Coffee Brewing Methods: Is Your Coffee Brewer Just a Drip?

For most of us, brewing up our morning cup of coffee is more than just a necessity, it is a matter of convenience. Each night, millions of us coffee lovers pile heaping tablespoons of our favorite gourmet coffees into those paper filters, fill the tank of our coffee makers with water and set the timer so that our coffee is ready and waiting first thing in the morning.

So if you are like me and you enjoy the finest gourmet and specialty coffees available, then you must also believe that they deserve the best and most reliable coffee brewing equipment available.

Here is a quick list of the most popular coffee brewing methods & equipment starting from the best:

French Press
The French press coffee maker (or press pot) is universally recognized as the best brewing method, allowing for the truest coffee taste and aroma. This method actually brews the coffee in the hot water (as opposed to drip machines which only pass the water through the coffee and a filter). After a few minutes of brewing, a metal filter is pressed through the brew catching the coffee grinds and then trapping them at the bottom of the carafe. What is left over is full-bodied coffee with all its aroma and essences.

One of the main advantages to using a French press, other than great coffee taste, is the amount of control you have. You can control the water temperature (which incidentally should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers do not achieve), you can control the amount of coffee you want to add, and you can control the brew time. Four minutes of brew time and 30 seconds of “plunging” time is considered best.

Another great feature about the French press is that it is extremely portable and only requires hot water. You can take it camping or use it in places with limited kitchen space, like a boat or an RV. Some press pots can also be used to brew loose leaf teas in the same manner.

As an aside, you shouldn’t leave your brewed coffee in the press-pot with the grounds after you brew it! Either consume it or transfer it to a carafe, preferably a thermal carafe.

Vacuum Brewer
Vacuum brewers aren’t very common, but they make coffee just about as well as a French press since the coffee and water are brewing together. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a tube with a small filter inside. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower chamber. As the lower chamber is heated, the water rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber where the brewing begins. After brewing, the water (now coffee) cools and seeps back down into the lower chamber leaving the used coffee grinds behind in the upper chamber. Ideally, the upper chamber is removed and the lower chamber is used as a decanter for the finished coffee.

Vacuum brewers can be electric, stovetop, or even used over a sterno can for dramatic tabletop brewing!

The Toddy Maker
The toddy maker or Cold-Brew Coffee Maker uses an unusual cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. The concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator and used to make one cup at a time if you so desire. This method produces a low-acid coffee, which is doctor recommended for coffee drinkers with stomach conditions.

Although this method of coffee brewing is sounds a bit odd, the result in taste is pleasantly surprising. One drawback is the amount of time it takes to brew. A good idea is to brew the coffee overnight. Once brewed, the concentrate can produce more than just one pot of coffee, so it’s not a nightly event for a great cup of morning coffee!

Drip Grind Coffee Makers
Drip Grind coffee makers are the most common and usual coffee brewing method that we are familiar with.

In this method, water is dripped over and passes through the coffee grinds and a filter and is caught by the coffee pot below. Despite being the most common brew method it also happens to be the one which produces a coffee brew with the least amount of flavor and aroma.

There are generally 2 filter options for the drip grind coffee makers.

Permanent filters: are just what they say, permanent. They are usually gold-plated so they don’t add any unwanted metallic taste to your coffee, resistant to corrosion so they are dishwasher safe and economical because they don’t need replacing. Permanent filters are preferred because they allow for better coffee taste as opposed to the second filter option, paper filters.< are the most common filter choice for the drip grind coffee makers. Unfortunately, paper filters can filter out more than just coffee grinds. Flavorful oils can be left behind in the filter and not make it to the finished coffee brew resulting in less coffee flavor and aroma. Since permanent filters allow for more liquid to pass through, the end result is a more flavorful cup.

As you can see, the most common brew method happens to be the one which produces the least amount of coffee flavor and aroma. Since, mornings usually need to be made quick and simple, most people have never had their coffee brewed any other way. If you are one of these people, don’t just splurge on gourmet coffee’s, get a small French press maker, start experimenting and experience the truest coffee flavor & aroma in each cup.

No comments, bulicio, November 6, 2017

An Insight Into Different Types of Coffee Makers

Here I will help you explore some of the most common coffee maker types, as well as some coffee makers that are truly for the coffee crazy. I have tried to cover some of the benefits of using different coffee brewers depending on your personal needs.

If you lead a busy life and your always on the go a single cup maker maybe just the answer to keep up to your active lifestyle. There are one cup makers available that deliver a mug of hot brew that you make and take with you. Most brew quickly through the lid into a thermal mug and shuts off automatically when done.

A single cup maker is an ideal gift for commuters, college students, professionals always on the go, newlyweds or the single java drinker household. Benefits from a single cup coffee maker include a perfect cup of freshly brewed hot coffee in a flash. Excellent for the office or dorm, you can also make hot water for tea, hot chocolate or instant soups. The k-cup coffee system made by Keurig has it’s own formula for brewing a fresh single serving . It consists of a single portion of ground beans in a container with a filter built-in.

Thermal coffee makers are another option as we all strive to have our brew remain hot and fresh, most of the companies that produce thermal makers claim that you will have up to 4 hours of hot fresh coffee. I have a thermal maker and while it is true that the brew is still warm after a fashion I prefer to start over as I prefer to have fresh java, but my wife loves it.

If you are not as picky as I am then perhaps a thermal coffee maker is right for you. There are a wide variety of options as far as color and size, one of the benefits is the ability to bring and place the crafe at the dinning room table while you entertain your guests.

Space saver coffee makers are a great way to make your small kitchen bigger. Most manufactures make an under counter maker that can give you more space on your counter tops and it offers a great alternative to smaller makers like the single cup makers that we discussed earlier or 4 cup makers. Most all of them have a removable water reservoir that makes filling more efficient and prevents spills and cleaning the reservoir is much easier. You can still get your 10 or 12 cups that you require while keeping your kitchen less cluttered. Excellent for galley kitchens or apartment size kitchens and RV owners.

The French press , also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger or cafetière, is a brewing device popularized by the French. Its operation is simple and can produce a stronger pot of coffee than some other types of java makers. The press pot consists of a narrow cylindrical container usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a “plunger” also made of metal or plastic, which fits tightly in the cylinder and which has a fine wire or nylon mesh acting as a filter which can be cleaned and reused.

The java is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to trap the grounds at the bottom of the container. Because the grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, java brewed with the French press captures more of the brews flavor and essential oils, most of these are generally trapped in the paper or wire filters we use in the drip method of brewing. Because the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee should be served immediately so as to not become bitter. A typical 8-cup French press is considered expired after 20 – 25 minutes as there is no warmer plate as in many makers.

Beans for use in a French press should be of a consistent, coarse grind. The use of a hand coffee grinder or manual coffee grinder gives a more consistent grind than the whirling blade variety of electric grinders. The ground should be more coarse than that used for a drip coffee filter, as a finer grind will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. A French press is also more portable and self contained than other makers. And make a great solution for a travel maker in such cases as back packing or camping. Despite the name, the French press is not noticeably more popular in France than in other countries. In most French households, coffee is usually prepared by drip brewing, using an electric coffee maker and paper filters.

A vacuum maker brews coffee using two chambers where vapor pressure and vacuum produce brew which is clean, rich and smooth compared to other brewing methods. This type of maker is also known as vac pot , siphon or syphon coffee maker and was invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830s. These types of makers have been used for more than a century in many parts of the world.

The chamber material can be pyrex, metal or plastic, and the filter can either be a glass rod, or a screen from cloth, paper or nylon. The Napier Vacuum Machine, presented in 1840, was an early example of this technique. While vacuum makers are generally to complex for everyday use, they were prized for producing a clear brew and were quite popular until the middle of the twentieth century.

The idea of a vacuum coffee maker is to heat water in the lower vessel of the brewer until the expansion forces the water through a narrow tube into an upper vessel that contains the coffee grounds. When the lower vessel has more or less emptied itself and enough time has elapsed, the heat is removed and the resulting vacuum will draw the brewed beverage through a strainer back into the lower chamber from which it can be stored. The device must usually be taken apart to pour into a mug.

No comments, bulicio, September 17, 2017