20 different coffee brewing methods explained

IN this article I will briefly go over the many different coffee brew makers and just kind of give you a brief overview.

Coffee preparation is more diverse today than ever before.

I will go over the 20 most important preparation methods.

But be careful:

Even the coolest preparation is worthless without good coffee.

HOW IT WORKS:
The process is simple: coffee is poured into a flask, closed at the bottom with a thin filter paper, water is poured on and then stirred.

Then a plunger is put on, and the water is pressed through the coffee.

In principle, the AeroPress combines surge and pressure brewing. Cleaning is also child’s play.

Unfortunately, the device can only brew around three cups at a time, and the hard plastic housing is unlikely to win a design award either.

In return, the AeroPress fully plays its trump cards in terms of taste.
However, the paper filter ensures a light coffee, which, however, tastes very rich due to the aroma dissolved by the pressure.

I have a great article on Aeropress here, if you are interested in learning more about this technique.

CHEMEX HOW IT WORKS:

The Chemex coffee carafe was created in 1941 by the German chemist Dr. Peter J. Schlumbohm invented.

He designed them with his knowledge of filtering techniques and extraction.

The special filter bag is inserted into the vessel’s funnel-shaped opening, which also has a kind of spout for pouring.

It is brewed by hand. A clear aroma characterizes coffee prepared in the Chemex.

Since it goes through a coffee filter after the infusion, it has a little less body than, for example, coffee with the French press.

However, some bitter substances also remain in the filter.

Here is a good guide to Chemex if you wish to read more on it.

HOW IT WORKS:

The cold brew method is a simple type of extraction.

The ground coffee is simply sprinkled into the water, which extracts it.
In practice, this means:

Put the ground coffee in water for twelve hours to make a cold brew coffee.

High temperatures in hot water can speed up this process, but that doesn’t mean that the faster process is, the better because the heat adds significantly more acidity to the coffee.

Cold-brew is a great brewing method I really enjoy in the summer months, and here is an article if you would like to read more on it. 

HOW IT WORKS:

Filtered water flows from a container drop by drop into the container with the coffee powder.

There the aromas and oils of the coffee are extracted.

The result is a concentration of complex and intense coffee aroma that is low in acid and bitter substances.

The longer the extraction takes, the more varied and complex the extracted aromas are.

The aesthetically very appealing cold-drip coffee makers are made by the small Coffeega factory in South Korea.

The decisive difference to drippers from other manufacturers is the double valve system of the Coffeega dripper, which enables exact extraction.

The second valve gives you an additional control option with which you can precisely control the point when the extraction of the coffee begins.

HOW IT WORKS:

With the Eva Solo coffee maker, the coffee powder is poured into a heat-resistant carafe, poured with hot, non-boiling water, and stirred for about ten seconds.

It is then advisable to let the coffee stand for around three to four minutes so that the coffee grounds can settle on the floor.

The carafe is closed with a funnel filter and the flip-top lid (a Danish company patent).

The lid opens and closes automatically and is also drip-free.

However, cleaning is problematic because it is a little cumbersome to remove the coffee grounds.

But if that is done, you can also put it in the dishwasher.

HOW IT WORKS:

The classic par excellence.

Our grandparents already put the desired amount of coffee powder into the filter to prepare coffee with a filter device.

Then the water is filled into the tank device, from where it runs through a heatable pipe.

The water’s heating and steam formation create pressure, which ensures that the non-return valve closes and the water can flow through a riser pipe towards the filter.

As soon as the pressure drops, the check valve opens, and new water flows in.

When the entire amount of water has boiled, the pipe heats up to a maximum of 150 ° C.

When this temperature is reached, the heating switches off.

The boiling water runs through the coffee powder in the filter and is collected in a glass or thermos flask.

Classic filter coffee makers, or drip coffee makers are an great investment, and if you are in the market for one, here is a great overview of the absolute best options.

HOW IT WORKS:

It got its name for good reason:

The press jug was invented in France in the middle of the 19th century.

The pot is pre-heated, the coarsely ground coffee is poured in, water is poured in and stirred.

After about three minutes, the fine-meshed sieve insert can be pressed down.

The process has the advantage that water and coffee are in continuous contact, so the brewing time can also be precisely adjusted.

Also, all coffee particles and oils get into the cup.

However, this always leaves a slight amount of coffee grounds on the floor.

Besides, the coffee has to be poured into an additional pot after the brewing time so that it does not continue to draw and then becomes bitter.

Another great coffee brew method is the French press. You can learn more on it here in this French press guide.

HOW IT WORKS:

First off, this method is very modern, and is used by for example V60 and others.

First, you put a filter bag in the filter container.

Then place it on a mug, mug, or jug.

Pour hot water slowly over the filter to moisten the paper; the hot water also preheats the mug.

Empty the mug with the hot water.

Pour the filter coffee evenly into the moistened filter.

As a rule of thumb: for every 125 ml of water, there is about one scoop of coffee with coffee (approx. 7.5 g).

First, pour a little of the slightly cooled water (ideally 91–95 ° C) over the filter coffee until it is just covered.

This is how the coffee swells, and its taste can develop better afterward.

After the coffee has flowed through the filter, add the rest of the water in slow, circular movements from the outside so in, that the coffee rises in the filter.

Here is a great guide to the Hario V60 if you are interested in learning more.

HOW IT WORKS:

First, water is poured in by opening a screw at the top of the machine and then pouring water into the kettle.

But if you do this while the machine is running, you can expect an involuntary shower, as the boiler is heated to up to 1 bar overpressure.
The hand lever points down in the basic position.

If you push it upwards, the boiler’s connection to the brewing group opens, and hot water flows out of the shower.

Then you fill the sieve with coffee and press the powder on.

Clamp the portafilter, push the lever up – the connection from the kettle to the brewing group is open again, but this time the water from the ground coffee is held up in the sieve.

It, therefore, fills the chamber built into the brew group, lets the coffee swell, and is cooled down to the perfect brewing temperature at the same time.

And now comes the big moment!

You push the lever down slowly but constantly to force the water through the ground coffee.

HOW IT WORKS:

A fully automatic machine consists of a grinder, the water heater (flow heater), a pump and the heart, the brewing group with drive.

The latter should be able to be easily removed from the device for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

A control unit controls the preparation of the coffee and the milk frothing.
It also allows you to set the cup size, brewing temperature, water hardness (to define the descaling cycles), and, if necessary, the amount of powder (strength of the coffee).

A grinder grinds the beans right before the brewing process.

Most fully automatic machines offer the option of precisely setting the grinding degree, whereby the intensity can be determined individually.

The beans are first roughly chopped in the grinder and then get into narrower areas, in which they are processed further and further down to the desired degree of grinding.

Modern devices have conical or disc grinders made of ceramic or hardened steel.

Fully automatic coffee machines are amazing.

You click a button, and out comes a cappuccino.

I have a good review article where I go over the best options, and the ones that has the best value for your money.

If you are interested in a fully automatic coffee machine, I highly recommend you read it here.

HOW IT WORKS:

The coffee is in a hermetically sealed capsule, which is coated with PVC on the inside.

After the capsule has been placed in the machine, it encloses a capsule cage from above and presses it with the edge against a pyramid plate.

The capsule cage and capsule form the pressure-tight brewing chamber.
Thorns in the upper part of the cage pierce the shell of the capsule.

Hot water is forced into the brewing chamber under pressure by the pump.

The pressure inside the coffee capsule increases and causes a membrane on the underside to burst.

The coffee is brewed in the coffee capsule and guided over the pyramid plate into the carrier and on to the coffee spout.

Personally I am not the biggest fan of capsule machines, but I can understand the appeal, as its extremely easy, and the coffee is decent and you get it by clicking a button. 

If you are interested in getting one, I recommend you read this article of the best pod coffee makers first.

HOW IT WORKS: 

Coffee is poured into a porcelain attachment, and the water distributor is attached.

Then water must be poured slowly and continuously, preferably with a ladle or a jug with a slim spout, until the coffee has run through completely.

The coffee powder should be ground very coarsely and evenly so that the fine filter does not clog – a good grinder is, therefore, a must.

The preparation requires rest and time, and the Karlsbader jug ​​is therefore not suitable for preparing a quick coffee in between.

HOW IT WORKS:

The best known is the jug with the octagonal hourglass shape.

However, jugs are now available in a wide variety of shapes and styles.
The design may change, but the functional principle always remains the same:

The water (filled to just below the valve) in the lower part of the jug heats up, and the resulting steam pushes it through the ground coffee, which is in one, at around two atmospheres pressure circular sieve, upwards.

However, do not press the coffee too hard.

The filter element and the rubber seal are firmly seated.

Then screw both parts of the mocha pot together.

The valve prevents overpressure. If it whistles, it is too hot.

Stir the coffee with a spoon before pouring it into the cups.

HOW IT WORKS: 

Pour 4–6 grams of coffee per cup (medium grind) into the coffee container and screw it onto the filter.

Pour the water into the lower part of the machine, put it in the coffee container with the filter and screw both parts tightly.

Place the Napoletana pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil.
The water will boil as soon as some steam comes out.

Take the machine off the stove and turn it over with both hands.

This allows the water to flow through the filter filled with coffee into the empty, hot lower container.

A process that takes a few minutes.

The coffee can then be served.

HOW IT WORKS:

Probably the best-known brand for coffee pod systems is Senseo.

The ESE system, which numerous Italian roasters use, is a little less well-known, but when it comes to espresso with often surprisingly acceptable results.

In both systems, coffee pods with pre-portioned coffee are placed in the device.

The water heated to over 90 ° C is then pressed through the inserted coffee pod at 1.4 bar.

Most coffee pod machines have an automatic switch-off which is activated after a short time when not in use.

The ESE system also has machines that are quite visually appealing.

HOW IT WORKS:

As early as 1938, Achille Gaggia applied for a patent in which the water is pressed through the coffee powder with the aid of pressure.

This process’s essential and visible effect is that the coffee has the typical crema, i.e., a frothy crown and namesake of the best magazine on the subject coffee is made.

Portafilter generates this pressure using an electric pump.

This presses the approx. 90–95 ° C hot water through the espresso powder at a pressure of approx. 9 bar.

Even if most manufacturers advertise 15 bar, the actual brewing pressure is below that. 15 bar is only the maximum pressure, but it is not used and is not really recommended.

The espresso flour is pressed into the actual portafilter with the help of a tamper.

In addition to the degree of grinding, quantity and the selection of the type, the pressure, with which the coffee grounds are fixed in the portafilter, a decisive factor for the result in the cup.

The portafilter is then attached to the machine with a bayonet lock.

Espresso machines are my absolute favourite coffee makers, and the reason is simple.

You get the best quality, the coffee, and if you invest in a good machine, it will last you a lifetime.

My personal favourite is the Breville Barista Express, and you can read more on it here in this article, where I go over it in detail.

HOW IT WORKS:

The SoftBrew is a new development in recent years and is a porcelain pot with a fine-meshed stainless steel filter.

It is easy to use: the powder is simply poured into the filter, poured on, and stirred.

The filter can be removed after three minutes, so there is no need for an additional jug.

You decide how long the coffee should be in contact with the water.

Unlike a paper filter, the stainless steel filter lets most coffee oils through.

There are little coffee grounds in the cup, so there are more than half a million small holes in the filter.

HOW IT WORKS:

With a vacuum coffee machine, the water does not flow from top to bottom through a filter or any coffee capsules but is first pressed by heat from a lower container via a glass tube through a permanent filter into an upper container, in which the coffee powder is located.

After the water reaches the upper container and has mixed with the coffee powder, the heat source under the vacuum coffee machine (petroleum burner, halogen lamp, etc.) is removed.

The vacuum created during cooling presses the coffee through the permanent filter back into the lower coffee pot.

HOW IT WORKS: 

Pour one or two spoons of coffee powder into a cup.

Preferably use a pot, as there needs to be enough space in the cup to accommodate coffee grounds and drinks.

Bring the water to a boil and wait a few seconds so that there is no boiling water in the coffee.

Carefully pour the approx. 90–93 ° C hot water into the cup with the coffee.

Then stir briefly and let the coffee steep for about five minutes.

HOW IT WORKS: 

Pour approx.50ml per cup into the pot.

Add sugar according to taste and stir. Bring the mixture of water and sugar to a boil, then remove the pot from the stove and add the appropriate amount of coffee:

One spoon per person plus one additional spoon.

Bring the coffee to the boil twice in a row, take the pot off the stove in between, skim off the foam and stir well.

Before serving, add a spoonful of cold water to speed up the settling of the coffee powder on the bottom of the pot.

Then, without filtering the coffee, pour it into small, low cups.

Turkish coffee tastes great.

I have a whole article here on Turkish that I recommend you read, if your interested in trying to make Turkish coffee yourself.

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