Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, not counting water. Most of us prepare a cup of coffee every morning, right after taking a shower and brushing our teeth.
But how do we prepare our coffee? With so many coffee brewing methods available, we will take a look at nine of the most popular.
Espresso is a very concentrated coffee, with a lot of body, aroma, and flavor. It contains a lot of coffee oils and solids. The most distinctive features of espresso are the foamy layer on top, and the low volume of the drink. It is prepared by pushing hot water through a layer of compacted finely ground coffee.
Keep in mind that a good espresso machine is rather expensive, costing over 200 Euros.
2. Turkish Coffee
Still very popular in certain parts of the world, Turkish coffee is a method of infusing very finely groundcoffee, in nearly boiling water, using a kettle. The grind size is almost like a powder and the coffee has the fullest body of all brewing methods. Keep in mind that you should stay away from it, if you enjoy clear coffee.
3. Drip Coffee/Filter Coffee
A standard drip brew involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans in an automatic machine. The brew is strained with a paper filter, or a metal/plastic mesh. It is a fast and easy brewing method, probably one of the most popular in the world.
The filter at the top of the machine absorbs most of the beans’ natural oils, which among other chemicals include flavonoids, responsible for giving coffee a bold flavor.
Filter Coffee is clear and clean, having a high ratio of caffeine extracted per spoon of ground coffee.
4. French Press
French press, or press pot, is a very simple coffee brewing device. It has a very loyal, cult following among the home barista community. It is cheap and produces a brew with a distinct taste and feel like no other method.
It is very easy to use – simply pour hot water over coffee grinds and let it steep for a few minutes. Afterwards press the filter to separate the grinds.
It has a medium body, being more dense than drip coffee, but less than espresso.
5. Moka Pot
The Moka Pot uses steam pressure to push water through coffee grinds, being similar in this respect to an espresso machine. Water in the bottom chamber boils, and the steam causes pressure that pushes water up through the coffee grounds into the top chamber. Unlike the espresso machine though, the steam pressure is much lower – around 1 bar for the Moka pot, compared to 9 bar for the espresso coffee maker. The resulting coffee has the oils and acids found in coffee beans. However, it lacks the espresso’s crema.
6. Cold Brew
Cold Brew coffee has become quite trendy among coffee connoisseurs. It is easy to prepare, being similar in this respect to the French Press coffee. However, unlike the latter, cold water is used in place of hot and the coffee grinds are steeped for extended periods of time (12 to 36 hours). Afterwards the brew is strained and served cold or hot.
It has a strong, unique taste, with no acidity or bitterness. Because it takes so long to prepare, people usually prepare large batches and then keep it in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
The AeroPress has a cult following among coffee lovers, and it looks more like a science project, than a coffee machine. The machine has several parts: a filter that sits in a coffee basket at the bottom of the brew chamber. A plunger that is pressed down creates air pressure to force brewed coffee through a filter. The extracted coffee is strong and has body.
Particular advantages of the Aeropress are its ease of use and portability.
The Chemex is a beautifuly designed and elegant pour over, originally created in the 1940s. It has made a comeback in the last few years. It involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds, similar to a standard drip coffee machine. However, the Chemex uses a special filter, that is much thicker.
The resulting coffee is smooth and has few fatty oils, most of them being filtered out.
9. The Siphon/Vacuum Pot
The Siphon is a flashy coffee maker, that can impress family and friends every time you use it. It combines two main actions: coffee grounds are added to the upper vessel and vapor pressure forces hot water up to immerse the coffee. Once the heat is removed, gravity pushes the brewed coffee back through a filter into the bottom vessel.
The siphon is delicate with the coffee and allows the flavors of the grind to really bloom. It is not very simple to use, therefore it is not suitable for daily use.