From Aeropress to regular drip, there are many ways to make a good cup of coffee but which one is best?
We love coffee, but often that’s where the similarity ends between coffee lovers. That’s because we all like varying types of coffee at different times of the day. But one of the biggest gulfs that can set coffee lovers apart is in the way that they make their coffee. Everyone has a different method of making coffee – and many will claim that their method is the best. On the other hand, some argue that it’s all down to science where the quality of your water, the temperature of your cup, the ratio of water to coffee and the freshness of coffee beans all play a part.
We’re not trying to open up any wounds, but we’ve decided to drill down on five of the top, simple ways and examine the steps to make the best cup of coffee.
Using pressure to brew coffee, the AeroPress is a relatively new type of coffee maker. Invented in 2005, it’s cheap, easy to use, fast and yet creates wonderfully rich, smooth coffee.
- Step 1 – Boil the water and leave it to sit for a minute so it’s still hot but not boiling – this is to stop it from being bitter.
- Step 2 – Place good quality roasted beans in the funnel – either pre-grounded or ground with a blade until fine.
- Step 3 – Add the water into the chamber and stir it once with a spoon.
- Step 4 – Steep it for a minute before screwing the cap (complete with paper filter) onto the chamber.
- Step 5 – Quickly and smoothly turn the AeroPress upside down and place it onto your mug or your chosen storage vessel.
- Step 6 – Put the plunger in, press it down until you hear a hiss and then taste. You should have enough for one strong cup of coffee or two lesser cups of coffee. Dilute with hot water to get the strength right for you.
Despite the perception that auto-drip coffee makers are looked down on by the coffee elite, many of us enjoy using them because it provides us with no-stress, no-hassle coffee. Perhaps this is why the French Press has become the most popular of the auto-drip machines. Follow the simple steps below to make a great cup of coffee using French press.
- Step 1 – Ground your chosen coffee down until its coarse – it’s important that it’s not finely ground.
- Step 2 – Put the ground coffee into the pitcher (only a couple of tablespoons), boil your water (about 170g per 2 tablespoons), cool it and then pour it into the machine.
- Step 3 – Stir it once, place the plunger and lid on, but don’t press it just yet. Let it sit for approximately five minutes.
- Step 4 – After the 5 minutes are up, press the plunger down in a slow, consistent manner.
- Step 5 – Pour it into a cup and enjoy your coffee!
Percolator was the classic method for brewing coffee that ruled before the arrival of automatic drip machines in the 2nd half of the 20th century. Today, many coffee drinkers still believe that the Percolator makes a better cup of coffee than the French press – which of course generates many disagreements. Even if the percolator doesn’t technically make for the ‘best’ individual brew, it is the best for those who need to quickly make a big batch of strong coffee for a number of guests that need perking up.
- Step 1 – Pour water into the lower half of the chamber of the percolator.
- Step 2 – Add one tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee to the upper chamber for every cup of coffee you want to make. Beans with minimal acidity are best due to the percolator making for a bitter brew.
- Step 3 – Place the percolator onto a stove at medium heat until it is close to boiling.
- Step 4 – Let is sit and percolate for approximately 10 minutes or so – at which point the percolator will start to ‘perk’ (a recognisable sound of sputtering – akin to when a kettle whistles). When this happens, either take it off the stove or reduce the heat.
- Step 5 – Enjoy your cup of strong stuff that’d be enough to make Special Agent Dale Cooper proclaim ‘damn fine!’
Fans of Turkish coffee will grin approvingly at this. Widely practised throughout the Middle East and South-Eastern Europe, the cezve is a long-handled pot with a pouring lip, a traditional way of making coffee. The brass and copper pots lend the coffee its unique flavour, not to mention an old-world touch.
- Step 1 – Add water to the cezve, about 1.7 oz per cup of coffee desired.
- Step 2 – Add sugar to taste and stir.
- Step 3 – Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and add coffee powder. Boil coffee.
- Step 4 – After bringing to a first boil, remove the cezve from heat immediately and discard the foam, then mix well.
- Step 5 – The coffee is boiled twice in succession, taking care to remove the cezve from the heat between each boiling.
- Step 6 – Let the remaining powder settle before serving.
Looking somewhat like an aquarium fishnet, the humble sock is actually a muslin bag and a versatile way of making delicious coffee. This method is highly popular in Malaysia and Singapore when making their signature kopi (coffee). Traditional coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore also briefly wash the coffee cups with boiling water, as warm cups are said to bring out the robust flavours of coffee.
- Step 1 – Place coffee sock over a warm mug.
- Step 2 – Add in one-part ground coffee and five-part boiling water.
- Step 3 – Stir the coffee for one to two minutes and ensure that all the coffee dissolves in the hot water. Set the coffee to rest for about two to three minutes, depending on the size of the pot of coffee. By allowing the coffee to set, it will bring out the best taste and aroma of the coffee beans.
- Step 4 – Pour the mixture of ground coffee and water through the coffee sock and into a pot. This will separate the coffee from the residue. Let the coffee drip through the coffee sock and once the dripping stops, the coffee is ready to be served.
The many approaches to coffee
There are so many different methods that make great cups of coffee – including Mud, Turkish, Pour-Over, Cowboy, Drip and more. Don’t be scared to try them all and find out what is best for you.
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