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Thread: French Press vs Aeropress vs Clever Coffee Dripper

  1. #1
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    French Press vs Aeropress vs Clever Coffee Dripper

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    Hi all,

    I hope everyone's well.

    I'm trying to figure out what the best small and portable coffee brewer would be.

    I know a lot of people rave about the Aeropress, which I've unfortunately not yet had the chance to experience.

    I do own a french press, which is very standard.

    I've also heard a lot of talk of "clever coffee drippers" - nobody can seem to choose a favourite (personal taste obviously applies).

    Just out of interest though, if anyone can give me some pros and cons of each, and maybe just a personal opinion, I'd much appreciate it!

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    I've just realised I think this is probably in the wrong section, I probably should have put it in "Brewing Equipment - Manual Coffee Brewing Processes" - If this is the case, I apologise, but I'm not sure how to change it now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    What type of coffee are you trying to make? Are you aiming for a filter-style black coffee? Or something approximates an espresso shot? Or something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhhEnnEmm View Post
    Hi all,

    I hope everyone's well.

    I'm trying to figure out what the best small and portable coffee brewer would be.

    I know a lot of people rave about the Aeropress, which I've unfortunately not yet had the chance to experience.

    I do own a french press, which is very standard.

    I've also heard a lot of talk of "clever coffee drippers" - nobody can seem to choose a favourite (personal taste obviously applies).

    Just out of interest though, if anyone can give me some pros and cons of each, and maybe just a personal opinion, I'd much appreciate it!
    I havenít tried all the brew methods you have mentioned, but lately I did start using an aeropress. It is certainly very convenient for traveling, since it comes with a nice dedicated bag that can hold all the parts. The cylindrical shape gives it a very small footprint. As a versatile brewing method, it features so many options like dose/grind, immersion time, number of stirs and the choice between regular and reversed method ... etc. It may seem mind-boggling, but once you find a recipe that works for you, it is not hard to replicate at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    What type of coffee are you trying to make? Are you aiming for a filter-style black coffee? Or something approximates an espresso shot? Or something else?
    Thinking something espresso style, I like really strong coffee, even though I do add milk, when I have machine access I do multiple espresso shots and top up with steamed milk. However I can best replicate this really!

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    Quote Originally Posted by degaulle View Post
    I haven’t tried all the brew methods you have mentioned, but lately I did start using an aeropress. It is certainly very convenient for traveling, since it comes with a nice dedicated bag that can hold all the parts. The cylindrical shape gives it a very small footprint. As a versatile brewing method, it features so many options like dose/grind, immersion time, number of stirs and the choice between regular and reversed method ... etc. It may seem mind-boggling, but once you find a recipe that works for you, it is not hard to replicate at all.
    This is what I've been seeing a lot of.

    Everyone seems to have their own little methods with the AeroPress, and when they've discovered the method that works best for them, they love the little thing!

    I really want to try it, I take it that the AeroPress is genuinely so much different from a french press that it is worth me buying then? - I suppose so anyway since they're so cheap

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhhEnnEmm View Post
    Thinking something espresso style, I like really strong coffee,
    Ha, coincidence. I wanted a portable espresso maker that used standard 58 mm portafilters and developed >9 Bar pressure.

    I couldn't find such a beast so I made my own. It produces a fairly good shot, limited by the excessive heat loss. I'm working on the heat losses now.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 8th August 2019 at 09:19 PM.
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  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    What make/model grinder do you have ONM?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhhEnnEmm View Post
    Thinking something espresso style, I like really strong coffee, even though I do add milk, when I have machine access I do multiple espresso shots and top up with steamed milk. However I can best replicate this really!
    If that is your objective, you can also consider a mokapot. Take the 3-cup Bialetti version and buy a pack of Aeropress filters, these should match the mokapotís filter area. With a grind somewhat coarser than what you would select for an espresso machine you can make very tasty strong coffee that has a clean taste without the fines. You can top it up with heated milk that you can froth with either a handheld battery-fed frother or your FP. IMO this recipe makes for great cappuccino.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Ha, coincidence. I wanted a portable espresso maker that used standard 58 mm portafilters and developed >9 Bar pressure.

    I couldn't find such a beast so I made my own. It produces a fairly good shot, limited by the excessive heat loss. I'm working on the heat losses now.
    Any chance of a photo? Sounds innovative

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Ha, coincidence. I wanted a portable espresso maker that used standard 58 mm portafilters and developed >9 Bar pressure.

    I couldn't find such a beast so I made my own. It produces a fairly good shot, limited by the excessive heat loss. I'm working on the heat losses now.
    This sounds incredible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    Ha, coincidence. I wanted a portable espresso maker that used standard 58 mm portafilters and developed >9 Bar pressure.

    I couldn't find such a beast so I made my own. It produces a fairly good shot, limited by the excessive heat loss. I'm working on the heat losses now.
    This sounds incredible! It's a shame you've found nothing on the market that quite cuts it, maybe one day you'll be the one to put it on the market!

    Have you got a link to a thread regarding this marvellous creation?

  13. #13
    Senior Member woodhouse's Avatar
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    aeropress for portability. out of the lot, the clever wins for me, but it's kinda fragile and not suited for travelling.

    the delter press is also pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by degaulle View Post
    If that is your objective, you can also consider a mokapot. Take the 3-cup Bialetti version and buy a pack of Aeropress filters, these should match the mokapot’s filter area. With a grind somewhat coarser than what you would select for an espresso machine you can make very tasty strong coffee that has a clean taste without the fines. You can top it up with heated milk that you can froth with either a handheld battery-fed frother or your FP. IMO this recipe makes for great cappuccino.
    Oh man, that seems to be yet another amazing shout!

    I love the idea of how practical a mokapot seems too! I'm overwhelmed with choice now suppose it's better to have a load of great options though! Even if it does make my head want to explode .

    I'm thinking that would be absolutely ace for use on a campfire, which I intend to have many of...

    Maybe I'll spend some hours watching YouTube videos, but I can really see myself buying all of em just out of curiosity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    What make/model grinder do you have ONM?

    Mal.
    I don't yet have a grinder myself, I have access to one of these - https://ironandfire.co.uk/product/fr...offee-grinder/ - and when I go in I just grind enough there and then. I bag it up and it's enough to last me a couple weeks.

    I'm thinking of buying that exact grinder eventually, but for the basic level I'm at I don't think I want to spend quite that much money just yet.

    I'm also intending to buy a portable grinder, for use with whichever portable brewer I buy. But again, I'm clueless, all I know is I want a ceramic burr grinder, just don't know at all which is the best option for me.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    When you finally get your own grinder, you should notice a hell of an improvement on the results in the cup; and that looks to be a decent enough grinder, which is important.
    High quality, freshly roasted beans ground only immediately before use will improve your coffee out of sight mate.

    All the best,
    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    When you finally get your own grinder, you should notice a hell of an improvement on the results in the cup; and that looks to be a decent enough grinder, which is important.
    High quality, freshly roasted beans ground only immediately before use will improve your coffee out of sight mate.

    All the best,
    Mal.
    Thanks Mal,

    I know! I even notice the coffee slowly degrading in the bag, very slightly over time but still, by the end of the bag it is definitely not as pleasant a taste as it is in the beginning, and that's only two weeks! Which is why I want a portable one .

    I plan to buy green beans, roast a couple weeks worth at a time and bag them whole. Then grind as and when I need them! Should be as close to perfect as portable coffee gets if I can find all the right bits and bobs! But I'm loving the research!

    Thanks very much for your chat and advice! Seems like you're a sound bloke!
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  18. #18
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    ONM, Mal is spot on. One set of figures I learnt early in my coffee journey, which as a rough guide is useful, green beans are at their best for 2 or 3 years, roasted beans for up to five weeks and ground coffee for 3 minutes. Rough guide and there are outliers, but you can probably see that unless you live very close to the shops you probably haven't yet tasted your purchased coffee at it's best. Might help your prioritise when you get your grinder.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhhEnnEmm View Post
    maybe one day you'll be the one to put it on the market!

    Have you got a link to a thread regarding this marvellous creation?
    No thread yet, I'll get the thing working to my satisfaction first (so it may never eventuate, though the flow and pressure profiling I designed it to achieve work well already).

    It won't be going to market: I have a history of spending huge amounts of time, effort and money on developing things which work very well but don't sell: I have three* under development at the moment, my wife would kill me if I added another one.


    * None of them coffee related.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 9th August 2019 at 10:28 AM.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Don't write the French Press off until you've tried it with your own freshly ground coffee beans.
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    I'm still working out the Aeropress but it does make a much stronger / full-bodied brew than the Delter. As people have mentioned, there are so many recipes and you can make it how you like it.
    The best brews I've achieved out of the Delter have all been clean & tea-like. Longer brew time keeps leading to overextraction.

    If you like strong, espresso-like coffee, I got a vietnamese phin for $5 from Chinatown. Makes a tasty heart-starting shot.

    As for grinders, I followed CS posters advice and got the 'Precision Hand Grinder' with stainless steel burrs. It's $100 and better quality than the ceramic ones around the same price.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erimus View Post
    Don't write the French Press off until you've tried it with your own freshly ground coffee beans.
    And an improvement on the French press is the Espro press with its finer filters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otago View Post
    And an improvement on the French press is the Espro press with its finer filters.

    It's no big deal a few fines at the bottom of your cup/mug. It's reminiscent of the old days, before teabags became popular and you always left the last bit of tea. Also teabags are not an improvement on loose leaf tea.
    I certainly don't think it's worth forking out $80 plus for a supposed smoother, cleaner, brighter coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erimus View Post
    It's no big deal a few fines at the bottom of your cup/mug. It's reminiscent of the old days, before teabags became popular and you always left the last bit of tea. Also teabags are not an improvement on loose leaf tea.
    Apologies to all those tasseographers out there. Did not intend to disrupt a quaint pastime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erimus View Post
    It's no big deal a few fines at the bottom of your cup/mug. It's reminiscent of the old days, before teabags became popular and you always left the last bit of tea. Also teabags are not an improvement on loose leaf tea.
    I certainly don't think it's worth forking out $80 plus for a supposed smoother, cleaner, brighter coffee.

    Each to their own, but I find it's worth the extra cost to get a brew that's cleaner and better tasting than a 'standard' French press. In my search for something simple and affordable that makes a decent enough brew and has greater capacity than my Aeropress, I considered the Brazen and the Breville Precision Brewer before settling on the 945ml insulated Espro Press. Turned out to be just what I was after.
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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Hi

    Do you like Turkis/Lebanese/Greek coffee? Then consider an Ibrik with some nice finely ground coffee. They carry well and just require heat from electric or gas cooker like a Moka Pot. Can make a strong coffee. You can add a bit of sugar if you like it sweet. Easy to clean out.

    Mike

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    A few years ago my wife and I took the Aeropress on a road trip from Melbourne to Cairns, across to Fitzroy Island and back again. It was found to be really easy to use and minimal fuss. We got a few strange looks by people at stopping areas when we pulled out the Aeropress and started making coffees but it was great to know that I was going to get a reliable good coffee. All we needed was a flask of hot water & fresh coffee which I ground before we left, not optimal but saved a few minutes during our pit stops on the side of the road.

    After that I took the Areopress into the office daily. Now days I go for the cold drip.
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    I've been using an Aeropress for a while now, I have my own method which I like (and have actually converted a couple of people to Aeropress and my method too). In short, I want a full cup of coffee with a small dash of milk so it's not black (although if there is no milk black is just fine). Once upon a time at my Grandmother house this was made using a drip machine, but at work that's not an option (and the alternative is instant coffee).

    Bare with me for a minute here:

    I have a hand grinder for my beans, one scoop of the Aeropress measure of beans ground up and put into the Aeropress using both the fine metal filter and a paper filter (which helps make clean up very very easy). I put the press over my cofee mug and fill it with hot water from the Zip boiling water tap, stir until it drops through to about 3 then top back up with more hot water before putting the plunger in and letting it sit for another minute. I then press through all the water into my mug which results in one almost full mug of coffee, dash of milk from the fridge and I'm done.

    Clean up is very straight forward as the vast (vast vast) majority of the coffee grounds have formed a puck on the paper filter which slides into the bin, then I just give it a quick rinse with some hot water and dry it off. With this method nearly no grounds ever comes near the sink.


    So fast forward to today where I bought myself a small plunger thing. I get this is more than the cheap end of town, but it's glass and stainless steel and appears to do what it says on the box.
    https://www.kmart.com.au/product/3-c...lunger/1024819

    "3 Cups" apparently equals one mug. So no second cup for me using this particular plunger.
    I used the same amount of coffee as for the Aeropress, same beans, same grinder. You may be surprised to hear that it tasted much the same as my memory of Fridays' cup made with the Aeropress. There was surpsingly little sediment in the cup when I finished it too. All in all, not a bad tool for $6.

    BUT! Cleanup! The plunger didn't really empty it's grounds into the bin cleanly which left excess being rinsed off at the sink. It wasn't a lot of extra work, but it definately gelt more cumbersome than the Aeropress. I also felt like I had more 'stuff' in my hands as I walked back to my desk (the grinder slides nicely into the Aeropress), although that's hardly a real issue.



    In summary, taste wise I didn't notice anything particularily different between the two methods. So for ease of use I think I'll be sticking with the Aeropress for my work needs, as a single mug tool it's perfect. If I had a larger plunger that got me that second cup I might just think the extra cleaning would be worth it, especially if it was also double walled unit to retain the heat of that second cup while it waits for me, although at the moment I only have a single cup so this would be increasing my coffe intake :P
    Alternatively if I was making coffee for more than one person at a time a larger plunger might also be worth the expense and effort.... although in the last office there were two of us, both with Aeropress and both with grinders making coffee at the same time, I don't know that we would have switched to a shared plunger for no perceived benefit.

    So my recommendation is for Aeropress, if nothing else it provices me with a few minutes to talk to people in the kitchen at work and often is a great ice breaker as people wonder what you're doing
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  29. #29
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    If a double walled French press interests you, the Espro press would be worth looking at but it is not a cheap solution. It also has a fine filtering system that will solve the silt problem which is a common complaint with French presses.



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