Coffee brewing is an art, but also a science, and certainly, it’s something that you can do yourself.
In this article I’m going to review a few of my favorite coffee brewing methods, and how are they different, and who they appeal to.
If you want to start to learn how to make coffee at home, you probably need to know which coffee brewing method is the best for you. This depends massively on your taste, this means it is a subjective thing.
There are countless ways of brewing coffee, and they all are different, because the beverage they produce is different. Let’s take drip coffee. Besides the automatic drip coffee maker, which is supposed to brew at the standard drip coffee temperature, (between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit), there are countless of manual drip coffee makers. Some of them come with their own paper filters, and they do in order to standardize brewing. So all of these brewing methods are different from one another, they produce a distinctive cup that you cannot obtain with other dripper/filter sets.
However, the flavor differences are even more consistent when we talk about different brewing methods. For instance, espresso is a small, concentrated coffee beverage that packs a lot of caffeine and flavor into one tony cup. It’s made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans in an extremely short amount of time. The result? A very strong and bitter drink with lots of caffeine.
French press brews a strong coffee, with an ample body, and is the best choice for those who want a bold morning cup of joe. There is no paper filter in a French press, so the brew might seem a little murky for those who love a clear cup such as the Chemex.
The filter is simple a metal screen that pushes the coffee grounds ate bottom of the beaker when the steeping is done. Contrary to a common belief, French press is very versatile, if you are more technical, you can create a variety of coffee styles by tweaking the brewing parameters. Grind size, water temperature, steeping time, can be easily tweaked to provide you a beverage that can pass as a drip coffee, to a beverage that can pass as an espresso.
If you want something less intense, try cold brew instead. Cold brew uses the same process as a French press, the immersion. However, because it uses cold water during the extraction, it takes much longer for the grounds to dissolve. The result is a delicate, sweeter cup of coffee, with subtle flavors that otherwise would get destroyed by the hot water.
The Moka pot is probably one of the most underestimated coffee makers. Moka pot is a brewing alternative that is making a comeback because it’s inexpensive and it brews a cup with an intense flavor, reminding of espresso. It is in fact called stove top espresso. Espresso purists say that brewing it requires 9 bar pressure in order to extract certain flavors. From this perspective, the Moka pot is not a real espresso maker. But if you need a shot of wonderfully strong coffee, bold and flavorful, or you need it for a cappuccino, Moka pot will deliver it.
This guide would not be complete without a review of the AeroPress. AeroPress is a brewing method that uses a combination of immersion and air pressure to extract the flavor from ground beans. A combination of pressure, the fine grind size, (which is recommended), and a lower brewing temperature result in an extremely smooth cup of coffee. Making a cup takes about 3 minutes for the steeping time, and can produce two strong shots of coffee per batch. Some people drink it straight, similarly to an espresso, some people dilute this into an Americano style of coffee, drip style strength, but smoother tasting. It’s also easy enough for anyone to use. The best part? You don’t need expensive equipment or skills to brew great-tasting coffee with this device. The AeroPress itself costs about $30, but you do need a grinder to go with it.
I can’t finish this guide without mentioning Turkish coffee, which is like no other coffee type. Coffee doesn’t get filtered at all, and all of the grounds remain in the cup and settle at the bottom. You drink the coffee carefully to not disturb the formed puck of spent grounds, and you usually leave the last sip or two in the cup, in order to avoid tasting the grounds. The coffee is very strong, and similarly to espresso and French press, all of the coffee oils get passed into your cup. This changes the flavor profile, I personally think for the better. But I agree that certain delicate coffee flavors can be easily muted by the amount of oils in the final cup.
We hope that our incursion into the various brewing methods gave you a better idea on what to expect, and you will be a step closer to get your equipment and start brewing coffee at home.