Last updated on December 14th, 2023

AeroPress vs French Press: What’s Different & How To Choose

The French Press vs. AeroPress debate: If you want a new coffee brewing method at home, you may be stuck choosing between the AeroPress or French Press coffee makers. Both methods are full immersion and can make great coffee, but the AeroPress tends to have a cleaner flavor due to its filter. French Press coffee tends to have a heavier body. However, there are more subtle differences that you should know.

french press vs aeropress graphic introducing the article

So if you’re a coffee drinker looking for the best brewer for your routine, you’ve come to the right place. I own both brewing devices and know the ins and outs. So consider this article is my showdown between the AeroPress coffee and the French Press, exploring the pros, cons, brewing amounts, and flavor differences.

**Best of Brewing is supported by our readers, and we sometimes earn a commission through the affiliate links on our website.**

AeroPress vs French Press: How Do They Compare?

Any serious coffee lover has likely heard of these two brew methods. While both are under the same general category of immersion brewing, the AeroPress uses a thin paper filter that catches some of the oils and grit characteristic of French Press coffee. The AeroPress is also impressive at producing a concentrated form of coffee that can taste similar to espresso.

But I need to explore the brewing science and designs of these brewers to get at the more nuanced differences.

Immersion Brewing Explained

The AeroPress and the French Press share the same overall brewing method, a process called immersion brewing. This type of extraction is where coffee grounds steep in hot water for the entire time. Whether in the large brewing chamber of a French Press or the smaller AeroPress tube, the immersion brew method gives you fantastic control over extraction yield. It also tends to create a robust and full-bodied flavor.

But despite sharing immersion, these brewers have significant differences. Let’s explore them!

AeroPress Coffee Maker Design

The AeroPress was invented by Alan Adler, a Standford professor and well-known inventor. He is also famous for his Aerobie flying disc invention, among many other patents. And his AeroPress, with its simple yet thoughtful design, is now a staple for any specialty coffee enthusiast.

Made from BPA-free plastic, this single-cup brewer is highly flexible and can brew incredibly delicious coffee. There’s even an AeroPress Go specifically designed for traveling.

Espresso Without Machine
Aeropress Original Coffee Press


  • Combines agitation and pressure with micro-filtration
  • Full-bodied immersion flavor with clarity of filter coffee
  • Super easy cleanup in seconds
  • Perfect for traveling
  • 1-year warranty

In some methods, you can brew an AeroPress espresso. It is similar to the moka pot but with even more flavor clarity. In other recipes, you can use a more typical brew ratio to make a standard 8-10oz cup of coffee. In either case, you get the benefit of immersion extraction, after which you plunge the brew through a paper filter to give it clarity and a light body.

As you would expect from such an inventor, the filter cap has vents to allow air to escape, making it fairly easy to push down. And with both regular and inverted methods, you have endless recipes to experiment with.

French Press Coffee Maker Design

Known by many names, including press pot, coffee plunger, and coffee press, the original design for this brew comes from two Frenchmen in 1852, Henri-Otto Mayer and Jacques-Victor Delforge. It is one of the oldest and most classic brewing methods still popular today.

Best Overall
Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker


  • Classic, simple, and elegant design
  • 34-ounce capacity
  • Stainless steel frame
  • Three-part metal mesh filter

Fundamentally, French Press brewing is one of the straightforward methods. After the immersion extraction, a metal mesh plunger pushes the grounds to the bottom, leaving the brewed coffee on top. You generally use coarse-ground coffee that a mesh filter can catch. But some designs also use a cloth filter or multiple layers to take out some more of the finer particles.

Either way, coffee oils, and other fine particles make it into your cup, making the French Press renowned for its heartiness, bold flavor, and heavy mouthfeel.

Detailed Difference Between AeroPress and French Press

AeroPress vs French press: a graphic describing their differences

Compared to pour over coffee brewing, AeroPress and French Press have a bolder flavor due to their immersion methods. But the AeroPress’s paper filter creates their main distinction.

The paper catches all coffee grounds and most sediment, meaning the cup tastes cleaner and more refined, similar to how siphon coffee tastes better and cleaner. This feature means light-roasted beans with more delicate flavors usually work better in the AeroPress.

However, the metal mesh filter in a French Press only blocks the large particles, allowing fines and coffee sediment into the final cup. These fines create a heavy mouthfeel and a robust/earthy flavor. In general, darker roasts perform best in the French Press.

**Note: There are metal AeroPress filters that give you the best of both worlds!**

French Press vs AeroPress: Pros, Cons, & How To Choose

Now that you have a basic understanding of their differences, this section will examine the pros and cons of each brewing device.

The AeroPress

AeroPress coffee vs French Press


  • Flexible Brewing: It is a versatile brewing method with tons of recipes, including espresso!
  • Clean Taste: The paper filter removes the grit and gives clear tasting notes.
  • Great for Traveling: I take this compact and durable brewer on every trip! Also, the AeroPress Go is slightly smaller and has a mug that doubles as a traveling case!
  • Easy Cleanup: The cleanup is as easy as pushing the spent grounds into the trash!


  • Single-Cup Capacity: The AeroPress is not ideal for larger groups since most recipes brew one cup.
  • Learning Curve: Beginners might find that it takes time to learn the nuances of this brewer.

The French Press

Bodum 1928-16US4 Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, 1 Liter, 34 Ounce, Chrome


  • Rich Coffee Flavor: Expect a bold and robust cup, perfect for folks who like to add milk to their coffee.
  • Easy Learning Curve: It is beginner-friendly and easier to get consistent results.
  • Minimal Preparation: The preparation and brewing process is as simple as possible.


  • Messy Cleanup: Cleaning the metal filter and removing the grounds can get messy.
  • Muddled Taste: The heavy body can mask the intricate flavors of many lightly roasted specialty coffees.

**I also have a regularly updated guide to the best French Press coffee makers to help you decide.**


With the pros and cons in mind, let’s examine some more considerations that will help you decide which brewer will better fit your routine.

Brewing Capacity: Single Cup vs Multiple Cups

Putting aside flavor and other preferences, the AeroPress might be a poor choice if you regularly brew for 3-4 people at a time. While you can technically make concentrated coffee with the AeroPress and then dilute it with hot water, the device is more precise in brewing single cups.

But a large French Press can brew multiple cups at once and is generally better suited to social settings.


Taste preference may be your biggest deciding factor. When you grind a coffee bean, the size of the particles affects the extraction. The French Press uses a coarse grind and long steeping time, resulting in a depth of flavor. Combined with the coffee oils and small fines, this gives French Press coffee a bold and earthy flavor.

But AeroPress brewing uses a finer grind and shorter steeping time. Combined with the paper filter, you tend to extract more flavorful coffee in the acidic sense—cleaner and brighter flavors similar to espresso extraction.


Even if you prefer French press flavors, there’s no denying the annoying cleanup. But the AeroPress’s design makes cleaning as easy as pushing the spent grounds into the trash and giving it a quick rinse. For fast and simple morning routines, the AeroPress definitely wins!

Making Cold Coffee

Both devices allow you to make a form of cold coffee. With the French Press, you can make cold brew coffee by steeping grounds in room-temperature water. Cold brew has the advantage of sitting in your fridge all week for a quick drink.

With AeroPress, I found the best solution to be a form of iced coffee where you plunge your hot brew directly over ice cubes. Again, the differences mostly come down to taste preference and serving size.


Since neither device is an espresso machine, you cannot brew true espresso with them. But if you want the ability to make something close to the espresso flavor you get at a coffee shop, this AeroPress espresso recipe is the better option.

You can attempt French press espresso by brewing with a much tighter ratio. But I recommend AeroPress much more for this type of brewing.

AeroPress vs French Press vs Pour Over

Moving beyond these two methods, let’s quickly compare them to another popular approach, pour-over brewing.

With its paper filter, pour over coffee has a similar flavor clarity to AeroPress. It takes more time to master, but you tend to have more control over the nuances of extraction. And the flavor is more like standard drip coffee (except usually better!)

AeroPress vs French Press vs Pour Over: Popular coffee brewing methods compared

You can read this article dedicated to pour over vs French Press for the complete details on how they compare.

French Press and AeroPress: FAQs

As a review, let’s answer the common questions people have relating to these two brewers.

Is AeroPress a type of French press?

No, the AeroPress and French Press are distinct brewing devices. While both are a type of immersion brewing method, they each have unique features and flavors.

What is the difference between AeroPress and French Press?

Differences between these brewers include the grind size, brewing time, capacity, and type of filter. The AeroPress offers a cleaner taste due to its paper filter, while the French Press delivers a bolder, sediment-rich cup.

What are the disadvantages of the French Press?

The French Press’s downsides include a messier cleanup and a lack of flavor clarity in lighter roasts due to the sediment and fine coffee particles.

Is AeroPress better than French press?

The choice between the AeroPress and the French Press depends on your preferences for flavor, brewing capacity, and ease of use. I tend to like AeroPress better for light roasts and French Press for dark roasts.

Final Thoughts on Choosing Between AeroPress Coffee or French Press

As you can tell, the AeroPress and French Press are popular products because they can both make delicious coffee. But each coffee brewer has unique properties that might sync up with your preferences and routine. For flexibility, traveling, and a clean taste on lighter roasts, you should probably go with the AeroPress. And for a richer hearty flavor, especially for folks who like to add milk, the French Press will likely be better. Or, like us, you can have both products around to make the best coffee for any situation!

Want more coffee tips directly in your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here.

Show 6 Comments


Comments are closed