What is the Best Way to Brew Coffee at Home?

Finding New Brewing Methods to Enjoy Coffee

If you are in a quest on how to brew coffee at home using the best possible way then you are in the right place. The methods that I suggest below have one main purpose; to give you some new options for simple and non-expensive ways for homemade brewing. As far as “best way” is concerned, it relies on subjective preferences and actual interpretation of the words. Whatever method of those you like though will be labeled as the “best” for you.

All of the following suggested methods belong to the immersion brewing category. In simple words, the coffee grounds are steeped in water throughout the brewing process. This fact allows great full-bodied cups of coffee in a few minutes time. They also provide high level manual controls of the brewing parameters involved which make them “better” methods than the full automatic ones.

French press coffee

4 Tips for Better Tasting Coffee

(1) Buying fresh roasted beans instead of ready ground coffee. This is the most important aspect of achieving the best tasting result. Since they lose flavor quickly be careful to calculate weekly needs and keep them in a cool dark pantry.

(2) Grinding of beans, just before brewing, with a burr grinder on the appropriate setting that each method indicates.

(3) Using filtered water at a proper temperature (around 200 F / 93 C). Tap water is not recommendable because it contains chemicals (i.e. chlorine) which ruin the taste of coffee.

(4) Following a consistent coffee to water ratio

Auxiliary Needed Devices

  • Conical burr grinder: It gives even, consistent particles without “burning” them (blade grinders do).
  • Digital kitchen scale: It will help you be precise when weighing beans/water.
  • Thermometer: Your accurate assistant in measuring water temperature.
  • Gooseneck pouring kettle: The best device to pour-over hot water on coffee grounds. Its long thin spout gives the needed control for a well done brewing.

Best Coffee Brewing Methods

The following is an overview of three very popular coffee brewing methods that a lot of people discover and started using them. All of them use regular coffee as it is known by the majority of the people. I left out ethnic style brewing (Turkish, Vietnamese, moka pot, etc) on purpose since they need cultural explanations as well.

Get the best flavor from your coffee, using one of the following brewing methods. Determine yourself which method is more suitable for your everyday lifestyle. And who knows? You might not go back to automatic drip filter coffee again!

1. French Press

French press is the simplest method of making great tasting coffee. The pot is not expensive and there is a big selection of them in many online stores and other outlets. It doesn’t use paper filters and its parts can be cleaned quite easily. The grounds stay in contact with the water and the oils of the coffee are not filtered out, so you get a cup full of flavor and aroma.

Brewing method description: Add coffee grinds and near-boiling water to the glass carafe of the device. Wait for a few minutes, and then push down the plunger. The attached steel filter of the plunger will separate the grinds from the water.

The only thing that needs your attention in brewing with French press is the size of the grind. It must be COARSE. If the grind is too fine, you will either find particles coming up through the filter and into your cup or the steel filter of the plunger will clog.

2. Aeropress

Aeropress is the newcomer in the homemade coffee scene which took over the hearts of many people for its simplicity, affordable price and ease of use. The device looks a little weird (it resembles a big syringe) but the tasting quality of the coffee that it can produce is unbelievable. Cleaning up an Aeropress is a lot easier than French press. Press out the grounds, rinse with plain water, done.

Brewing method description (the inverted technique): Pull the plunger and invert the device. Add coffee grounds and hot water. Let the coffee steep for 1 minute. Invert a cup on the device and flip upright. Press the plunger slowly to move the beverage into the cup.

Suggested grind: Little finer than French press but coarser than drip filter.

3. Pour-over

Pour-over brewing is a very easy method for a unique homemade cup of coffee. As the name implies you just pour hot water, using a gooseneck kettle, over coffee grounds. This method combines the steeping of the French press with the filtration and cleanup of a filtered option. The device selection is divided into two categories:

(a) Melitta style devices which are cone cups with holes at the bottom and are placed directly on the cup for steeping and coffee draining. Chemex is also a part of this category with the difference that is a vase where the coffee drains directly in there and then divided into the cups.

(b) Clever coffee dripper style devices which steep coffee and let it free when placed on a cup.

Suggested grind: Little finer than French press but coarser than drip filter.

Conclusion

As you noticed, these suggested brewing devices are all very simple. If you can get the right temperature for your water, the right coffee grinds and the correct coffee-water ratio, the brewing method is much more a matter of preference. Your personal choice will be the “best way” to brew coffee at home.

Image Credit:

Thumbnail: Flickr Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) ‘For the love of coffeeby Lotzman Katzman

Main article: Flickr Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) ‘French Press Coffee’ by marviikad