yield larger amounts of coffee since the brewing method is constant.   Finally, the French press produces a delightful brew that’s rich and velvety. On the other hand, the drip machine makes coffee with a uniform taste. The flavors are rather muted and flat.

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