AeroPress vs Pour Over

The AeroPress and pour over coffee have become the biggest trends among coffee enthusiasts. What’s the big deal, though? Are they worth it, and which is better? Let’s look into it.

The Two Types of Brewing Process

Before we start with the head-to-head comparison of the AeroPress coffee and the pour over coffee, we'll look into the extraction methods each uses. This is the key element that gives each coffee type its characteristics. 

Immersion

The AeroPress relies on immersion to give you a cup of coffee. Even though this method was seen as less effective as you simply immerse the coffee grounds in hot water, the design of the AeroPress makes it work. 

The brewing method works because there's very little water bypass. Additionally, the "liquid retained ratio" is significantly lower when using this brewing process rather than what would happen in other brewing devices like the French press.

Percolation

Percolationis the brewing technique of pouring water over your coffee grounds. Its biggest advantage is that you keep pouring fresh water over the coffee grounds and thus increasing the water contact time. Additionally, the water stuck in the coffee grounds is getting weaker and weaker, so you're less likely to end up with burnt cups of coffee.

What Is the Coffee from the AeroPress Like?

An AeroPress is an amazing coffee brewer that remotely resembles a syringe. It's made of a chamber where you put the ground coffee and the hot water and a piston that you press down with. For this reason, you have full control over the amount of ground coffee beans and hot water you're putting in. Additionally, you can adapt the time you let your coffee stay in the water before you press down and actually extract it.

Now, this brings some fantastic advantages to the (coffee) table. This freedom that you have when making Aeropress coffee means that you can get anything from a brew similar to espresso to something of an Americano. This is done by adapting the amount of coffee and water and the water temperature you put into the AeroPress.

If you're a beginner, it would be best to try to get an espresso-like drink. You can use that as the marker for the strongest coffee you'd make from an AeroPress. If it's too strong for you, you can add more water or less coffee and keep trying it out till you get the perfect result.

What Is Pour Over Coffee Like?

The pour-over method is one of the most satisfying manual brewing methods still widely used today. If you're a true coffee lover, you'll know what we mean. While this isn't the most efficient brewing method, as the brewing time can be quite long, especially if you're making multiple cups of coffee, it's well worth the wait.

What you'll need to brew a cup of pour over coffee are a gooseneck kettle, paper filters, and a glass carafe. It's important that you buy a gooseneck kettle that was specially designed for pour over coffee, as this is the best way to make sure you get all the flavor profiles out of your coffee grounds. The shape of the spout is crucial to get delicious results, as you need to be very precise with your pouring.

When it comes to taste, the profile of a pour over coffee is clean and crisp. This is because the paper coffee filter traps many of the oils extracted from the beans. That means that the coffee is not as rich and bold as the AeroPress brew, but it's significantly healthier. 

Pour Over vs AeroPress

Now that you have a general understanding of what to expect with each coffee brewing process, it's time to put them head to head. We've gone through the 7 main features that may be important before you make a decision about which one is for you.

Coffee Taste

Arguably, the most important feature before choosing a brew method to invest in is the taste of the coffee. For both of these you can be sure that you'll be getting delicious coffee with every single brew. We prefer the pour over coffee as the flavor is crisper, and the AeroPress feels a bit too oily. Nevertheless, they're both fantastic options.

Caffeine Level

The caffeine level of both of these brewing methods varies depending on the amount of coffee and water you're using. Generally speaking, though, a single serving of pour over coffee will give you 80-185 mg of caffeine, and a cup of AeroPress coffee will have around 50-70 mg.

Grind Size

When it comes to the grounds, the two are completely different. As pour over has little to no pressure involved, you'll need to use coarser grinds. The best would be medium to coarse, but you can experiment. The AeroPress, on the other hand, will work great with finer grinds as there's quite a bit of pressure involved in making your coffee. To get the best result, you'll want to get a medium-fine grind. 

Ease Of Use

If you're new to the coffee world, you'll want to know that the AeroPress is significantly easier to use than making pour over coffee. This is because you simply need to load the press, wait while the coffee steeps, and then push down to extract the drink.

When it comes to pour over, there's a significantly steeper learning curve. The best pouring technique is to slowly pour the water in a circular motion over 30-40 seconds. You're probably not going to get the technique right the first time, but you can experiment with hotter or colder water and different movements of the hand.

Brew Capacity

How much pour over coffee you can make in one go depends on the size of your glass carafe. On Amazon you can find carafes from 6 oz all the way to 34oz.

An AeroPress is much smaller and can only fit around 8 oz of water. This means that if you want to brew a few batches for more people, you'll have to go through the entire process again. 

Brew Time

The brew time on both is very short. The pour over process takes roughly 3-4 minutes, and the AeroPress around 2 to 3.

Portability

When it comes to portability, the AeroPress has the edge. It is much smaller in size than the glass carafe, the filter holder, and the filters themselves you'd need to carry for a pour over coffee. Additionally, for an AeroPress, you can heat water in anything you can find, but to make a good pour over coffee, you'll need to pour the water out of a good gooseneck kettle. In addition, a glass carafe is very fragile, and you might not want to bring it with you when traveling.

The Brewing Process

Brewing Pour Over Coffee

As we previously said, making the perfect cup of pour over coffee requires some practice. You need to learn how to put the paper filter correctly on top of the carafe and learn the right pouring technique. While this is definitely not the most efficient brewing method, it's well worth the time and effort to do it correctly. Now let's get brewing.

  1. Grind your coffee. You can also buy pre-ground coffee, but it's always best to grind it yourself. This is how you can preserve its freshness.
  2. Put the filter in the upper part of the carafe and add the coffee. Make sure unfiltered water isn't going through.
  3. Heat up the water. The perfect water temperature for pour over is around 95 degrees C (around 200° F). The best way to know when the water is at the right temperature is to purchase a kettle with a thermometer
  4. Pour water into the coffee. The right technique is to pour in a circular motion and pour all the water for around 30-40 seconds. It's crucial that you use a gooseneck kettle that was designed for pour over coffee to get an even extraction.
  5. Wait for all the coffee to be filtered. It might take some time for the water to pass through the coffee grounds and through the filter.
  6. Enjoy

Brewing AeroPress Coffee

The AeroPress is a little easier to use. It only takes 1-2, or two tries to get it right. Let's get cracking.

  1. Load the coffee in the AeroPress.
  2. Heat up some water.
  3. Add the water to the coffee and let it steep for 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Push down on the water and coffee with the piston into a cup.
  5. Voilà. You can now enjoy your AeroPress coffee.

Final Word

Both pour over, and AeroPress coffee are fantastic options if you're looking for a more unique way to prepare your morning brew. While AeroPress is a little easier to use, the experience of making a pour over coffee is significantly more rewarding. One thing you should know is that it's really worth it to invest in a high-quality pour over kettle. Get yours now.