For coffee enthusiasts who want to brew a better cup of java at home, perhaps with some of our flavorful coffee beans, here are some popular manual coffee brewing methods to consider using beyond the household auto coffee maker. Your preferred method will boil down to your personal taste, time and technique.
- Pour Over/Drip Coffee Cone
Drip coffee or filter coffee is the most popular preparing method in North America. The method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans. The brew is strained with a paper filter, or a metal or plastic mesh. The coffee from a drip brewer is clear and clean, with a high ratio of caffeine extracted per spoon of ground coffee. The brew is good, if you use a good coffee machine, but it’s only average with cheap equipment. Pour-over devices can compete with high end coffee makers such as Technivorm or Bonavita, in terms of taste and aroma. However, manual drippers, as they are also called, are less convenient than electrical drip brewers.
- French Press
French pressed coffee is intended to be consumed immediately after brewing. Some coffee drinkers believe that making French press coffee produces a beverage that contains stronger flavor compared to a drip coffee machine since it allows the oils from the ground coffee beans to mix with the water. A French press features a cylindrical glass carafe with a mesh filter inside which separates the ground coffee from the hot water. When it’s time to pour and serve, a lever is pushed down which strains and separates the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee, leaving the grounds on the bottom and liquid coffee above the filter. Before brewing with a French press coffee maker, coffee grounds should be a medium or coarse grind to obtain the best flavor possible, and to prevent them from passing through the filter.
A benefit of using a French press compared to a drip coffee maker is that you’re able to regulate the temperature of the water so your beans reach the maximum potential flavor possible when brewing. Also, filters aren’t needed since a pressing screen is used at the very end to separate the grounds from the liquid coffee.
Besides the method of brewing, another difference between dripped, French pressed coffee, and espresso is the texture and size of the types of coffee grounds used. Espresso beans are ground much finer than drip and French pressed coffee, and resemble the consistency of powdered sugar, which are then brewed using an espresso machine. The ground coffee beans are placed into a portafilter, which is the handled part of an espresso machine that attaches to the machine’s gasket. Next, the brewing process begins when water is pressurized through the beans to produce a liquid.
Espresso machines are designed to force a small amount of hot water through the coffee grounds at a very fast speed, and a single shot of espresso can take as little as 20 seconds to brew. Espresso is stronger in taste than the other two brewing methods, and is also creamier due to the creamy froth called crema that is produced.
- Cold Brew
Cold Brew is the favorite way of preparing coffee for people with stomach problems. If regular, hot, coffee brews upset your stomach, cold brew is definitely your choice. The brewing method implies steeping coffee grinds for extended periods of time, (12 to 36 hours), then straining it and serving it cold or hot. Because it takes so long to brew, people prepare large batches and store it in the fridge for several days.
Aeropress is a manual coffee making device that allows you to use pressure to brew a cup. The method involves a two steps process, with a few minutes steeping followed by pushing the brew through the coffee grounds under pressure to extract even more solids and caffeine. Aeropress coffee is strong with body, and resembles a lot with espresso. The method is most known for its versatility. You can brew from the mildest cup of hot brewed coffee to a strong cup with bite.
Coffee is more than just a vessel for caffeine. A wide variety of beans, mix-ins and machines have recently turned coffee brewing into a delicate art. So when you’re not up for popping in a shop, enjoy these DIY brewing methods at home! And don’t forget you can sign-up for a coffee subscription that will deliver delicious, flavorful Brickhouse Coffee beans right to your doorstep!