Looking For The Best Way To Make Coffee? Here's Everything You Need
Ten years ago someone asks you how you brew coffee. Your answer was predictable:
Espresso, or maybe an Americano, right?
Today with all the new and progressive coffee brewing methods available, you may have a tough time deciding on just one method as your go-to.
Cold-drip? pour over? an AeroPress brew?...you get the point (the list goes on)
You may swear by the French press brewer, but unless you’ve tried them all, how do you know what you're missing?
This guide will walk you through each and every method for brewing coffee, from normal to new-age, and (hopefully) get you excited to brew coffee in every way imaginable.
DISCLAIMER: We are NOT going to include instant coffee in this list – that sh*t is simply bad for you (check why here) - So, if you drink instant coffee, this is your cue outta here!
Use the table below for easy navigating, or simply view our kick-arse infographic (below)
Coffee Brewing Methods - A Quick Summary
- Espresso machine
- Hand held espresso maker
- Stovetop espresso maker
- French press
- Coffee bag
- Vacuum / siphon pot
- Manual pour over coffee makers
- Machine pour over coffee makers
As the coffee industry evolves and innovates, new methods of making joe appear.
If you're just after a list of the methods that exist, check out the quick bullet point list above.
If you want more information on each method, scroll back up to our handy table of contents and click on a link that you'd like to know more about.
Not sure what's the right type of method for your beans? Check this article.
Brewing Using Pressure
The word ‘espresso’ may spring to mind when we talk about pressure brewed coffee, however, there's more ways to brew with pressure than the stock standard espresso machine.
Pressure brewed coffee merely describes a cup of coffee that is extracted using…you guessed it…pressure, resulting in fast extraction times and a more intense brew (when compared with other brewing styles)
Let’s take a quick look at the three most common ways to brew coffee with a little pressure: The espresso machine, the Moka pot, and the AeroPress brewer.
#1 - The Espresso Machine
Anyone who knows anything about coffee knows what an espresso machine is - they’ve been keeping us caffeinated since 1901.
Today they come in various shapes and sizes, with loads of features and gimmicks. Don't get confused by flash machines though because the basics are the same: pressurized water is pushed through a chamber/puck of finely ground coffee beans, through a filter, resulting in what we call a shot of espresso.
Are they expensive? Yes and no - you can spend as little or as much as you want.
We’ve looked into the best (home-based) machines overall here, and also put together some budget espresso machine options right here for you.
For the more arteisanal inclined...or old fashioned....a lever espresso machine, that's pumped with your hand, is a great way to brew exceptional coffee.
For those who like it all done for them ("I just want a damn coffee and I don't want to move"), super automatic espresso machines like these ones are a great option (although expensive)
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: It depends on your machine. A commercial machine may need 15-40 minutes to warm up, and a home-based machine may take only 3 minutes. Once warm, however, you’ll have your fix in 20-30 seconds.
Type of grind required: You’ll need a fine, consistent grind. Here’s a trick of the trade: pinch your grind and observe what happens (it should clump in your fingertips). Too coarse and it won't clump at all, too fine and it will clump excessively.
Resulting brew: A shot of espresso, when done right, is strong, sharp and full of flavor (it should not be bitter)
Skill level required: It all depends on your machine - some will make a great shot almost automatically, others (the more commercial, manual types) will require a high level or skill, hence the need for barista schools.
BEST SUITED FOR YOU: If you like a milky brew (e.g. a latte) or if you’re the type that likes a quick and sharp hit of caffeine. Espresso's are unique - no other machine can replicate a nice espresso shot.
NOT SO GREAT FOR: If you prefer a subtle tasting brew, if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a coffee maker, or don’t have space for a machine (perhaps you travel often?), an espresso machine will just be extra baggage in your life.
#2 - The Moka Pot
Don’t have a few hundred bucks to spend on an espresso machine, but still looking for that espresso-shot-like-kick that comes from a pressurized brew?
The stovetop espresso maker AKA the Moka pot is the next best thing.
The magic behind the Moka pot is in its 3 chambered brew process. Water in the bottom chamber boils, and the steam causes pressure that pushes water up through the coffee grounds into the top chamber.
Is the resulting shot the same as an espresso shot? Depending on who you ask – not quite.
If you do it right (there is a little skill involved) you’re left with a bittersweet & super-strong concoction that will get you through the day.
The better the machine, the better the quality, so make sure you read our reviews of the better quality Moka pots right here.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Super fast – Once you've heated your water it should take no more than 5 minutes (a little longer if you use an induction stove). For that reason, it's the go-to option for caffeine deprived people when in a morning rush.
Type of grind required: This is the tricky part. As a rule, you want it coarser than a fine, espresso like grind, and finer than a drip coffee grind. If that doesn't help - the best way to achieve the right grind is through trial and error – start coarse, and go finer until the texture & taste of the end result is right for you.
Rule of thumb: if your brew is too weak/watery, you’ve gone too course (under-extracted). Too bitter, and you’ve gone too fine (over-extracted)
Resulting brew: Not quite an espresso shot, but close to it (if you use the right grind and the right technique). Expect a sharp and strong tasting coffee.
Skill level required: You don’t need to be a barista of any kind – once you have the right grind (which is the hardest part) it’s a relatively simple process – just fill the chambers, turn on the heat and keep a close eye on it.
Best suited for you: If you’re on a budget, or want something super portable but are not a fan of the ‘clean and thin’ tasting brew from drip coffee.
Not so great for you: If you love the taste and texture of a shot of espresso. The resulting brew is strong (even a little harsh) so if that’s not your style, keep looking.
#3 - The Aeropress
The AeroPress has a cult following among the traveling coffee community, and it looks more like a science project rather than a brewing coffee apparatus. But if you ask us; it's the best thing that happened to coffee brewing.
Keeping s**t simple is the name of the game; the right water temperature, the right level of air pressure and the right size grind leaves you with an excellent tasting brew in a matter of minutes! (Seriously, it's one of the fastest coffee makers you can get your mitts on.)
When you buy an AeroPress you buy a simple 3 piece tool that will allow you to create awesome coffee with minimal effort - coffee so good we even prefer it over the popular Chemex!
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: There are a few ways to make a coffee Aeropress style, but if you’re in a rush, it can be done in 60 seconds once your water is hot enough. It’s worth mentioning here too that cleanup is a dream.
Type of grind required: Here’s the cool part – it does not matter! You’ll get a different result based on your grind, so you should choose the right grind size based on your mood! Kaffeologie has an excellent guide to Aeropress grind settings right here.
Resulting brew: Beautiful in color and taste. It’s more of a ‘clean’ tasting coffee (different from the French press or Moka pot). If we were to describe it in 4 words: Smooth, Rich, Pure and Fast (that may or may not be the Aeropress slogan)
Skill level required: Even your cat could use it – it's that easy to use. Don’t get lazy though, once you master the regular Aeropress brew, you can start trying other methods and techniques of brewing.
Best suited for you: If ou’re a traveler or just someone who appreciates a quick, clean and great tasting coffee. Or perhaps you love camping? The AeroPress ticks all the boxes.
Not so great for you: We may sound biased in saying this, but everyone should own an Aeropress (everyone that drinks coffee, that is). If you don’t like the idea of wastage and using paper filters, then perhaps it's not right for you.
Brewing via Steeping
Steeping is just another word for immersion, and it’s the most fundamental (and longest standing) method of brewing coffee.
In a nutshell, you are simply mixing coffee grinds directly with hot water, allowing the two to work their magic, and then separating them, keeping the coffee, and dumping the wet coffee grinds. (Here are some ideas of what you can do with your used grinds)
Sounds simple enough, right? It is.
However, there is a fine line between over and under steeping your brew; too early and you’ll be drinking weak s**t, too long and you’ll be drinking a typical bitter brew.
On a positive note, learning to steep correctly isn’t rocket science, and when done right you’re left with a uniquely flavored brew as you uncover flavors of the coffee bean you never knew existed.
The most common way to steep coffee is with the French press (which we’re about to look at in detail) however we’ll also cover the softbrew, coffee bags, and the vacuum pot.
#4 - The French Press
The French press is the unofficial mascot of home brewed coffee; it’s been steeping coffee in households since before your grandparents were born, and it has a very loyal, cult following among the home barista community.
It's likely thanks to multiple reasons, but our money is on the fact that its super easy to use, can be picked up for pocket change (almost) and produces a brew with a distinct taste and feel like no other method.
If you're into the French Press, make sure you use something quality, and make sure you use the right coffee grind as this little known but super common mistake taints french press brews all over the world.
Did you know you can brew cold brew coffee with your french press too?
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: It's not super quick, but not super slow either. From (almost) boiling the water, to steeping and plunging, you’ll need about 10 or so minutes. While steeping, however, your French press will need your undivided attention.
Type of grind required: A course grind is the only way to go. Too fine a grind means you’ll have particles stuck in the filter and passing into the finished brew, adding to over-steeping and leaving you with a bitter mess.
Resulting brew: A unique, non-harsh aromatic coffee that’s full of flavor, particular to your beans. It will, however, be a little sediment-y, so avoid drinking the last few sips of each cup
Skill level required: Making a French press is an easy task. Making the perfect French press is a little harder. All-in-all, if you follow a very clear set of instructions, such as these, you’ll get what you’re looking for, no problems.
Best suited for you: If you love the unique brew you get from a French Press, or if you have a lot of caffeine fiends to fix up (e.g. a full household)
Not so great for you: If you’re a frequent traveler - they are made from glass (most of the time – stainless steel options are available)
#5 - The SoftBrew
A relatively new invention (est. 2010) the SoftBrew has been dubbed ‘primitive yet high tech’. I’m not sure what the heck that means, but if I were to describe the SoftBrew in simple terms, I would say “it’s like a French press, but easier.”
It has ‘simple’ written all over it: fill the Softbrew stainless steel filter with ground coffee, add your hot water, let it steep (4-8 minutes) and then serve. Just like a teapot, in fact. No abracadabra required.
The beauty of this gadget is in the special filter (what they call ‘high-tech’) which has hundreds of thousands of tiny tiny holes, meaning you can put in ANY size grinds (yes, even super fine) and it will work.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Once you have your hot water, it takes 4-8 minutes.
Type of grind required: Anything goes – you can use any size you desire. Get experimenting!
Resulting brew: Similar to a French press. The special filter purposely allows ground smaller than 150 microns (AKA damn tiny) which give the resulting brew depth, flavor and body. It's like a French press, but cleaner.
Skill level required: Zero. You could brew an excellent coffee with the SoftBrew with your eyes closed and your hands bound. That’s the way it was intended to be.
Best suited for you: If you’re not into the whole fussy side of specialty coffee movement (i.e. you’re are not a coffee hipster), and if you appreciate an-easy-to-brew coffee that tastes better than that instant coffee BS.
Not so great for you: If you enjoy mixing your brew style up and being a little creative with how you brew. If that sounds like you, this thing will bore the heck out of you.
#6 - The Coffee Bag
The idea of instant coffee is great – it comes in a small jar so you can take it anywhere; just add hot water. There’s just one major problem, however; it tastes like ass. Enter the coffee bag – the solution to ass-tasting instant coffee.
Ground coffee (not dissolvable coffee, which is how instant is made) in a filter bag is plunged straight into your hot water, and you have your brew. If you’re struggling to make, ends meet or just the DIY type it's not hard to make your own coffee bags! (learn how right here)
As with all steeping methods, there's the risk of over-steeping if you don’t keep an eye on the time, however, that’s about the only thing that can go wrong.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Regarding speed of the overall process, it's as quick as brewing comes. Your brew will be ready in 3-4 minutes. No grinding or preheating required.
Type of grind required: If you buy pre-made coffee bags its not up to you. If you make your own however, go for a medium-fine grind (any size will work – but the finer, the more flavor you’ll get)
Resulting brew: Nothing fantastic since your beans will not be freshly ground or stored correctly, but it still beats an instant coffee.
Skill level required: Can you make tea? then you got this.
Best suited for you: If you hate instant coffee but still need a caffeine fix on the road/while traveling.
Not so great for you: If you like the process of brewing their own coffee, or despise of non-freshly ground coffee (that's us)
#7 - The Vacuum Pot (also known as Siphon Coffee)
Also known as the siphon pot, making coffee this way is unique as it comes; it’s a combination of brewing methods; a full immersion brew (as your coffee goes into the water) but also uses siphon action to create a great tasting cup.
It’s not a simple way to brew coffee, in fact, it requires an enormous amount of effort and process, so you won’t want to use it daily (unless you’ve got nothing else to do).
Some swear by the great tasting cup it yields, however, we believe its more of a novelty/show-off brew style – whip it out when your friends are around and show them how advanced you are in the art of the brew.
Just make sure you warn your neighbors before using one, otherwise they may think you’ve taken up cooking methamphetamines. Check out these sexy siphon pots if you're in the market for a decent one.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Allow yourself about 10 minutes. We must note here; cleaning the siphon pot is a bitch.
Type of grind required: You’ll want a medium/course grind for best results, similar to that of a Chemex brew.
Resulting brew: Very clean and full of flavor – when done correctly. Since your brew is only touching glass, it will be the purest tasting coffee you sip in a while.
Skill level required: Its quite involved and you’ll need to follow steps carefully. If you’re a scientist, or you happen to cook meth, you'll have no trouble.
Best suited for you: If you’re really into your coffee making gadgets and want to try something wild. Its out there!
Not so great for you if: You appreciate a quick and easy way to brew coffee. You’ll hate this.
Brewing Using Filtration or Dripping
Filtration or drip coffee is all the rage in the coffee community at the moment – it seems as if a new, funky looking and progressive dripper is being invented every other month.
We’re going to cover pour over dripping (see our favourites here), cold brewing, drip machines, and everything in between.
Brewing is relatively straightforward: Pour your water over your freshly ground beans that sit in a filter of some sort.
Gravity aids the water as it passes through the grounds (and enters your vessel below) and the result is a clean, clear and light bodied tasting brew. You'll want to use a gooseneck kettle, to control the rate of your pour.
Less is more with drip style coffee brewing – most drippers are small, portable, inexpensive, and are just a damn good way to brew small batches of great tasting coffee.
The drippers you want to get to know, which we've covered below, are the electric percolator, the Chemex, the Hario V60, The Kalita Wave, the Melitta Ready Set Joe dripper, the Vietnamese dripper, the Beehouse dripper, and the cold-drip method of brewing.
#8 - The Electric Percolator
The percolator is nothing new or cutting edge in the world of coffee. If you’ve been to a bland looking diner somewhere in the northern hemisphere, chances are you’ve drunk percolated coffee.
Rumor have it that there are people out there who actually enjoy percolated coffee, but the person who told me also said pigs fly. The reason the percolator breed’s disgust among coffee lovers is for its lack of respect for the coffee bean.
The brew in a percolator is boiled multiple times over, leading to over-extraction and leaving you with a bitter brown mess as a result. Woo.
If you’re of the school of thought that bad coffee is better than no coffee, you may be able to work that brown mess into a drinkable brew. Anything’s possible.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: You are supposed to let the percolator percolate for 10 minutes, however, this is a great way to ruin your coffee; try 3-4 minutes for better results.
Type of grind required: You’ll want to use a course grind. Using a fine grind will completely ruin an already damaged coffee.
Resulting brew: Nothing special. If you apply a little skill by using a course grind and letting it percolate for no longer than 4 minutes it will be drinkable, but you won’t waking up excited to drink it.
Skill level required: No skill required. Just put in the coffee and water and turn it on.
Best suited for you: If you don’t care how your coffee tastes and you are just in it for the caffeine. Its quick and easy.
Not so great for: Anyone who respects the coffee bean.
#9 - The Chemex
When you first see a Chemex brewer, you may want to use it as a vase rather than a brewer, but there is a reason it looks the way it does: it makes friggin excellent coffee, and it does it in style.
The primary benefit of using a Chemex over other drippers is capacity – you can easily make 3 or 4 cups in one go, rather than 1 of 2, meaning it’s a crowd pleaser when the possy is around.
Like other drippers it's not as simple as throwing grounds in and then dousing with water; you’ll need to practice mastering the finer details regarding grind size, water temp, and coffee volume, but once you do, prepare to fall in love.
It's so popular that we decided to pair it, head to head, with the Aeropress (here), the French Press (here) , the Hario V60 (here) and the Kalita Wave (here). We won't give too much away, but the Chemex did extremely well, every time.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Coming in at 3 and a half minutes from after setting it up means it’s a fast way to get a great coffee into ya.
Type of grind required: Play around here to suit your preference, but ideally anywhere between medium to course, closer to the medium side of things
Resulting brew: Chemex filters are roughly 30% thicker than the filters used by other drippers, meaning you’ll get a richer tasting cup of coffee. Think French press, without the sediments.
Skill level required: There are many ways to screw up a Chemex brew leaving you with an over or under extracted brew. You’ll need some practice.
Best suited for you: If you like the pour-over coffee movement, and if you want something that can also double a piece of art (it's displayed in Art Museums). You’ll love the fact that it can brew 3-4 cups at one time.
Not so great for you: If you only need to brew for one or two coffees in the morning, or if you like to travel with your brewer.
#10 - The Hario V60 Dipper
I’ll be honest: when I first got my V60 dripper I didn’t have too much faith in it – it just seemed so simple compared to other pour over coffee brewing systems. That week I learned never to make assumptions.
The Hario v60 is a simple yet brilliant way to brew coffee – its small and light, meaning you can take it just about anywhere, and it makes a damn good cup of joe. It's simple, portable, and it works - what else do you need?
Yes, it looks simple as all hell, 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.
Throw in your paper filter, your grounds and away you go. Like most pour over methods there is a technique to getting the perfect brew, but after a few runs, you’ll have it nailed.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: 30 seconds to bloom and 3 minutes to pour means you’ll be sinking that coffee in less than 5 minutes. Tight.
Type of grind required: Medium-fine will do the trick
Resulting brew: Expect a rich flavored brew (taste those coffee beans) with no signs of bitterness. A refreshing cup of coffee.
Skill level required: The process is very straightforward. Be aware that there is room for error depending on how you pour. The advantage of this is you get complete control over your brew, meaning you can customize your coffee for taste if you’re feeling adventurous.
Best suited for you: If you move around often (camping or backpacking) but don’t want to be caught high and dry and forced to drink instant on the road. At 2.94 ounces the V60 is featherweight a great addition to any coffee fanatics brew kit. Perfect for when you want a quick drip style coffee in the morning.
Not so great for you: If you're the type that prefers just to push a button and get a coffee.
#11 - The Kalita Wave Dripper
The Kalita Wave Dripper is the arch-enemy of the Hario V60 – and it’s giving the V60 a good run for its money. Like the V60, the Kalita Wave involves a simple cone shaped dripping system, however, its flat-bed (as opposed to the v60’s conical shape) means longer dwell times and less room for error.
It's fast becoming a favorite home dripper among the masses for good reason – making an excellent tasting brew is easy with the Wave, time after time, and consistency matters when it comes to choosing a daily brew method.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: a 3-minute process, with a little extra (30-50 seconds) for the bloom means it's quick.
Type of grind required: A fine grind, similar to the consistency of table salt
Resulting brew: The result is a rich, clean flavored coffee, similar to most pour over drippers.
Skill level required: The design of this dripper means there is less margin for error, so it's very straightforward. Mastering this dripper is all in the slow spiraling pour.
Best suited for you: If you’re into the pour over coffee movement and want something small, light that consistently gives you an excellent brew (even on those days where you suck at brewing).
Not so great for you: If you want more control over your brew when dripping. Try the Hario v60 instead.
#12 - The Vietnamese Drip Filter
The Vietnamese dripper (also called a ‘Phin’) is a single cup dripper that takes 4-5 minutes to brew, meaning it’s the perfect accomplice for solo coffee drinkers who value a quick and easy pour over coffee on the go.
Unlike some of the above drippers, this method of brewing does not call for much skill or fancy pouring style. It's about as easy as they come; just pour in your water and wait.
Why do we love the Vietnamese dripper so much? Because we love iced coffee. If you love iced coffee, this bad boy will help you make some of the best in the business.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: 4-5 minutes and your brew will be ready.
Type of grind required: Fairly course – think French press but a touch finer.
Resulting brew: Unique – it's got less bite than an espresso, but it's much smoother and cleaner than a French press. No paper filters means the oils will pass through to the brew, much like a French press.
Skill level required: Just follow a set of simple instructions and you’ll master it in no time – it's nowhere near as involved as other drippers.
Best suited for you: If you want a single serve dripper that does not require you to master the latest in pouring techniques. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese iced coffee, you’ll need one of these.
Not so great for you: Since it's a single serve gadget, you’d be crazy to adopt it as your office or household coffee maker (where you household consists of more than 1-2 coffee fanatics)
#13 - The Melitta Ready Set Joe Dripper
The Melitta ready set Joe dripper is the most convenient option on the market – perfect for camping fanatics who still love a decent cup of joe.
It’s a simple plastic dripping cone that brews coffee in a flash. You won’t get the same quality brew that you’ll get with other drippers, however, its price tag and portability means it’s a favorite among campers and travelers.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: 4-5 minutes and you're caffeinated.
Type of grind required: Medium fine works best.
Resulting brew: Nothing amazing like a more advanced dripper, but it's still better than cowboy coffee.
Skill level required: Not much at all – it's about as simple as they come.
Best suited for you: If you're a Camper, backpacker, or a bargain-hunter.
Not so great for you: If you love the clean taste of a more advanced dripper. This will not impress you.
#14 - The Bee House Dripper
The Bee house is another Japanese pour over brewer that is getting a great deal of attention in the coffee world – likely because it's easy to use, makes a great darn drip and looks sexier than most drippers combined (its made from ceramic and available in different colors)
It’s worth mentioning that the learning curve is more forgiving than the Hario V60 or the Kalita wave (it drains slower and still works with a course grind) meaning it’s a great way to get your feet wet in the world of pour over coffee. You’re guaranteed an excellent brew, even if you suck!
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: You’ll be aiming for a brew time of 3 to 3 and a half minutes.
Type of grind required: Medium fine is ideal – a little finer than your standard drip coffee grind (similar to table salt)
Resulting brew: You’ll get a clean and clear tasting coffee (like you would with most drippers) however, since it drains a little slower than other methods you can expect more flavor – Stumptown describes it as a ‘clean and sweet cup character.'
Skill level required: Practice will do you well but mastering the Bee house is much easier than mastering other tricky drip brewing methods.
Best suited for you: If you love a great looking dripper – it will fit well into any kitchen pace.
Not so great for you if: Like to take your gear traveling? The ceramic material is of course not ideal for traveling with.
#15 - The Clever Dripper
It looks like just another pour over dripper (not that there is anything wrong with pour over dripper) but on closer inspection you’ll notice that the clever dripper is a cross between a steeping and pour over brewer.
What sets this lil' dude apart from the rest of the dripper family is its clever little valve that stops your brew draining into your cup/vessel until you activate it.
How? as you normally would, add your filter, your grounds and your h20, and let it steep for as long or little as you want. When it's ready, you place it on top of your cup, which activates the valve and begins draining that brown goodness into your mug.
Why? so you can have more control over your brew, meaning you can customise it according to your taste or mood.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: It depends on your mood. 3-4 minutes is the minimum but let it steep for longer if that's how you roll
Type of grind required: A medium/fine grind is ideal, however since you control the time, you can play around with this a little.
Resulting brew: Some love it and say you get the best of the french press and drip (minus the drawbacks) and some hate it, saying its nothing special. Tastes like good old pour over brew to us
Skill level required: Follow the steps and timing, and you will master the basics of it in no time
Best suited for you: If you like pour over coffee and want to try something a little cutting edge
Not so great for you: If you like the finer things in life (like the Chemex) this will not impress you. It seems cheap and plastic-y.
#16 - Cold Drip Brewing (aka cold-brew)
If you haven’t heard of cold drip coffee you must be new to this game, or, you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years.
Cold brew is one of the most popular caffeine infused innovations of our time – and no, we are not talking about iced coffee.
In a nutshell, it's made by slowly dripping cold filtered water through your fresh grinds for a long period – often 10 hours or more!
Is it just like hot coffee, but cold? Hell no. 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.
Our personal favorite part of cold brewed coffee – it stays fresh for up to 2 weeks, so fill up a few old jars in the fridge and with one cycle you’ll stay happily caffeinated on great-damn-tasting coffee for days.
If you love what you just heard, take a look at our recommendations for the best cold drippers right here.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: 10-24 hours. Patience is a virtue.
Type of grind required: Coarse – think thick sand
Resulting brew: It’s a strong and intense flavored brew, but without any form of bitterness. The full flavors of the coffee bean will be on display. Best of all, its got a super smooth aftertaste.
Skill level required: Just get the grind right, set up your cold dripper as it was intended and you’re good to go.
Best suited for you: If you live somewhere hot (you need this.) Its also an excellent option for anyone who experiences the typical sharp peak and crash from a standard coffee. Cold drip coffee gives you the caffeine high without the crash – keeping you mentally alert, yet calm.
Not so great for you: If you're an impatient bastard. Its slooooow.
#17 - Nitrous Coffee (nitro)
Derived from cold brew coffee, nitro coffee is the newest kid on the block in the coffee world, and you can expect to hear a lot more about it in 2016 and beyond.
As the name suggests, its' (cold brewed) coffee, pumped full of Nitrogen, which affects the taste and the texture, in a very, very nice way. The result is similar to a cold brew coffee but crisper, a little sweeter and it looks like a pint of Guinness (yes, its got head like a beer).
So how do you get your mitts around some?
But, if you’re the type that likes to do things yourself you can pick up a home-dispensing system and start brewing in your garage!
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: If you’re looking at making your own, you’ll first need to brew cold brew (and you’ll need more than a few cups) which can take days or even weeks depending on your system. Once you have your cold brew and your system set up – it's like pouring a beer – its instant.
Type of grind required: See cold brew
Resulting brew: A crisp, light, and creamy drink which almost looks like a frothy beer. The already high cold brew caffeine levels, combined with the nitrogen (which may absorb caffeine into your bloodstream faster) means it packs a serious energy punch.
Skill level required: Setting up a home system and perfecting the pour will be tricky
Best suited for you: If you like cold brew (you'll LOVE this)
Not so great for you: If you like hot, flat coffee.
Brewing Coffee via Boiling
Are all these coffee brewing gimmicks necessary?
Sure, they make brewing coffee fun and allow you to customize your brew, but since coffee existed there has been one method to brew it that’s the simplest road possible: boiling your coffee with water.
All you need to make coffee is water, heat, and ground coffee, so why complicate things?
If you find yourself without any form of coffee maker, you can put your mind at rest knowing that you can make a decent cup with the simplest of items.
We'll take a look at the cowboy method, and the Turkish method, of simple coffee brewing.
#18 - The Cowboy Method
It's the oldest known method of brewing coffee; it's old-fashioned, but it works, and you don’t need much to make it happen.
Commonly used around campsites where nobody has bothered to pack any coffee making gear, all you’ll need is a flame and a saucepan.
We show you exactly how to do it here, but in a nutshell: fill your pot with water, bring it to a boil, throw in your ground coffee, remove it from the heat and let it brew for a few minutes.
Once the grounds settle to the bottom of the pot, you can pour your coffee into your mug, slowly and gently. Nothing fancy required.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: Once your water has boiled, you’ll need 4-5 minutes to brew your coffee, a few more to let the grinds settle, and a few more to pour with a steady hand. You’re looking at 10 minutes plus, but nobody said it would be quick, did they?
Type of grind required: Medium – course is ideal, and anything larger. Just don’t add fine grounds or you’ll be drinking a silty, sludgy mess.
Resulting brew: It's very hit and miss depending on your timing, your grind and every other variable involved. That being said, it's still better than instant, but you wouldn’t find it served in coffee shops (or would you?)
Skill level required: Can you boil and egg? If so, you’ve already graduated from cowboy coffee brewing school.
Best suited for you: If you lack the funds to invest in any form of coffee brewing apparatus.
Not so great for you: It’s a messy brewing process, so if that scares you, double check that your single serve dripper is packed in your camping luggage.
#19 - Turkish Coffee
From 1299 The ottoman empire ruled Turkey for an impressively long stint, and strong Turkish coffee played a significant role in fueling their endurance. There’s a very good chance that I made up that last fact, however, you can be sure that (a) Turkish coffee packs a punch, and (b) It’s been enjoyed around the world for a very long time.
Brewing Turkish Coffee seems easy, but with like most brew methods, there’s skill in doing it right.
The most common way involves a Turkish coffee pot, water and very finely ground coffee beans.
You’ll simmer the brew a number of times (2-3 times) and end up with a brew that you’ll love or hate: strong but exceptionally tasting with a thick foam on top.
What To Expect
Time: from Bean > Brew: 3-4 minutes for one cup. It's quick.
Type of grind required: The finest grind you can get. Almost powder. You'll need a special grinder to achieve this.
Resulting brew: Very aromatic, quite sharp, and thick. If you like strong black coffee, you’ll love Turkish coffee
Skill level required: Not much at all, it's fairly straightforward.
Best suited for you: If you're a lover of black and strong tasting coffee. It’s a great way to get a brisk morning pick me up.
Not so great for you: If you love that clean and clear taste that you get with most forms of pour-over or drip coffee.
Coffee Brewing Methods Infographic
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So what do you think of those coffee brewing methods? Hopefully, you'll have a few ideas of how you want to try your coffee next week!
You should also check this article with tips to make a great cup of coffee EVERY time.
Since new ways are being invented almost daily, check back here often as the list grows (or, leave a comment below if you think we've missed a worthy coffee brewing method!).