The Best Way to Make Coffee At Home
Okay, so spoiler alert, the best way to make coffee at home isn't with instant coffee. It's also not with a fancy coffee pod machine. At least we don't think so. These might be the easiest ways to make coffee at home, but with a little skill and practice, you can quickly master more sophisticated methods!
There's a lot that goes into brewing coffee. Or, at least, there's a lot that goes into making good coffee. You need good beans, you need a good roast, and you need to know which method of preparation you prefer. Are you a French press lover, or are you more suited to a Moka pot? What about an Aeropress, or the simple pour-over coffee maker?
Is one method actually better than another? Either way, with a good gooseneck kettle and some freshly ground beans, you can make some beautiful brews at home!
To help you out, here's our investigation into the best way to make coffee at home!
How many ways are there to brew coffee?
We expect you've already noticed, but there are a ton of ways to make coffee. The list of coffee brewing methods out there is as long as the number of coffee stores across the USA, and new methods are popping up all of the time.
Coffee connoisseurs will already have their favorite brewing methods of coffee. Still, for the uninitiated, it's a caffeinated minefield of Moka pots and coffee drips, and it's challenging to know which is the best brewing method for you.
The first thing to remember is that coffee is very personal. Everyone loves their own brew in its own way. There's no right or wrong way to make coffee, but at home, you can make it the way you want to. With that being said, though, we are confident that instant coffee will always lose out to a pour-over!
There are so many different ways to brew coffee at home, but these many methods will generally fall into four broad categories, which can be classified in the following ways:
- Decoction (boiling water added to coffee.)
- Infusion (coffee grounds are 'steeped' like a teabag.)
- Gravity (coffee is 'dripped.')
- Pressurized percolation (steam pressure, as seen in a Moka pot.)
What makes for the best brews of coffee?
These main methods are used in a variety of ways, from Moka pots through to coffee makers, producing distinctive tastes, flavors, and strengths of coffee (and honestly, it's hard to say if one is better than the other!)
Is there really a 'best way to brew coffee'? Probably not. Although die-hard coffee fans will undoubtedly tell you there is. The deciding factors are down to personal to taste and preference.
Some people prefer weak coffee; others prefer a strong shot of espresso. If there really were one 'best way', there wouldn't be so many options at your local coffee shop!
There are, however, certain aspects that you can control to ensure that you get the best cup of coffee that you can. While the method of brewing the coffee is essential, it's also important that you pick the best beans and the best roasts. There several factors that can affect the overall quality and taste of your brew, including the following:
- The ratio of water to coffee (The 'Golden Ratio' is recommended at 2 tbsp of coffee to 6 oz of water.)
- The quality and type of coffee beans.
- The quality, length, and style of the roasting.
- How long ago the beans were roasted.
- Type of grinding (finely ground, coarsely ground, hand-ground, machine-ground, for example.)
Types of coffee making
The drip machine is the classic coffee brewing method that you'll find in many American households. Drip machines make coffee brewing easy, as all you do is load your coffee grounds into the filter, top up the water, and switch on the appliance. The hot water is slowly dripped over the grounds and filtered down into the coffee pot waiting below.
The pour-over method is a more meticulous version of the drip machine. The same principles apply, but it's all done by hand. You need to measure out your coffee and water and boil the water in a coffee kettle.
Then, simply pour the hot water over your coffee grounds and filter them through a paper filter into the cup below.
A French press is a classic kitchen staple, and it's one of the most traditional methods of coffee brewing. You add your coffee grounds to the bottom of the press and then press the hot water through the grounds to release the flavor and caffeine.
The Aeropress is a modern take on the French press, employing a similar, more streamlined concept that creates a beautiful brew. This option uses pressure to produce a perfect cup of coffee, whereas the French press relies mostly on immersion of the coffee grounds for a deep smooth flavor.
The Aeropress was perfected by scientists looking to improve the art of brewing, and they've gotten pretty close, in our opinion!
The Moka pot is a stylish two-layered pot used on a stovetop. Place your coffee in the holder above the water, and as the water heats up, it becomes pressurized and is forced up through the coffee grounds in the layer above.
The result is a delicious, bold espresso.
A cold-brew takes time and patience, and you have to enjoy a cold coffee to get behind this method.
Cold-brews allow the flavor to slowly diffuse from the beans to the water, because you leave them for at least 6 hours in the cold water to slowly, slowly brew.
How much coffee per cup?
The ratios will vary depending on your personal preference. Stronger coffee will require more coffee per cup, in general, or less water.
The Golden Ratio is 2 tbsp of coffee grounds for every 6 oz of water.
What takes the bitterness out of coffee?
Add a pinch of salt into the brew before you drink it to counteract the bitterness in your coffee.
Some coffee drinkers love bitter coffee while others hate it. The bitterness is related to the length of time the bean has been roasted and at what temperatures.
Beans that are roasted for longer, with hotter flames, will produce a much more bitter flavor when they are brewed up later down the line. If you get the ratios all messed up and wind up with a higher coffee to water ratio or if you leave the coffee to brew too long, you will end up with bitter coffee.
What's the healthiest way to brew coffee?
Scientific studies are always highlighting new and intriguing results when it comes to the health benefits or risks of drinking coffee.
Studies have shown in the past that drinking unfiltered coffee was linked to a higher mortality rate in men ages 60 and up due to the added risk of cardiovascular disease. Filtered coffee, however, proved to be the healthier option.
If you are watching your calories, leave out the cream and sugar. Drinking black coffee instead of adding cream and sugar will lower the calorie count (an espresso will always have fewer calories than a milky latte, for instance.) Drinking stronger and more caffeinated coffee can raise your heart rate, which for people with certain health conditions can be dangerous.
How can I make better coffee at home?
You can start brewing tastier coffee at home by identifying which style of coffee you prefer most. That way, you can narrow down which method of brewing works best, and then refine your brewing techniques.
Start using a coffee kettle to get the water temperature just right. Use scales or measuring cups to get quantities exact, and experiment to get the flavor you love the most- brewing coffee is more of a science than an art.
Making better coffee at home also involves choosing quality beans at the shops, or perhaps even ordering specific beans from local farmers. Once you gain a little more knowledge with the actual beans, you can then begin to look at how they are picked, sorted, and roasted, and what flavor they are likely to give off when brewed.
So, what method makes the best coffee?
So, you've reached the end of the article. You're probably wondering if there's a definitive answer to the question: what method makes the best coffee?
After our research, we've learned there isn't a right or wrong answer; it's going to come down to personal taste and preference. You're going to need to do a bit of experimenting too, to find out which method you prefer.
There are situations, however, where one method is most likely going to be better than the other. Here are our final recommendations for the different techniques of brewing coffee that we discussed above:
- Drip machine: The best method of brewing if you're in a rush, feeling lazy, or just aren't interested in trying anything else. Drip coffee is classic, and it's foolproof.
- Pour-over: Best method for meticulous coffee lovers who enjoy weighing and measuring specific quantities of coffee. You're also not in a rush!
- French press: Perfect for anyone who likes a fresh press now and again, but doesn't want to invest in a drip machine.
- Aeropress: Fantastic for anyone looking to try a futuristic style of coffee brewing. Only suitable for one cup at a time, though!
- Moka pot: The only choice if you're after a strong espresso.
- Cold-brew: For anyone that has plenty of time on their hands, a lot of patience, and loves their coffee to be cold.
- Instant coffee: The last resort for anyone that knows anything about making coffee.
There it is, our final analysis of the best ways to make coffee at home! Do you agree with our conclusions? Why not bookmark our helpful guide for your next coffee brewing experiment?
Care to learn more? Check out our pour over vs french press article!
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