Taste Test: Coffee Maker vs. French Press!

When it comes to coffee, my brother is a huge advocate of using the French Press.  I honestly didn't think there was a difference until I decided to do this taste test and really see for myself which method scored better.  Keep in mind using a French Press is more of an European thing, whereas using a Coffee Maker is more preferred by Americans.  Which approach results in a better cup of coffee?  Find out!

Here are the categories I performed the taste test on:
1. Is the coffee "hot" or "warm"?
2. How is the "body" of the coffee?  Is it thick or diluted?
3. Is there a strong "flavor/taste" of the coffee?

Got that?  So we are testing on hotness, body, and flavor?

Here is the coffee flavor I used because I absolutely love Blueberry Coffee after having tried it at Ocean Breeze Cafe in Newport, RI.  It is one of the best breakfast places I've been to... just FYI!  :-)  So I decided to use New England's Blueberry Cobbler.  It smells divine! 

I started off adding 2 tbsp of coffee to the Cuisinart Coffee Maker.

And 2 tbsp of coffee to the French Press.

I also set aside 2 mugs, each mug consisted of 1 tbsp of Half & Half Creamer and 2 tsp of sugar. 

In addition, I used 1 cup or 8 ounces of water for each coffee.

Brands used: 
Cuisinart 4 Cup Coffee Maker 
French Press Hotel Black Label Collection

Note, both appliances are stainless steel to ensure "hot" coffee is delivered every time, but does it really work?  Let's find out.  Let the coffee do its thing.

On the left we have the French Press coffee and on the right we have the Coffee Maker coffee.  Observe the difference in color.  Notice the coffee on the left (French Press) appears to be darker than the coffee on the right (Coffee Maker).

Based on the result I can conclude the following:

1. Based on how "hot" the coffee was, the French Press coffee was easily hotter than the Coffee Maker coffee, reason being the water used in the French Press coffee was initially boiled.

2. Based on the "body" of the coffee, I believe the French Press coffee is definitely more bodied than the Coffee Maker coffee.  Can you see the difference?
French Press on the left; Coffee Maker on the right 

3. Based on the "flavor", I conclude the French Press coffee was much more flavorful, there was a strong flavor of blueberry and it was definitely a bit stronger than the Coffee Maker coffee.  The Coffee Maker coffee almost tasted diluted to me and lacked a good amount of flavor the French Press was able to capture.  This could be due to the paper filter used by the Coffee Maker which I'm sure absorbs some of the coffee flavor.  

And lastly, I totally recommend purchasing New England's Blueberry Cobbler, it is aromatic, blueberryish, yummy, and so delicious.  Complete your breakfast with a delicious slice of my Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cake.

Tell Me: Do you use a Coffee Maker or French Press to make your coffee?  How many tablespoons of coffee do you use when making your coffee?  Which one do you prefer?  Share your thoughts!  :-)


  1. Omg, I have been wondering about the French press since... well, pretty much forever. Would you believe that its tricky to find people who discuss both? Most of the stuff I read was "I like (press/maker) and the other one is just silliness." Not really a great comparison...

    Gotta say, though, after reading your post that I may go out and try the press for myself!

    Hope all is well and wishing the best your way! ^_^

  2. Thanks for the review. You mentioned the brand of the coffee, but what about the brand/model of the coffee press and the coffee maker? Thanks again.

  3. @Anonymous - the coffee maker used was Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker and a 4-Cup Stainless Steel French Press from the Hotel Black Label Collection.

  4. I use my french press everyday. you should not be putting cream and sugar in there! the whole point is that the french press does not have the harsh aftertaste, so it does not need anything added in. you're ruining it by adding in the cream and sugar. you might as well drink dunkin donuts coffee. Also, the new england brand coffee is terrible! you should find a local coffee roaster and buy their fresh coffee. there is no point in using crappy store bought coffee in a french press.

    1. Listen friend, like many things in life, taste is subjective. It is an individual thing. Obviously, you like black coffee. Not everyone likes straight, black coffee. Me, I like it with half-half and raw sugar myself. Anyway, can't be so quick to judge when it's all subjective. Sounds like this is an awesome cup of coffee.

    2. WTF ... the guy is nice enough to give his view on the two different systems and all you can do is rip into his choice of coffee and how he drinks it ... no one cares that you use your french press every day ... and you are ruining this blog by offering your comment.

  5. @Anonymous - well thank you for your kind words. On the contrary to what you think, I am not a big coffee drinker, so unlike you, I DO need cream and sugar. I do love dunkin donuts coffee A LOT. And I do like New England Coffee. But thanks for your thoughts. :-)

  6. I definitley agree with you that french press coffee has a stronger flavor than coffee made in a coffee machine. Great Review! :)

  7. I really like your french press coffee maker because it's stainless...where did you get it? I've only seen glass models or plastic (ugh). Thanks for this helpful comparison review!

  8. Thanks for the comparison! I always made coffee with a regular coffee maker, and since it is no longer working, I was thinking of trying something different and I think I will try the french press! ALSO...just wanted to add, that the New England bluebery flavor that you mentioned is one of my FAVORITE flavors also...they also have a great pumpkin one that is out in the fall...
    And Dunkin Donuts is great too :)

  9. anonymous, first of all, I don't recall anyone asking for your opinion. This isn't your blog or review. Secondly, you need to remember the elementary rule of, if you can't something nice, then don't say anything at all. Thirdly, not everyone has the same taste buds as you, so therefore, not everything is going to taste the same to everyone. I do not put cream or sugar in my coffee either but that doesn't mean that I'm going to criticize those that do.

  10. My husband and I like really bold coffee(not bitter but bold) I really like the test you did. We have had the worst luck with auto-drip coffee makers. They all seem to break really quick. We have two kinds a 12 cup auto that is still working and now a broken Keurig.We need two because on the weekends we will drink a whole pot but when my husband is out of town during the week I only have 1-2. The Keurig was convenient but had lots of technical issues and then just stopped working. I started doing research for a new small 4 cup coffee maker but no one seems to have good reviews so I think I will consider the french press especially after reading your review! Thanks

  11. @Mrs. Foodie, please make sure you buy the Bodum French Press.

  12. First of all, thanks for your comparison, and second, thanks for the coffee recommendation! Blueberry coffee sounds delicious, and I had no idea such a thing existed!

    Just my two cents:
    I picked up a wonderful Bodum french press at Goodwill today for $3(!) that just needed a good cleaning, and upon bringing it home and cleaning it, I did my own taste test.

    1. The coffee did taste much better, particularly less bitter than the coffee from my Mr. Coffee coffeemaker

    2. The french press was way more work. Between heating the water and timing the brewing and cleaning the press, I don't think I would want to do it every morning. My Mr. Coffee can be set the night before and have my coffee waiting for me when I get up.

    My final thought: I will use the coffee maker during the week, but on weekends (when I have more time) I will definitely use the french press. At the price I paid, I think I can afford to have it both ways :)

  13. Thank you for the review. I appreciate your perspective and will now research the french press vs. the expensive technivor coffee maker. All I want is a good cup of coffee, every time. I make lose leaf tea several times a week, so using a french press probably won't add too much additional time to morning beverage preparation routine. Thanks again. PS--the blueberry coffee sounds yummy!

  14. @Darra - I actually use the French Press to make loose tea once in a while. The blueberry coffee sounds yummy, but I'm not sure about the brand. Perhaps I'm not using enough coffee?

  15. Interesting discussion about french press coffee. I never enjoy coffee from drip because I find it gets cold easily and lack flavor. So I'ved used MELITA cone drip making my coffee a bit hotter.

    Then I found french press - and I am hooked.

    I agree it's a bit of work. But the ritual of making the best coffee is suppose to be enjoyed - but not evryone has the time.

    So I'd say use the quick coffee maker during the week and then use french press when you have the time to enjoy making and drinking the best ever coffee.

    1. Imie - I actually did a test between 2 different kinds of French Presses and the Bodum one did well. The coffee in a French Press is definitely better.. and that's how I make it when I want a cup of coffee at home. I need to buy some new seasonal flavors though. Thanks for your feedback.

  16. I honestly didn't think there was a difference until I delonghi esam3300 magnifica super-automatic espresso coffee machine decided to do this taste test and really see for myself which method scored better.

  17. Appreciate everyone's comments. Both of my daughters use French presses. Since my Keurig just died (yep, just up and quit) I was debating which way to go. The blog and comments have been most helpful.

    1. Thanks Sue.. unfortunately I barely drink coffee at home, I'm more of a tea drinker at home. I like using the French Press for brewing both tea or coffee.

  18. Your review is great! I currently have a coffee maker with a timer so it's already made by the time I wake up which is handy during the week and what not. However, I definitely plan to invest in a French press for the days I have time to really enjoy the coffee and clean the press. I could never put a name on the after taste of the coffee from the maker and "bitter" is the perfect word for it.

    Now I want to try this blueberry flavored coffee as well! Thanks for the great comparison! :)

    1. Thank you so much.. the French Press makes a big difference in taste, I feel it is more concentrated in flavor. Let me know how it works out. :-)

  19. Loved your taste test! My mom always uses a French press or if there is not at hand, all she does is brew the coffee directly in the mug (pour hot water over the coffee grinds and cover with a small lid and let it sit for a couple of minutes. the coffee grinds will deposit at the bottom of the cup and you can enjoy a fresh strong and flavorful cup of coffee). It is no wonder that I too prefer the French press. Great article!


    Colette | Skattered Notes

  20. I can’t live without my French press coffee pot I use it every day. I found that even the best coffee machines can’t compete with the taste you get from a French press.


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