From the Traditional Dripper to the Pour Over: Coffee Brewing Methods

One morning, as I lazily lay in bed, I decided to write a tutorial on how to make coffee. I was feeling a little peckish, so I yearnedly glanced at my coffee maker across the room. In my studio apartment, the kitchen and the bedroom share space. I pondered how I could automate the brewing process to save myself the trouble of getting out of bed. Unfortunately, I won't be able to instruct you on that here. It explains how to brew every kind of coffee imaginable, from the most basic drip to the most elaborate French press.

Believe me, I'm no coffee connoisseur. I wish I could force myself to use a gooseneck kettle to carefully extract the coffee's flavor, savoring the way the orange and marzipan undertones develop. I'd love it if my specialty beans had hints of dulce le leche, green apple, and tobacco. I'd love to learn enough about coffee to become a sommelier, where I can distinguish between beans roasted in Italy and beans roasted in Ecuador. That said, I'm not one of those people.

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My father would buy the largest container of coffee grounds he could find at a reasonable price and we would use a Mr. Coffee 12-cup drip machine to make coffee every morning. My sister and I would always softly suggest that he try something new, like a different brand of beans, as a way to expand his horizons. He'd say things like, "I don't drink it for the taste," and we'd agree. Even we drank it first and foremost to help us get out of bed. On Father's Day and Christmas, we'd give him a bag of single-origin beans from a local roaster, and he'd be grateful, but he'd quickly revert to a tub of Folgers or Maxwell House. "Here, take 30 ounces for only ," he exclaimed. Half asleep, we'd roll our eyes and laugh, but the next morning, we'd down it without complaint because he was right.

My father not only showed me the ropes when it came to brewing coffee at home, but he also taught me a valuable lesson about how to make drip coffee quickly and effectively: always set everything up the night before. The steps involve measuring out the desired amount of coffee beans, grinding them (if they aren't already) and adding them to the filter basket. When you "just press play" and add the water, the only thing left to do before sunrise is to sit back and enjoy the show. Would a connoisseur of gourmet coffee do this? No Unfortunately, I've found that this is the only way to brew coffee without actually drinking any.

Let's get something straight: freshness of the ground beans is just as important as the quality of the beans when it comes to the best-tasting coffee. It's best to wait to grind your beans until right before you brew the coffee, so you can fully enjoy the complex flavors they contain. I know this goes against what I said earlier about grinding your beans the night before, but I'm trying to teach you the best way rather than the quickest way.

Blade grinders (the kind you find at the grocery store for ten dollars) and burr grinders are the two most common types of coffee grinders available. It's commonly accepted that burr grinders are the best option for anyone looking for a high-end, high-functioning coffee or spice grinder, but why is this the case The roasted coffee beans are crushed and ground more consistently with burr grinders. According to Partners Coffee's resident coffee expert, Cary Wong, "traditional blade grinders essentially chop up the coffee beans, resulting in an inconsistent grind, ultimately diminishing the taste and finish of your coffee." If you're serious about coffee flavor, investing in a high-quality burr grinder (you'll be hard-pressed to find one under and under 15 inches) is well worth the additional cost and space requirements.

We'll discuss the optimum coarseness for each procedure, which is determined by the size of the grind. However, a general rule of thumb states, "The less time the grounds spend in contact with water, the finer they should be. Wong explains that "coarser grounds are preferable because they spend more time in contact with water." When making espresso, you need very fine grounds because a single or double shot brews in less than 15 seconds. Medium-coarse grounds are ideal for brewing coffee with a drip coffee maker or French press because they only have to be in contact with the hot water for a few minutes, while very coarse grounds are best for brewing coffee using a time-consuming method like cold brew.

Learn how to brew various espresso drinks with the help of these detailed instructions. I will discuss the recommended grind size, water temperature, and water-to-grounds ratio for each brewing technique. If you want to become a coffee connoisseur, you need to spend months trying different kinds before you find one you love. In the name of true love, which will come in the form of an Escali kitchen scale (just kidding), you will spend hundreds of dollars on coffee beans from all over the world and swear off human connection.

But in reality, they are merely suggestions. Congratulations if you prefer your AeroPress coffee made with water at 190 degrees Fahrenheit rather than the recommended 175! Congratulations if you've come to the conclusion that cold brew coffee is too pricey and that an old batch of refrigerated drip coffee tastes just as good. Good coffee, as far as I'm aware, requires both high-quality beans and tools. And yet, I'm aware that without it, I'd never be able to remember where I put my socks or where I hid the remote control, much less remember that I have a 9 a.m. m to the dentist, so it's not like it makes a difference which device I use. Figure out what you're doing right, and improve upon that.

What Is It

An AeroPress is a portable coffee maker that squeezes out concentrated brews similar to espresso. A small amount of very strong coffee, which most people would consider espresso, is produced. And I say that as a friendly caution: your AeroPress can do so much more than brew a standard cup of excellent coffee. A greater intensity than usual If you want to use it in place of regular drip coffee, you'll need to water it down. Coffee made in an AeroPress is comparable to espresso, but you can use any beans you like.

Tips for Success

AeroPress, which is the name of the coffee maker, recommends using fine-ground or espresso-ground beans Put in the chamber the equivalent of three tablespoons of finely ground coffee (about 14 grams). Sway the AeroPress back and forth to check the elevation. In a slow, steady stream, pour hot water over the coffee grounds; if you're making dark roast, use water at 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you're making medium, use water at 185 degrees. Shake the mixture of water and coffee beans for 10 seconds. When ready to extract the coffee, place the plunger in the pot and press down gently. If you feel resistance, you've gotten all the coffee out of the grounds. You can savor it the espresso way, or dilute it to make an Americano.

For what reason Aeropress

The AeroPress is a portable brewing method that produces delicious coffee, even for those with discerning palates. In Wong's words, "it's great for camping and is easy to clean."

What Is It

A Chemex resembles a wooden and leather corset wrapped around the middle of a flower vase. So stylish The term "Chemex" is often used interchangeably with "pour over coffee," but it actually refers to a specific type of glass coffee maker.

Techniques for Achieving Success

One tablespoon of ground coffee to every seven ounces of water is the standard brewing ratio. So, to make two cups of coffee, you'd need 30 grams of coffee and 510 grams of hot water. Putting the specialty filter into the Chemex is the first step in making coffee in the device. Put the filter in a cup and slowly pour hot water over it to remove the papery taste. Put the water in the trash and start over with the coffee grounds. After adding the grounds to the wet filter, slowly pour the hot water over them in a clockwise motion to allow them to "bloom." When the soil is barely saturated, you can stop. Sprinkle the remaining water on the grass after waiting a minute. Put it in a pot with all the water and let it steep once you're done.

Why Chemex

One of the best vessels for producing high-quality pour-over coffee for a large group is a Chemex. Wong claims that brewing coffee in a Chemex or pour over yields "more complex flavors than other methods." There are a variety of sizes available, from 3 cups to 10 cups. Besides being inexpensive (less than fifty dollars) and taking up as much room as a vase of flowers, those are two more reasons we adore it.

What Is It

Creating a pot of cold brew coffee the traditional way requires time and a lot of coffee grounds. Concentrate (meaning extremely potent iced coffee) is made by steeping grounds in cold water for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours, and is then diluted with more water or milk.

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The procedure for making cold brew is the same whether you use regular coffee grounds or pre-measured specialty cold brew pouches. In our house, we like to use 3/4 cup of beans ground very coarsely for every 4 cups of cold water. Stir the two together vigorously in a large mason jar or other large, sealable vessel to thoroughly wet the grounds. Put a lid on it and leave it out overnight at room temperature.

After steeping, strain the mixture through cheesecloth into a large bowl or pitcher. To get every last bit of flavor from your coffee, strain it over a bowl and press the grounds down. Throw away or reuse the used coffee grounds. Cold brew can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days after pouring into a glass, and then adjusted to taste with water and milk.

The Benefits of Iced Coffee

It's a superior form of iced coffee because it lacks the bitterness and acidity you'd get from simply cooling down brewed hot drip coffee. Because of the high quantity of coffee grounds required and the low volume of iced coffee produced, cold brew coffee can be quite pricey.

What Is It

What you're looking for is probably this; you typed "how to make coffee" into Google, and here you are, ready to make some good ol' fashioned drip coffee with a $15 machine and whatever beans you happen to have lying around, right? Plus, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, I adore it when you say that! I had a hard time on my quest for caffeine finding advice on how to brew a perfect cup of drip coffee. Every high-end pour over coffee maker has its own set of instructions and frequently asked questions (FAQs). While drip coffee Nada Therefore, we must work together

Many self-proclaimed coffee experts claim that the water in a drip coffee maker never gets hot enough, robbing drinkers of the full range of caramelized, woody, and floral notes in their beans. Possibly, that is the case. Yes, that's probably the case. However, its greatest asset is that it can produce 12 cups of hot coffee in under 10 minutes while being the easiest and cheapest method to do so.

Tips for Success

For some reason, the instructors at Counter Culture Coffee despise drip coffee makers. They are aware that this is the preferred method for many coffee drinkers, This is the method you should follow, for better or worse, in good health or bad: Use medium-coarse grounds; on a scale from 1 to 10, your grounds for drip coffee should be around a 6.

They suggest using 20 grams of beans per cup of coffee (measured out before grinding) and 320 milliliters of cold-filtered water. It takes 80 grams of coffee beans and 1,280 grams of cold, filtered water to make 4 cups of coffee. For the sake of simplicity, I'll just refer to it as water, since most people who make drip coffee don't bother to filter it (at least, I don't).

You know what to do from here: place the coffee beans in the filter, fill the back reservoir with water, plug in the machine, and turn it on.

Reasons to Use a Coffee Dripper

It's affordable, accessible, and popular; you can even brush your teeth, do the dishes, and vacuum the floor while it brews. Can I even continue?

What Is It

In the French press, coarse coffee grounds and boiling water spend some time together, making it what is known as "a full-immersion brewing method." This method yields coffee with more body. Wong says, "French press is perfect for those who prefer a fuller body and more coffee oil in their brew." It's the best "set it and forget it" type of coffee for people who are always on the go and don't have time to patiently pour hot water over coffee grounds for 5 minutes.

Tips for Success

When I first started drinking coffee, a French press was the most elaborate appliance I had. My aunt and uncle gave me a copper one as a high school graduation present, and I remember how hip I felt wearing it. I've tried many times to make it taste good, but I've never been successful. Partners Coffee's enlightened employees say that fifteen parts water to one part coffee produces the best results. And yet, what does that entail, exactly The ratio of coarse grounds to water in a French press is 34 grams to 500 milliliters at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, yielding one to two cups of coffee. Set the French press timer for 4 minutes and add the coarsely ground coffee. Allow the coffee to bloom for 45 seconds after pouring 100 grams of hot water over it. To the press, add the remaining 400 grams of hot water and stir to combine. The coffee should be pressed after 4 minutes.

When referring to French Press, why

If you're looking for a transition from drip coffee to the world of fancier, fussier machines, I recommend starting with French press coffee. This is because it needs slightly more maintenance than a standard drip machine, though not nearly as much. Plus, depending on the size of your beaker, a French press can produce anywhere from 2 to 4 servings of coffee.

What Is It

I'd like to pitch pour over coffee to you if you're the kind of person who can spare at least five minutes to brew a cup. The coffee you make using this method will have more flavor and clarity while being lighter in body. In place of a Chemex, the Hario V60 is a common alternative for brewing coffee in a pour-over style. This handy gadget, which mimics a cup and saucer, sits atop your usual mug and saucer set. It's what you use if you're the type of person who likes to make one cup of coffee in the early hours of the morning and take your time doing so as a form of meditation. When compared to other pour over methods, such as the Chemex or Moccamaster, the coffee it produces is slightly more acidic.

Tips for Success

Prepare water in a kettle with a gooseneck to a temperature of 200 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (basically, you want it to be just below boiling) for use with a Hario V60 coffee brewer. There should be no more than 3 tablespoons (20 grams) of ground coffee in a cup of coffee. You can get rid of the papery, dusty taste by placing the filter in the pour over and slowly drizzling hot water over it. Eject this water and reset the device. Coffee grounds are "bloomed" in a wet filter by pouring hot water over them in a circular motion. If you wait a minute, you can slowly pour the remaining water over the grass. If you give the water three minutes to trickle through the grounds, you should have perfect pour over coffee.

What's the Point of a Leaky Overflow?

You can choose between a few different paths. Delicious, subtle coffee for up to 10 people can be made with any coffee maker from the single-serve Hario V60 to the crowd-pleasing Chemex and Moccamaster.

What Is It

The Moccamaster is another specialized machine for mass production of pour-over coffee, like the Chemex. The Moccamaster, on the other hand, is as hands-free as a drip coffee maker, producing coffee in the same style as pour over with the push of a button. The Moccamaster's two copper heating elements keep the water hot for brewing without overheating the brewed coffee, a problem common in drip coffee makers which use the same element to heat the water and the carafe.

Tips for Success

The Moccamaster is the closest to the traditional drip coffee maker in terms of preparation: you fill the reservoir with water, add the coffee grounds to the filter-lined basket, and turn on the machine. Initiate with 73 grams of coffee grounds for 5 ounces of water. Try making a batch and seeing if the strength is just right (or if it's too much). ) and modify for the next time Your coffee will be brewed and ready to drink in about 5 minutes (and hey, maybe you even did some dishes in that time).

If you're wondering "why Moccamaster," it's because

The Moccamaster is ideal for those who are reluctant to give up the convenience (read: laziness) of a drip coffee machine but who also enjoy savoring the nuances of their brew. Unfortunately, their flagship 10-cup machine costs around $350, which is about the same as a decent espresso machine.

Which coffee preparation method do you enjoy the most? Leave a comment and let us know The products featured in this post were selected (and adored) entirely on their own. Food52 receives a commission for some of the products we recommend.
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