One World Roasters' Coffee Blog
The Best Coffee Brewing Methods for Every Situation
You don’t need a special occasion to brew yourself a stellar cup of coffee, but a different occasion can call for a different approach. We all have our go-to methods of preparing coffee to our liking, but with a little exploration we have the power to bring out entirely different flavors and qualities in the coffees we love and even make coffee possible in a variety of different situations (camping trip, anyone?).
In this month’s blog we’ll explore seven of our favorite coffee brewing methods that, when done properly, will give you great cups of coffee suited to your taste and convenience.
Great for: Travel, flexible brewing, retention of oils
Aeropress is a handy portable coffee maker that will be a staple for frequent travelers, campers, or people who perhaps want a little more control over the office’s coffee offerings. The device works much like a single-serve French press, capable of producing 1-3 high-quality cups of coffee in about a minute — an espresso, by default, and an Americano with a little hot water added.
The coffee is smooth and low in acid, while still retaining the coffee oils that enhance flavor and aroma (and add many health benefits as well).
Clever Coffee Dripper
Great for: Beginner coffee-brewers, low-hassle almost-foolproof brewing, travel, clean taste
As with all steps in the coffee preparation process, brewing is an art — there numerous ways patience, creativity, and attention to detail can impact the end result. While this is great for coffee enthusiasts, casual drinkers may find it frustrating trying to brew a cup of coffee that tastes good, but isn’t a whole production.
Clever Coffee Dripper answers this call. This innovation on the classic pour-over cone, is what’s called a full-immersion brewer, which means that all of the coffee and all of the water meet at the same time and stay that way throughout the entire brewing process. The end result is a much fuller-flavored cup of pour-over coffee that’s extremely forgiving and easy to produce. Because the cone does use traditional paper filters it doesn’t capture very much coffee oil, which may matter to coffee buffs.
Clever Coffee Drippers come in two sizes, big and small — using #4 and #2 filters respectively. The larger is perfect for two and the smaller will get you a solid single serving.
Great for: Making four to six cups at a time, creating rich coffee without oil or sediment
If Clever Coffee Dripper is a beginner-level pour-over method, Chemex and Kone (to be discussed below) represent the more advanced and nuanced options. The Chemex brewing system has become very popular in recent years and for good reason. The device works with filters that are 20-30% heavier than most standard pour-over filters. This means a longer, slightly more involved brewing process, but one that ultimately results in far richer and more flavorful coffee. Water passes through the filter more gradually and in multiple pours, making this method better for a laid back weekend brewing as opposed to a quick pour before the commute.
Get the best out of your Chemex with our hands-on video tutorial below:
Great for: Making four to six cups at a time, retaining body and oils in coffee, minimal waste
Kone is more a modification to the Chemex process than its own completely distinct brewing method, but nevertheless the difference it makes is noteworthy. As its name implies, Kone is a stainless steel reusable cone filter that one can use at anytime with a Chemex instead of its traditional paper filters.
Other than sustainability perks, what’s the difference? Unlike with paper filters, Kone allows oils to pass through into your cup, which gives your homebrew all of the flavor, aroma, and health benefits we discussed above.
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Great for: Making clean cups with good temperature and agitation, entertaining guests, coffee as an activity
Earning OWR’s “Favorite Weekend Prep” honor, the siphon method looks an awful lot like chem class and the similarities to beakers and bunsen burners aren’t accidental — the siphon takes the “coffee as a science” approach to its logical extreme.
Siphon method gives the brewer maximum control of temperature, brew duration and ultimately the quality of the brewed coffee. This means those of us with patience and deep curiosity about the process will find the siphon to be a coffee-brewing amusement park and great way to entertain guests at weekend brunch. However, the 10-minute-plus brew time and more involved clean up may be more work and attention to detail than most are looking to devote on a regular basis.
With that said, the quality and flair of a good siphon brew will impress just about anyone.
Great for: Quantity once dialed in, speed and efficiency for morning prep
Ahh the old-fashioned auto-drip coffee maker … this method may not win favor with proud members of the coffee snob community, but as much we love to fuss over the details, sometimes practicality really matters and in that realm the auto-drip reigns supreme.
When brewing up a lot of coffee quickly is the main concern, auto drips are hard to beat. While offering little control over the brewing process relative to most of the other approaches we’ve discussed, the auto drip can still produce good cups of coffee if extra care is taken up front with ingredients and pre-brewing preparations (using whole beans, getting a good medium grind, using filtered water in proper ratio to coffee).
Great for: Parties, impressing guests, making great full bodied coffee with a thick sediment type feel, minimal waste
For rich, full-bodied excellence French press coffee is our method of choice and favorite brewing style at our cafe. Not everyone is fond the thick sediment feel of French press coffee, and that’s certainly a matter of taste, but the retention of oil and very fine ground residue can turn a properly brewed French press cup into an overwhelming sensory experience ... or in simple language … an unforgettable cup of coffee!
Plus, a French press looks great on the table and is great for company. And no filters means very little waste. French press is all around a great choice that is widely available and easy to use with just a little patience.
To make sure you’re doing right, have a look at our handy French press brewing video below:
Brewing It Right
Which coffee brewing method most excites you? Coffee is for everyone and no one method is “right” or “wrong” — it’s all a matter of what you want out of your experience. Nevertheless, we encourage you to try something new and push yourself out of your routine and comfort zone. Try a new method above and let us know what you think — and if we missed one you love, also let us know!
Now let’s get brewing!
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One World Roasters
967 North High St,
East Haven CT 06512