What’s the Best Way to Make Coffee?
There is always a little bit of confusion when it comes to finding out the best way to make coffee. Let me share with you the different styles and the essential tips and tricks to make a fantastic cup of coffee. Even the best cooks can’t claim they can brew the best cup of coffee, but with a few simple guidelines, it’s easy to make great tasting Joe. The most popular methods for brewing coffee are the automatic drip, the manual drip and the French press. Bear in mind that there is no just one best coffee making method because we all have different tastes. I am introducing different techniques you can try and find out which works best for you.
The old school French press coffee
You can make coffee using a French press without a PhD. It’s the simplest, easiest, and quickest method. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the key to making a good coffee is using whole beans. To brew coffee in a French press, pour a little hot water, add coarsely ground coffee, stir a little, wait for four minutes, plunge it and voila! You just made a wonderful cup of coffee.
If you respect some ratios, I generally add 1g of coffee to 17g of water. You can always change a little and experiment according to your own personal taste. The key to an excellent coffee is that you don’t want your coffee to be ground fine. Never use boiling water for your coffee, let the boiling water cool for exactly 1 minute, it will be just right. Put on the lid right after stirring a little bit, don’t let the heat escape. Leave the cover on for exactly 4 minutes, and this part will bring out the flavors. It’s essential to slowly push the plunger down because you don’t want too many sediments left in your coffee.
There are a couple of things that I like about the French press coffee. One of those is the direct contact that coffee has with the water like you are brewing it the entire time. It’s mostly unfiltered, so you get stronger flavors, more smell, and sediments. So, if you enjoy thicker, stronger coffee, the French press is the best way to make your coffee. Another big thing is that when you make a French press, you get to control the temperature of the water more precisely. For extra flavor you can add some unsalted butter, it’s better to use only grass-fed butter because it tastes so good with thick French press coffee.
Brew Chemex Coffee if you like mellow flavors
It’s better to make larger portions of coffee if you are using a Chemex to brew your coffee. I add 52g of coffee to 700g of water, so basically, for every gram of coffee add 15 grams of water. If you don’t have the tools to precisely measure, just add three tablespoons of coffee for 1 cup of water.
Start by pouring hot water, just below boiling, into the Chemex, and don’t forget to place the filter on the Chemex top. Rinse out the filter, pour water slowly, and make sure the temperature while brewing is consistent. Use medium-coarse ground coffee.
Wait for precisely 4 minutes and 30 seconds, if brewing takes more time than that try using consistently ground coffee. To overcome coffee grind inconsistency problem, use a manual grinder, a manual grinder has always worked wonders for me.
Coffee made in a Chemex is less oily, thinner, smoother and basically less strong than a French press brew. If you like lighter, fruitier coffee that’s almost like a tea, Chemex is the best way for you to make coffee. Brewing by this method will let you actually taste the differences between coffees, taste more the blend and the coffee bean itself. If you are not into super into coffee, this is a great way to get yourself into coffee and acquire a taste. It’s an inexpensive way of making coffee; it’s been around since the 70’s.
The American press coffee is the boldest of all
An American press coffee brewer is kind of a self-contained Aeropress in a way, and I like it because it makes a very bold strong-tasting coffee. It’s suitable for making one decent size mug or maybe two smaller ones for sharing. The American press is made of a press basket, which is pretty unique because instead of putting your coffee at the bottom of the brewer, you actually put it inside the press basket. Each side of the press basket has a one hundred micron stainless steel mesh for filtering. Put your grounds on the inside close it up. The press basket has a little rubber seal to keep everything contained.
To start brewing, you will pour hot water, just below boiling into the brewer, as you brew slowly press the basket of ground coffee through the water. In fact, it not the steeping action that extracts the coffee but rather, the water that flows through the basket exact the coffee. It’s somehow similar to how an espresso machine or Moka pot extract coffee. I use medium ground coffee with an American press, but you can try other grind sizes to experiment with the taste. I recommend using three tablespoons of coffee for 300g of water. You can add less coffee if you are not into bold tasting coffee.
These are my three favorite ways to make coffee at home, and they are good but very different ways. I suggest you play with these brewing methods and adjust them according to your own personal taste.
Photo by Andreas Palmer