Cacao pods have been around since ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 1400s, that civilizations started to roast cacao beans. After being first introduced in the Islamic World, coffee spread quickly, gaining popularity for the boost of energy, and unique taste it provided.
Through the centuries, there have been a staggering variety of coffee brewing techniques, which include the French press, Turkish coffee methods, Pour-over method, Drip coffee, and many more! Each one is slightly different than the other, bringing something new to the table. Let’s look at a few popular coffee brewing methods from days new and old!
One of the most popular ways to brew coffee, French Press retains the essence of used beans, has a unique aroma, and delightful taste. French Press falls under the category of immersive and homemade coffees, as it is super easy to use and the final mixture is cloudy and retains its natural qualities.
As a French press uses a mesh plunger, no extra stock of filter paper is required. This further reduces the cost of its upkeep. The French Press comes in a variety of sizes, so you can make as much coffee as you need, without worrying about the rest going stale. They can be as small as 250ml and as large as 1Litre. French press is a cheap choice if you can’t afford commercial machines. They are very common in homes and offices where espresso machines are out of the budget.
French presses are very easy to use and contain only 2 parts- a plunger with metal/plastic mesh, and the jar. To brew coffee perfectly with a French Press, simply add ground coffee beans to the jar, and pour hot water over them. Let the mixture sit for a while, and then bring the plunger down to trap the ground beans. Simply pour the filtered brew into a cup, and there you have it, a fresh, tasteful dose of energy.
However, it is critical to note that the mesh plunger can be bothersome to clean, and many coffee drinkers dislike the remaining sediments. On the other hand, some people enjoy them. It is also not considered to be an on-the-go method of making coffee, as most French presses are glass-based which is a rather risky choice for an adventure.
Pour Over Method
Another top coffee brewing method, the pour-over technique has branched out with different designs, but the core concept remains the same. Hot water is poured on a mass of ground coffee beans in the brewer. The water extracts the flavor as it moves downward, through the filter paper, which ensures the coffee is separated from the extracted brew.
The Pour Over method produces a cup of coffee in 2-4 minutes, and different materials like metal, plastic, glass, and ceramic allow for variation in heat transfer.
What you need to begin brewing is a gooseneck kettle, freshly ground beans (for best flavor), and a filter paper (preferably)/strainer. You should also control the rate at which you pour the water into the ground coffee. Pouring too quickly can easily ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee because it doesn’t allow the water to extract the flavor of the coffee.
You can buy a professional pour-over coffee maker, or use the concept and extract the coffee with a long flask with filter paper at the top. Both these methods work perfectly fine, but professional pour-over coffee makers offer you more control over the pouring time.
Aero press is a pressurized immersion brewer, that albeit is not used much commercially, still largely remains a part of many households. Alan Adler was the man to introduce Aero Press to the world and is the founder of AeroPress, Inc. While the development for this coffee brewing method started in 2004, it was years until it could make it into the mainstream market.
Aero press requires very little time to be invested in brewing, and a quick cup of coffee can be made in about 1-3 minutes only.
The machine can be distributed in 3 parts- the plunger, the chamber, and the basket. Put the chamber above a mug or carafe, and then add the beans to it. Pour water over the beans, and slowly press the plunger downwards. The water extracts the flavor from the bean and exits from the other side.
While this method is extremely fast and efficient, the problem with this method is its lack of commercial characteristics. You can only make about a maximum of 200-250 ml of coffee, per extraction from an Aero Press.
The above-mentioned method is Aero Press in its most basic form. You can find various recipes for preparing coffee using an Aero Press. The resulting brew is a little cloudy, with the taste varying from recipe to recipe.
Aero press is portable due to its smaller size when compared to a French Press. It is also unbreakable and durable and can be used anywhere. Apart from the machine, you need to carry only filter paper on you, and you’ll be able to make a cup of coffee anytime. All of this makes Aero Press one of the best ways to brew coffee.
Aero Press shockingly offers a huge variety in a single kit. You can also find a lot of related stuff by the company in the market, with different materials, and designs being available.
Known as Turkish coffee, this coffee brewing method is famous in the Balkans, and its popularity stretches all the way to Russia. The coffee is made in a stainless steel/Ceramic Cezve/Ibrik, which is essentially a small pot. The most important thing in this method is the beans, which are needed to be ground even finer than the beans used to make an espresso shot, or the coffee will go extremely bitter.
The Cezve/Ibrik prepares an extremely small but potent dose of coffee. Not everyone can enjoy this coffee because of its bitterness, and caffeine content. Yet, the Cezve/Ibrik is perfect for black coffee lovers that enjoy a strong brew.
The advantage of this method is its portability and the fact that it is extremely easy to use. You don’t even need a strainer to extract the brew, as the beans are so finely ground, they sink to the bottom. The drinks don’t come in between gulps, although it is advised to leave the last few sips to avoid drinking the ground beans.
Due to its small size Cezve/Ibrik can only make one small cup at a time, while beans need to be really finely ground. This requires a high-powered grinder.
The best, and well-known of all the coffee brewing methods in the world, espresso is the father of a lot of coffee recipes. The most iconic coffee recipes using an espresso shot, are the cappuccino and latte. An espresso shot is made by pressure pumping hot water through fine-ground coffee beans. There are three basic machines to make an espresso shot: a manual, semi-automatic, and super-automatic espresso machine.
A manual espresso machine uses a pump through which you apply pressure on the finely ground coffee beans. This is the cheapest method, yet still expensive than the other methods on this list. While using pre-ground coffee beans saves time and effort, freshly roasted, and ground coffee beans provide an unbeatable taste.
Semi-automatic coffee machines make life easier, as the machine does half the work. All you need to do is grind the beans, and add them to the basket. Simply reattach the basket, and turn the machine on. The machine will take some time, but it’ll create the perfect espresso shot. You can simply clean the basket after.
Finally, an automatic espresso machine is a wonderful yet conflicting choice. It is worthwhile in cafes, but a little too expensive for homes. A Super-automatic espresso machine makes life easier on all fronts. It grinds the coffee, heats the water, makes your coffee, and all you do in the process is press a button. This is a wonderful invention for the commercial sector but turns away most people wanting to keep one at home. Most coffee enthusiasts have come up with alternative ways to make espressos and cappuccinos at home. You can read further on that here, The Easiest Cappuccino Recipe to Make at Home.
In all three types and every existing espresso machine cleaning and maintaining is an important task. Remove the extremities of the machine. Dissolve a small amount of espresso cleaner, and use a brush to clean the basket, portafilter, and group gasket.
There are a lot of different types of coffee brewing methods in the world. Every type is liked by different people around the world, and have their own cultural, and religious significance to the people in particular regions and societies.
While brewing methods hold significance, the most important part of any good cup of coffee is the coffee beans you use. Bad coffee beans equal bad coffee. We recommend you roast your beans fresh, and grind them just before use for the best taste and aroma.