Making coffee doesn’t have to be difficult. In the end, all you actually need is water, coffee, and a filter of some sort. There are tons of brewing methods out there and each of them has their own set of benefits and disadvantages. Some people are completely content with traditional automatic drip coffee, while others want to try something a bit more modern and high-tech.
If you’re considering what the best method is for you, that’s going to be a personal choice. However, we can offer some tips to help you decide. Below, we’ll look at the various brewing methods available today and give you an idea of what to expect from each.
If you’re tired of weak, boring coffee, the French press can spice things up a little bit. This coffee is known for being rich and having a more intense punch of flavor than drip coffee. French press makes use of an immersion brew method, which means the coffee grounds are soaked in water and then strained out with a metal filter. The use of the metal filter means that oils and particles can get through, but the grounds will not. This results in a dense, heavy, and silky coffee that many people love.
For French press coffee, you will want coarse grounds and the brew time will be around five minutes. This is a simple technique that anyone can get the hang of in no time. It works especially well for those who want coffee with their breakfast, since the press is also a serving carafe. It comes in all sorts of sizes depending on how many guests you will be serving and how much coffee you each drink.
The pour over method is quite unique and offers a more delicate texture that might remind you of a cup of tea. The mouthfeel is caused by the paper filter used, which keeps oils and coffee particles out of your cup. There are many drippers you can use out there, and each is going to provide different results. If you go with a single-cup dripper, you’ll want a medium grind size and the dropping process can take three or four minutes.
Everything from the speed you pour to the pattern you use and how many phases of pouring you use will have an effect on the final drink. The technique can take a while to get the hang of. This is the best option for someone who wants to experiment and doesn’t mind taking their time.
Cold brew has become super popular as of late and is a far cry from the automatic drip coffee maker most of us grew up with. It takes a lot of time to make. Extraction alone will take twelve to 24 hours, so this isn’t for someone who is impatient. The coffee is filtered using a fabric or cloth bag and the result is a crisp and highly sweet flavor of coffee. The texture is light and refreshing but can be a bit different with each batch you make.
This is another option that is best for the experimenter, but it needs to be someone who has a great dose of patience. This is a popular option nowadays but not right for everyone. While anyone can make it, the technique takes some time to gain skill in so it’s not for the faint of heart.
If you’ve tried the French press and you enjoy it, the AeroPress is another option you can consider. It uses the same immersion brewing method but with the addition of paper filters, which makes it lighter on the tongue and more delicate. For this brewing option, you want a finer grind, somewhere close to the espresso grind. However, because of that finer grind, the coffee can be brewed in one to two minutes.
There are many techniques you can use with the AeroPress, but the traditional method is fine for many people. This coffee brewing option is best for an enthusiast who doesn’t have a ton of cash to spend on brewing equipment. It’s also a great choice for anyone who does a lot of traveling. It’s not overly difficult but probably will work best for the intermediate brewers out there.
This type of brewing can be beautiful and highly intricate. However, it can also be seriously difficult to get the proper technique down. Besides espresso, there is no more technique intensive brewing option. With siphon coffee, the filter is a flannel cloth, which leads to a soft and silky texture. The best grind option is somewhere in the middle, similar to table salt. However, this isn’t as important as the stability of the water temperature and the agitation of the grounds.
Getting into siphon brewing is probably best for those who are experienced with coffee and ready to move on to seriously challenging options. A hobbyist or someone looking to show off something new to their friends would also probably find it a fun brewing method.
The Right Brewing Method for You
The best way to determine which brewing method is right for you is by experimenting. You can try some cool brews at a local coffee house or just buy some devices and give it a shot on your own. However, flavor and convenience are also important and should be considered. For instance, pour over is going to offer a smoother flavor than an automatic machine but it might be frustrating to do every morning.
Don’t feel like you have to buy the most expensive equipment to make good coffee, either. This simply isn’t realistic. Sometimes you might get an awful cup of coffee from a machine that cost thousands, while a fantastic cup could come from a French press that cost less than $20.
The point is that what’s right for you might not be right for someone else. Consider the options, think about what matters to you, and give something a try. You can always switch it up the line down the road if you want to!
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