Coffee Brewing Methods: 7 Ways To Brew The Perfect Cup

Nowadays, when it comes to coffee brewing, there are so many different ways to make a great cup of coffee at home, surely, having differences in taste. And you may find it overwhelming and confusing which coffee brewing method is the best and will suit your preference.

Sure, simplicity is the best, all you need to make the perfect cup is ground coffee, water, and a filter. But you should also understand the differences among the coffee brewing methods as simplicity is not always what you think it is. 

By identifying the kind of coffee that you want, it will then come to how much work you’re willing to do. Brewing coffee is an art, as it requires passion to prepare it, a bit of effort also contributes to it.

Here are the 7 of the many coffee brewing methods available, we’ve defined the basic methods and results to give you a guide to the taste you can expect. Let’s take a look at the list to walk you through some of the techniques for brewing coffee. 

French Press Method

The French Press method, also known as a coffee plunger or coffee press is considered one of the best and easiest brew methods.

Although the French press is also a manual brewing method, which means you’re not letting any machine to do the work for you, it still has a unique design that offers a low-maintenance approach to which a distinct and consistent coffee flavor is developed.

What you need:

  • French press
  • Coffee grounds
  • Kettle for hot water
  • Cups or mugs

So, if you have a French press at home, explore how to use it. All you have to do is just steep the grounds in hot water, and then press the plunger down until the ground is compressed at the bottom.

Depending on the capacity of your French press, you can serve a great-tasting coffee to each of your friends.

What to expect:

  • Following the right steps to brew the perfect French press will produce a delicious cup of coffee that pairs with either milk or cream, having a flavor that is more classic than any other method…very French indeed! 
  • Making a cup of coffee using this method is not that expensive, it’s not that time consuming either.
  • As mentioned, it’s low-maintenance equipment yet offers a distinct and consistent flavor.
  • Using the French press, you can brew coffee that is good for several people at once. So, unlike with the pour-over method, you can save a lot of time as there’s no need to do this method several times to make about 2-3 cups of coffee.
  • It is somewhat suitable for those coffee drinkers that enjoy the type of luxurious and expressive taste experience but having no coffeemaker machines at home, and having trouble brewing their cup every morning.

However, the French Press coffee can leave a bitter taste and oily texture in your mouth if not brewed properly, and appropriately. Just like any other method that requires steeping, sometimes it’s hard to perfect it.

The fact that the grounds are soaked, steeped, and plunged in hot water, all the complex compounds found in coffee such as the oils, caffeine, and the bitter compounds will be extracted or even over-extracted, which can lead to a few extra-bitter flavors lingering up in your coffee. 

But after all, if done right, you brew it gently and carefully, we’ll still love the flavor of a creamy-bodied coffee that comes from it.

AeroPress Method

The AeroPress method comes with an affordable, simple, and durable device to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home. It’s indeed ideal for kitchen, camping, and traveling because of having a compact size. Almost everywhere! Which is also one of the reasons for its popularity. 

This method is also known to offer diverse yet versatile flavors. It means with AeroPress, you can brew different kinds of coffee, in different ways. The brand itself says that you can brew not just regular coffee but also American, cold brew coffee, and even espresso.

What you need:

  • AeroPress /kit
  • Ground coffee
  • Kettle for hot water
  • Cup or mug

AeroPress is also a manual brewing method, considered as a pressure-based coffeemaker. So, if you have this brewer at home, you can always experiment and explore its process and how to use it, as said, this device offers different ways to which you can make a great-tasting coffee. 

You can use the standard method for AeroPress coffee to get that rich flavor and good body texture. Usually, it’s where the grounds are immersed for a few seconds. 

On the other hand, you can also use the inverted method to achieve more clarity taste in your cup, usually done by combining immersion and pressure brewing techniques. The grounds are steeped in just a short amount of time, and then the water is forced out of the AeroPress brewer by manually pushing the plunger, leaving the coffee grounds together with the filter in the chamber.

What to expect:

  • The AeroPress creates a truly unique taste – a very delicious cup of coffee. It offers a richer flavor and a nuanced coffee with a greater body compared to a French press. 
  • Even you brew coffee in different ways, you can still expect more clarity in it. The fact that the paper filter used in AeroPress keeps any fines out of the brew, this makes it much cleaner.
  • The reason why AeroPress-brewed cup is popular is because of its most remarkable characteristics. Indeed, the cleanliness in the cup can make the brightness of a coffee shines through nicely. 
  • Even though it brews just a single-serving cup of coffee, you can always expect it to operate as fast as compared to other methods.
  • As mentioned, because of its versatility, anyone makes an espresso-like coffee without even purchasing an espresso machine, AeroPress got it!
  • Aside from being affordable, you can always have a portable coffee maker that you can use when traveling, camping, etc.

If you’re a traveler, camper, or just a coffee lover who wants to enjoy a good cup of coffee at home, outside your home, or anywhere, the AeroPress comes with everything you need. Typically, it comes with a standard kit that includes a plunger, funnel, paper filter, and so on.

However, just like the thing in coffee brewing, there’s also a tendency that your brew becomes over-extracted if you left the ground in the AeroPress too long. But if done right, following the right steps in making AeroPress-brewed coffee, you can always avoid the over-extraction of different compounds. 

After all, even though the AeroPress gain its popularity because of its nice features since it was created. Still, a breakthrough in the brewing process makes the best cup of coffee you have ever tasted.

Pour Over Method

The pour-over method is just simply as it is. Indeed, one of the simplest, cheapest, and fastest ways to brew coffee in the morning without using any machines to speed up the brewing process.

It’s all about manual brewing, it means the process is mostly done by hands.

What you need:

  • Pour-over/ coffee cone or funnel
  • Paper filter, cloth, fine metal mesh, or anything that filters the ground
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cup, mug, or pot
  • Kettle for hot water

So, even at home, you can make the perfect cup of coffee using only a paper filter and funnel or cone, that can be used as some sort of dripper. You’ll just have to pour the hot water evenly over the coffee grounds and let it drain into the mug, then just wait for it to extract the flavor inside the grounds. 

But even though this method is at its most basic, creating that great tasting brew isn’t always easy, you need to do it right. Doing it right means, being persistent and passionate to which you may prepare it. 

What to expect:

  • If done right, expect that this type of brewing technique will produce a richer and smoother coffee flavor compared to some other methods.
  • The good thing about this brew is you have control over the factors that directly (or indirectly) affect the overall flavor. That is, you can control the amount of water concerning the grounds to release the certain flavor that we need.
  • You can also control the amount of ground coffee to directly influence the caffeine content in our cup. The quantity of grounds in your brew has to do with the amount of caffeine in your cup.
  • And since it’s a pour-over, this method can only produce a single cup or mug of coffee in a single process. So, to serve a coffee for several people, you also need to do this method several times. 

Chemex

The Chemex has no huge difference between pour-over aside from its elegant and fancy design, which indeed makes it unique and iconic in nowadays’ specialty coffee.

However, we can’t still ignore the fact that the beautiful design feature of a Chemex brewer may impact the flavor of the cup you brew from it.

What you need:

  • Chemex coffeemaker
  • Special filter that is specially designed for Chemex
  • Ground coffee
  • Kettle for hot water
  • Cups or mugs

The Chemex coffeemaker’s outer design typically similar or made of an hourglass-shaped glass container or flask (literally just like a vase, a transparent one), with a neck that resembles a cone or funnel, having filters that are specially for its excellent design.

Just like pour-over, hot water is evenly poured over coffee grounds, but this time, the paper filter is about 20-30% heavier as well as thicker compared to the regular one. Then, just wait for the brew to extract the necessary flavor and drips into the bottom of the flask. 

What to expect:

  • Expect it to create an exceptional degree of good flavor, resulting in a pure, strong, and clean cup of coffee, since having a thick paper filter helps to filter out some of the dispensable oils and other unwanted compounds.
  • The Chemex coffeemaker delivers only the elements essential to rich coffee flavor so that your personal taste and preference shine through.
  • Unlike the pour-over method, Chemex offers different sizes to which some can handle a large volume of brew (some are up to 10 cups). It means you can make coffee good for several coffee drinkers at once because of its large capacity.

Like all brewing methods, the good full flavor takes time to come out, and of course, in your own special touch. But a good cup of coffee is an art and science, it is something you can explore and learn. It is the result of a solid reaction between acid and sugars that forms a complex solution through the combination of heat, time, and filtration.

And Chemex uses all of those elements to make the perfect cup that other people typically consider as superior among others. Indeed, the Chemex brewer has been acclaimed as both an excellent coffeemaker and a work of art for almost 75 years.

Cold Brew Method

Coffee is not just all about being hot. For the past years, cold brew is one of the most popular brewing methods, before iced coffee came out which younger generations think of as cold brew (by the way iced coffee is different from cold brew coffee).

Cold-brew is basically brewed from grounds that use cold water or sometimes just room temperature water. Since the water is not that hot or warm enough, it requires a lot of patience to extract that nice and intense coffee flavor.

What you need:

  • Cold dripper
  • Special filter
  • Ground coffee
  • Coldwater

Cold brew is just like the other method, it is done by immersing the coffee grounds, but this time, it’s steeped in cold water for bout 10-12 hours, or even longer. Yes, you need to wait that long before you can have a taste of it. You need to be patient but you’ll be rewarded in the end though.

The grounds are then filtered out using a special filter. Using also that filter, you could also make a clod brew via a drip method, though you may not get the right flavor that you want.  

What to expect:

  • Cold-brew offers smooth and icy flavor, including an almost sweet-tasting coffee. Steeping the grounds with this amount of time makes the flavors and sugars extracted.
  • You can achieve a strong-tasting cup but don’t have bitterness or a high amount of acidity. The cold water ensures that you don’t end up with a bitter-tasting cup.
  • Even though there’s no need to add milk or sweeteners, it’s perfect to mix it with ice and milk, you can make an iced coffee out of it.
  • Some say that cold brew can stay for up to 2 weeks, well maybe because hot water is not involved. The compounds such as the oils and acids are less easily released in cold water.

Since you steep the grounds for almost overnight, it will tend to create a strong and concentrated brew as the coffee is infused into the water. 

However, you can still adjust the taste of your cold brew coffee if you want, making it stronger or less strong to suit your preference.

This method actually saves time in the morning, you steep your grounds overnight and there you have it, just strain it in the morning.

After all, cold brew is for everyone who wants a refreshing and great-tasting coffee at the comfort of their homes, the ones who are patient and appreciate results.

Moka Pot/ Stovetop

Moka pot is also another brewing method that uses pressure that comes from the steam of boiling water. Moka pot is basically a stovetop coffee maker made of stainless steel and consisting of 3 chambers.

The bottom chamber is where the water boils. The middle chamber holds the coffee grounds, above in it is a filter screen, that filters the grounds when the brew rises due to pressure. The upper chamber then holds the brewed coffee.

What you need:

  • Moka pot
  • Ground coffee
  • Water

Just like with the siphon method, the water is heated at the bottom and creates a lot of pressure. This pressure then makes the water into water vapor which then mixed to the grounds above in it, this is where the brewing takes place.

Once the vapor mixed to the grounds become liquid, the pressure still pushes the brewed coffee up slowly through the filter and funnel until it reaches the upper chamber. The upper chamber is no longer pressurized, so the brewed coffee just sits in there quietly.

What to expect:

  • Since the Moka pot is a pressurized brewing technique, expect it to offer a very strong coffee. Typically, twice as strong as a regular coffee.
  • The Moka pot is easy to use and it produces a rich and full-bodied coffee, including a vibrant aroma.
  • The Moka pot can produce a viscous or consistent espresso-like shot of coffee with no fancy or even expensive equipment.
  • The good thing about Moka pot is it comes as a whole set, it’s more compact that is suitable for home use. You don’t need separate equipment to brew coffee in it. 
  • Also, the construction is simple and not that very complicated, which makes it affordable.

However, although it is straight forward to use, you may still find it difficult to figure out at first. And as mentioned before, the coffee can become very strong or even bitter if not properly brewed. So, to at least avoid it, just be very careful. Always monitor the flame and use the right grind, it does take some practice to make it right, at the end, you will see that brewing Moka pot coffee is really that simple.

In addition to the brewing process, if the brewed coffee explodes upward, it is because your water is too hot or too much pressure builds up. This will sometimes happen, so to avoid it, the Moka pot comes with a safety release valve, it will release some of the pressure or energy that is built inside. 

You know it’s done once you hear a bubbling sound. After all, Moka pot is for everyone who wants an affordable way to make an espresso-like coffee. 

Siphon Method

Siphon coffee, typically known as vacuum coffee is considered one of the coolest and oldest yet fancy brewing methods available. Yes, it’s an old method, it’s nothing new, in fact, it has been around for almost two centuries.

Of course, if you ask the younger generations, they may think it as a recent invention because of its cool and unique design, or they may don’t even know it because it’s rarely used nowadays (although you may still see it in some coffee shops).

What you need:

  • Siphon brewer, that include the filter and other parts
  • Ground coffee
  • water

Given its unique design, I bet most of you would love to brew the perfect coffee in this kind of machine. It’s probably one of the most exciting and fascinating ways to brew coffee. Of course, I would also give it a try if given the chance. As you can see, you may look like a mad scientist performing a science experiment as the Siphon brewer is likely made of fancy and cool looking lab equipment. 

Moving on, this brewing machine is basically composed of two chambers: the top and bottom chambers. In the lower chamber, it is where you put the measured amount of water to be heated with either fire or halogen beam heater. On the upper chamber, it’s where you put the grounds.

The gases or vapors start to escape from there (at the bottom chamber) once the water starts to boil, creating a vacuum-like pressure which causes the water vapors to move on the upper chamber. As it evaporates, it is mixed with the coffee grounds. 

So, basically, the top chamber is where the brewing process occurs. Once the air at the bottom chamber is cooled down, it creates another vacuum pressure (it’s just the gravity) which will pull the mixture down to the lower chamber. From the top, the extracted coffee flavor in a brew drops down which passes through a filter, then leaving only the grounds. 

What to expect:

  • Typically, this brewing method produces a delicate, tea-like cup of coffee.
  • Since siphon brewer is a full immersion technique in a vacuum-like environment, it creates a full-bodied and full-flavored coffee.
  • Coffee brewing is indeed an art and science, and literally, a siphon brewer combines that to bring out the best-tasting coffee you’ve ever made– to create a satisfying coffee taste. 
  • Siphons extract the beauty of your coffee beans to the point where it traps the aroma of the roasted beans, leaving you with a flavorful and vibrant cup of coffee every time.

If you’re able to understand its process, then brewing coffee with the siphon can be a little tricky and can even ruin the taste if haven’t done properly. The thing is you may over-extract the flavor as it involves the constant heating of water. 

However, as they always say, brewing the perfect cup is something you can learn. Sure, as you can see, it might seem really complex and difficult to brew coffee with a siphon, but if done with constant practice, it’s not that actually difficult.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, the Siphon coffee maker has always been around, you can always see it anywhere. However, due to the recent innovations of coffeemakers, and because of the advancing technology, many brewing products are developed which definitely dominates the industry. 

So, if you have this kind of machine at home, don’t hesitate to use and treasure it! Enjoy the drink from the comfort of your couches. Believe me, it’s a great experience to have it. But if don’t have it at home, you can simply buy the setup at the store as they still exist. 

After all, Siphon is designed as a brew method not just for the experienced brewers and art hobbyists but also for anyone who loves and enjoys brewing coffee.

Conclusion

There you have it! Keep in mind that there are still some ways to brew coffee, as in today’s evolving technology, there are indeed new and advancing coffee brewing techniques available. So, even at home, experiment and explore different types of brewing methods to help you find the perfect technique in making the perfect cup of coffee. After all, what’s important is to enjoy the coffee as thoughtfully as it was prepared, by ourselves.

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