AeroPress vs Pour Over: All The Facts Explained

By Evelina •  Updated: 04/27/22 •  12 min read

If you’ve been thinking about getting a manual coffee brewer, you may have come across AeroPress and Pour Over coffee makers. These two options are extremely popular and they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

But if you could only choose one, which should you choose? In this comparison, we’ll take a closer look at AeroPress and Pour Over coffee makers to help you make a decision.

What Coffee Can You Make With AeroPress?

AeroPress vs pour over

AeroPress is probably the most versatile coffee maker you will ever come across. It can make espresso-style coffee, regular coffee, cold brew coffee, and even iced coffee!

What’s more, you can experiment with the brewing time and grind size to produce different results. For example, shorter brewing times will result in a more espresso-based coffee with a golden crema, while longer brewing times will give you a richer coffee.

Generally, with AeroPress, you can expect to produce a mellow, smooth brew with a lot of body. In addition, since it’s an immersion brewer, all the coffee’s flavors will be extracted evenly, resulting in a well-balanced cup.

The coffee beans you are going to use will also affect the taste, but this is true for any brewing method. The most important thing that you need to remember is that freshly ground coffee beans will always produce the best results.

Then we have the inverted method, which is a brewing technique that many people use. When you’re using the inverted method, you are turning the AeroPress upside down and brewing your coffee that way.

The main advantage of the inverted method is that it allows you to get a better extraction and a more consistent coffee.

How Pour Over Works?

Pour Over is a general term that covers a range of different brewers. This includes the Chemex, Hario V60, and the Kalita Wave.

Pour Over coffee makers all work in a similar way. You place the coffee filter inside the brewer, add your coffee grounds, and pour hot water over them. The hot water will drip through the filter and into the carafe or cup below.

Although pour over requires an experienced touch when it comes to pouring the water, this brewing method is extremely flexible. You can adjust everything from the temperature to how long the water is in contact with the coffee grounds.

There are some differences between each Pour Over brewer, but the idea behind them is always the same.

The Chemex

The Chemex is probably the one you always hear about when people talk about Pour Over coffee. It was invented back in 1941 and is still going strong today.

One thing that makes the Chemex so popular is its elegant design. It looks more like a piece of art than a coffee maker. But it’s not just a pretty face. The Chemex is also known for making a perfectly balanced cup!

It’s made up of a glass carafe and a wood collar. Inside the wood collar, you add a large paper filter that is way thicker than the one AeroPress uses. You then add your ground coffee and pour the hot water over it.

Pretty simple, right? This is one of the things that make the Chemex so appealing. There are no moving parts or electronic gadgets— old-school brewing at its finest.

The Hario V60

The Hario V60 comes in 2 different materials, ceramic and plastic. The ceramic version is the more popular one and the one that we recommend.

It’s very similar to the Chemex in terms of brewing. The main difference is the conical shape of the V60 and the spiral ribs on the inside of the cone. This helps air circulate better during brewing and allows the grounds to expand more than they would in the Chemex.

The Kalita Wave

Lastly, we have the Kalita Wave. This drip brewer has three holes in the base of the cone, which allows for a slower and more controlled extraction. The result is a cup of coffee with beautiful clarity and flavor.

This works best for beginners as it’s more forgiving than the other two brewers. If you make a mistake with the pour, it’s not the end of the world!

Differences Between AeroPress And Pour Over

DifferencesAeroPressPour Over
Grind SizeMedium-FineMedium-Coarse
TasteRicher with more bodyCleaner cup
CleaningEasyVery Easy
PriceAround $30Price will vary depending on the brewer ($10-$60)
FiltersThinner and smallerThicker and bigger
Quantity1 cup 3-12 cups
Ease of UseBest for beginnersHarder to use
Water Temperature175F200F

Now that you have a general idea of how AeroPress and Pour Over coffee makers work, it’s time to take a closer look at the differences between them. I highlighted the eight most important ones for you below.

Keep in mind that these are just the main differences. There are other, smaller ones that we didn’t mention here. But these are the ones that will affect you the most while brewing your coffee. And that’s what we’re here to talk about!

1. Grind Size

When it comes to grinding your coffee beans, the AeroPress is more forgiving than the Pour Over. The ideal grind size for AeroPress is somewhere between medium and fine. If you go too fine, the grounds will probably get stuck, and it will be very hard to push your AeroPress plunger down.

On the other hand, if you grind your coffee too coarsely, the water will flow before you press the plunger down, resulting in a weak and watery cup of coffee.

The Pour Over is a little more delicate. The ideal grind size is medium-coarse, with most people leaning more towards the coarse side. Since you leave the grounds to soak for a few minutes, the more coarse they are, the fewer grinds will seep into your coffee.

TIP: If you don’t have a professional coffee grinder at home, you can use a food processor or even a blender to grind your beans. Just make sure to do it in short bursts so you don’t over-grind them.

2. What About The Taste?

The taste of your coffee is what really matters, right?

It’s one of the main reasons people decide to make coffee at home in the first place; they want to control the quality and taste of their coffee.

So, how do AeroPress and Pour Over compare when it comes to taste?

It all comes down to the filters you use. The AeroPress paper filters are thinner than those used in Pour Over coffee makers, and they remove fewer oils from your coffee. This results in a richer and more full-bodied cup of coffee.

The coffee tastes clean and fresh with the Pour Over, but it lacks some of the body and richness that you get with the AeroPress. This happens because the Pour Over uses bigger filters that remove more oils from the coffee.

TIP: If you already have an AeroPress and thinking about getting a Pour Over, don’t get rid of your AeroPress just yet. You can get a metal filter like the Joepresso to make your AeroPress coffee more concentrated while retaining more oils.

Learn more cool AeroPress tips here!

3. Cleaning And Maintenance

Brewing coffee is one part of the equation. You also have to clean everything once you’re done. And here is where pour over coffee brewers have a slight advantage over AeroPress.

Think of it like this:

With Pour Over, you have to clean only 1 or 2 parts (if you have the Chemex) after each use. However, with AeroPress, you have to clean at least three parts, and sometimes even more if you use the stirring paddle and the scoop.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that AeroPress is difficult to clean. The parts are small and easy to disassemble, and in most cases, you won’t need any special equipment to clean them.

But the tricky part is the rubber seal. If you don’t clean it properly, it will get damaged over time, and your AeroPress won’t seal correctly anymore.

That’s why, if you want to keep your AeroPress in top-working condition, you have to be extra careful when cleaning it.

So for cleaning, the Pour Over is definitely a better choice, especially if you’re short on time.

4. Which One is Cheaper?

Overall the AeroPress is about half the price of a Pour Over coffee maker. The Chemex, for example, will set you back around $60.

But, you can also find a plastic V60 for around $10, which is a good option if you want to try a pour over brewer without breaking the bank.

Here is the complete list of the prices for every coffee maker and its accessories:

EquipmentAeroPressPour Over
Brewer$30Chemex: $60
V60: $25 (plastic $10)
Kalita Wave: $25
Paper Filters$7.95 for 350$8 for 60-100
Metal Filter$30 (Joepresso Metal Filter)$14
Stands $15-$250$30-$250

Important: The prices will vary from one online store to another, and you can also find some good deals if you search for them. Also, many people are selling used coffee makers, so you might be able to get a good deal that way as well.

5. Filters

For the filters, three factors come into play:

1. Thick or Thin?

As I mentioned before, the AeroPress paper filters are thinner than those used with Pour Over. This makes them the best option to get a strong and full-bodied coffee flavor. But they can’t be used other than with the AeroPress.

The pour over filters are thicker and stronger, so they are less likely to let too much coffee pass through. However, a thicker filter will also result in a slower pour, which you need for a Pour Over.

2. Big or Small?

The size of the filter will also affect things like brewing time and how fast or slow the coffee flows through.

The AeroPress filters are smaller simply because they need to fit inside the filter cap. The filter cap is located at the bottom of the chamber where the coffee grounds and hot water are placed.

Pour over filters are larger, and that’s because the dripper is also larger. However, the size of the filter doesn’t affect the taste of the coffee, which is something many people get wrong.

3. Options?

pour over filter can be used for many things besides making coffee. For example, they are the DIY option for cleaning your kitchen surfaces or when you want to place snacks in them.

But that’s something for another article.

The great thing about both AeroPress and Pour Over filters is that they are compostable and can be easily recycled. Also, if you are out of AeroPress filters, a pour over filter (if you cut it right) can be used as one.

The only issue with that is that you might need to press harder to get the coffee through.

TIP: If you absolutely need an AeroPress filter but don’t have one at the moment, get a good quality paper towel and cut it to size. This will do the job until you get your hands on some real filters!

6. Quantity

If you are looking for a brewer that makes larger batches of coffee, then the Pour Over is your best bet. You can make around 4 cups with the classic Chemex, while the AeroPress has a fixed capacity of 1 cup.

This is a bit disappointing if you want to make more than one cup. However, if you prefer a single cup of coffee in the morning, this isn’t something that makes a big difference.

TIP: You can add less water to the chamber of the AeroPress, and then once the coffee is brewed, split the coffee into two cups and add hot water. That way, you will be able to make 2 cups with the AeroPress!

7. Which One is Easier to Use?

Both of these brewing methods are pretty easy to use once you get the hang of them. But I would say that the AeroPress is a bit easier simply because there is less manual work involved.

All you need to do is place the filter in the cap, fill it with coffee grounds and hot water, stir the mixture and then press down the plunger.

With the Pour Over, you need to control the water flow and ensure it is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds. You will definitely have a few failed attempts before you get it right!

8. Water Temperature

Last but not least, we have water temperature. Most coffee lovers will think that both of these brewing methods share the same temperature requirements to produce a good cup of coffee.

However, they actually do not. The AeroPress works best with water at around 175F, while the ideal temperature for Pour Over coffee is about 195F. And that’s something that the AeroPress manual and even Alan Adler have confirmed!

Which One is Best for Camping?

If you made it this far, you already know the answer to this question! The AeroPress is much better for camping because it doesn’t take up a lot of space and is very easy to use.

AeroPress even has its travel bag, making it even more convenient to take with you on your adventures. The only thing you need to remember is to bring water with you!

TIP: The AeroPress community also has a lot of coffee recipes that you can try while camping. So definitely check those out as well!

Last Thoughts

There you have it! Those are all the facts you need to know about these two brewing methods. If you still haven’t decided just remember that the AeroPress is much easier to use, produces a stronger coffee, and is more versatile.

The Pour Over is better if you want to make larger batches of coffee or want more control over the brewing process. I hope this has helped simplify what is often a very complex subject.

And if you want to learn more about every brewing method and their grind sizes make sure to download our cheat sheet below!

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Evelina

Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.