Coffee Brewing at Home
Some brew methods, like espresso, use finely ground coffee so that the machine is able to extract the flavor from the coffee. A French Press, on the other hand, uses coarsely-ground coffee. Some brew methods, like a pour-over or a chemex, require a filter. Other methods like a moka pot or a percolator, brew right on top of a stove or campfire.
Popular Coffee Brewing Methods
Here one will see some of the most popular brewing methods, ranked in order of the grind level that they would recommend. This helps give one a mental map of the brew processes, which is particularly helpful when someone is just beginning to learn them.
Espresso is the foundation for beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. Many coffee lovers also drink espresso straight, particularly in countries like Italy. While espresso is one of the most common ways of consuming coffee, it’s one of the hardest to do at home, since the machine’s that are used to brew espresso can be incredibly expensive. For this reason, if one wants a quality cup of espresso they will probably need to get it at the local coffee shop.
This is one of the most popular ways for making coffee at home. It’s also used in third-wave coffee shops to make single-origin coffee for those that are interested in an Ethiopian, Guatemalan, or another sort of specific type of coffee.
The grind-level is more medium, and most pour-overs require a filter. One of the most popular ones is called a V60, which is a type of pour-over that originated in Japan. This method is great for someone who is starting out making fresh coffee at home and wants to try a more manual brew method.
The Chemex been around since the 1950’s, which would surprise many coffee drinkers who assume that it is a recent invention. It is similar to a pour-over, but uses coarsely-ground coffee and has a thicker filter. These two variants, along with its unique shape, give chemex its own flavor. It produces a very clean cup, and is low in oils and acidity. It’s a great choice for those that don’t like very acidic coffee or don’t like the oily texture that coffee has from a French Press.
Another popular way of making coffee is the cold brew method. This method is great for someone wanting a cold cup in the hot summer months. Its brewing is more time-intensive, as cold brew takes anwhere from 16 to 24 hours to brew, give or take. However, there’s no substitute for cold brew during the summer.
The French press has been around for a long time. It remains one of the most popular ways to brew and is as popular in restaurants and cafes as it is for those that brew at home. This method uses a very coarse grind level, since the grinds are in the water for several minutes before the press is pushed down, and a filter separates the water from the grinds so that the coffee can be poured.
This is probably the common way to brew coffee in the world. This is the method used in every diner, café, and restaurant. It’s the method your grandmother used. Coffee is ground at medium-coarseness and placed in a brewing machine. There are variants in the machines used to brew drip coffee. Some of the more advanced ones will pre-wet the grinds to allow some of the gases to release before the rest of the water is poured on.
An AeroPress is another popular manual brewing method for coffee lovers. It’s a great one for those that need a brewing apparatus that compact and therefore great for traveling. Many would argue that this is one of the best ways to make a cup of coffee, whether on-the-go or at home.
A more ancient brewing method, the percolator is the cowboy-way of making coffee, as it works on a stovetop or campfire. Most coffee drinkers in today’s world have probably never had coffee from a percolator, but for those that are into hiking, backpacking, or camping, it’s probably one of the most practical methods they can find.
These days one is more likely to find a moka pot in the local antique shop than in the coffee shop on the corner. It brews a cup that is similar in body and taste to a cup of espresso, though in a much more primitive fashion.
A moka pot has three basic compartments, one with water, one with the coffee grinds, and the other where the coffee will boil into as it brews. The three screw together to form the contraption which can be placed on a stove-top to brew a strong cup of coffee in just a few minutes.
Turkish coffee can be found in Mediterranean restaurants or Hookah bars. The coffee itself is ground very fine and placed unfiltered into a small stove-top pot called a cezve, which is often made of copper. The coffee grinds are placed into the cezve as it sits on a stove or fire, then the water is brought to a boil, which brings about the brew process.
Those that like sugar in their coffee would place it in the cezve at the beginning, rather than once it’s been brewed. Place it over the stove on medium heat, and the water should boil after a few minutes. A dark foam will form on the coffee, which helps give Turkish coffee its rich, bold flavor.
There are a few other methods for brewing coffee, but these are the most popular ones around the world today. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world today, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.