Throughout as recent as the last decade, coffee brewing methods have seen an extensive transformation. Whereas coffee was once primarily seen as an instrument used solely for getting that quick energy boost, it now doubles as an art form, and consumers have begun to appreciate it more for taste and quality. People have gotten creative with brewing tools and recipes, and more ways of extracting that perfect cup have come into play. We’re taking a look at 7 different ways to achieve a delicious cup of coffee.
Espresso Machine: Quite possibly the most notable way of brewing coffee (other than the standard drip) is through an espresso machine, a coffee-shop staple. But now, more than ever, espresso machines are also being introduced into the home brewing scene. Put simply, espresso is brewed by forcing hot water through a small amount of finely-ground coffee. It has a sharper and more concentrated finish with crema on top (when prepared correctly). Espresso can be added to hot water to make an Americano, added to an array of milk-based drinks, and so much more!
French Press: More commonly found in the home brewing scene, the French Press is a user-friendly method to make a simple cup of coffee. In order to successfully brew with a French Press, it’s important to have the appropriate tools and follow the correct recipe. First, you start by measuring your coffee grounds and water, adding them into the beaker in a specific order. Once the ingredients are added, you simply let your coffee steep for 3-4 minutes (or as long as desired) and slowly press the plunger down the entire way to avoid any over-extraction. It’s best to decant your coffee before serving.
AeroPress: Popular amongst travelers, the AeroPress is a simple and efficient way to brew coffee. It is another pressure-based tool, although it results in a cleaner, smoother-tasting coffee than that of a French Press. To use this method, you first add coffee grounds to the chamber and a filter to the bottom cap, twisting it closed. Set the AeroPress onto a sturdy mug, pour in the hot water, and proceed to stir for roughly 10 seconds. Lastly, you insert the plunger into the chamber and gently push down, and you have yourself a delicious cup of brew.
Chemex: The Chemex merges both style and functionality, ensuring you have access to great coffee so long as you follow protocol. A crucial contribution to the pour over movement, the Chemex is able to deliver up to 4 cups at once, adding onto to its popularity. For this method, finding the right grind size is critical as it can make or break your result; however, if done correctly, it can produce a rich and aromatic brew. First, grind your coffee and insert a filter, further distributing your grounds. Than pour hot water over the grounds in intervals until reaching the desired amount of coffee. Allow the water drain through completely before disposing of the spent grounds and serving.
Kalita Wave: Similar to a Chemex, the Kalita Wave plays a huge role in the pour over movement. It involves a 3-4 minute brewing process, ultimately resulting in a lighter yet delicious cup (if, once again, done correctly). Much like other methods, finding the appropriate grind size is key, although it’s best to experiment with various settings to find what best fits you. The Kalita Wave requires a filter, a flat bed, and a slow, spiraling pour with several intervals needed for draining. It can be easy for under or over extraction to occur, so your full attention is required; however, the Wave can result in an extremely flavorful cup of coffee, and it sure is fun to use!
Clever Dripper: Combining pour over and simpler steeping methods, the Clever Dripper is conveniently portable and easy to use. It is a plastic-based tool and not quite as pretty as other pour over options, but it gets the job done. To use, insert the filter and add medium to finely-ground coffee. Add the ideal amount of coffee, place the lid on top, and let your coffee steep for roughly 4 minutes. Once steeping is complete, set the dripper onto a mug—the cool thing about these is that they are equipped with a mechanism on the bottom that won’t allow the coffee to drain until the dripper is pressed onto something.
Cowboy Coffee: A perfect option for camping, Cowboy Coffee is likely the easiest method, having been around for as long as we can remember. This method doesn’t require much: a pot, ground coffee, and water with access to heat. Bring your water to a boil, remove it from heat, add your grounds, and let them steep. After your grounds have settled on the bottom, your coffee is ready to serve.
Although there are a ton of ways to brew coffee, this is a quick look into some of the most popular—and fun—ways to get that much-desired cup. Coffee is something of a science experiment, and it’s best to play around with different methods and recipes to discover your best fit. Do you have a favorite that we missed? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments.