French Press Vs. Pourover


Make your coffee the way you want, drink what you like, and if you find a way that works for you, keep doing it. It’s your mouth, your taste buds, your thing. Love your coffee  – Max Waters, Quantum's GM 


Pourover Brew

Pour Over coffee starts with freshly ground coffee, a filter, and dripper. This type of brew basically involves pouring water over and through grounds to extract coffee flavours into your cup or serving vessel.

Measurement: 1.5 g of coffee per oz of water for a light cup of coffee or 2 g/oz for a stronger cup of coffee.

Timing: 3 to 4 minutes

Method: Begin by pouring a tiny bit of water in a circular motion over the filter. Rinsing the filter, not only cleans it but also warms the filter and vessel to prevent as much heat extraction as possible. Every step in brewing coffee causes heat loss, so we want to minimize it. Discard the water. Next, add the coffee to the filter and shake to flatten the grinds. Pour a very light stream of water in a circular motion starting from the centre and working your way to the outside. Be careful not to pour the water right up to the edge of the dripper, as this will cause the water to go down the edges of the file, making for a very light cup of coffee. A goose neck kettle provides the best results, but any kettle will work with the right amount of finesse.  Pour enough water to wet the grounds, and then allow the coffee to bloom for 20-30 seconds. Blooming is the process where the grounds release the gases left over from roasting. This will ensure a smooth batch of coffee. You will see the grounds bubbling and expanding as it blooms. After it has bloomed, continue to pour the water over the coffee. Keep doing this until you use the required amount of water.

Appearance and Taste: The pour over brew appears dark but very clear and almost thin looking. The taste is much like it looks, clean to the pallet, gentle but with a lot of flavour. It’s easy to identify the different notes.

Photo Credit: Chef Sous Chef

French Press Brew

French pressed coffee also starts with freshly ground coffee, and a Bodum (yes, this is the patented name for it). This type of brew involves pouring water over grounds to extract the flavours, and then plunging the grinds to reveal your coffee.

Measurement: 2 grams of ground coffee per ounce of water. (suggestion). For the 8 cup/34 oz version of a french press, you want 10-11 tbsp or 68 grams of coffee grinds.

Timing: 4 minutes plus an additional 30 seconds for blooming

Method: Begin by pouring a cup of boiling water in to the french press and plunge to warm the strainer and glass beaker to touch. Place your coffee grinds in the french press. Depending on the size of your Bodum, in a circular motion, pour the french pressed boiling water gently onto the grounds until full. Set a timer for 4 minutes letting your coffee bloom for 30 seconds. Then, carefully stir the coffee. Many coffee methods suggest stir 3 oft stirs. Once the timer goes off, cover your coffee plunge it slowly.

Appearance and Taste: Unlike the pourover, the french press brew offered a much more robust looking coffee. It was a touch lighter in colour but cloudy. You could tell there is going to be sediment. The taste of it is strong, but with very well rounded flavour. It is not a coffee that you are going to easily pick up the subtleties in flavour. This is the cup of coffee you want first thing in the morning to start your day on the right foot.

Photo Credit: Chef Sous Chef

Need To Know

  • Paper filters prevent sediment, some oils and create a generally cleaner mouth feel.
  • The French Press will create a fuller bodied coffee because all of the oils are present and fine particles of coffee are suspended in the cup.
  • Fatty liquids: traditionally fatty liquids, such as cream or butter, are placed in coffee is not to change the flavour, but rather prevent the coffee from becoming bitter from oxygen exposure.
  • Coffee Storage: oxygen is not a friend of coffee. When you purchase coffee, it will provide the best flavour if freshly ground. After a day or two, the oxygen will penetrate the ground coffee and make for a less robust, and slightly bitter cup of coffee. If you do not have access to a grinder, then you portion your coffee for the week and place in a freezer until ready to use. You don’t want to freeze the coffee for anymore than a week or so.
  • Ratios: Just for reference, there are recommended ratios and measurements for making an ideal cup of coffee. Firstly, there are two methods for measuring, by weight or volume. The preferred method is to use a scale, which will produce the most consistent results for coffee day in and day out. You want between 1.5-2 grams of ground coffee per ounce of water. If you are measuring, it would be about 2.5 tbsp of ground coffee per cup of water. A typical North American mug holds 10 oz of liquid, so you will be using 3 tbsp of ground coffee.

This post was originally created by our wonderful friends at Chef Sous Chef. Live vicariously through their delicious Instagram here.