What's the Difference Between Immersion and Infusion?


Well, for the second day in a row I forgot to buy filters for my Chemex.  This has left me with an interesting problem--how do I brew my coffee?

Enter the French Press.  This coffee brewing friend of mine has been my backup on days when I had a pour-over fail and my grounds went through my filter (really a fail of the equipment, but probably my technique as well).  It also saved me on mornings like these when I run out of filters and need something to brew my coffee.

Today, I savored my cup noting the differences between the pour-over method and the French Press, and I started to wonder why?  Why are there so many differences?

Some of the differences lie in the brewing methods themselves--Immersion and Infusion.


In immersion brewing, the coffee grounds are covered with water.  This is typically how to brew using the French Press Method, and the Clever Brewer (check out our instagram page @operantcoffee for a cool video on how we made Watson with the Clever Brewer).  In the immersion brewing method there is typically some sort of agitation of the grounds and water--for the French press it is the stir of the grounds.  Agitation can be used in both methods of brewing; however, and helps to extract more of the coffee flavors.


Infusion brewing is how we brew using the Chemex and traditional drip coffee makers.  This is where the water is added slowly to the grounds to extract the liquid solution.  When done well, brewers will use a technique prior to infusing the grinds, where the water is poured just enough to wet the grounds.  When this is done, there is a build up of the grounds up into the air called the "bloom" (my favorite part of the day when brewing with my Chemex).

So, how do you like to brew your coffee?  Which method is your favorite?  Leave a comment below!


Kornman, Chris (2017).  Understanding Coffee Extraction and other Key Brewing Concepts.  The Perfect Daily Grind.  Retrieved from: https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/coffee-extraction-brewing-concepts/