To brew or not to brew? Maybe that’s not the question, but how you brew, definitely is.
Whether you’re a fan of the french press or a pour over advocate, the method you use to brew your coffee can have ramifications on your morning mug. While there’s no major advantage or disadvantage to either brewing method, each style imparts its own unique characteristics on the final cup. Let’s take a look at the difference.
Pour Over, Por Favor
A classic coffee brewing method, pour over brewing tends to be slightly more technical and require more tools to re-create positive results. To ensure consistency in your brew, we recommend using a scale for consistent water to coffee ratio and a timer to ensure the total contact time is consistent from brew-to-brew.
In terms of taste, pour over tends to highlight acidity, clarity in aroma, clarity of body as well as a cleaner body in coffee (especially with paper filters as some pour over brewers use stainless steel filters). While the method can be trickier to master than a french press, it can certainly bring some intricate qualities in your morning brew.
A Fan of the French Press
A french press uses the full immersion method of brewing, which is a method where the coffee grounds are fully immersed and steeped in water. Full immersion brewing tends to be a bit easier to brew, as it is easier to volumetrically “measure” the coffee and water in an immersion device.
Full immersion brewing tends to highlight the sweetness and body inherent in the coffee beans, using a stainless steel filter which allows non-dissolved solids and oils to pass through to the cup which can heighten the perception of body. This doesn’t lessen the acidity present in the cup but those flavor aspects can occasionally be muted slightly.
So if you want to bring out that sweetness and heighten the body of your favorite brew, try french press.
Best of Both Brews
If you’re a super indecisive then you’re in luck, because there is a third option that combines the best of both worlds. This hybrid brewing method is one we use in many cafes. The Silverton (soon to be Clever Dripper) brewer is a combination of immersion brewing and paper filters. Other Hybrid brewing devices include the AeroPress, Bonavita Immersion Brewer, and Syphon.
While there isn’t one perfect brewing device, some methods cater to some fun brewing projects. Try a french press when you’re making cold brew coffee (see more here) and pour over for making flash chilled coffee. Also if you love pour over but hate using paper filters, stainless steel or cloth type filters are also available.