A cup of joe is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It is the perfect way to open your eyes in the morning, as well as a lovely drink to accompany a conversation with your best friend or a new lover. There are so many occasions that are made even more special with the accompaniment of a cup of coffee.
Coffee is a versatile drink, and it comes in many different forms. How you brew the coffee beans will have a dramatic impact on the taste. Some methods of brewing coffee allow for a more intense, flavorful experience, meaning that the drink is consumed in a small quantity. In contrast, other methods allow for a big drink that will not only give you a caffeine buzz, but will hydrate you too.
Good coffee is easy to make. You just need the right tools. You need to be armed with information so that you know what to do with the tools. There’s no reason to spend buckets of cash at a local chain for a sub-par cup of coffee. If you buy the right beans and use the right brewing method, then you’ll be able to make an exquisite cup of coffee at home.
In this guide, we’re going to have a look at the most common forms of brewing coffee at home. You’ll find out what tools you need to brew coffee in each method, as well as the recommended type of beans, the amount of time it will take to make the coffee, and what sort of flavor and consistency the coffee will be when you follow each method.
After reading this comprehensive guide, you’ll be ready to experiment with these different methods. You can find one that suits your taste buds, as well as your different moods, as some methods are better suited to different circumstances.
Let’s have a look at some methods for brewing coffee.
The French press – also known as a cafetiere – is one of the easiest ways to brew coffee at home. It requires a minimal amount of equipment. The equipment that you do need – a coffee grinder and a French press – is inexpensive. The French press is such a staple in kitchens around the world that it’s surprising to realize that it’s only been around since 1929 when Ugo Paolini invented it.
The French press is a highly rated form of brewing coffee because it allows the coffee to steep in the water naturally. It’s quick – with extraction taking approximately 4 or 5 minutes – and you can use it to produce a large quantity of coffee if you have the correct French press.
- French press
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee beans (coarse grind)
- Spoon (wooden, if using a French press made from glass)
- Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency
- Put the coffee grounds and hot water (93–96 °C or 199–205 °F) inside the French press. You will need
- approximately 30g or 1.1oz of coffee per 500ml or 17 US fl oz.
- Leave to steep for 4 minutes
- Plunge and pour into cups
A Moka pot is an easy, cheap way to brew coffee. All you need is a Moka pot, some coffee, water, a stove, and then you’re away. The coffee that you get out of a Moka pot is reminiscent of what you get out of an espresso machine. This is why a Moka pot is sometimes referred to as a stove-top espresso machine. The Moka pot is another Italian invention – as so many coffee-related inventions are – and was created by the designer, Alfonso Baletti, back in 1933.
If you’re a fan of crema on your freshly made coffee, then a Moka pot is a good option, as it naturally produces crema during the brewing process, which we will look at now. There are several different variations of Moka pots, and the method that we are looking at is perfect for a conventional, classic Moka pot.
- Moka pot
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee beans (fine grind)
- Fill the bottom chamber of the Moka pot with water until just below the safety valve
- Place the filter funnel inside the bottom chamber
- Put coffee onto the filter
- Screw the top part of the Moka pot to the bottom part
- Place on a stove
- Wait until the brewing process is finished. You should know when the process is finished when you hear a
- gurgling noise.
Although it’s called Turkish coffee, this form of coffee brewing is done all over the world. It’s especially popular in Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East. People have been drinking Turkish coffee for almost 500 years. This method was invented by those working for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th Century. They invented it after the Governor of Yemen had brought some coffee to the Sultan as a present.
Turkish coffee is made in a cezve. It is often consumed with something sweet, such as baklava or Turkish delight. Then again, as it’s usually made with sugar, many people might find the coffee sweet enough on its own. It requires only a short time to make Turkish coffee. And all you need is a cezve, water, and coffee.
But if you want an authentic experience, then finding yourself some demitasse cups would be a good idea. You also need to get the right coffee to brew in a cezve. While it is possible to grind it at home by yourself, you will require a special grinder, so you’re best purchasing powder-like ground coffee.
- Very finely ground coffee, almost like a powder
- Filtered water
- Pour 360ml of filtered water into the cezve for every cup of coffee you want to make.
- Add 20mg of ground coffee for each cup.
- Add sugar.
- Place cezve on your stove. Use a medium heat.
- When you notice the coffee sinking, then you should stir the mixture inside the cezve.
- Remove from the heat if you notice the coffee boiling too quickly.
- When you notice foam beginning to form at the top of your coffee – after about 3 or 4 minutes – then spoon itinto the cups equally.
- Keep stirring the coffee.
- When you notice it beginning to boil, quickly remove it from the heat, and pour the top half into the cups. Then put the cezve back on the stove.
- Once the remaining liquid starts to approach a boil, quickly remove from the heat, and then pour.
Coffee snobs adore Chemex coffeemakers. Why? Because of the rich flavor that they produce without any sediment. Unlike other drip coffeemakers, a Chemex doesn’t create thin, watery coffee. You wouldn’t know it by looking at a Chemex coffeemaker, as most people mistake it for a vase.
But that’s what is so awesome about a Chemex coffeemaker. It is both a way of brewing tasty coffee, as well as a beautiful object that will look great in your kitchen. Simplicity is the key to Chemex, as is affordability, as a Chemex won’t cost you a lot to buy.
- Chemex coffeemaker
- Chemex coffeemaker filter
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee beans (medium to coarse grind)
- Fold filter and place inside the neck of the Chemex
- Pour hot water over the filter to remove any glue taste
- Pour away plain water from inside the Chemex
- Place ground coffee inside the filter
- Pour hot water over the coffee ground, only a small amount, so that the coffee grounds are covered, and leave for 15-30 seconds for the coffee to bloom.
- Pour more water slowly over the grounds, allowing the water to filter through the coffee until you reach the point where the Chemex is full.
- Throw away the filter and ground
- Pour the coffee. And Enjoy!
If you don’t know what an espresso machine looks like, then it’s likely that you’ve never stepped inside a coffee shop, café or restaurant. An espresso machine is used pretty much everywhere these days to make your cup of joe. It’s been around since 1884, after the very first one was invented in Italy.
Espresso machines produce lovely coffee in a matter of seconds. But there is one big drawback to an average person putting an espresso machine in their home, and that, of course, is cost. Espresso machines aren’t cheap. But if you’ve got the money, then you should certainly consider investing in one.
There is a huge range of espresso machines on the market, and each one will have its own method. We’re unable to outline the method here, as it will vary too much on the style of the machine. The key thing to know is that espresso machines are usually very simple to operate. As long as you follow the instruction booklet, then you’ll get the knack of it in no time at all.
- Espresso machine
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee (fine, espresso grind)
The AeroPress has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It was only invented in 2005 by the same man who created the Aerobie frisbee, Alan Adler. The AeroPress makes high-quality coffee very quickly, with the steeping time only taking between 10 and 50 seconds. You may think that the AeroPress will make similar coffee to what you get in a French press, but you’d be wrong.
The flavor is quite different. AeroPress coffee is a lot less acidic than French press coffee, which is because of the shorter steeping time. An AeroPress is an inexpensive piece of kit that can last a long time, and you only need to purchase filters on a regular basis. It’s also effortless to clean.
- AeroPress filter
- Coffee grinder
- Coffee beans (finely ground)
- Place the ground coffee on the filter at the bottom of the large cylinder.
- Pour water over the coffee. The water should have a temperature of between 79c and 85c (or 175f and 185f)
- Stir the coffee and water mixture for approximately 10 seconds (no less than this amount of time).
- Push the plunger down.
A Note On Coffee Beans
The key to good coffee is all in the beans. It doesn’t matter what method of brewing you use. If your coffee beans are past their sell-by date, then your coffee will never be up to scratch. Some people spend thousands of dollars on an espresso machine but then only pick up freeze-dried coffee from the local supermarket for a couple of dollars. Coffee snobs will tell you that this coffee will be no better than the instant stuff.
You should always purchase coffee beans that have been roasted within two weeks of the date you buy them. Always buy from a small batch roaster, preferably local. Ask for a taste card or read the information about the flavors before purchasing the coffee. Coffee beans have a distinct taste, and, just like wine, what may be appealing to others, might not appeal to you. Experiment, research, and enjoy finding your perfect bean.
Now you know about the six most popular ways of brewing coffee. Each of these methods of brewing is easy, requires a minimal amount of equipment, and can be done at home. Always ensure that you grind your coffee to the correct coarseness for the method, and make sure to buy the very best, freshly roasted beans, whatever method you use. Take pleasure in making your coffee, as it’s a fantastic drink that can lift your mood and make you more focused.