Brewing coffee at home is an essential habit for anyone working from home because we all need that extra energy boost in the mornings.
You can make your morning coffee with either a Keurig machine or a French press.
We'll look at the French press vs. Keurig similarities and key differences in this guide. That way, you can decide which one is right for you.
French Press Vs Keurig Coffee Brewing: Which Is Best?
1. Brewing Method
Our Keurig vs. French press coffee comparison starts with the coffee brewing method. Whereas the Keurig machines are automatic and use K-Cup capsules, the French press uses manual immersion.
That means they both extract very different flavors out of the pre ground coffee beans. Most people agree the flavors you get from a French press are more enjoyable, yet this is something that only you can decide for yourself.
However, French presses need more supervision. For example, if you leave it steeping too long, the coffee might turn overly bitter. However, the French press method also gives you more customizable coffee as you control the brew time.
With the Keurig, you don’t have to worry about the brewing process, as the coffee maker does everything for you.
Winner: French press - The flavors are more intense if you brew the coffee correctly.
2. Coffee Taste And Flavor Quality
French press vs. Keurig taste is an interesting comparison. Both methods lead to very different flavors and consistency. Since the French presses make more intense coffee with an oily consistency because they don't not use any additional filters beyond the integrated one.
Since most of the taste is hidden in the oil, this immediately explains why the coffee tastes stronger than most filter coffees, including Keurig coffees. You’ll taste a flavor best compared to an espresso machine but with a thicker texture.
The Keurig does have an integrated filter, so the coffee's flavors resemble what you’d get from a traditional drip machine. But the extraction time is usually shorter, so K-cups are often shallow and bitter.
Of course, the exact taste for both methods is hugely influenced by the beans you use, or the flavor of the K-cups - because they even offer hot chocolate pods.
Winner: French press - The lack of filtration means more of the oils make it into your cup of coffee if brewed correctly.
3. Brewing Time And Control
Picking a French press or Keurig is also influenced by time and control. The Keurig machine will prepare your coffee faster and will take most of the configuration process out of your hands. That’s also their main appeal, especially for busy workers who don’t have much time on their hands.
Depending on whether you use prefilled K-Cups or the more sustainable kinds, you can take more or less control of the result. But at the end of the day, you’ll get coffee in under a minute and can pick from various flavors.
You’ll be spending more time preparing and brewing French presses, but you’ll get finer control over the end result.
Winner: Keurig machine - It takes less time to brew your cup of coffee because it’s automatic and not manual.
4. Volume & Capacity
A Keurig coffee maker vs. French press comparison often hinges on the volume.
French presses comes in various quantities. There are typically 3, 4, 8, and 12-cup versions. That way, you can pick the one most suitable for your coffee needs.
With a Keurig machine, the cups of coffee you can get from it depend on the water reservoir capacity. A 48-ounce tank will provide just over 6 cups of coffee. But the Keurig cup sizes vary too, so if you use the larger 10-ounce cup size, you’ll get 4 cups.
Winner: Tie - both the Keurig machine and French press have similar capacities.
Keurig machines are more reliable than French presses because they have an automatic process. That means you get similar results each time you use it. In other words, you can set and forget it.
But this does come at a cost. You won’t be able to customize the end result as much as you can with a French press.
French presses can also give you better coffees over time because you’ll get better at brewing coffee with it. You’ll get the same results from day one with a Keurig machine. You can vary the capsule used, but that’s about it.
Winner: Tie - Keurig machines are fast and repetitive. But the French press lets you choose its performance based on your skills.
The Keurig machines are made for convenience. Press the button, and within seconds your brewed coffee is ready.
Since the French press is also relatively easy to use, the biggest difference seems to be a matter of time. But if there's a power cut, the French press can still be used. That means you'll find it more convenient in extreme circumstances.
But for everyday life, the Keurig machine works faster, which is a bonus when you’ve got a hectic day ahead.
Winner: Keurig machine - They make your cup of coffee automatically, saving you time and effort.
7. Value For Money
A crucial difference between French press and Keurig brewed coffee is the value.
The French press is very affordable. You can get premium French presses, but the average French press is 4x cheaper, will last a lifetime, and the ingredients cost you about a quarter of what you’d pay for supplying a Keurig machine.
You’re also using less disposable materials and extracting more and better flavors from the brewing process. That means you’re getting a ton of extra value from the French press. The only reason to choose K-cups is if time is your biggest constraint.
Winner: French press - it gives you much more value for money over a lifetime than a Keurig machine.
From a sustainability viewpoint, the French press stands out. The only thing you need to do is buy beans, plus it’s a simple device that lasts for decades.
On the other hand, Keurig machines have a much shorter lifespan, but that’s not their main drawback. The K-Cups aren’t very environmentally-friendly. But if you replace K-cups with reusable ones, the two become a lot more comparable.
Winner: French press - It’s more eco-friendly than the Keurig machine.
French Press Coffee Brewing Overview (Pros & Cons)
The French press uses a method called immersion. The coffee is submerged in boiling water, and they spend around 3 to 5 minutes together, after which you manually press down a plunger attached to a filter, allowing the hot water to pass through. The coffee grounds are left on the bottom.
The French press has been popular since the early 1960s but was invented a century earlier.
The version we now know best dates from 1958 and was developed by a Swiss inventor called Faliero Bondanini, becoming popular in France.
Eventually, it became a firm favorite for people all around the world. That was driven by its ease of use and signature taste.
The French press uses the immersion method to brew coffee, where the freshly ground coffee is immersed in water and separated after a short time. Many coffee types are suitable for making in a French press. You just need to buy high-quality beans and ensure the grind is correct.
Making and serving French press coffee is done in a few simple steps. You can also follow these at home:
French press makes a very flavorful coffee which has a full body, intense and oily flavor, and less acidity. The flavorful coffee takes control, which is why French press isn't really used in any other coffee based drinks.
All you need is patience, freshly roasted coffee ground beans, and a timer for a good cup of full flavor coffee.
These are all reasons why people like it, but others feel differently. They claim the French press varies in taste each time you use it and requires more time and effort than other methods. If you're less experienced making coffee, avoid the French press.
What We Like
Things We Don’t
Keurig Coffee Makers Overview (Pros & Cons)
A Keurig coffee machines are an alternative to the French press, which brews coffee much faster. When comparing French press coffee vs. Keurig, the main difference is that you only get one cup from the Keurig.
The Keurig machine was invented around 30 years ago to make coffee-making faster and easier - and to make better coffee than other instant brewing methods. It can produce a cup with only the touch of a button. It's produced by an American company called Keurig Dr. Pepper.
Various coffees can be brewed in Keurig machines. But they need to be in K-Cup capsules. These K-cups are plastic cups filled with coffee grounds which can be inserted into Keurig coffee makers.
Many Keurig coffee cups have exotic flavors, and all are created carefully. To make and serve a Keurig coffee from the comfort of your home, simply:
Coffee drinkers praise Keurig machines primarily for their comfort and speed of use. Most machines can produce coffee in under a minute.
That’s what makes it unique. The Keurig machine is perfect for quick breaks, hasty morning routines, and people who can appreciate the more bitter flavor profile.
But despite the simplicity, there are drawbacks.
The K-cups used in Keurig coffee maker aren’t good for the environment, and there are issues with the taste of coffee. It's a less flavorful coffee, and can become over diluted if the machines begin pumping hot water too early.
Also, while a K-cup is recyclable, it is a time-consuming task. This can be a problem for those who want quick Keurig coffee.
What We Like
Things We Don’t
French Press Vs Keurig Common FAQs
How long should coffee steep in a French press?
It depends on who you ask, but we recommend steeping your grounds somewhere between 3-5 minutes. You can test at home to find out what you like. The ideal steeping time will be different with different beans and grind sizes.
Is there more caffeine in French press coffee?
Yes, but only a little. That’s because the water and coffee have contact for a longer time, which leaves more space for the coffee to interact with the water and enables it to soak up more nutrients, including caffeine. The average Keurig coffee cup has about 100 mg of caffeine, while a French press cup has about 110 mg.
Can you use regular coffee grounds in a French press?
Take a look at the grind size – if it’s coarse, it should be okay. But I would recommend grinding your coffee. That saves a lot of money. Plus, a grinder can be a worthy addition to your coffee collection, as it will help you craft the perfect cup.
Should you filter French press coffee?
No, you don’t need to. There is a filter inside the French press, meaning you don’t need to filter it yourself. Doing so would change the flavor profile, as you would be taking out many of the oils that form the essence of French press coffee. The filter integrated into the press is mainly designed to hold back coffee grounds.
How long does a Keurig coffee machine last?
According to Keurig, their machines last between 3-5 years, which is actually longer than a few other popular brands. However, if you want something that lasts more than that, we would recommend the French press.
There are pros and cons to both brewing methods, but hopefully this article has made the Keurig vs French press debate simpler.
If you like a fast and easy way to make your coffee, we definitely recommend you go with a K-cups. But if you really want to get all those delicious coffee flavors out of the beans and be more sustainable, the French press is the best way forward.