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French Press, Aeropress or Clever Coffee Dripper

Recently broke my little Bodum french press. I'm contemplating replacing it with the same press or trying something new. I'm not a huge fan of drip coffee and I like a strong brew. Anyone have any experience with the Aeropress or Clever Coffee Dripper and can compare? I like that the french press doesn't require a filter.

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  1. I’ve used a glass Bodum for years and been very happy with it. Bold coffee is also my preference. Before that I used a cone drip with filter that seems similar to the Clever Coffee Dripper.

    Heard somewhere that using a filter was healthier so decided to haul out the cone drip. It ruined my coffee! Filtered coffee will not taste the same if you’re used to a French press. Bring on the full flavor!

    Haven’t used Aeropress or Clever Dripper but from the looks of it there’s a lot of plastic components. I would think that hot water would leach plastic into the coffee. Personally I’d stick with glass French press. Just my two cents.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Spice_zing

      'leach plastic into the coffee' - my plastic Melitta cone holder does not show any sign of plastic wear, but does have a lot of coffee staining.

      1. re: paulj

        "leach plastic into the coffee" -- I think when people talk about plastic leaching into things, what they mean is that the solvents used in making the in plastic leach into the things contained in that plastic, especially with those things are hot. Those solvents are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and their leaching out doesn't really appear as plastic wear. The plastic may get a bit more brittle over time, but it takes years for that to show, and by then most of the solvents will leach out, have leached out.

    2. My next purchase will be an Aeropress. It has been getting positive reviews on every sight I've followed it on. I know some people on CH have been using an Aeropress and enjoy it.

      1. Certainly not an every day use for me, but I love my AeroPress. I consider it a great compliment to my Bodum.

        1. The Aeropress is pretty great. Produces a very good cup. Very versatile, especially if you read up a little on inverted methods and other techniques not found in the basic instructions. Can easily make an excellent bold, strong cup or a well balanced lighter-tasting brew depending on what you'd prefer. Or anything in between.

          Only major downside is that it is best used to brew one cup at a time (and can't brew more than 2 or 3 cups at a time even if you wanted to). Also, it does require a filter, if you don't like those.

          It's especially nice if you're the type who likes experimenting with temperature and infusion time and grind size and such to get an ideal cup from each bean - it's a good device for a tinkerer.

          2 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            The aeropress is excellent. When I make 1-2 cups this is my go-to device. BUT ... I first do a full immersion at 185-194 in a stainless pot, then put that through a very fine stainless strainer ($3 from any asian market) and finish it with the aeropress to remove the sediment. One truly excellent cup of coffee.

            1. re: PepinRocks

              That sounds like a way you can use the aeropress to filter a lot of coffee more quickly than brewing each cup in the AP. But I'm wondering why you go to those lengths if you're not trying to make multiple cups. Less cooling during extraction? Something about stainless steel? Something I'm missing entirely?

              How's it better than inverted brewing in the AP?

          2. They each make good coffee but different. So hard to say one is better than the other. Just depends on what you like or your mood at the moment. I use my AP more for travel but the down side is that as Cowboy said, you can't do more than one or two cups at a time.

            Currently, I'm back on the FP for my morning brew while my wife likes drip.

            1. Based on suggestions here, I got a Clever Coffee Dripper for my Mom. It has a truly clever design and makes a great cup of coffee. Downsides: It is all plastic. It can only make one cup at a time. And you need to use a LOT of coffee for a strong cup. (You could let a smaller amount sit longer, but then the coffee will get cold). Have you looked at any of the stainless steel French presses? I wonder how well they work?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ninrn

                Never let coffee stay in the press. Glass works well unless you drop it.

              2. Seeing this thread got me interested, so I broke down and ordered an AeroPress. Received it today and so far, have made two cups with it.

                YUMM...

                Thanks for making me aware of it!

                I should add I also bought the metal filter disc at the same time, and so far, it's all I have used,.

                (A long time frenchpress user).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Spelunk

                  How does it compare to the french press? I ended up getting another French press but I'm considering maybe getting an Aeropress as well.

                  1. re: Aprileats

                    What I am liking is the speed with which the coffee is ready, coupled with the total lack of any grinds in the coffee. Maybe I was never grinding the beans correctly for the french press, but I always, always, always ended up with some grinds in my mug.

                    With the Aeropress I have been ground free each and every time.

                    It also seems a whole lot easier to clean the "puck" of coffee grinds out and into the organic waste; it would probably be even easier if I used the paper filter as opposed to the reusable metal one.

                    Subjectively I am also preferring the taste of the coffee to what I was making previously.

                    1. re: Spelunk

                      Without running water French Press is one of the messier brewing methods. When making coffee in the office, or when camping, I prefer the paper filter (which can just be tossed).

                2. I'm a long time french press user, even for camping and just purchased an Aeropress. Wow - what a great addition. It makes excellent coffee with a much easier clean up. I'll still use the french press at home when I want to make a pot of coffee but I love the Aeropress. It totally loves up to its reviews and makes delicious coffee (I drink americanos black when I order coffee out and the Aero makes a close approximation with minimal effort).

                  1. Great information on the Aeropress, thanks. My question is how would this work for travel (hotel)? We usually lug our bodum and a kettle (if we're not in the UK, as they have kettles in UK hotels) but they take up lots of space. Would the Aeropress kit take up less space than the bodum? thanks!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pâté chinois

                      If I know the hotel will have a small drip pot which is not common anymore I'll just bring filters and coffee/grinder and accessories but these days most likely they have the crappy pod one cup dispenser with those cheap little trays and the coffee pillow puck to side in there. I use these dispensers for their hot water and use the Aeropress to brew.

                      1. re: pâté chinois

                        Years ago I bought a Norelco Hot Stuff
                        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Norelco-Hot-S...
                        A small water boiler and nesting cups and coffee filter. The filter itself is fine nylon mesh. I used to use it to boil water in the office, though I used a Melita cone and paper for the coffee itself.

                        Camping stores carry a variety of compact coffee makers, both press and drip
                        http://www.rei.com/search?cat=5760724...

                        Combine one of those with an immersion heater, and you'd have one of the most compact setups around
                        http://www.rei.com/product/781694/rei...