Cold Brew Vs French Press: What’s Right For You?

Nolan Killey

June 1, 2023

4.3/5 - (3 votes)

Key takeaways

Keurig vs French press

  • The main difference between keurig and french press coffee is that keurig uses pre-packaged, single-use capsules to brew coffee, whereas french press relies on coarsely ground beans and a manual brewing process.
  • Keurig machines typically produce a cleaner and more consistent cup of coffee, while french presses allow for more customization and control over the flavor profile of your brew.
  • Keurig machines are easier to use and require less time and effort, while french presses are generally considered more hands-on and have a steeper learning curve.
  • Both types of coffeemakers have their pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences in terms of taste, convenience, and ease of use.

Cold Brew Vs French Press: What’s Right For You?

Both coffee brewing methods have their pros and cons, but which one is the best for you?

Here’s a closer look at French press vs cold brew to help you decide.

The French press is a tried and true coffee brewing method that has been around for centuries. It’s simple to use – just add coffee grounds to the carafe, pour in hot water, and let it steep for a few minutes. Then, use the plunger to push the grounds to the bottom of the carafe.

One of the main benefits of the French press is that it produces a rich, bold flavor. However, it can be difficult to get a smooth cup of coffee without any sediment in it. Cold brew is a newer coffee brewing method that has been gaining in popularity in recent years.

It’s simple to make – just add coffee grounds to water and let it sit overnight in the fridge. The resulting coffee is smooth and mellow, without any bitterness. However, it can be a little bland compared to French press coffee.

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a type of coffee that is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time. This results in a coffee that is less acidic, smoother, and more mellow than traditional hot brewed coffee. Many people find cold brew to be more flavorful and aromatic than traditional hot coffee.

French Press overview

A French press, also known as a coffee plunger, is a coffee maker used to brew coffee by steeping the grounds in water, then forcing the brewed coffee through a metal or plastic screen, usually filtering out the grounds. For more information you can read our French Press Vs Aeropress article. The French press is also capable of making cold brew coffee.

Cold Brew Vs French Press: Equipment Needed

To make a cold brew, you will need a container such as a pitcher or Mason jar, and a coffee filter. Place the coffee grounds in the filter, and place the filter in the container. Pour cold water over the grounds, and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. When you’re ready to drink your cold brew, remove the filter and discard the grounds. To make a French press, you will need a pot with a lid and a plunger. Place the coffee grounds in the bottom of the pot, and pour hot water over them. Let it steep for 3 to 4 minutes, then press down on the plunger to extract the coffee.

Flavor Difference

The two methods of coffee-making produce different flavors. Cold brew is less acidic and has a smooth, chocolatey flavor. French press is more acidic and has a more intense flavor. We found the same differences when we compared the French press with Pour over .

Water Temperature

The average water temperature for cold brew is room temperature or colder. The average water temperature for French press is around 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Caffeine Level

There is a significant difference in the caffeine levels between cold brew and French press coffee. A study showed that French press had about 64 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce cup, while cold brew had about twice that amount, or 127 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce cup.

Why Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a great alternative to traditional hot brewed coffee. It has a smoother flavor and less acidity, because it is brewed at a lower temperature over a longer period of time. This makes it a great choice for people who don’t like the acidic taste of regular coffee.

How to Cold Brew Coffee Using a French Press

The easiest way to cold brew coffee is using a French press. Add coarsely ground coffee to the bottom of the press and pour cold water over top.

Stir gently, then place the plunger on top and push down slowly. Let steep for 12-24 hours, then remove the plunger and enjoy!

How to Cold Brew

There are many ways to cold brew coffee. One way is to simply fill a container with coffee beans and cold water, let it sit overnight, and then strain it. Another way is to use a French press. You can also make a Toddy system or use a Mason jar.

Can You Make A Cold Brew With A French Press?

A French press is a great way to make a cold brew. Fill the bottom of the press with coffee grounds, and fill the carafe with cold water. Stir well, and then set the plunger on top of the carafe. Let the coffee steep for at least 12 hours, or overnight. When you’re ready to drink your cold brew, slowly push the plunger down, trapping the Grounds at the bottom of the carafe.

Cold Brew Recipe

Cold brew coffee is a great way to make a smooth, rich cup of coffee without having to use hot water. It’s easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for a few days, making it the perfect coffee to take on the go. Here are three recipes for cold brew coffee that you can try at home.

Classic Cold Brew Ingredients:

  • 1 quart cold water
  • 1/2 cup coarse ground coffee


A quart-sized Mason jar or other container with a lid and a mesh strainer


  • 1. Pour the cold water into the Mason jar.
  • 2. Add the ground coffee and stir well to combine.
  • 3. Place the lid on the Mason jar and let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  • 4. Once the time has elapsed, strain the coffee through the mesh strainer into a new container.
  • 5. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Flavor Characteristics

The flavor of cold brew coffee is often described as being smooth, mellow, and slightly sweet. This is because cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for an extended period of time, which allows the natural flavors to be extracted without the bitterness that can be found in hot brewed coffee.


The room-temperature water brewing process is simple and efficient. The water is heated to a consistent temperature and then poured over the grounds. This brewing method takes less time than traditional methods that use boiling water.

What’s the verdict? Which one is better?

There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether French press or cold brew coffee is better. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

French press coffee is known for its robust flavor and full body. It’s also easy to make, which makes it a popular choice for home brewers.

However, French press coffee can be a little bit acidic and bitter.

Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. It’s also less acidic than French press coffee, making it a good choice for people who don’t tolerate acid well.

However, cold brew coffee takes longer to make and can be more expensive than French press coffee. In the end, it really comes down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a strong, flavorful cup of coffee, go with French press. If you’re looking for a smooth, mellow cup of coffee, go with cold brew.”

About Nolan Killey

Nolan is a keen traveller who loves to explore the world and taste new cuisines. She’s also a coffee lover, and enjoys sampling different blends from all over the globe. Her blog chronicles her travels and culinary experiences, as well as providing helpful tips for travelers and foodies. Anna likes to inject a healthy dose of humour into her writing, making her blog an enjoyable read for everyone.

Leave a Comment