French press on the left side vs drip coffee maker on the right side

French press vs Drip coffee: Which is Better?

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Have you ever entered the kitchen, stared at your collection of coffee makers, and wondered which one you should use today?

Don't worry! You are not alone.

As coffee lovers, we all have our preferred brewing methods. Some prefer the simplicity of a Drip coffee maker while some go for a more hands-on approach of a French Press.

And when it comes to choosing one, it's surely a difficult choice. Thus to help you pick one read this article.

Today in this article, I will share with you their details. Plus will also share with you what sets them apart and how to pick one.

So stay with me till the end.

French Press: overview

What is a French Press?

French Press is a manual coffee maker that has been around since the mid-1800s. It is a simple and elegant coffee brewer, also called a press pot or plunger pot.

Made of a cylindrical glass or stainless-steel container, it has a plunger with a mesh filter which makes it handy to extract the best flavors.

French press coffee maker placed with a white cup

What is a French Press coffee maker good for?

The French Press is best for making full-bodied coffee with rich flavors. Since the coffee grounds are in contact with the water for a longer period, more oils and flavors are extracted from the beans.

Also, the mesh filter allows more of the coffee's natural oils to pass through and produces a creamy and smooth texture.

When you should not use a French Press coffee maker?

The French Press might not be suitable for those who prefer a cleaner and less gritty cup of coffee. The mesh filter doesn't remove all the sediment from the coffee, which can give a grainy mouthfeel.

Also, it requires a bit of manual effort and attention to detail to get the perfect cup of coffee, so it may not be the best choice for those on the run.

Not only that you need a certain practice to master the art of using a French press. It can be tricky and you might be brewing it incorrectly without even realizing it.

Pros and cons of the French press


  • Full-bodied and strong coffee
  • Richer flavor and creamy texture
  • More control over the brewing process
  • No need for paper filters, making it more eco-friendly


  • Gritty and coffee has sediments
  • Requires manual effort and attention to detail
  • Not ideal for making large quantities of coffee
  • Not the easiest to clean

Drip coffee machine: overview

What is a Drip coffee machine?

The Drip coffee machine is a coffee maker that brews coffee by dripping hot water through a paper filter and ground coffee beans. It is also known as a coffee maker or automatic coffee machine.

It produces a smooth and consistent cup of coffee that is easy to drink and often preferred by those who prefer a lighter taste.

Drip coffee machine with carafe and filter

What is a Drip coffee machine good for?

The Drip coffee machine is ideal for making large quantities of coffee with little effort. It's perfect for those who need a quick and easy cup of coffee in the morning or for sudden guest visits.

When should you not use a Drip coffee machine?

The Drip coffee machine may not be the best choice for the ones looking for a more flavorful and bold cup of coffee.

Since the water only comes into contact with the coffee a little,  it extracts fewer oils and flavors from the beans. Additionally, the paper filter can absorb some of the coffee's natural oils, resulting in a less creamy texture.

Pros and cons of Drip coffee machine


  • Milder and smoother coffee
  • Fewer sediments and lighter flavor
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Can brew large quantities at once


  • Less flavorful and bold coffee
  • It can be expensive depending on the features
  • Requires paper filters

French press vs. Drip coffee machine: Quick comparison

1) Flexibility

The French Press is the champion of flexibility in coffee brewing. With this method, you have complete control over the brewing process.

Conversely, the Drip coffee machine offers less flexibility. Most models come with pre-set temperature and brewing time settings, which are not easily adjustable.

2) Price

In terms of affordability, the French Press is the budget-friendly option. These manual coffee makers are available in various price ranges, with even high-quality models often costing less than a high-end Drip coffee machine.

If you are looking for an economical way to brew excellent coffee at home, the French Press is an attractive choice.

3) Material quality

Both French Presses and Drip coffee machines come in a variety of materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

French presses are constructed from glass or stainless steel, which are known for their durability and heat retention properties.

Drip coffee machines, on the other hand, can be found in various materials, ranging from plastic to higher-end options like stainless steel or copper.

4) Portability

French Presses have a clear advantage in terms of portability. These manual devices are compact and don't require electricity which makes them ideal for on-the-go coffee lovers.

Drip coffee machines, on the other hand, are less portable due to their larger size and reliance on electricity. They are primarily designed for home use and are not suitable for situations where electricity is not readily available.

5) Coffee grind size

The choice of coffee grind size is crucial to achieve the desired flavor in your brew. French presses require a coarser grind size, one that resembles breadcrumbs or sea salt.

Drip coffee machines, in contrast, require a medium-fine grind, which is coarser than espresso but finer than what's used for French presses.

6) Durability

The durability of both French Presses and Drip coffee machines depends on various factors that include the materials used, build quality and maintenance.

Drip coffee machines can also be durable if they are constructed with high-end materials. Proper maintenance, such as regular cleaning and descaling, can significantly extend the lifespan of a Drip coffee machine.

7) Cleaning

The ease of cleaning is an important consideration for coffee enthusiasts. French presses can be a bit more challenging to clean due to their multiple components which include the plunger, metal mesh filter, and glass or stainless steel body.

Drip coffee machines, in contrast, are easier to clean. Most models come with removable parts like the filter basket and carafe that can be cleaned in a dishwasher or by hand.

8) Flavor and aroma

The French press is renowned for its ability to extract the full spectrum of flavors and essential oils from coffee grounds, resulting in a rich, bold, and aromatic brew.

Drip coffee machines, while efficient, may produce a milder and less complex flavor profile. The paper filters used in most Drip machines absorb some of the oils and micro-fines, resulting in a cleaner but less flavorful cup of coffee.

9) Batch size

The batch size of your coffee can be a significant factor in choosing between a French press and a Drip coffee machine. French presses come in various sizes but are best suited for making one to four cups of coffee at a time.

Drip coffee machines are designed to brew more substantial quantities of coffee in a single cycle. This is advantageous when you are having guests or need a large volume of coffee in no time.

10) Automation

Drip coffee machines are known for their convenience and automation. Simply add water and coffee grounds, press a button, and the machine takes care of the brewing process.

The French press, on the other hand, is a manual brewing method that requires more hands-on involvement. You control variables such as water temperature, steeping time, and agitation, which can be an enjoyable and immersive process for coffee enthusiasts.

11) Noise Level

Drip coffee machines, while efficient, can be noisy during the brewing process. The sound of water heating, dripping, and percolating can be disruptive in quiet environments.

The French press, being a manual method, is silent. The only noise you will hear is the soft sound of boiling water which makes it a discrete choice for a peaceful morning coffee routine.

What should you choose between the French Press and the Drip coffee machine?

The choice between the French Press and Drip coffee machine comes down to your personal preference.

Thus if you are looking for a full-bodied and flavorful coffee and don't mind a little extra effort, the French Press is the ideal way.

And if you want a quick and easy cup of coffee with a clean taste the Drip coffee machine may be the better choice.

Thus, consider factors such as the volume of coffee you want to brew, your preferred coffee tastes, and your budget.

Wrapping up

Remember, at the end of the day, it's not about Drip Coffee vs. French Press, it's about finding that perfect cup that brings a smile to your face.

That's all for this article. I hope now you know which one to choose from these two different brewing methods.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...