For many of us, coffee has become a part of our everyday lives. We cannot go through a day without having a cup of joe, whether as a morning stimulant or a late-night pick-me-up.
The great news for coffee lovers today is the availability of several coffee brewing methods, ranging from the most popular to the most obscure. As long as you also have a bag of organic coffee beans, you don’t have to dress up and go out to your nearest café too frequently and pay an exorbitant price for a cup.
You don’t also have to worry about baristas putting too much sugar or cream into your coffee or writing or pronouncing your name wrong. These brewing methods for home use will allow you to have better control over the amount, strength, and flavor of your coffee, leading to a personalized – and superior – coffee experience.
Check out the following brewing methods and see which one of them you’d want to end up on your kitchen countertop:
1) French press
If you want to make full-bodied, freshly brewed coffee in the most uncomplicated way possible, a French press will be the perfect tool.
The French press (or coffee press, press pot, or melior) was invented in France in the 19th century. It consists of a container (or carafe) with a plunger and a filter screen that presses hot water through ground coffee.
In the container, ground coffee is immersed, steeped, and strained in hot water. This is where the coffee’s essential flavors, oils, caffeine, and antioxidants are diffused, leaving the richest, purest, and most earthy flavors of coffee.
Add a heaping teaspoon of medium-grind coffee to the container, add in the hot (quite hot, but not quite boiling) water, and gently stir. Wait for the coffee grounds to steep in hot water in a matter of minutes — if you want a more robust flavor, you may have to wait a little longer. Afterwards, push the plunger down slowly into the container, exerting steady pressure. It will force the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container, separating them from the hot and freshly brewed coffee.
Another great thing about brewing with a French press is the “clean” taste as it doesn’t use bleached paper coffee filters that may contain harmful chemicals.
2) Drip or pour over
This brewing method is done by pouring hot water over the coffee grounds and allowing the brewed coffee to drip into your cup. With drip brewing, it uses a coffee paper filter that keeps the coffee grounds contained as the water filters through it, carrying the coffee’s taste, oils, aroma, and caffeine with it. By far, drip is the most popular brewing method at the moment.
Pour over (Chemex) has a quite similar method, but it brings a richer coffee flavor than regular drip does. It uses a cone or a funnel that is placed above a cup or a carafe. A certain amount of water is poured in, and the coffee grounds start to bloom very quickly, releasing the oils and the flavors inside the grounds.
3) Cold brew
Cold brew may be one of the simplest coffee brewing methods – you don’t even need a fancy contraption to make it. However, it is not the quickest. Making coffee in this method takes a long time! But in cold brew, time also brings out all the tasty goodness of coffee without the rather unpleasant acidity or bitterness that you’ll get from the other brewing methods. It’s because cold brew, as the name implies, uses cold extraction. It would sometimes even take a full 24 hours of brewing, depending on how it’s brewed.
To make a cold brew bottle, mix water, and coarse grind coffee in a big jar, stir them together, and let the coffee cool in the fridge for 8-12 hours or overnight. The day after, take out your jar of cold brew. Filter or strain your brew to separate it from the spent coffee grounds. The result is a sweet, smooth taste.
4) Moka pot
Moka pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that uses steam pressure from the boiling water to pass through ground coffee. Invented and originally patented by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the moka pot is now one of the staples of Italian coffee culture. To get the best coffee from this method, you must have a well-designed moka pot and fine-medium coarse ground coffee. If you want an espresso-style brewed coffee, get the moka pot – it is a way, way cheaper alternative to the espresso maker.
Like your coffee brewing a bit fancier? The siphon can be a fun and exciting method to make coffee and a great way to impress your friends at the same time. It’s like it’s straight out of a science lab. But like many other fancy things, siphon can be fussy. It requires attention to detail. Also known as the vacuum coffee maker, siphon was invented in Germany in the 19th century.
Coffee is brewed using two chambers where vapor pressure and vacuum work together to create the perfect coffee. This method works by heating and cooling the water gases from the lower chamber to the upper chamber and back again to the lower chamber until the coffee is done brewing.
Nothing beats the taste and concentration of the espresso from your favorite coffee shop, but you may come close to it at home with an AeroPress. A relatively new contraption, the AeroPress was invented and launched in 2005. It has a cylindrical, plastic body and consists of three parts. A filter sits in the coffee basket at the bottom of the brewing chamber. Pour the coffee grounds into the brew chamber and add some hot water to steep the coffee for 10 to 50 seconds. Then use the plunger to extract the coffee, creating air pressure to force brewed coffee through the filter and into a cup or carafe.