French Press vs Regular Coffee Maker: Similarities vs Differences

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Coffee, a favorite hot drink of millions, can be enjoyed in so many ways. It’s more than just a great morning pick me up. Coffeeshops are now social hubs; you can enjoy the aroma, taste the subtle flavor of a particularly good blend, or discover a rich and creamy creation.

Once you become a coffee drinker, your world is opened up to lots of possibilities in how to prepare this delicious beverage. The more you dig into the wonderful world of java, the more you want to know, to refine the process of making the perfect cup! One of the decisions you are faced with is how to prepare it.

While there are plenty of methods to choose from, we are going to focus on the differences between two of the most common ways to make coffee, French press vs. regular coffee maker.

If you’ve been wondering how to step up your coffee game, or need some help choosing the right equipment, we can offer you all you’ll need to know and then some when it comes to choosing between two methods to brew your morning cup of joe.

French Press vs Regular Coffee Maker Review

The French press is thought to have been invented in the 1850s in France. In some countries, it is known as a cafetiere, coffee plunger, or press pot. It has gained popularity across the globe for its unique brewing method.

Regular coffee makers steep the grounds by where water is passed over the grounds, and then the liquid is passed through a filter to prevent any solids from getting in your cup. This form of preparing the juice of life was invented in the early 1900s in Germany.

Electrical machines using this process first appeared in the 1950s and became an incredibly popular household and office appliance in the 1970s. It is the most popular method of making coffee in the States.


The French press is comprised of two pieces, the cylinder or carafe, and the plunger. The cylinder is typically made of glass, but can also be plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel. The plunger has a filter screen attached made from a metal mesh.

Coffee makers are electrical appliances; they consist of the machine itself, which houses a water reservoir and filter basket, and a tray at the bottom, which holds a carafe. The carafe is usually glass, steel, or plastic. Some machines have built-in reusable filters, whereas others require paper filters.


The cylinder and the plunger of the French press need to be separated before preparing your coffee. The grounds are placed in the bottom of the cylinder, and hot water is poured in on top of the grounds.

You start the preparation process with a modern coffee maker by adding a filter to the basket, if it doesn’t already have one. Grounds are then added into the filter. Fill the water reservoir with cold water. Ensure the pot is on the warming plate and turn on the machine.

Brew Process

With a French press, you’ll need to let your coffee sit in hot water for around 3 minutes to get a good brew. You can steep it for longer if you prefer a strong cup. Then press down on the plunger to separate the grounds from the liquid. Then pour it into a mug and enjoy.

The coffee machine will complete the brewing process once you press start. It slowly passes the heated water through the beans in the filter. The resulting liquid drips through into the carafe at the base. The process takes several minutes, but some models allow you to pause the brewing process to allow you to pour a cup.

What Type of Ground Should You Use?

For a French press, you can grind the beans yourself or purchase some from a local coffee shop. Ideally, you will use a coarse grind, but some models can handle a medium grind or a medium-coarse grind. If the grounds are too fine, they might pass through the filter resulting in a gritty cup of joe.

The electric coffee makers also use grounds. The kind of coffee maker you probably have at home is compatible with medium or finely ground beans. With a finer grind, the water will take longer to pass through, which extends the steeping process. This isn’t necessarily a good thing as you can over-extract the coffee if it is too fine.

Getting the Best Results

Rinsing your French press with some hot water will warm it up before brewing. Try to serve your coffee as soon as it is ready, so it doesn’t sit for too long in the cylinder and grow bitter. A good balance is one tablespoon of grounds to one cup of water for each serving.

Your coffee maker requires you to measure out the right amount of grounds. Aim for 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water. You can use the carafe to pour the water into the machine to know how much you’ll be brewing. Residue can build up in the machine, so use filtered water.


No matter how you prepare the cup of brew, each method has a special way to clean the apparatus. The French press is easy to disassemble for cleaning. Remove the plunger and add some water to the cylinder to help remove the grounds.

If you have a strainer, you can pour the water out and then dispose of the contents in your compost bin or garbage can. Add dish soap and water and replace the plunger, push it down to get the water moving through the device. Finally, rinse out the carafe and let it dry.

For the other brewing device, remove the filter basket, and dispose of the grounds. Use soapy water to clean the carafe and the lid. Wipe down the outside of the machine. Occasionally, the machine will require a deep clean. You can run the machine with vinegar and water and then repeat with just water several times to remove the vinegar taste.   

French Press


  • Amplifies the body and aroma of the blend being used
  • Doesn’t use paper filters.
  • Adjust brew time to change the flavor


  • Messy to dispose of grounds and clean
  • Can over steep the grounds

Modern Regular Coffee Maker


  • The machine does the work for you
  • Easy to clean


  • Hard to adjust the strength of the coffee
  • The paper filter removes some of the flavor


We hope this French Press vs regular coffee maker review was helpful. The modern coffee maker is a good choice for making larger volumes of coffee regularly, as the process is less demanding. However, when it comes down to taste, the French press wins.