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A Variety of Ways to Brew Coffee

Posted By: Aabree Coffee
Posted At: Nov 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Related Categories: Coffee Guides

Brewing coffee has come a long way since Cowboy Pots and Parisian Percolators. There are so many ways to brew and enjoy coffee nowadays thanks to a variety of brewing methods. Whether it's with a traditional drip or vacuum pot, stovetop or French press - brewing coffee is anything but run-of-the-mill. Coffee lovers have an almost endless variety of roasts and grinds to choose from - as well as several ways to brew the delectable drink, depending on your individual taste.

 
Drip Coffeemakers

The most common way to brew coffee is with a traditional drip coffeemaker. This tried and true method brews great tasting coffee if used in conjunction with somewhat coarsely ground, good quality coffee beans.

Drip Coffeemakers With most drip coffeemakers there is an internal heating element that brings the water to the ideal brewing temperature of 196-204°. The near-boiling water is then to some extent evenly distributed over the coffee grounds that are contained in either a paper or gold-tone filter basket. Depending on the size of your pot, a drip coffeemaker can take up to 10 minutes to brew.

Many drip coffeemakers have features like automatic timers and partial pot brewing settings – allowing you to program your brewing times as well as control the quantity. Features like these are indispensable for those on the go!

And several machines on the market come equipped with stainless steel carafes, rather than the traditional glass carafes, which keep fresh brewed coffee hot for hours.

Drip coffeemakers are ideal for those of us who have become accustomed to purchasing pre-ground coffee and enjoy the familiarity of a traditional coffeemaker.

 
Vacuum Style Coffeemakers

Many coffee connoisseurs agree - coffee brewed with a vacuum style coffeemaker tastes noticeably different. Is it because of the brewing style? Yes!

Vacuum Style CoffeemakersA vacuum style coffeemaker utilizes steam and vacuum pressure to brew at the ideal temperature. W ater is heated rapidly in the lower chamber by either an internal or external heat source. Once boiling is complete, the water is forced into the upper chamber where the medium ground coffee is contained. The heated water will infuse with the coffee grounds for several minutes before it returns to the lower chamber through the siphon using gravity. Once all the coffee returns to the lower chamber, separate the two pots and use the lower pot for serving.

Many of the vacuum style coffeemakers come equipped with a hot plate – which will keep your coffee hot, as well as an automatic timer. In addition to being a conversation piece, the vacuum style coffeemaker brews with renowned accuracy – so your coffee is full of aroma and flavor.

 
Stovetop Coffeemakers

Cousin to the vacuum style coffeemaker, the stovetop is making a resurgence - popping up in kitchens everywhere! These eye-catching pots have the familiar two chamber brewing system with an internal siphon.

Stovetop CoffeemakersBut unlike the vacuum pot, the lower chamber on the stovetop holds both the water and coffee grounds in a small basket.

To brew a thick, rich pot of coffee, start with grounds that are somewhat finely ground. As you heat the water and grounds together on the stovetop, the blend is siphoned from the lower chamber through the metal filter and into the top chamber.

Because many of the stovetop coffeemakers are made with 18/10 stainless steel, they retain heat very well. The stovetop has been a staple in Italian kitchens for years because of its resilience and ability to brew delicious tasting coffee easily.

 
French Press

Also known as a cafetière , the French press was developed to simply produce some of the richest coffee imaginable.

To make coffee using the French press, just fill the glass, plastic or stainless steel cylinder with coarsely ground coffee – a good guide is one tablespoon for every cup of hot water. The water you add to the cylinder should be just about boiling; then let it steep for roughly three to five minutes depending on your personal preference. Push the plunger down and the wire mesh filter will force the grounds to the bottom – separating them from the liquid and produce some of the most robust coffee around.

While all of these brewing methods have the ability to make delicious coffee, each have a specific grind that enhances the flavor. For instance, with a drip coffeemaker, a medium grind produces the optimum flavor - anything else would be too strong. The filter on the vacuum pot and stovetop allows for a finer grind, producing a smoother taste. While a French press requires a coarser grind to prevent any sediment from forming - giving you a truly bold taste.

 
Flavor and Taste Comparison Chart

There are many elements that, with time, you can adjust to your own personal preference. Whether it is the bean, the grind or the brewing style - the object is to find a method that works for you.

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