The 7 Most Popular Coffee Brewing Methods (Compared)


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Are you looking for a great way to brew your coffee at home? Luckily, there are several manual coffee brewing methods that you might want to try.

Aside from using automatic coffee machines to brew your coffee, there are some unique and even better ways to brew a great-tasting cup of joe. 

All you need to do is to experiment and explore each of those to see what method works best.

In this article, let’s take a look at some of the techniques for brewing coffee. We’ve defined the basic methods and results to give you a guide to the taste you can expect. 

Manually brewing your coffee is a great way to connect with your coffee brewing and achieve an excellent coffee experience. However, the challenge is that your brew’s success will depend on how much work you’re willing to put in. Brewing coffee is an art, so you need to contribute a bit of effort to make it right.

1. Pour Over Method

The pour-over method is one of the simplest, cheapest, and fastest ways of making a delicious cup of coffee in the morning. If you do it correctly, expect that this brewing technique will produce a richer and smoother coffee flavor than some other methods. 

Advantages:

The good thing about this brew is you have control over the factors that directly (or indirectly) affect the overall flavor. You can control the amount of water concerning the grounds to release the particular flavor that you need.

Moreover, since the quantity of ground coffee has to do with the amount of caffeine in your cup, you can control it to influence the caffeine content of your brew directly.

And even though this method is most fundamental, creating that excellent brew isn’t always easy. It would be best if you do it right. Doing it right means being persistent and passionate, to which you may prepare it. 

Disadvantages:

The only downside of a pour-over is you can only produce a single cup or mug of coffee in a single process. So, to serve a coffee for several people, you need to do this method several times. This is also a time-consuming process since your hands mostly do the work, and you can’t use any machine to speed up the brewing process.

Conclusion:

But in the end, if you’re serious enough with your coffee making, you can still make an excellent cup of coffee using only a paper filter and funnel or cone – that can be used as some sort of dripper. If you’re into pour overs, here’s a list of the best pour over coffee makers out there.

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. 

2. French Press Method

Brewing coffee with a French Press is considered one of the best and easiest brew methods ever. It offers a smooth, distinct and consistent coffee flavor that pairs well with either milk or cream. This brewing coffee method creates a more classic flavor than any other approach, which is very French indeed! 

Advantages:

A French press is a simple, low-maintenance, and inexpensive brewing device brewing coffee for several people at once. So, you can serve a great-tasting coffee to each of your friends when using a French press coffee maker. 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.

This coffee maker is also known as a coffee plunger or coffee press since it works by simply pressing the plunger down to filter the grounds. This makes it somewhat suitable for those coffee drinkers who want to enjoy a luxurious and expressive taste experience at home.

Disadvantages:

However, the French Press coffee can leave a bitter taste and oily texture in your mouth if not brewed appropriately and adequately. Like any other method that requires steeping, sometimes it’s hard to make it close to perfection.

Once you’ve soaked, steeped, and plunged the grounds in hot water, you will extract or over-extract all the complex compounds found in coffee, such as the oils, caffeine, and bitter compounds. This can lead to a few extra-bitter flavors lingering up in your coffee. 

Conclusion:

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

3. AeroPress Method

The AeroPress method is also known to offer diverse yet versatile flavors. It creates a truly unique and very delicious cup of coffee. This method of brewing coffee provides a richer flavor and a nuanced coffee with a greater body compared to a French press. 

There are typically two ways to perform it: the standard method and the inverted method.

  1. You can use the standard method for AeroPress coffee to get that rich flavor and good body texture. Usually, it’s where you immersed the grounds for a few seconds. 
  2. On the contrary, you can also use the inverted method for more clarity in your cup. You usually do it by combining immersion and pressure brewing techniques. You steep the grounds in just a short amount of time and then force the water out of the AeroPress brewer by manually pushing the plunger. This leaves the coffee grounds together with the filter in the chamber.

The reason why an AeroPress-brewed cup is popular is because of its most remarkable characteristics. One of the variables behind it is the paper filter used that keeps any fines out of the brew, making the taste much cleaner. So, while you can brew coffee in different ways, you can also expect more clarity in AeroPress.

Moreover, while it brews just a single-serving cup of coffee, you can always expect it to operate as fast as compared to other methods.

Advantages:

An AeroPress is also an affordable, simple, and durable device to brew the perfect cup of coffee everywhere. It’s almost everywhere because it’s ideal for kitchen, camping, and traveling as of being a compact device.

So, 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.

Speaking of versatility, an AeroPress can brew different kinds of coffee. The brand itself claims to brew regular coffee, Americano, cold brew, and even espresso. Anyone can make an espresso-like beverage without even purchasing an espresso machine because an AeroPress brewer got it!

Disadvantages:

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. 

Conclusion:

But if you will do it right and follow the proper steps in making AeroPress-brewed coffee, you can always avoid the over-extraction of different compounds. 

4. Filter Method with Chemex

Brewing coffee with Chemex creates an exceptional degree of good flavor, resulting in a purestrong, and clean cup of coffee. It delivers an essential rich coffee flavor that allows your taste and preference to shine through.

Advantages:

This is possible since a Chemex brewer comes with a thick paper filter that helps strain some of the dispensable oils and other unwanted compounds.

The Chemex is some coffee dripper, and you can also use it in a pour-over. The only difference is its elegant and fancy design, making it unique and iconic in nowadays’ specialty coffee status.

However, even though the process is similar to pour over, we can’t still ignore that a Chemex brewer’s unique and beautiful design feature may impact the flavor of the cup you brew from it.

Moreover, unlike the pour-over method, Chemex offers different sizes to handle a small to a large brew volume (some are up to 10 cups). It means you can brew coffee good for several coffee drinkers at once because some offer a large capacity.

Conclusion:

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 results from a solid reaction between acid and sugars that forms a complex solution through the combination of heat, time, and filtration.

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

5. Cold Brew Method

Coffee is not just all about being hot. Cold-brewing is one of the most popular brewing methods for the past years before iced coffee came out. 

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.

Advantages:

In this method of brewing coffee, you can achieve a strong-tasting cup without an overpowering bitterness or a high amount of acidity. That is because the cold water slowly extracts those compounds and ensures you don’t end up with a bitter-tasting cup.

Some of the younger generations think of cold brew as some iced coffee. Maybe this notion comes from cold brew as perfect for mixing with ice and milk, making an iced coffee out of it. However, iced coffee is different from cold brew coffee.

Cold-brew is basically made 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.

Moreover, some say that cold brew can stay for up to 2 weeks. That is because hot water isn’t involved. And this makes the compounds such as oils and acids less quickly released in cold water.

Conclusion:

Since you steep the grounds 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. You can make it stronger or less intense 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.

And 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. If you’re into cold-brewing, here’s a list of the best cold brew coffee makers.

6. Stovetop with Moka Pot

Brewing coffee with a Moka pot is also another brewing method that uses pressure from the steam of boiling water. It produces a vicious or consistent espresso-like shot of coffee with no fancy or even expensive equipment.

While this brewing method is easy to execute, it still produces a rich and full-bodied coffee, including a vibrant aroma. Also, 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.

Moka pot is a stovetop coffee maker made of stainless steel, consisting of 3 chambers:

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

Advantages:

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 also affordable.

In addition to the brewing process, if the brewed coffee explodes upward, your water is too hot, or the pressure builds up too much. This will sometimes happen, but luckily, most Moka pots come with a safety release valve that helps release some of the accumulated pressure or energy inside. 

Disadvantages:

However, although it is straightforward to use, you may still find it challenging to figure it out at first. And as mentioned before, the coffee can become very strong or even bitter if not correctly brewed. 

So, to at least avoid it, just be very careful, continually monitor the flame and use the right grind. It does take some practice to make it right, but in the end, you will see that brewing Moka pot coffee is really simple.

Conclusion:

After all, Moka pot is for everyone who wants an affordable way to make an espresso-like coffee

7. Vacuum Brewing with Siphon

Brewing coffee with a siphon is often referred to as a full immersion technique in a vacuum-like environment. And this environment creates a full-bodied, full-flavored coffee drink.

That is because the method traps the aroma of the roasted beans, leaving you with a flavorful and vibrant cup of coffee every time.

Advantages:

A Siphon brewer, also known as a vacuum brewer, is considered one of the coolest, oldest, but fanciest coffee makers. Yes, it’s an old device. It’s not new in the industry. In fact, it has been around for almost two centuries.

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

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 a 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. 

Furthermore, this brewing machine is basically composed of two chambers: the top and bottom chambers. 

  1. The lower chamber is where you put the measured amount of water to be heated with either fire or halogen beam heater.
  2. The upper section is where you put the grounds.

Conclusion:

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. 

If you can understand its process, brewing coffee with the siphon can be a little tricky and can even ruin the taste if you haven’t done it before. 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. It might seem complex and challenging to execute, but with constant practice, it’s not that actually difficult.

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. 

But for now, try to experiment and explore these different types of brewing methods to help you find the perfect technique in making the perfect cup of joe. After all, what’s important is to enjoy the coffee as thoughtfully as you prepared it.