Drip Coffee vs French Press vs Espresso: Definitive Guide

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What Is French Press Coffee?

French press coffee is just like your average, every day coffee, but 100 times better! Just imagine putting sprinkles of love and happiness into normal drip coffee, then blending it with a little bit of perfection and heaven. I can assure you, if you’ve never tried French press coffee before, your life will forever be changed.

It is perhaps the most manual method of preparing coffee (or tea, almond milk, and several other options), yet it doesn’t take much longer than making machine-made drip coffee.

The idea of French press coffee is that you squeeze out all those precious oils that your drip maker’s paper filter would normally absorb, resulting in it all ending up in the trash. Paper filters take all that delicious, flavorful oil from your coffee beans and prevents it from ever entering into your cup. In my humble opinion, French press coffee is the absolute best way to fully enjoy your morning cup of Joe.

Created in Europe, the French press really circulates and contains all of the best flavors of your coffee, so you don’t have to mask the bitterness with loads of sugar and creamer. You can actually savor your coffee in its original glory.

The plunger and reusable filter system of the French press makes it unique in that it produces no waste at all, and little tiny coffee grounds pass through the (usually) stainless steel filter, exuding even more flavor into your mug. You measure out and add your water and coarse coffee grounds, allow your coffee to actually steep, since it’s in direct contact with the grounds, gently apply even amounts of force downward onto the plunger, then pour and enjoy!

What Is Drip Coffee?

Drip coffee is the most common form of coffee making on the planet. The coffee makers require a paper filter, which you pour the coffee grounds into, then you add water into the back of the coffee maker so that it can heat up and pass through the grounds and the filter into the coffee pot. It’s entirely possible to get a good flavor out of drip coffee, but it can be difficult and wasteful, as you’d really just use more coffee grounds, causing you to throw more out, resulting in you having to purchase more coffee every time you go to the grocery store. It’s still the most time saving and convenient way to go when you’re making your coffee in the morning. Some drip coffee makers even have a timer and a clock on them, so you can add the water and grounds at night before bed, set the time for whenever you’re wanting it to be ready, then wake up to the smell of fresh coffee in the morning!

The most negative component of the drip coffee maker is not only its flavor restrictions due to all the oils being absorbed into the filter, but the filter itself is waste being put back into the earth. Not to mention, all the coffee grounds you end up using, but not to their full potential, just get thrown into the trash right along with the filter. Sure, it’s all convenient and time saving, but are you really willing to sacrifice full flavor for convenience?

I’m not knocking those who use drip coffee machines– heck, I use mine more often than not, because it is fast and requires little effort. Plus, I still get a decent tasting cup of coffee, too, and I don’ t have to get up an extra 10 minutes early just to make my coffee.

What Is Espresso Coffee?

Espresso is like a combination of French press coffee and drip coffee; you get the convenient automation of drip coffee, but a lot more flavor than normal drip coffee. Espresso is basically coffee that is compacted and forced into smaller amounts of liquid so the caffeine is more condensed and concentrated, giving you a sudden burst of energy, rather than a more slow development of energy that a regular cup of coffee would give you.

Espresso is (quite literally) not for the faint of heart– you don’t just mess around and drink espresso for the fun of it. Espresso has tons of flavor packed into a cup about half the size of a normal coffee mug, and the liquid is often thicker than either regular or French pressed coffee. In coffee shops, this is the coffee in the tiny cup with the cute little heart shaped design like you see in the movies and on TV; it really does exist!

You can purchase an espresso maker and have cafe quality coffee in your home, but be warned: drinking too much of this can give you some serious jitters, and a nasty crash accompanied with a headache if you don’t know what you’re doing.

A Guide To Drip Coffee vs French Press vs Espresso

Most avid coffee drinkers are rather set in their ways when it comes to their pick-me-ups. Some people drink coffee solely to stay alive during their work day, and others drink it purely for its flavor and fragrance. A lot of people even drink decaf just to have the coffee without the extra jitters.

Here are what most people who enjoy each type of coffee are like, and why they probably enjoy coffee the way that they do:

French Press

Those who enjoy French press coffee pretty much daily likely have a little more time on their hands, and they can appreciate the more refined things in life. Of course, French presses are surprisingly affordable, but having the time and patience to prepare it correctly isn’t quite for everyone. Europeans knew exactly what they were doing when they crafted the first French press in the 1950s; there is even a French press that has a slightly modern twist on the classic model!


  • Coffee tastes a million times better
  • You can save money in the long run
  • Produces no waste
  • ALL natural coffee flavor is utilized and heightened within just one cup
  • French presses usually don’t take up a ton of room, so easy storage


  • Takes a bit more time to prepare
  • Coffee doesn’t constantly stay over heat, so it doesn’t stay hot for quite as long

Drip Coffee

There really isn’t one group to lump all drip coffee drinkers into, since it’s so very common for someone to use a drip coffee machine in their house. As a matter of fact, you are much more likely to find a drip coffee maker in someone’s house than you are a French press. However, you can assume they are likely parents or they work (or both), since they like the quickness and convenience of the drip coffee maker. Some people who use a drip maker likely haven’t even heard of a French press, so you can’t blame them if they don’t know!


  • Makes your coffee quickly and conveniently
  • Easiest to use, little to no effort
  • You can even set a timer on some to where it will have your coffee made by the time you wake up


  • Coffee isn’t nearly as flavorful
  • Produces waste/wastes coffee grounds
  • Harder to clean than a French press


If you hear someone order an espresso by itself, or a normal cup of coffee with a shot or two of espresso, then you know they likely have a long day ahead of them. This type of coffee gives you the most energy, and if you happen to have heart issues or anxiety or anything like that, you probably should steer clear of espresso. It is rich, aromatic, flavorful and downright delicious, but if you have never had it before and are not an avid coffee drinker, then you should tread lightly in the world of espresso.


  • Bigger burst of energy than a regular cup of coffee
  • More rich in texture and flavor than drip coffee
  • Quickly made
  • Less consumption, due to it being in a smaller cup


  • Higher concentration of caffeine (could be positive or negative, depending on the person)
  • Not for those who are not used to espresso already
  • If not made properly, the taste can end up bitter and too strong
  • Espresso machines are relatively pricey

No matter how you drink your coffee, or your preferences on preparation, we are all one family together as coffee drinkers. If you can take away anything from this article, just know there is literally no wrong way to drink coffee, there are just some better ways than others, depending on your preferences!