Popular Methods For Brewing Coffee At Home
Ready to branch out beyond the pods and machines and try some new coffee brewing methods? Your taste buds, not to mention your sense of adventure, will thank you. With so many delicious ways to make coffee, sticking to one brewing method would be a shame. Our guide can help you determine which types of coffee makers and different coffee-making methods will suit your palate and preferences.
Highlights: French presses are classic, aesthetic, and a great no-fuss method for making coffee for larger groups. Once you’ve found your preferred grind size and brewing technique, it’s hard to mess up a French press brew.
How it Works: No surprise here – The French Press brews coffee through immersion, and a plunger prevents the grounds from making their way into your cup.
Coffee: French press coffee is strong and full-bodied. Depending on your taste, you can adjust your brew time and plunging method to allow for more or less sediment in your cup. If you typically find French press coffee too thick and bitter, try our favorite French press brewing method for a cleaner, more balanced cup.
Highlights: Compared to the other methods, the AeroPress is relatively new on the scene, but it's built a strong reputation in a short amount of time. It’s compact, affordable, easy to clean, and easy to use.
How it Works: The AeroPress actually brews through a combination of immersion, pressure, and filters. After placing a paper filter, coffee and water into the AeroPress, you quickly put in the plunger in order to form a vacuum. After a short brewing period, you’ll push the plunger in, creating pressure and forcing brewed coffee through the filter into your cup. Learn the details in our Guide to AeroPress Brewing.
Coffee: Thanks to its use of pressure and filters, the AeroPress produces a very concentrated yet clean cup that’s consistently strong and smooth.
Highlights: Pour over coffee is a very hands-on process that allows you to control and perfect every aspect of the brew. While there are plenty of different versions out there, the two most popular are the Chemex and the Hario V60.
How it Works: With both the V60 and the Chemex, you’ll use a separate gooseneck kettle to pour water over the coffee grounds in a conical paper filter into the upper area. (Get full brewing instructions here). The Chemex is made from a single piece of glass and attached wooden handle; coffee will drip from the upper area into the carafe below. The V60 is made of separate pieces, a conical ceramic brewing area, and an optional serving container. Brewed coffee will drip into the coffee server or directly into your cup.
Coffee: Pour over methods that use paper filters are known for producing clean, low-acidity coffee. The Chemex in particular, has a very thick filter, making it a favorite for those who prefer a clean but strong cup.
Highlights: The Moka Pot is extremely popular in Italy, where it was first designed. While it’s sometimes called a stovetop espresso maker, you should know that it doesn’t generate enough pressure to create true espresso.
How it Works: The bottom chamber holds your water. A middle chamber holds your ground coffee and an upper chamber holds the resulting brew. As the water in the bottom begins to boil, it will force steam into the middle chamber, where your ground coffee is at about 1.5 bars of pressure. The resulting brew will then be forced into the top chamber.
Coffee: The coffee will be strong, sharp, and concentrated. While it won’t be quite as concentrated as true espresso, it comes close.
Highlights: Types of espresso machines vary widely from manual to fully automatic. Most lie somewhere in between and will require you to learn some espresso-making skills. Put in the effort, and you’ll be rewarded with espresso shots you can enjoy on their own or as a base for latte, cappuccinos, americanos, and other espresso-based drinks.
How it Works: We’re oversimplifying here, but essentially espresso machines brew finely ground coffee under high pressure, yielding a very concentrated shot of coffee. For more info, see our tips on How to Use an Espresso Machine.
Coffee: A good espresso shot is strong and flavorful with balanced acidity, bitterness, and sweetness.
No matter how you brew, we always recommend the same final step: pouring into your Ember Mug². Precise temperature control will let you maintain the intended flavor of your brewing method from the first sip to the last.