CHOOSING THE BEST WAY TO MAKE COFFEE AT HOME
The world of coffee can be quite daunting when trying to decide which brew method best suits you.
Speaking from experience, the multitude of methods out there and the multitude of recipes for each method, can leave one as lost as a puppy in a winter storm.
However, there is a way out of this conundrum!
We're here to give you a few handy hints and tips that you can use to select the right method for you and hopefully get your eyes rolling back in your head as you savour your brew.
The first and possibly most important key to deciding your brew method is how you like your coffee. Each differing method will give you a different flavour profile even if using the exact same coffee, so if you come into the process knowing what you like to drink, it will make your job much easier.
Let’s start with the boldest methods and work our way to the milder.
Depending on the amount of time/thought that you want to spend on your coffee there are several different options for you here.
Manual machines sacrifice convenience in favour of potential quality, while more automatic machines tend to sacrifice quality in order to achieve a quick, thought free, consistent result.
If you are super passionate about your coffee, and don’t mind putting in a little effort to make a great cup, then a quality machine and grinder combination (budget as much for your grinder as for your machine) is for you. On the flip side, if you can’t open your eyes before a coffee and don’t want to have to work for it, go for an auto.
Stovetop Espresso/Moka Pot
This Moka Pot has long been the domain of people who prefer an intense, bittersweet shot of black coffee (maybe with a splash of milk).
The downside to this method that almost all of us who’ve tried it have experienced the potential to burn the coffee and end up with an acrid, bitter coffee that can almost turn the user off at the first sip.
Thankfully, with a little care, and a watchful eye, the Moka Pot can turn out a beautifully rich and smooth espresso, with the caffeine jolt you may have experienced as a youth “testing” an electric fence.
Time-wise, the Moka Pot should take a few minutes of careful heat management and patient expectation. If you have one of these hiding away in the back of your cupboard, give it another go and experience what has made this one of the planets most cherished brew methods.
This is a tricky one to classify because of its versatility. The brew that results from our own recipe instructions is as close to an espresso as you’ll find without actually being an espresso.
However, it is also relatively easy to find recipes for other brew styles all the way through to filter.
In fact, the sheer number of recipes that can be found for the Aeropress to brew coffee in almost any way imaginable makes it an almost indispensable addition to every coffee enthusiasts kit.
This may well be the most visually interesting of all the brew methods with its blown glass chambers and alluring flame, not to mention the wow factor of the process itself.
If you want to have all your friends crowd around agape in amazement as you brew their coffee, then this is the method for you. In terms of flavour, this brews a medium intensity coffee, with the boldness of an immersion method and the clean taste of a filter. In layman’s terms, if you like a plunger, but don’t like the silty/muddiness of it, then the clean taste of the Syphon pot may be for you.
It does take a few dedicated minutes of your time but in the end you’ll be glad you made the investment.
Quite possibly the easiest and most forgiving brew method, a plunger can be found in most households in Australia.
But don’t let that fool you, the plunger when done right, can give you a truly lovely cup of coffee.
The plunger is traditionally the way that most enlightened people make the enlightened move from decidedly unenlightened instant coffee to freshly roasted (and of course, enlightened) coffee.
It can be as easy as pouring some hot water on a scoop or two of ground coffee, and waiting, or as hard as grinding a specific amount of coffee and pouring on water at a specific temperature and waiting a specific time.
Whether you want to take the easy road or the harder, but more delicious road, you can be sure of a full flavoured cuppa joe.
Once the domain of diners and bad restaurants, filter brewed coffee has come a long way. At home, the automatic drip filter can be easily used to make a larger amount of coffee for a group (or several for yourself) in a short time. Alternatively, there are several products that can give you a much better cup, with slightly more time investment.
The Hario V60 and the Chemex are two such products with which you can hand brew your coffee just the way you like it.
For the most part, filter brew methods highlight the brighter, juicier, fruitier tones in a coffee.
So which brew method will you use? Let us know in the comments below :)