Last updated on December 14th, 2023

Pour Over vs AeroPress Coffee: Taste, Convenience, and Brewing Comparison

An image introducing the article Pour Over vs AeroPress: Which Is Better?

SUMMARY: Deciding between pour over and AeroPress coffee is a common concern amongst coffee lovers. Generally, opt for the AeroPress if you’re after a richer, espresso-like flavor and value brewing speed and travel convenience. However, choose a pour-over coffee maker to savor more nuanced/delicate taste profiles and do not mind a slower and more complicated brewing recipe.

Are you stuck choosing between an AeroPress and pour over coffee maker? Or maybe you are just curious about the differences in taste and brewing methods.

For me, since I own the AeroPress and multiple pour over drippers, these differences are more about choosing between the methods for particular coffees. Sometimes, coffee is best expressed with the rich flavors of AeroPress, while other coffees taste best with the more delicate and nuanced extraction of a manual pour over.

So, let’s navigate through the detailed differences between AeroPress and pour over to learn how each one works and what situation calls for one vs. the other.

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Pour Over vs AeroPress Coffee: Which Is Better?

It would be inaccurate to say that AeroPress is better than pour over or vice versa since ultimately, the choice comes down to preference. However, people who enjoy the rich flavor and full-bodied texture of immersion brewing will find the AeroPress better. On the flip side, choose the manual pour over method to get less body but more flavor clarity and acidic brightness.

Detailed Differences Between Pour Over and AeroPress

A graphic explaining the differences between pour over and AeroPress coffee

The fundamental difference between a pour over coffee and the AeroPress is their distinct brewing categories. AeroPress relies on full immersion, meaning the coffee grounds sit in the hot water for an extended time. Also, the rubber plunger uses pressure to force the coffee slurry through a filter.

Pour over coffee, however, is a percolation method, relying on gravity to pull the water through a bed of coffee grounds. As it passes through the filter, the coffee oils and fine particles are left behind, resulting in a clean and bright cup (at least when brewed correctly.)

Pour-Over Brewing 101

Pour over coffee as we know it today dates back to the early 1900s, with Melitta Bentz getting credit for the cleaner and filtered version of this percolation method she created in 1909. Today, specialty coffee purists love the slow and mindful approach required with this technique.

Pour over brewing is the same basic method as drip coffee, with gravity pulling hot water through a bed of coffee grounds. A paper filter catches the grounds, fine particles, and oils, making the final brew clean tasting. Also, the manual pour-over method is way better than drip, mostly because you can control each brewing variable precisely.

My Favorite Kettle
Fellow Stagg Gooseneck Kettle


  • Stovetop pour-over coffee kettle
  • 301 18/8 stainless steel material & 1.0 Liter boiling capacity
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Precision pour spout with fluted tip & counterbalanced handle
  • Used by Brewers Cup Champions

A proper pour over coffee requires the patience of a slow and steady pour, with the goal being eveness of extraction and optimal flow. In my experience, when I find the perfect water temperature, pour gently with a gooseneck kettle, and dial in the ideal grind size, the reward is flavor clarity and complexity.

Pour-over brewers come in various forms—here’s a guide to my favorites—each with unique design features that subtly influence the extraction. My favorites that I use regularly are the Chemex and the Hario V60. These drippers are distinct enough to bring out wildly different personalities from a particular coffee.

Read More: Why Is My Pour Over Coffee Watery? Brewing Mistakes To Avoid

The Invention of the AeroPress

Alan Adler, best known as an inventor and Stanford University lecturer, aimed to revolutionize the coffee brewing process when he introduced the AeroPress in 2005. Adler sought a brewing technique that could produce a smoother, richer cup more efficiently than existing methods. While the AeroPress took off amongst specialty coffee lovers, I began using it even before I knew what specialty coffee was!

I appreciated the combination of full-bodied flavor intensity with an overall smooth taste when I was just buying random coffee at the grocery store. And, now that I carefully brew with lots of specialized equipment at home, the AeroPress has only become more fascinating. My go-to favorite way to use it is this recipe, which makes approximately 90ml of an espresso-like coffee.

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

The magic of the AeroPress lies in its unique design, which combines the principles of full-immersion brewing with pressure-driven filtration. As opposed to the gentle drip of a pour-over, where water temporarily contacts the coffee, the AeroPress extracts full immersion flavors. You can fully steep coffee grounds in water, followed by the pressure plunger that forces the coffee slurry through a thin paper filter. Because of the plunger, you can use a much finer grind than would ever be possible with the gravity-driven pour-over method.

For me, this fine grind and full immersion extract an intensity from the coffee while still being remarkably clean and grit-free.

Extraction and Taste Profiles

The heart of the debate between AeroPress and pour-over coffee lies in the fundamental difference in extraction processes. As I already stated, the AeroPress combines full immersion and a filter. However, the pressurized extraction process also seems to pull out a more espresso-like intensity from coffee, something full-immersion drippers like the Hario Switch and Clever Dripper can’t do.

The AeroPress extraction is also remarkably fast, with most recipes finishing in under two minutes. This speed and efficiency make it ideal for busy mornings when you do not have time to patiently make a pour over.

Immersion + Pour Over
Clever Coffee Dripper


  • Patented Release Valve Combines the Best of Pour Over and French Press Coffee
  • Large 18 oz. capacity
  • 100% BPA-free Durable Tritan Plastic
  • 100 filters included

I like to think of the pour-over extraction as more like an art form. Especially if you are not experienced with the method, I guarantee you will mess it up if you try to rush your way through it. For me, I save pour over brewing for those mornings when I am not in a rush. I love to appreciate the patience and calm steadiness required for the right pour, and it has become a kind of meditative experience.

The extraction for this method tends to take three to four minutes, where gravity takes its time slowly drawing the brew through a filter. I tend to use my pour over drippers when I want a gentle extraction with more flavor complexity in the higher acidic notes. For example, light-roasted Ethiopian beans taste fantastic on the V60 and Chemex.

Convenience and Variety

Putting taste differences aside, let’s compare these two brewers over a few other categories such as traveling, camping, and brewing capacity.

Best for Multiple Cups

When I’m brewing coffee in the morning for myself, the AeroPress is just fine. However, if I am brewing for my wife and possibly other guests, the AeroPress is not the way to go. Yes, its flavor can be impressive, but the device can only make one cup at a time, and nobody likes to wait too long for their morning coffee!

So my wife and I love to split a smaller Chemex recipe. Or, if we have multiple guests over, I can make full use of my 8-cup Chemex to brew well over 30 ounces of coffee at once.

Classic Series 8-Cup
Chemex Glass Coffee Maker Pros & Cons


  • Stylish and elegant one-piece glass design that looks beautiful in the kitchen
  • Flexible recipes (including iced coffee options)
  • Clean flavor (no oils) that allows coffee to shine
  • The largest size brews 10 cups
  • Safe in the dishwasher


  • Expensive compared to other drippers
  • Can’t brew small amounts
  • Must use Chemex filters
  • Annoying to clean by hand
  • Glass can break when traveling

See Also: How To Fix A Slow Pour Over Coffee

Best for Traveling and Hotel Room Brewing

The AeroPress, with its compact and durable design, is perfect for frequent travelers who want to bring their elevated coffee with them on the road. Since I travel a lot for my musician work, I am constantly traveling with this Hario Hand Grinder, my standard AeroPress, and whatever specialty beans I happen to have.

If I have room in my suitcase, I will even bring a scale to keep my brewing precise. Otherwise, the numbers on the AeroPress sides are convenient for measuring by volume.

Which Is Best for Camping?

The AeroPress can similarly work well with camping, however, I would probably be more inclined to bring a pour over or French Press to a camping trip (or both!) Since you are probably packing a car and have more room, brewers like the Chemex or a larger French Press are fantastic at a campsite, and they can brew for many people at once.

Possible Coffee Drinks

When it comes to making a variety of coffee drinks, the espresso-style brews of the AeroPress give you more options. You can make many espresso drinks with milk, including lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. I’ll often combine my AeroPress espresso recipe with warm milk made on this Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother that someone gifted me.

When it comes to delicious iced coffee, however, I always go with a Japanese iced coffee type of brew on my V60 or Chemex.


When it comes to cleaning, the AeroPress is the clear winner. This is not to say cleaning a pour over dripper is as annoying as French Press or Siphon. However, with the AeroPress, you simply push the coffee puck out of the bottom and that’s it. I usually rinse/wipe the rubber bottom to keep it extra clean, but the whole process takes less than five seconds.

Pour-over setups require slightly more effort to prepare and clean up, on top of the slower brewing. So when it comes to simplicity, speed, and an easy cleanup, I would always go with the AeroPress.

Pour Over vs. French Press vs. Aeropress Coffee

A graphic comparing aeropress vs pour over coffee vs french press

If you want to complicate matters further by throwing in an additional brewing method, here are other related comparison articles I wrote:

As a coffee geek, I like having all of these brewers at home for variety. Plus, each method highlights different aspects of a particular coffee.

Final Thoughts on Choosing Between an AeroPress or Pour Over

Ultimately, the choice between AeroPress and pour-over coffee brewing methods comes down to individual preference and the specific qualities you seek in your daily coffee routine. Do you see yourself enjoying the AeroPress’s concentration and bold intensity of flavor, or would you prefer a more delicate and nuanced flavor of a pour-over dripper?

Besides taste, you also have to consider practicality in your daily coffee ritual. To summarize:

  • AeroPress is ideal for a quick brewing process and easy cleanup, and its flavors are intense, full-bodied, and remarkably smooth.
  • A pour-over coffee maker is more artisanal, takes time and patience, and will generally produce a cleaner cup with more nuanced/distinct flavor notes.
  • I always choose the AeroPress when traveling as it is light, compact, and easy to brew without additional equipment.

I hope this short guide was useful, and I’ll leave a few common questions below for anyone who is still having trouble deciding.

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Pour-Over Coffee Maker vs. AeroPress FAQs

Is it worth getting an AeroPress?

If you are only used to the flavor of standard drip or pour over coffee, it is definitely worth getting the AeroPress for its uniquely bold and full-bodied flavor. The fine grind and full immersion possible on an AeroPress extract a different taste than pour over drippers, and it is one of the most convenient brewers to travel with.

How does the cleanup compare between AeroPress and pour-over?

Cleanup with the AeroPress is much easier since you push the plunger out and eject the used coffee grounds directly into the trash. Pour over cleanup is not difficult, but takes slightly more time to get rid of the filter and rinse the equipment.

Can I use the same coffee grind for AeroPress and pour-over methods?

While both methods use ground coffee, the AeroPress brews a more unique and flavorful coffee when you use a finer grind size. Because AeroPress can plunge the coffee slurry through the filter with pressure, you can afford to grind much finer, leading to a bolder espresso-like extraction.

Is it easier to brew multiple cups of coffee with an AeroPress or a pour-over?

Since the AeroPress can only brew one cup at a time (unless you plan to dilute a concentrated brew,) it is much easier to brew multiple servings on a pour over coffee maker like the Chemex or on a larger size of the V60 or Kalita Wave.