Whether you are new to coffee or a coffee connoisseur, we will go through different brewers and techniques to determine what the best coffee maker is for your home.
There are many different ways to brew coffee. Some require more time and experience to master, but result in a fantastic cup of coffee. Other techniques are quick and perhaps the final result is not as good, but it is relatively easy to make. It's really all up to the user and their comfort level. And, of course, if you are in a hurry.
The Espresso Machine
I'm sure you all know or have heard of an espresso machine. They've been around since 1901. They come in all shapes and sizes and with loads of options. Some are very expensive, while others can be quite affordable.
The time from bean to brew varies depending on the machine. Some commercial machines take almost a half hour just to warm up. Most home-based espresso machines only take about 3 minutes, however. After the initial warm-up you can expect your coffee in about 20-30 seconds.
The resulting coffee shot should be strong, sharp, and full of flavor. Not bitter. An espresso machine is best suited for those that enjoy a milky brew or a strong shot of caffeine. They may not be for you if you don't have the space or don't like regularly and meticulously cleaning your machine.
A good portable coffee maker is the AeroPress. Even though it looks more like a science project, it will make an excellent cup of coffee.
This method is by far the fastest brewing technique. It's a three piece tool that with the right water temperature, bean grind, and level of air pressure, will result in an excellent tasting brew in a matter of seconds.
This method requires you to make the call on the grind level of beans. Each grind level will result in a different tasting coffee. It's all up to the user. You'll get a clean, smooth, rich and pure tasting coffee. If you are a camper or traveler that likes great coffee, then you should check out an AeroPress.
The French Press
Steeping is really a fancy name for immersion. You are basically mixing coffee grounds directly with hot water, allowing the two to work their magic, and then separating them, keeping the coffee, and dumping the wet coffee grinds.
The French press is super easy to use, can be picked up for a minimal investment and produces a brew with a distinct taste and feel like no other method.
The time from bean to brew is about 10 minutes from boiling the water, to steeping, and plunging the ground coffee. The resulting brew is worth it. You'll get a unique, non-harsh aromatic coffee that’s full of flavor, particular to your beans.
Drip brewing is pretty straightforward: Place freshly ground coffee in a filter and pour water over it. Gravity aids the water as it passes through the grounds and the result is a clean, clear and light-bodied brew.
The Chemex has the capacity to make 3-4 cups at a time, which saves you the effort when caffeinating a crowd. Like other drippers, you’ll need to practice mastering the finer details regarding grind size (medium-coarse), water temperature, and coffee volume, but once you do, prepare to fall in love.
The time from bean to brew is about 3 and a half minutes. Chemex filters are roughly 30% thicker than the filters used by other drippers, meaning you’ll get a richer tasting cup of coffee. The Chemex is best for those that are enjoying the pour-over coffee trend, and like having something pretty on their counter.
The Hario V60 Dripper
So simple. So brilliant. In fact, we use this here in our lobby for our coffee tastings. Its small and light, meaning you can take it just about anywhere, and it makes a darn good cup of joe.
Yes, it looks simple, but the innovation of this little dripper is in its unique designed cone dripping system – it has a large hole at the bottom funneled by spiral ribs on the side. Just throw in your paper filter, medium-fine grounds and pour away. Like most pour over methods, there is a technique to getting the perfect brew, but after a few runs, you’ll have it nailed. In fact, we've written another blog article all about it.
The time from bean to brew is 30 seconds to bloom and 3 minutes to pour. Expect a rich flavored brew with no signs of bitterness. There's not much skill level required and is perfect for those who want something portable.
The Cold Drip Brew
Cold brew is one of the most popular caffeine infused innovations of our time – and no, we are not talking about iced coffee.
It's made by slowly dripping cold filtered water through coarse grinds for a long period – often 10-24 hours! In the end, your patience will be rewarded with a strong, intense, unique tasting coffee with a super smooth finish - no acidity or bitterness. There’s no need to ‘enhance’ the flavor with milk or sweeteners, meaning you can taste the real origins of the coffee bean and where it comes from.
Time from bean to brew is 10-24 hours. The full flavors of the coffee bean will be displayed. Best of all, it has a super smooth aftertaste. This brewing method is perfect for those who experience hot summers and need a drink to cool them down. Another good thing about it is this stuff can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks! Just put it in a couple jars in your fridge and you'll stay caffeinated for days.
There are many more options, such as the Moka Pot, the Vacuum Pot, the Cowboy Method, the Turkish Coffee Method, and more! Hopefully, you'll have a few more ideas of how to brew your coffee in the morning. There's always new machines and methods on the horizon, so keep your eyes open. Just remember, it all starts with the right coffee.