Asking someone what coffee brewing method makes the best coffee is a little unfair, or at least I think so. The answer is as complex as the roasting process, and no one answer is correct. As far as I’m concerned it depends entirely on your personal preference, how you like your coffee and what you expect from your cuppa joy.
So, while I myself prefer coffee made with a good vacuum type brewer or anything with a manual pour over drip brewer with filter paper, which allows you to stir the ground coffee as you pour in the water. For me, in my humble opinion, both of these are true brewing methods, giving you a full-bodied cup that is relatively lively and silt-free. I am unable to answer which coffee brewing method makes the best coffee, I am able to present my top 5 methods.
Regardless of the kind of coffee you enjoy, you really only need three things in order to make it: (good quality) ground coffee, water and a filter of some kind. While you might get a similar tasting coffee using these brew methods, the procedure will be different, as well as the taste and texture.
Coffee Maker Brewing
Most people have had a coffee maker in their house. Mine was my husband until I really got into making coffee, which is very different to him just quickly making me a cup of coffee. The home-style coffee machines are basically a type of pour-over method for the, dare I say it, lazy café drinkers because the process has been mechanized. When using a coffee maker the texture tends to be light and the grind is similar to table salt, as in consistency, not taste and while they may be easier, they don’t produce coffee anywhere near the standard as a manual pour-over method.
Coffee from a coffee maker can be tasty but because a lot of the preparation is automated, the taste will usually be consistent – consistently good or not so good – depending on the temperature of the water and the quality of the coffee you use.
Who is a coffee maker for?
Anyone and everyone, really. They are for people who like to socialize while the coffee brews in the background. They’re perfect for early risers and anyone who likes to sip on a cup of coffee while looking at the morning newspapers.
French Press Brewing
If you’re familiar with the French Press you’ll know it’s an immersion brew method, where coffee grounds are covered with water and then strained, using a metal filter. The metal filter allows non-dissolved coffee bits and oils to pass into the cup. This process gives the coffee a heavy, silky and dense texture. The ground coffee should be coarse, like coarse black pepper, which means the brew time is between 4-6 minutes, approximately.
While the French Press makes a pretty good cuppa joe there’s very little technique needed. You only need to decide whether you should stir the grounds or not, which you should in case you’re wondering.
Who will appreciate a French Press
The AreoPress is very similar to the French Press and the pour over method, in that it is immersion brewing and it uses filter paper. The type of ground coffee used is fine, almost powder-like, which means the brew time is around one minute. What’s nice about the AeroPress is that there are loads of techniques, like the standard method as well as the inverted method, to name only two, and there are hundreds of recipes for a different tasting ‘areopressed’ coffee whenever you feel like a change.
Who will enjoy the AeroPress
The AreoPress is for people who like good tasting quality with minimum fuss and also for those coffee-seurs who like to experiment with techniques and flavors. While an AeroPress isn’t difficult to use it’s probably for a more intermediate coffee-drinker.
Pour Over Brewing
The pour-over method seems like one of the easier methods to brew a good cup of coffee but it takes a considerable focus and care. If you want to buy a dripper, there are loads to choose from and while they all claim to make the best cuppa, the variations are really only decorative.
A single-cup dripper needs a medium sized grind, like a coarse table salt and usually, takes between 2 and 5 minutes to brew. When it comes to the pour over method the biggest challenge is the actual pour over technique. Everything, from the way you pour, the speed at which you pour and even the number of pours will give you different tasting coffee. My rule of thumb is to keep whichever technique you start with right to the end of that particular pour. This will yield the most consistent results.
Who needs a pour over
A pour over is for someone who considers themselves to be a bit of a coffee barista but knows they still have a fair amount to learn. If you enjoy your morning routine being almost a little ritual-like, then a pour over is perfect for you.
To see someone brew a cup of coffee using a siphon is watching poetry in motion, It’s theatrical, intricate and aside from espresso, it’s possibly the most technique-heavy way of brewing coffee. Using a flannel cloth, siphon coffee is filtered through, and the texture is as luxurious as the method itself. Coffee grind size is similar to table salt, the coarse type, but along with that the water temperature needs to be stable and you need to know just how much you need to stir the grounds.
The type of people who will enjoy siphon brewing
Craftsmen, coffee geeks and those who love science almost as much as they love their coffee. While I appreciate the skill and artistry that goes into siphon brewing, I still have to master the technique, to the point where the coffee is actually palatable.
As you can see, there is a myriad of ways to brew the perfect cup, and I know which is mine, but coffee, and the enjoyment of it is a very personal experience. Have I included your coffee brewing method? If not, let me know.