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Do you love the full-bodied French Press coffee but can’t stand the clean-up.
I hear ya! Removing those wet compacted coffee grounds can be a real pain in the butt.
But what if I told you that you can still enjoy the same style of full immersion coffee but with a lot less mess and clean-up.
There aren’t many coffee brewers that can replicate the French Press, but there are a few.
After you’ve tried one of these, you’ll wish you had discovered them sooner.
Immersion Brewing Style
Before we jump in and look at the French Press alternatives, it’s probably a good idea to take a closer look at the style of coffee brewing the French Press actually uses.
Once we better understand the specific brewing technique, the below alternatives will make more sense.
The French Press uses a brewing method called “full immersion.”
What is full immersion, I hear you ask?
The key is in the name.
Ground coffee is immersed in water and left to brew for a set amount of time.
So instead of controlling the pour, which you would do with other coffee brewing methods, with immersion, you need to focus instead on the brew time.
The longer you leave the coffee grounds steeping in the water, the stronger and more bitter your coffee will taste.
This brewing coffee method also works exceptionally well for cold brew coffee.
So now you understand the fundamentals of the immersion style of coffee brewing used in the French Press, we need to hone in on some suitable alternatives that utilize the same technique.
If you enjoy the coffee brewed in a French Press and you’re looking for an alternative, it’s no good replacing it with, say, a Chemex or a Hario V60.
As much as I love the Chemex, it offers up a totally different style of coffee.
It’s not full immersion but rather a pour-over method, so there is no real comparison with the French Press.
Best Alternatives To A French Press
Below I have picked out a few alternatives to French Press coffee that I think you’ll love. They all share the same coffee brewing style and are far easier to clean.
The first alternative to make the list of recommendations is the AeroPress.
This small plastic tube might not look like much, but don’t let its simple appearance fool you. The AeroPress produces some of the best-tasting coffee at home and is super easy to clean and maintain.
How Does It Work?
There are two ways to use an AeroPress, the traditional technique outlined in the supplied manual or the inverted AeroPress method.
I and many others prefer the inverted method over the standard technique because you have more control over the brewing variables without worrying about coffee dripping through the filter prematurely.
The AeroPress uses full immersion, but unlike the French Press, the AeroPress relies on paper or metal coffee filters.
These filters separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee as you push down on the plunger.
The end result is a full-bodied cup of coffee that’s on par with the French Press but with none of that unwanted sediment landing in your cup.
When it comes to cleaning, you push down on the plunger and shoot out the compressed coffee puck and filter directly in the trash or the compost.
A quick wash of the coffee filter cap and the AeroPress plunger and body, and you’re all set.
It doesn’t get much better than this if you’re on the hunt for an excellent alternative to the French Press.
Anyone looking to replace their French Press with something else has to consider the Clever Dripper.
Coffee geeks around the globe praise the Clever coffee dripper as a simple brew method that is quick to clean and super easy to get a consistently good cup every time.
How Does It Work?
Now you might be thinking – isn’t that a pour-over coffee maker? Well, yes and no.
Let me explain.
As the name suggests, this coffee maker is pretty “clever” and combines the brewing principles of immersion and pour-over in one device.
It does this by using a weight-controlled valve that sits at the base of the dripper cone. This clever design lets you suspend the coffee immersion process until you decide to release the coffee into your cup.
Once the valve is pushed up, your coffee will slowly drain.
It’s this combination of pour over-extraction combined with the more prolonged immersion of coffee grounds and water that produces a well-balanced cup with a delicate flavor that’s on par with the French Press.
Simpli Press French Press Coffee Maker
French Press without the mess is how I would describe the Simpli Press.
It uses the same brewing principles used in a traditional French Press, but the Simpli uses a clever system that locks the coffee away.
How Does It Work?
The coffee brewer looks just like a regular French Press but hidden inside you’ll find a coffee basket that holds the coffee grounds.
Just like regular French Press brewing, you immerse the coffee grounds inside water. The difference with the Simpli press is those grounds are locked inside a basket with a filter located at the bottom.
When you remove the plunger, you also remove the basket that contains the coffee grounds.
You then simply dispose of the coffee with little to no mess. Also, due to how the Simpli press works, you hardly have any coffee sediment inside your cup.
The Simpli Press is like a French Press 2.0 – More flavor and less mess.
The French Pull Method
No, this isn’t some new method of contraception being divulged by a spotty teenager on Tik Tok.
It’s, in fact, a great way to stick with your good ole regular French Press, and by using this simple method and switching up your technique, you can cut the cleaning time in half.
How Does It Work?
The main difference with the French pull method is that you add your ground coffee after pushing the plunger to the bottom of the Press.
It’s kinda like the reverse.
Take your rinsed empty French Press and push the plunger and filter down to the bottom. Next, add your coarse ground coffee so that it sits on top of the filter.
Slowly pour in your hot water as you usually do and allow the coffee to be steeped.
Gently pull up on the plunger once you’re ready to serve the coffee.
Instead of the coffee being left behind, it will rise up with the filter. Once you carefully remove the plunger, merely tap the filter and plunger to discard the coffee grounds, and a quick rinse takes care of the rest.
Pretty neat, hey!
If you hate cleaning up and you’re looking for a good French Press alternative that still offers the same full-bodied cup of coffee, the AeroPress, Clever Dripper, and the Simpli Press tick all of the right boxes.
If versatility is something you want, the AeroPress should be top of your list.
But If you enjoy the French Press ritual, take a closer look at the Simpli Press. It’s the most comparative coffee maker you will find to the French Press, and it comes with no mess, sediment in your cup, or complicated cleaning.