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French Press Vs Espresso | The Final Battle

Of all the ways to brew coffee — and there are many — my favorites are French press and espresso. Espresso is deliciously dark and rich, and my French press produces wonderfully flavored coffee without much effort. Each method creates a great cup of joe but here’s why French press coffee wins the top spot for me: it’s less complicated and so much less expensive.

Go shopping for a top espresso machine, and you’ll find that they all cost at least $500. Can you find a good espresso machine for less than that? Yes. Do some of the single-cup brewers have espresso pods? Yes. But do either of those make really good authentic espresso? No. I’ve tried several espresso makers under $500, and most of them made coffee that tasted drinkable, but definitely not better than what I can make with my French press.

The one time I did use an espresso machine that cost $500 it made excellent espresso, but my enjoyment of it was only temporary as it was while I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law. Once I got back home I momentarily thought of buying the same model they have, but I ended up simply spending $12 on good coffee beans to use in the French press as opposed to shelling out a lot of money for an espresso machine.

French Press vs Espresso

You also need a very good (and expensive) grinder for espresso.

I also thought of the fact that while my brother-in-law raved over how awesome it was to have espresso every morning, he isn’t the one making it. Absent a stay at home wife like my sister, who was going to make my espresso each morning? It surely couldn’t be me.

In the morning, I need to get up, get dressed, make my coffee quickly, and head out the door. Espresso is a nice way to start the day when I don’t have to make it or can pick up some from a coffee shop. But the tamping, frothing, and whatnot that’s involved in making espresso at home just doesn’t fit into my average weekday. I could surely do it on the weekend, but if I’m spending hundreds of dollars for a machine I want to be able to use it every day with no hassles.

French Press Vs Espresso | It comes down at one thing: Cost

My French press cost about $30 and I use it like clockwork every morning at 6:35am. Sometimes I microwave the water for brewing, other times I’ll use a small pot or kettle, but making my coffee this way doesn’t require any babysitting.

Let me tell you all a little secret: French presses aren’t nearly as fussy as many so-called coffee experts claim. I put my grounds in, pour over the water, check my email for a few minutes, and then I plunge to get my coffee. No elaborate stirring methods or rituals are required to make great tasting French press coffee at home.

And while I treat myself to freshly ground beans several times a month, most of the time I just use my favorite finely ground coffee in my French press. Not once have I had a problem with over-extracting — it’s common sense to simply cut the brew time if you’re using anything that’s not coarsely ground — and I’ve never seen even a bit of grit in my cup.

Simply store your ground coffee in the freezer to preserve its taste, whip it out when you’re making French press coffee, and you’ll have a satisfying cup in mere minutes. If you can spare the time and the cash to make espresso at home, go for it. But if you want quality coffee without spending a fortune or taking a lot of time to brew it, I recommend using a French press.

How to make French Press Coffee:


Why I Love Coffee

Few things in life are guaranteed, but one thing I can always count on is the pleasurable, delicious taste of coffee. I enjoy many types of drinks, even tea, but nothing compares to a good cup of joe. I think the reason why I love coffee so much is drinking a cup truly is an experience. Think about it: even if you only have a few minutes to enjoy your cup, all of your senses get involved. You smell the aromas of the brew, you taste all of its complex flavors, and you actually feel — even if only for a moment — more relaxed. The best conversations are had over cups of steaming hot coffee, and reading a book is all the more satisfying when you have a good cup of brew to drink. Don’t believe me? Just try reading your favorite novel with the addition of a cappuccino or espresso, and you’ll see what I mean.

I’ve heard of the many health benefits that come along with drinking coffee, but that’s truly not part of the reason why I’m such a fan. I love the taste, the traditions represented in brewing coffee, and the feeling of comfort that it brings me. The fact that I can get all of that warmth and goodness from something that doesn’t cost much and doesn’t require a ton of time to make is especially awesome.

And let’s talk about variety for a second. Coffee isn’t just available in a ton of flavors, the actual places where it’s grown lend unique qualities to coffee. If you’re a wine buff you know of the term “terroir”, which is basically a culmination of how where grapes are grown and the methods used to process them affect the flavors in a particular wine. Coffee is the same way, and the differences in beans from different parts of the world are fun to explore. Add in the many brewing methods that exist and the various ways to serve coffee, and I don’t see how anyone could ever get bored with it.

I certainly haven’t get tired of it. The next time you have a cup of coffee, try to slow down and really savor the experience. You won’t look at it the same way again, and you’ll probably start to love coffee as much as I do.