Aeropress Vs Pour Over: Which Manual Coffee Brew Is Best?

Can't decide between AeroPress and pour over coffee makers? You're not alone. 

Despite both being manual coffee brewing methods, the two brewing techniques are actually very different so if you want a great coffee every time it's important to pick the right one.

In this article, we compare two of the best methods currently available – the AeroPress and Pour Over – and set out to answer one question: Which is the best method? 

While both the AeroPress and Pour Over are manual brewing methods, here are some of the key differences between the two: 

1. Coffee Strength & Taste 

In general, we find that the AeroPress outputs a fuller-bodied coffee.

Pour over, on the other hand, produces a lighter flavor. This is because the AeroPress uses pressure to extract a fuller flavor from the coffee bean. 

2. Brewing Time – Speed 

An AeroPress coffee maker takes under a minute to give you a cup of steaming coffee ready for drinking, which is almost guaranteed to ease off those caffeine cravings. 

Pour over takes up to 5 minutes, as there is more of a spectacle around the process.

If you're looking for a quick cup of coffee, you can't beat an AeroPress coffee brew time.

pouAeropress Vs Pour Overring coffee

3. Caffeine Levels

When you brew coffee you want to know how much of a buzz you're going to get. 

An AeroPress coffee has 50-70mg of caffeine per cup on average. This will vary depending on the coffee grounds used and the extraction time. 

Pour over has 80-180mg of caffeine, depending on the coffee grounds used and the exact pour over coffee makers used. 

Of the two brewing methods, pour over produces a stronger cup which true coffee lovers will appreciate more. 

4. Grind Size 

Pour over coffee uses a medium coarse grind size, whereas AeroPress uses a medium fine grind size.

This is because the brewing method and pouring technique is very different. The finer grinds in the AeroPress help to stop over extraction which can create bitter coffee.

The coarser grinds in the pour over stop pour over brewers pouring water through the grounds and metal filter cap too quickly, giving it more time to absorb the flavor.

Make sure you use the right grind to get the perfect cup of coffee. 

5. Ease of Use 

When it comes to simplicity of AeroPress vs pour over, AeroPress coffee is much simpler than pour over coffee. 

The easy-to-use plunge method combined with the portability and versatility of the AeroPress means you can create a stunning AeroPress brewed cup of coffee in just a few minutes. Plus, you can use it to make cold brew and even iced coffee!

A pour-over cup of coffee requires much more time and patience, as you evenly pour hot water over the freshly ground coffee beans. However, the pour over brewing technique is worth it for many coffee lovers as it will produce a cup that rivals anything output by the AeroPress. 

There's no doubt about it - if simplicity is your motto, then you will be best served by an AeroPress, but if you're a coffee geek you might well prefer pour over. 

6. Number of Servings 

AeroPress is a single-serve brewing method, typically creating a single cup of 200g coffee.

A pour over brewer can be used to pour multiple cups of coffee at once. A pour over device can make delicious coffee for up to 10 people, though most pour over brewers only accommodate 2-6 people.

It's worth considering how much coffee you want to make at once, because pour over coffee makers are the better coffee brewer for making more than one cup at a time. 

7. Ease of Cleaning & Longer Lasting 

An AeroPress is easier to clean than a pour over brewer

The AeroPress’s cylindrical plastic body and removable parts make cleaning a breeze. For that reason, it’s a great accessory to take camping or hiking when you want a rich coffee on the go. Plus, it's made out of plastic so it's unlikely to break. 

There are several different types of pour over brewer, but they usually all have coffee filters and a container for water. It can take a lot longer to clean the coffee grind residue from the pour over coffee maker and some designs, like the gooseneck kettle, take even more work. 

Pour over brewers are generally more fragile too, and the popular glass Chemex will break much more easily than an AeroPress.

8. Purchase Price Range 

Both AeroPress and pour over methods are incredibly affordable and when it comes to the AeroPress vs pour over brewing method there's not much in it. 

A standard AeroPress will cost you around $30, you’ll need to pick up some disposable paper filters to use (which will only set you back around $5 for a pack of 350 paper filters). 

Assuming you already have a kettle, a V60 dripper coffee brewer and filters will set you back as little as $15. A traditional brew is usually made with a cloth or paper filter, but these are very affordable.

If price is a concern, pour over may be the slightly more cost-effective method, but bear in mind that some manual gooseneck kettle pour over brewers can be expensive.


AeroPress: How Does It Work? 

The AeroPress is a coffee maker that uses air pressure to make coffee.

It's made up of two main parts: an airtight plunger and a cylinder chamber.

The coffee grounds are placed in the cylinder, and hot water is added. 

Next, the plunger is placed on top of the coffee grounds, creating a seal.

After your desired brewing time, the AeroPress works after a plunger is pushed down, forcing the hot water through the AeroPress filters and coffee grounds. 

Check out our favorite way to make a full cup of coffee with an AeroPress. 

aeropress brewing coffee

The original Aeropress was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, a retired Stanford engineering lecturer. The best thing about the AeroPress is that it’s easy to use, portable, and most of all, makes a great final cup of coffee. 

Pros & Cons Of Using an AeroPress 

Benefits 

  • Highly portable - use it in the comfort of your kitchen or chuck it in your backpack for excellent coffee on the go. 
  • Great device for brewing single cups of highly flavorful coffee 
  • Easy to clean 
  • Much more compact than other coffee machines 
  • It's simple to use — no complicated parts 
  • Inexpensive 

Drawbacks 

  • Requires a bit of elbow grease for extraction 
  • Can only really be used for one cup at a time 
  • Takes some practice to get used to 
  • It's not for everyone — some people find the process too complicated/labor-intensive and prefer a simpler coffee maker 

Pour Over Coffee: How Does It Work? 

Pour over coffee is a method of making coffee in which hot water is poured over finely ground coffee in a cone-shaped filter. It’s a slower and more deliberate process than automatic drip coffee makers. The coffee in the filter is then filtered into a carafe. 

The pour over technique of coffee brewing is a very special way of making coffee that originated in Japan. The pour over method of coffee brewing is a delicate process that requires the barista to pay close attention to the brewing parameters of each brew. 

The pour-over method is a simple, hands-on brewing process that allows you to control every element of your coffee: the water temperature it’s brewed at, the water to coffee ratio used for the brew, and the length of the brew time. 

black ceramic mug

Pros & Cons Of the Pour Over Method 

Benefits 

  • Much more affordable than an espresso machine 
  • Gives you full control of the brewing time and coffee recipes, letting you choose your preferred level of acidity, coffee taste, etc. 
  • It's environmentally friendly — no plastic pods 
  • It's portable — you can take your pour over coffee maker with you on the go 
  • The routine and method of pour over coffee makes it a great way to start your day 

Drawbacks 

  • The equipment takes up more space than an AeroPress 
  • Requires a steady hand for the circular motion! 
  • It can be a bit finicky — you need to pour the water at just the right pace 
  • It's time-consuming 

Common FAQs Answered

What is the best grind for aeropress? 

The correct grind size for your AeroPress is one that will allow water to pass through your coffee, but not too quickly. If the water passes through too quickly, your coffee will be weak and watery. If the water doesn't pass through quickly enough, your coffee will be too strong. 

The best grind for an AeroPress is somewhere in between a drip and a french press grind. If you use a drip grind size, your coffee will come out too watery. If you use a french press grind, your coffee will have a lot of sediment in it. 

Does aeropress make real espresso? 

Well, it depends on how you define espresso. A lot of people think espresso is just a specific type of coffee that is brewed via a specific method. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that. Espresso is an extraction method, and it has a lot of variables. 

The AeroPress is a great way to make espresso style coffee at home, but it's not a real espresso maker. The reason for that is that the AeroPress uses air pressure to force water through a bed of coffee grounds rather than using pressure from the built-in boiler. 

Is pre-ground coffee good for pour over? 

Coffee aficionados will tell you that the only way to get the best flavor from your coffee is to grind it just before you brew it. But are pre-ground beans really that bad? Pre-ground is great for pour over and it’s just as good as freshly ground coffee. 

Does A pour over machine use more beans? 

The average coffee grounds used in the pour-over method of brewing is higher than those used in the espresso method. 

Blue Bottle Coffee suggests using 22g - 30g of beans per cup. The average espresso shot will use around 16 - 21g of beans per shot. 

How long should it take to make A pour-over coffee? 

From start to finish, it takes about four minutes to brew a single cup of pour-over coffee. 

If you grind the beans yourself, factor in an extra few minutes of prep time. 

How do french press machines compare with pour over and aeropress? 

If you’re looking for a coffee maker that can make a full batch of coffee in one go, then you should invest in a French press. Also known as a press pot, this coffee maker is made of a glass container and a lid with a plunger. The plunger uses a filter to separate the grounds and the liquid. 

It's the best option for hosting a group of friends, as it allows you to prepare multiple cups at once. That means your guests can get their coffee fix at the same time  — making your life and theirs a lot easier. 


Conclusion

So what will you decide? When it comes to AeroPress vs. Pour Over, it’s easy to see why coffee fans enjoy both of these methods. 

The AeroPress is a fast and easy way to make a good cup of coffee. It's also easy to clean up, which is a bonus. But the reason I prefer the pour over method because you have more control over the variables that go into making a great cup of coffee.