Cold Brew vs. French Press: What’s the Difference?

Indeed, making your coffee is more cost-efficient than buying from an expensive restaurant. Since it has different brewing methods, how should you know which between the French Press and Cold Brew Maker could yield better results? Here are the differences.

Both are unfiltered brewing methods for coffee and produce bold drinks. Cold-brew takes 30 hours, resulting in a less acidic taste compared to a standard brew. French press takes 5 minutes to brew your coffee, and the flavor is more robust since it does not filter oils from the grounds.

Like you, we prefer a brewing method that can make up for how we would like my coffee. And knowing the mere difference between the two might be unsustainable, considering the aftertaste we aim to achieve. After all, we coffee lovers put an extra effort into our morning brew. Here is some of the exciting information I’ve gathered to share with you to get the best cup.

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brewing is the method of steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period. It usually results in a mellow, flavorful, smooth, and less acidic taste. The process’s fulfillment is distinct from what you would taste by icing a hot brewed coffee, which is often mistaken by several new coffee lovers.

Unlike heat that extracts the coffee beans, the steeping method is tender towards the caffeine. That is why it would taste sweeter without any roasting and bitter aftertaste. The recommended minimum hour in soaking coffee beans is 12 hours, enough to disengage the elements.
While it reduces caffeine concentration, drinking cold brew coffee improves brain function and weight loss attempts. Some people prefer brewing it with milk and cream, while others use felt filters for more comfortable immersion. Here are the distinct characteristics of a cold brew.

1. Room-Temperature

The water temperature needed in the cold brew is neither hot nor cold. This brewing process uses room-temperature water for fewer time requirements. Although it is not wrong to brew in the fridge, it would only take you long hours. Once the concentration or brewing process is complete, it is better to keep it at a cold temperature.

2. Higher Caffeine Levels

Generally, cold brews have higher caffeine levels compared to standard and hot-brewed coffees. There are different methods of processing cold-brew, and while all results lead to more caffeinated coffee, some techniques have higher intensity. It is the reason why some prefer combining it with milk or cream. It depends on their taste.

3. Older Beans

It doesn’t matter whether the coffee beans are more than two weeks old or not. Some solubles cannot be unextracted, and either way, it would still result in a sweet and mellow cold brew coffee. In simple terms, the grounds’ freshness isn’t as crucial when it comes to cold brewing since the process wouldn’t extricate all the aromatic solvents.

4. Flavor Characteristics

The flavor of a finished brewed coffee varies on the temperature and brewing method. Meaning, the same beans could have significant differences in taste when brewed with unconventional techniques—as per evaluated side-by-side. The typical cold brew characteristics are the following: less bitterness or sweeter, smoother blend, more delicate flavors.

5. Cold Brew Methods

Here are some quick-and-easy cold brewing methods you should try to improve your favorite coffee’s flavor and ambiance.

Immersion Brewing

If you’re starting to dive into brewing methods to discover which is most suitable for your coffee habits and taste preferences, cold immersion brewing would be the best startup. It is simple, repeatable, and offers excellent results. The process is so convenient that you could start preparing now. You only need the following: coffee filters, a brewing device, cold water, and of course, your coffee.
Consider your type of flavor when choosing the right toast. Dark roasts have a more intense and smoky flavor. On the other hand, lighter roasts with different fruity and flowery flavors. You could try different levels to discover your taste or experiment until finding the right ratio.

For the immersion brewing method, we have the: Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee. My experience has been awesome, here you can check the price on Amazon. You can make up to 2 quarts (64 ounces) of cold brew concentrate and store it for up to 2 weeks.

Ice Drip Brewing

If you are willing to dedicate more time and effort, try the ice drip brewing technique for a clean and wide range of flavor results. This method requires a cold ‘drip tower’ to slowly deliver iced water dripping over the fresh coffee grounds. As mentioned earlier, it would take a whole day to finish one pot of coffee. Please don’t fret, and we assure you that the long hours are worth the wait.
The drip towers or cold drip apparatus are usually made of glass vessels. It looks fancy and scientific to perceive, and the price isn’t that friendly. If you’re in a busy setup or small apartment, it would be such a hassle to utilize this method.

My tower for ice drip brewing is the OXO Good Grips 32 Ounce Cold Brew Coffee Maker (Price on Amazon). You can make up to 1 quart (32 ounces) of cold brew. The Pro of this maker is that the resulting cold brew is very low acid concentrate. The con is that you need a repository to store your cold brew since the OXO can’t store your resulting drink.

Cold Brew Recipe

How would you like your cold brew coffee? If you prefer it creamy, refreshing, without any bitter aftertaste, follow these essential steps in getting the right flavors. You don’t need special equipment or a trained barista to make it! Here are the steps to producing a perfect cup of cold brew coffee.

  1. Mix room-temperature water and fresh ground coffee in the steeping container.
  2. Stir the coffee grounds at the top of the container. It would appear on the surface after a few minutes.
  3. You could also continue the process of stirring while the brewing method starts.
  4. After brewing, cover the steering device with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature. We recommend you to wait after 24 hours.
  5. And then, remove the plastic wrap and press the grinds to concentrate.
  6. Pour the concentrated grinds into a fine-mesh container. Then dissolve it with cold water.
  7. Apply it into a glass with plenty of ice. Ready to serve.
Cold Brew Latte

Cold Brew Benefits

The growing popularity of cold brew has induced many people to try it at home. And aside from its convenient and straightforward method, did you know that there are numerous benefits you could experience after drinking it? Here are the following.

  • Caffeine is an excellent support in boosting your metabolism. It quickly helps you burn calories.
  • Researchers observed that the consumption of a cold brew enhances mood and brain function.
  • Drinking cold brew lowers your risk of getting type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is due to the coffee having compounds that stabilize blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, and powerful antioxidants.
  • It helps in stimulating your nervous system and would affect how your mind would function.
  • Cold-brew reduces the development of acid reflux since it has fewer acid flows.
  • Coffee is a beverage with anti-aging effects. The antioxidants protect your skin from harsh chemicals while keeping your skin youthful.
  • It is the perfect coffee beverage for individuals who cannot handle stomach issues when drinking dark roast coffees.

What is the French Press?

The French press is one of the most convenient brewing methods when making great coffee. While it is fast and straightforward, it also comes inexpensive. This sleek container used for steeping coffee in the morning can also be used to produce a cold brew.

French Press Coffee Maker (Grey) – 1 Liter / 34 fl oz

from: Barista Warrior

Its results would offer you a fresh aroma with coffee oils on the top of your cup. And as you take a sip, you would have a taste of the tiny bean particles. Many coffee lovers consider using a French press to make the best coffee. You could taste all the flavors, with the most high-grade quality— enabling you to experience drinking without impurities.

Brewing with a French press is almost the same as making hot coffee. It is a round container with a wire-mesh filter dipped into a cylindrical jug. If you want to make coffee out of it, start by boiling water over the coarse-ground coffee beans until it filters within. We recommend you not use a blade grinder because it would result in an uneven and warmer bean, which reduces the flavors.

1. No Impurities

Drinking coffee made from a French press offers you an intense taste. For it does not miss any elements of the coffee grounds. This means, you would get to taste the complete saturation of caffeine and its oils. The soaking furnishes the coffee with a varied quality compared to what you taste from a drip device or percolator.

2. Coffee Grounds Steeping

The coffee from a French press tastes better because the grounds are being steeped rather than filtered. The result is a mouth-watering mug of brewed coffee with a fragrance that adds up the ambiance. Utilizing this brewing method anticipates that all compounds except the ground coffee are included in the cup.

3. Right Temperature

The temperature throughout the process is being sustained, allowing a significant impact on brewing the coffee. You could set the temperature around 200° by boiling the water then letting it sit for seconds. After a half-minute, you can now start brewing because it reached the right heat.

4. Short Time Requirement

Achieving a full coffee expression would only need a minimum time requirement. You would have to grind your coffee while the water is reaching the right temperature. Also, giving rounds of gently stirring would only take 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom. You could serve your coffee the moment it finished brewing.

5. Coffee Bean Type

There is no specific coffee bean type that a French press brewing method requires. It depends on what your preferences, aroma, and available bean in your area will do. Although, some enthusiasts recommend using a moderate to medium roast with a distinguished proportion of Arabica. It would be best if you will try different types of beans and discover various tastes! Here is my favorite Medium Roast from Coffee Bros. (also available on Amazon) It is a Medium Roasted Coffee tastes of Brown Sugar, Red Fruit (Strawberry), and Hazelnut with a balanced and round body. It is a Blend from Shara, Yirgacheffe Ethiopia & Minas Gerais, Brazil grown at 3,600 – 5,900 feet above the sea.

6. Flavor and Taste

Due to the distinct brewing methods, a French press would make a strong and rich flavor coffee because the grinds would remain in the beaker’s bottom throughout the entire procedure. The bean extraction is limitless, producing a creamy and definite taste. It is a perfect brewing method for people who prefer an intense and dark essence.

French Press Recipe

The greatest thing about French Press coffee is nailing the process. The preparation may be comfortable at sight, but the execution is a little bit more complicated. So if you want to produce the perfect coffee, follow these essential steps.

  1. After boiling the water in the kettle, let it sit for one minute to get the right temperature.
  2. Preheat your press to ensure that it stays heated during the entire brewing process. If you’re going to miss this one out, the process will result in subpar.
  3. Grind your selected coffee beans. Make it chunky and coarse.
  4. Pour the press and mix the coffee grounds. Do not forget about the ratio, which is depending on your preference and intensity levels.
  5. Submerge all the grounds by gently pouring the water on the press. This step is called blooming, in which the beans start its extraction method.
  6. Give your coffee a quick but gentle stir. Wait for your coffee to brew fully.
  7. Carefully compress the plunger downward, then pour. Your coffee is ready to drink.

We want my cup of coffee to be clean, and the typical cup resulting from a French Press is that you would get a few small grounds that can make it through the metal filter. Except if you are using the patented double micro-filter technology by ESPRO. We have the ESPRO P7 French Press – Double Walled Stainless Steel Insulated – this is a thing of beauty. Not only creates a clean cup similar to my Aeropress, but also looks fantastic on my table. Check the price on Amazon.

If you want a french press under $50, We recommend the Barista Warrior French Press (also available on Amazon), you get a high-quality french press with the classic double filtering system that allows the oils to pass through to your cup with a built-in thermometer.

French Press Coffee Benefits

Are you amazed by how the French Press method works? Get to learn more about this technique with these valuable and healthy benefits of the French press. After all, drinking coffee, in general, is not as bad as people think.

  • French Press Coffee can help reduce the risk of having oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal cancers. It contains a compound called methyl pyridinium, which lowers the cancer rate.
  • It includes the essential building blocks of muscle fiber and neurons. It would decrease in chances of having Parkinson’s disease as well as dementia.
  • Generally, caffeine in migraine and headache prescriptions supports patients cope with pain and exhaustion.
  • Although it makes the drinker anxious short term, long-term drinking would improve cognitive functions.


Coffee lovers and enthusiasts prefer leveling up their cup experience. We love exploring new profound ways of getting the most becoming taste. That is why we learn more about different brewing methods to reach out to personal preferences and techniques. And while we consider all coffee brewing styles, we sometimes wanted to distinguish the differences between them.

Although both cold brew and French brewing methods exhibit fascinating coffee essence, the best results would come off based on your taste and preparation. Mistakes are anticipated when exploring with new brew methods. Some progress may be slow, making only one cup at a time with distinct characteristics. Eventually, it almost becomes second nature — and the taste is fascinating.

Every individual’s favorite diversifies, so you wouldn’t have to grind your coffee strictly following someone’s recommendations. Making the perfect coffee taste is a combination of complex processes and impressive stages that lead to a great taste on every sip.


Charlie McFarlane

Specialty Coffee Enthusiast. Hungry for knowledge in the art and science behind specialty coffee and decided to document my journey, while sharing it with the public. More than 10 baristas were interviewed; over 21 farms were visited across 5 countries. Almost 100 Coffee Shops. Bean of choice: Pacamara. Preferred coffee country: Panama. Preferred Brewing Method: Aeropress. Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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