We've put the V60 and the Cafetiere, aka French Press, head-to-head to help find which brew method is best for you.
There are so many methods of making a cup of coffee that it can be overwhelming trying to work out which one is best for you. That’s why we’ve pitted two of the most popular against each other in a home-brew showdown.
What is a V60?
The V60 is a classic pour over method of brewing coffee. The V60’s name describes the shape of the device - an inverted cone where the V-shaped walls meet at 60 degrees. Japanese glassware producer Hario only introduced the V60 to the market as recently as 2004 as a new pour over design to challenge more traditional immersion methods. The V60 has rapidly become one of the most popular brewing devices in the coffee industry for competitors and home-brew beginners alike.
What is a Cafetiere?
The cafetiere, aka French Press, is a traditional method of brewing coffee that had been in domestic use since the mid-19th century before the design was officially patented in 1928. Today it's one of the most recognisable home-brewing methods, and one of the most popular too. Cafetiere's now come in multiples sizes, so you can make a single cup or enough for a party.
How do you use them?
The V60 is very straight-forward to use - pop a filter paper in the funnel, add ground coffee and just-boiled water - enjoy your coffee in just a few minutes. You can watch our recommended brew guide here.
TIP: The V60 can be sensitive to changes in your coffee grind size and pouring style. A burr-grinder with stepless grind adjustment and a swan-neck pour-over kettle are recommended to keep your brewing techniques as consistent as possible. You can read our guide to solving your V60 brewing problems here.
The Cafetiere process involves steeping the ground coffee in boiled water before plunging the metal filter mesh, which prevents the grounds pouring into your cup.
TIP: If you leave the grounds is left to sit for too long in the beaker you will taste some unpleasant, bitter flavours in your cup. I recommend that you serve the entire brewed coffee from the cafetiere at the same time to prevent this.
Taste test: Cafetiere vs V60
The V60 produces a delicate, light-bodied, almost tea-like cup, bringing out the nuances of your coffee. Try brewing a single-origin with your V60 - this method with bring out subtle flavours you may have never found before.
You won’t find great flavour clarity in your cafetiere-made coffee. The metal filter allows more oils to get into your cup, dulling the flavours within more delicate coffees. The thicker body that this process produces however, is ideal for adding milk to.
Which should I use? Cafetiere or V60?
Choose the V60 if you want to explore the nuanced flavours of coffee. It can be very sensitive to variation in the grind size or pouring style, so it’s perfect if you enjoy the joys (or sometimes frustration) of tweaking parameters to achieve the perfect end result. And when you get it just right, you'll have made a truly exceptional cup of coffee.
BUT if you like your coffee milky you might want to steer towards a different method - too much milk may overwhelm the delicate flavours you’ve just extracted.
The cafetiere is the perfect choice for making coffee in large quantities and in a very hands off way - you can just set it and forget it! It’s a one-off investment and the only method that doesn’t require you to buy any additional filters. It also makes a coffee with the perfect body for adding milk.
BUT if you’re looking to explore the nuances of coffee, this method won’t be for you.
SHOP: We have everything in our brew shop to make your coffee taste spot on, whatever your method