With so many options now available when it comes to the different ways to make coffee at home, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed before you even get started. So, this guide will help to make it simpler for you by breaking down all the different coffee brewing methods from the simple pour over to more complicated methods like the esoteric siphon pot. Coffee brewing methods bring about different qualities in each finished cup, and some are more technical than others. When it comes to the best way for you to brew coffee, start out by identifying the type of coffee that you are looking for and decide on the amount of work that you’re willing to put in to get it.
Differences Between Coffee Brewing Methods
When it comes to making good coffee, all you really need is water, ground coffee, and a filter. However, there are certain different variables to consider when it comes to your finished cup, that different coffee brewing methods will be able to help you achieve. You may want to consider the texture of the finished drink, the brewing process, filter material, and how much experience you have with brewing coffee.
Pour Over Method
The pour over method is one of the simplest and most effective coffee making methods to choose from. It results in coffee that has a smooth, delicate texture that falls somewhere between tea-like and juicy. The filtration of pour-over coffee adds clarity and polish to the drink, and the flavor is often at its most expressive. It works by fitting a paper filter into a coffee dripper. The filter will hold back any undissolved coffee particles and oils from the finished cup of coffee, resulting in a clarified texture. This type of coffee brewing method is perfect for anybody who wants a quick way to make delicious coffee but is not afraid to experiment a little. Drippers might be considered an ideal choice for novices but bear in mind that you do need to take some care and focus while using one.
A good coffeemaker is an appealing option since it is often fast and convenient, offering great drip coffee with the flick of a switch. How it works exactly will depend on the coffeemaker machine that you are using, but it will be similar to a pour over dripper. Typically, you will have a conical filter that is placed above a pot, and a paper filter or a build-in filter is placed and filled with ground coffee. All you need to do is turn the machine on, your coffee is made. It is the ideal choice of brewing method for those who value convenience and ease above all. To get the most from your coffee beans when using a coffee maker, it’s recommended that you use a scale to weigh fresh coffee and a good grinder to ensure that you get the grind size right.
French Press Method
The French Press method offers a delicious, full-bodied coffee that is denser and heavier compared to pour over coffee. French press coffee can be delicious when drank black, however, it tends to be even better when you add cream or milk. The French press brews coffee using immersion, with the grounds fully immersed in the water before using a metal filter, which allows undissolved coffee particles and oils to pass through into the cup, to strain the coffee. The French press can also be used as a carafe for serving, and with a variety of sizes, it is the ideal option for anybody who likes to take their coffee with breakfast. It is accessible to everybody since French presses are typically inexpensive and easy to get hold of.
Referred to as the ‘Swiss army knife’ of coffee brewing methods, the AeroPress method is very versatile, allowing for a lot of improvisation and experimentation, and resulting in a silky, delicate texture. The coffee can be very intense, with an espresso-like and concentrated feel, or you can make it more like a pour-over coffee by finishing it with boiled water. The AeroPress method combines both filtration and immersion methods of brewing. To make it, you will need to wet a paper filter that is fitted into the device, before assembling the plastic components adding your water and coffee, and plunging. The result is concentrated coffee that can easily be diluted with hot water.
The siphon brew method is a more complicated option that might be appealing if you are looking for a different and unique way to make coffee. It produces a delicate and tea-like cup of coffee, and while it’s not the easiest way to brew coffee, it’s definitely considered to be one of the coolest. It uses a combination of immersion, vacuum pressure, and fire to brew coffee. Water is placed into the bottom part of a siphon machine, which is a glass bulb. Then, a flame is used to heat the water to boiling point until it percolates upwards to the upper part of the siphon machine, which is called the hopper. Coffee grounds are added to the hot water once it has reached the correct temperature, and the siphon is removed from the heat source after stirring. This results in a force of gravity due to a change in pressure, which draws the coffee down into the bulb through the filter.
Cold Brew Method
For those who prefer their coffee cold, the cold brew method produces a refreshing, crisp cup with a light and silky texture. You can use different kinds of coffee to produce a brew that is either rich or fruity. Cold brewing is a fairly simple method. Traditionally it is done by immersing ground coffee in a pot of room temperature water for between 8-12 hours, before pouring it out through a filter. However, if you want to get a perfectly brewed cup of cold coffee much faster, there are now several electric cold brewing machines available that get the same result using pressure and agitation of the grounds.
Choosing the Right Coffee Beans
Whatever style of brewing coffee you choose, starting out by choosing the right coffee beans will always make all the difference between a brew that is flavorful and tasty, and one that is uninspiring, weak, and even bitter. When choosing coffee beans, it’s a good idea to always look for beans that are as close to the roast date as possible, for the best possible freshness. When grinding your coffee beans, you should only grind the amount that you are going to need for brewing. This will make sure that your coffee beans keep as much delicious flavor as possible for as long as possible, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee every time regardless of the brewing method that you choose.
Getting the Water Right
Water is another very important component of brewing coffee, no matter which style of brewing you decide to go with. Any coffee enthusiast will tell you that the type of water that is used to brew their coffee matters more than you might think. Water contains a vast number of minerals that ultimately have an influence on the flavor of the coffee. The water that you choose can either accentuate the acidity of the coffee, or completely remove it. It can change the extraction and result an increased or decreased body of the finished cup. Ideally, the water that you use with high-quality coffee should have a modest mineral content. A certain amount of mineral in the water will be necessary to aid in the extraction of oils from the coffee beans and to ultimately produce a pleasant flavor. Hard water, on the other hand, can be bad for the beverage. Filtered water is the best solution for a delicious cup ever time, no matter how you choose to brew your coffee.
Choosing the Right Filter
Filters are typically an important part of brewing coffee no matter which method you go with. They are placed in the brewer to keep the coffee ground and the water separate, making sure that your resulting cup is smooth and free from coffee grinds. The material of the filter that you use will have a big impact on the final taste of your coffee. Paper filters are the most common option among coffee drinkers, and they are used in a variety of different coffee brewers, drip coffee machines, and with other coffee brewing methods. They are absorbent and tightly woven, which makes them a very effective material for trapping sediment and oils, producing a cleaner and lighter taste compared to other materials.
On the other hand, a metal coffee filter will provide a completely different coffee experience. These filters come with much larger pores compared to paper, which allows more fine grounds and coffee oils to reach your cup. This makes metal filters an ideal choice if you want to brew coffee that results in a richer and fuller taste.
Deciding how to brew your coffee can be overwhelming with so many methods to choose from. How you want your coffee to taste, how much effort you want to put in, and how quickly you want to brew the coffee will all influence your decision on which coffee brewing method to use.