There’s nothing quite like that first sip of coffee in the morning. It’s aromatic, it’s invigorating, and for many, it’s a necessity to start the day. Yet making the perfect cup of coffee can be an intimidating task, especially with so many methods out there. In this overview, we’ve boiled it down to six of the most popular at-home methods – whether you need your coffee fast or prefer to carve out some time for your coffee ritual, we have a method for you!
Drip coffee makers occupy a spot in kitchens and office breakrooms everywhere. This hands-off method has stood the test of time for its ease, convenience, and ability to brew larger quantities of coffee – up to 12 cups at a time. To use a drip coffee maker, simply insert a paper filter, scoop in some ground coffee, add water to the machine’s reservoir, and press start. The result? A consistent pot of coffee that will stay warm all morning long.
For a rich and reliable brew, many coffee enthusiasts turn to the French press. It’s stylish, cost-effective, and allows users to make a cup of coffee suited to their individual taste. The French press also doubles as a serving carafe and doesn’t require disposable filters. This method works by soaking, steeping, and straining ground coffee in hot water – also known as immersion brewing – resulting in a full-bodied coffee with superior, distinct flavor. With a straightforward technique, the French press can be accessible to anyone.
Like the French press, the AeroPress is a manual way to make better-tasting coffee, but that’s where the similarities end. For starters, this method is relatively new – the AeroPress was launched in 2005. The three-piece plastic tool, which requires specially made micro-filters, can brew coffee or espresso drinks in just a couple of minutes. Its simplicity, size, and durability are major perks, but since the AeroPress can only produce one cup of coffee at a time, making coffee for a large group can be a major headache.
As the name suggests, the pour-over method involves manually pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. Since these filters are effective at trapping any sediment and oils, coffee made using this method is typically light in body with a smooth, refined flavor. Pour-overs not only deliver a more nuanced cup of coffee, they also look sharp while doing it. One of the most beloved coffee makers in this style is the Chemex, which uses an hourglass-shaped flask and filters that are 20-30% thicker than other brands.
The cold brew method is essentially steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for an extended period of time (at least 12 hours). While there’s no special machine required, an at-home cold brew coffee maker can help make the process even more convenient. This method creates a coffee concentrate that’s deeply flavorful and highly caffeinated. Cold brew fans have their pick of ways to dilute and enjoy their concentrate, from iced coffee or iced lattes to drinking it hot, and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Because percolators are notorious for over-brewing coffee, some gourmet coffee lovers eschew this old-fashioned method. However, if used correctly, a percolator can create a beautifully aromatic cup of joe – all that’s required is a heat source. The kettle has separate chambers for water and coffee grounds, and once heated, the water is continuously cycled through the coffee chamber to steep the coffee grounds. The longer it brews, the stronger the coffee will be.