Different Manual Coffee Brewing Methods Explored
The wonderful, ever-evolving world of coffee.
Ever since humans started drinking coffee; we have been experimenting with new ways to brew it
The method of brew will determine the style of coffee you get in your cup. Some styles of coffee brewing are also linked to a certain country almost like an intangible cultural heritage.
The Italians are well known for their love of very dark roasted beans and espresso shots on the go, a Turkish coffee is made with a super fine grind (almost powder like) in a heavy copper pot called a Cezve.
Probably the most interesting coffee ritual is practiced in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.
The Ethiopians perform a coffee ceremony where they burn incense, roast the beans over a hot skillet, crush the beans (sometimes with whatever is lying around, a spare car part even) and brew the coffee over hot coals while people sit in a circle and wait to be served.
My personal coffee journey started with a CHEMEX, but for others it might be a French Press. There are so many new and exciting brewers emerging on the market and some traditional ones that have stood the test of time, we delve a little deeper into what coffee brewer is right for you.
Whichever brewer you decide to go with, always stick to the golden rules, buy your coffee fresh and grind it right before you brew!
Different types of brew techniques
So chances are you've stumbled upon to this article because you're trying to figure out what piece of equipment you need to buy to make great coffee at home.
Most people will assume that you need to get a really expensive espresso machine to achieve the same results but to be honest, unless you have some serious skill, an espresso machine will do nothing more but gather dust.
There are some really low-tech ways of brewing coffee and most of them are very affordable.
Brewing techniques are often categorized in Press- Drip- and Immersion Brews.
Immersion brews simply put, is a method that involves immersing the ground coffee completely under water as opposed to the drip-brew which will have water passing through a bed of coffee. Kind of like the difference between a bath and a shower
There are so many different types of brewers like the Grindrippers which are a two in one grinder and brewer; you also have the practically designed Brewista Hourglass brewers, traditional Melitta Kono drippers and cloth brewers like the Nel drip.
It will be impossible to list them all, but below we take a look at some of the basic ones and reasons why we love them; in no particular order.
The Aeropress comes right at the top of the list because it’s a personal favourite.
The story goes that the invention of the Aeropress was a complete accident, the inventor wanted to find a cheap way to make an espresso at home and it resulted in one the most durable and versatile coffee brewers around today.
The reasons why we love the Aeropress:
- is because it creates an incredibly well balanced coffee.
-the micro fibre filters ensures no sediments are transferred into your cup.
-It’s also no secret that the Aeropress is the number one choice for travellers because of its, lightweight and durable design.
-Great for everyday use.
The Trinity ONE is a new addition to coffee brewers on the market and might very well be the future for coffee equipment. The Trinity ONE is the product of a very well deserved successful Kickstarter campaign.
This elegant tool is a 3-in-1 brewer and depending on your mood, you can use it as a French press for a fully immersed brew, it also works for a press- and drip-brew.
The reason we love the Trinity ONE:
-is because it is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen
-It’s a one stop shop with combination of Press-, Drip and Immersion brews.
The French press might possibly be the most well-known coffee brewer, most people have had one of these at one stage in their life.
The French press uses a full immersion brew method and you would normally use a coarse grind. We have nothing against the French press but we believe you have to invest in a really good French press to get great results.
Sadly most people opt for the French press because they don’t really know what else is out there or are intimidated because they don’t know how to use something like a Siphon for instance.
Buy a French press if:
-You are not copping out of buying something else that is just as awesome instead.
-You are willing to buy a high quality Press that won’t dump all of the coffee grounds into your cup
We wrote a blog post on the brewing method for a Hario V60 and the Chemex and we talk about some differences between the Hario V60 and the Chemex, but both work roughly the same. They both have a cone shaped top part where you would insert a filter and have the coffee slowly pass through/ rinse the coffee bed. The great thing about a drip brew- and maybe the main difference in the style of coffee you end up with compared to an immersion brew- is that you have a lot of control over the different brewing variables and it does a really great job in highlighting certain characteristics in coffee especially your lively fruit flavours.
The reason we love the Chemex:
-It looks really good on the kitchen counter!
-You can brew large quantities for guests (6-8 cups)
-You have a lot of control over the variables, which is optimal.
-It does a great job in highlighting delicate fruit flavours.
The Moka Pot is similar to the French press in terms of popularity, We’ve seen many people with a Moka pot stuffed in their cupboard and have probably only ever used it once. The reason for this we're guessing is that - as simple as it seems to use, it’s very easy to produce an over-extracted bitter cup.
If you read up a bit about using a Moka Pot correctly and keep it clean you can cook up some great things in there!
So if you’ve written off your Moka Pot because you were served a disgusting cup of coffee by someone using a Moka Pot, have a little faith and try again, but definitely have a look at some tutorials to give yourself a better chance at success.
Buy a Moka Pot if:
- You’ve watched some tutorials on best ways to use it.
-You love travelling as it’s easy to use over a gas fire and has a durable design.