Best Coffee Brewing Methods

Like all foods and beverages, how you process the ingredients determines the final product. Coffee is no exception, as the coffee beans used down to the method used in processing the coffee beans is crucial. Whatever way you use determines the aroma, texture, and taste at the end of the day.

There are several options when it comes to coffee brewing, each having its advantages and disadvantages. Some coffee fanatics swear by the French Press method, while others prefer the pour-over method. Most of these methods can be done at home, allowing for large-scale brewing or small quantities.

Some of the methods discussed here date back to older times, while some are relatively modern. Here are the top coffee brewing methods popularly used at home and on larger scales.

French Press method

The French Press method owes its name to a plunger pot invented during the nineteenth century in France. The device used in the French Press method makes use of a cylindrical pot, a plunger, and a built-in filter screen. 

It is advised to choose a medium grind for excellent uniformity and consistency. Dense coffee grounds might obstruct the filter, while finely-ground coffee beans will pass through too quickly, impairing the results.

What Is Needed To Make French Press Coffee?

To make coffee using the French Press method, you’ll need a French Press, coffee, hot water, scale, timer, and a Burr Grinder.

Instructions

  • 1. Place the plunger pot on a flat surface free of water. Carefully hold the handle, and proceed to pull out the plunger.
  • 2. Add a tablespoon of coffee to the pot (7-8 grams per 200ml of water)
  • 3. Pour hot water (almost boiling) into the plunger pot and stir gently.
  • 4. Re-insert the plunger into the plunger pot, stopping slightly above the water and the ground coffee. Let stand for three to four minutes.
  • 5. Press the plunger down, exerting pressure steadily.
  • 6. After each use, wash the plunger pot with water and a mild detergent.

PROS

  • 1. The equipment needed is expensive
  • 2. Easy to learn
  • 3. Produces good coffee regularly.

CONS

  • 1. Additional equipment is needed to boil water
  • 2. Not as safe as other methods
  • 3. Inexperience can lead to coffee with sediments in the cup of coffee.

The Pour Over Method

The pour-over coffee method is one of the most convenient means of brewing coffee that can be done at home. This method tends to produce coffee that has been filtered of impurities, thanks to the process involved.

The pour-over method is done by placing coffee grounds and a funnel over a coffee mug or jug. When hot water has been poured over the coffee grounds, the flavor is released as it seeps through the filter into the cup.

What Is Needed To Brew Coffee Using The Pour Over Method?

For this method, you will need fresh coffee beans, a Chemex coffeemaker, filtered water, a water kettle, paper filters, coffee grinders, and a scale for accuracy. The estimated brewing time is 4 minutes.

Instructions

  • 1. Put aside 1 gram of coffee per 16 ml of water. This means that for a 500 ml jug, you will be using about 32 grams of coffee.
  • 2. Grind the coffee beans until it has achieved the consistency and texture of sea salt.
  • 3. Let the filtered water boil. Add about 100 ml of water to wet the filter.
  • 4. Unfold the paper filter with three folds on one side and another fold on the other. Insert the filter into the Chemex coffee maker such that the side with three folds is facing the sprout
  • 5. Pour adequate hot water on the filter to soak it. Get rid of the excess water through the sprout.
  • 6. Throw the coffee grounds into the filter and leave to settle.
  • 7. Add sufficient water to soak the coffee beans. Leave for 45 seconds to allow gas escape.
  • 8. After the previous step, pour the hot water in circles, focusing on the center and the edges. 200ml is enough for this first round.
  • 9. Pour water in parts of 200ml at a time, as the coffee grounds should never go dry.
  • 10. Once brewing is complete, remove the filter and enjoy your coffee.

PROS

  • 1. Equipment used is cheap
  • 2. Results in consistently great coffee with high purity,
  • 3. Easy to learn
  • 4. Many cups can be brewed at the same time.

CONS

  • 1. Could be time-consuming for some people.
  • 2. Folding paper filters might be a hassle for some.
  • 3. Many accessories are needed for this process.

The Coffee Maker Method

Instant coffee at the flick of a button has never sounded better. This will work well for those who prefer the convenience and are interested in making a one-time investment in a machine that does all the work.

What Is Needed For The Coffee Maker Method?

For this method, a coffee maker is needed along with the coffee beans and a paper filter (if the machine lacks one). It is advised that medium ground sized coffee is used.

Instructions

  • 1. Add enough water into the coffee machine depending on its capacity.
  • 2. Put a filter of the right size in the machine (either disposable or reusable).
  • 3. Add coffee grounds to the machine. 
  • 4. Simply press Brew on the machine or whatever button prompts the machine to brew coffee.

PROS

  • 1. Simple to use
  • 2. Most coffee machines can make plenty of coffee at a time

CONS

  • 1. There is almost no control over the end-result of the Brew
  • 2. Coffee makers have to be cleaned immediately to prevent the growth of mold.

The AeroPress Method

The AeroPress method is somewhat similar to the French Press method, as both ways use a plunger to extract the coffee. The AeroPress is a plastic device that comes in three parts.

The AeroPress comprises a brew chamber with a filter sitting in a coffee basket. In this method, filtration and immersion are both used to extract the flavors from the coffee beans. This method was invented by Alan Adler in 2005.

What Do I Need To Use The AeroPress Method

You’ll require hot water, scales, coffee grounds, a timer, a mug, paper filters, a tablespoon, and an Aeropress machine for this method. The total time required for brewing is between one and two minutes.

Instructions

  • 1. Measure and grind the coffee using the weighing scales. Medium fin-ground coffee is best for this method
  • 2. Prepare your AeroPress. Rinse the filters to get rid of dust or other particles.
  • 3. Boil the water to anywhere within 175-2000F.
  • 4. Place the brew chamber of the AeroPress to sit directly above the mug. Add the coffee and slightly shake the brew chamber a bit to avoid channeling.
  • 5. Add the hot water and twist the chamber to be dispersed evenly among the coffee grounds.
  • 6. Stir the slurry with the tablespoon, and insert the AeroPress plunger at a slight angle into the brew chamber. Straighten the plunger and pull it up a bit. Leave for a minute.
  • 7. Take out the pressure seal, stir the coffee slurry again, re-insert the plunger, and press slowly. You should aim to push the plunger to the bottom for a minute.
  • 8. Taste and dilute if there is a need to.

PROS

  • 1. Very portable device and an excellent option for travelers.
  • 2. Produces a great-tasting brew.
  • 3. The Aeropress can also be used to make an espresso.
  • 4. Very affordable device.

CONS

  • 1. Brews a minimal amount of coffee
  • 2. It is not ideal for light-roasted coffee

The Siphon Method

In the siphon method, a vacuum coffee maker is used for this type of brewing. The vacuum machine consists of two chambers where vapor pressure and water are used to create a cup of coffee.

Once the heat is eliminated, the brewed coffee is then pushed back through a filter into the lower chamber. This technique can be quite frustrating, but it gets the job done at the end of the day.

What Do I Need To Use The Siphon Method

To brew coffee using this method, you’ll need a scale, aimer, thermometer, siphon set, grinder, a filter, a heat source, and coffee beans. The brewing time is about two to three minutes.

Instructions

  • 1. Attach the filter at the bottom of the funnel. 
  • 2. Add pre-boiled water to the bottom chamber. Make sure the outside of the bottom chamber is dry after the water has been added.
  • 3. Place the bottom chamber atop the source of heat and turn on the highest heat. Fit the funnel loosely into the bottom compartment in such a way that it is not attached completely.
  • 4. While the water is boiling, measure and grind the coffee. A coarsely textured coffee is more suitable.
  • 5. Upon boiling. Affix the funnel to the lower chamber and ensure that it is aligned tightly.
  • 6. Once the top gets filled up, add the coffee to the water. Stir appropriately with a spoon and begin timing.
  • 7. Let the coffee brew for a minute and a half. After forty-five seconds, stir the coffee for the second time.
  • 8. Turn off the heat very close to ninety seconds running out. Immediately the heat is turned off, the coffee will sink back to the bottom in about a minute.
  • 9. Enjoy your coffee. However, be careful while handling, as the equipment used will still be hot.

PROS

  • 1. It is fun to brew coffee
  • 2. Allows for control of steeping time and heat
  • 3. Due to the complete immersion of coffee grounds in water, flavors are extracted optimally.

CONS

  • 1. Cleaning can be stressful
  • 2. Requires monitoring during the process
  • 3. The device used can be expensive for some

The Cold Brew Method

Most people would tell you that this method eventually leads to some of the most refreshing coffee you will ever drink. The best thing about coffee made using this method is that you can use various coffee beans.

Cold brew coffee is an excellent beverage during the summer. Some coffee drinkers also add iced blocks to theirs for a more refreshing experience.

What Do I Need For The Cold Brew Method

 You will need filtered water, coffee grounds of your choice, a sieve, a jar that can be covered for the cold brew method.

Instructions

  • 1. Grind the coffee coarsely.
  • 2. Mix the coffee grounds with water and allow to steep overnight for 12-48 hours.
  • 3. After the coffee has been infused as long as you want, a potent brew would have been formed.
  • 4. Strain the following morning and enjoy your coffee.

PROS

  • 1. It is easy to make
  • 2. It does not go stale easily, so it can be made in large amounts
  • 3. Cold brewing, instead of hot brewing, results in lower acidity and a better taste.

CONS

  • 1. Cold brewed coffee results in high caffeine levels.
  • 2. The end result is light-bodied, making it less suitable for additives such as milk and caramel.

The Bialetti Moka Pot Method

The Bialetti method is named after an Italian engineer called Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. The Bialetti method utilizes pressure from boiled water in the lower chamber to pass through the middle section of ground coffee. Moka Pot method is another name for the Bialetti method.

This method of coffee was well-known for producing bitter coffee as a result of over-extraction. However, some prefer the bold and bitter taste offered by the Bialetti method.

What Do I Need For The Bialetti/Moka Pot Method

The Moka Pot method requires a percolator, stovetop, filtered water, and coarsely-ground coffee. And a Burr coffee grinder.

Instructions

  • 1. Wash the percolator thoroughly before use
  • 2. Measure sufficient cold water and pour it into the bottom chamber.
  • 3. Assemble the bottom chamber and stem.
  • 4. Add the desired amount of coffee to the upper chamber, place it on the stovetop.
  • 5. Turn up the heat gradually.
  • 6. When the liquid in the bottom chamber begins bubbling, it means your coffee is ready to drink

PROS

  • 1. Coffee made with a Moka pot is strong and rich.
  • 2. Equipment used is cheap and portable.
  • 3. The metal body of the Moka pot retains heat.
  • 4. The Moka pot is quite portable.

CONS

  • 1. Coffee might be too bitter for some.
  • 2. Not great for people who dislike thick coffee.

The Espresso Method

Espresso is a coffee-brewing method that originated in Italy. In this method, a little amount of pressurized hot water is made to pass through coffee grounds. The espresso method applies to a variety of beans and roasting temperatures.

Espresso is a popular means of brewing in Europe, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Most times, espressos are thicker than coffee brewed with other methods. Espressos are also excellent for cremas or foam.

What Is Needed For The Espresso Method

You will need an espresso machine, a tamper, tamping mat, milk pitcher, and an espresso machine cleaner for the espresso method.

Instructions

  • 1. Top up the reservoir with filtered water
  • 2. Put the machine on.
  • 3. Measure the tamped coffee grounds and place them in the machine filter
  • 4. Carefully compress the coffee grounds in the filter, so they are closely-packed
  • 5. Lock the filter and put the espresso cup under the faucet to trap the coffee.
  • 6. Press the shot button.
  • 7. Use the milk pitcher to pour in milk to create art and patterns on the surface of your espresso.
  • 8. Clean the machine after use with the espresso machine cleaner.

PROS

  • 1. Brewing is quick.
  • 2. Equipment used comes in affordable price ranges for all.
  • 3. Great for additives like milk, butter, and coconut oil.
  • 4. A variety of drinks can be made with this method, e.g., lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas.

CONS

  • 1. Cheaper espresso machines often give mediocre results.
  • 2. Takes up some amount of space.
  • 3. Cleaning can be difficult.

Conclusion

There are several brewing methods with each having it’s own downside. Depending on how much you need at a time, the cost of the equipment, and brewing time. There is no limit to how you can brew your coffee with many more methods available than the ones listed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Factors That Affect Coffee Brewing?

The important factors affecting coffee brewing are the coffee bean size, water temperature, agitation, retention of heat, and coffee-to-water ratio.

What Happens If I Overbrew Coffee?

When you overbrew coffee, it leads to overextraction, with some bitter chemicals and tastes being released into the brew.

Can I Use Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds can be reused, but bear in mind that the resulting brew cold be bitter with a burnt taste. If left for a long time to cool before reusing them, it could result in coffee with a dull flavor.