Coffee continues to be one of the most popular beverages in the world. Consumers in the UK are enjoying an estimated 70 million cups of coffee per day — which translates to a staggering 25 billion cups per year. Globally, more than 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year, which is a lot of cappuccinos!
Inventors and coffee drinkers are always finding new ways to brew a damn good cup of coffee. Some coffee drinkers are returning to older and unusual coffee brewing techniques to obtain a different flavor for their coffee. This article by the people at London-based Doppio Coffee Warehouse will show you some traditional coffee brewing techniques, and some that have been popular lately.
Traditional methods for brewing coffee
There are already many different ways to enjoy coffee. Most methods involve boiling, steeping, pressurizing, or filtering coffee. The most common coffee brewing techniques regularly in use include:
Turkish coffee (boiling)
One of the oldest ways to make coffee. Sugar and finely ground coffee are placed into a pot with water and brought to high heat (not boiled). It makes an intense and flavorsome cup of coffee.
This is the method most often used by coffee shops in the UK and other specialty coffee shops around the world. Espresso coffee is made by pushing hot water through tightly packed coffee at high pressure. An espresso machine is used to perform this task. It makes a very concentrated form of coffee with lots of aroma, flavor, and body.
French Press (steeping)
A simple method for making coffee that is often employed by coffee drinkers at home. Hot water and coffee are combined in a glass or plastic jar and left to steep. After a few minutes, a plunger is used to push the grounds to the bottom of the jar and coffee is poured out. It makes for a slightly milder and weaker brew, but it is still delicious.
Moka pot (pressure)
A Moka pot is a metal pot that contains three chambers. A bottom chamber that is filled with water, a middle chamber with coffee grounds and an empty top chamber. After it is placed on heat, the water boils and is pushed up through the coffee into the top chamber under pressure. The coffee is then poured from the top chamber. It uses about eight times less pressure than the average espresso machine.
Drip coffee (filtration)
This is a popular method for making coffee in the United States. Hot water is poured over coffee grounds and strained with a paper filter. The brew is quite strong and has high caffeine levels.
The latest techniques for brewing coffee
Here are some of the techniques that have been invented in recent years or have seen a resurgence in popularity.
The Aeropress has developed a cult following with some coffee drinkers! They love the simplicity and convenience of this small device. It is a 3-piece brewing tool including a plastic cylinder with a plunger (the Aeropress), paper Aeropress filters and an Aeropress stir stick.
The Aeropress device sits on top of a coffee cup. Coffee ground and hot water are placed into the top chamber and stirred. After a few seconds, the plunger is placed on top of the chamber and hand pressure is used to push the coffee through the filter in the bottom of the device. Your freshly brewed coffee comes through the filter into the cup below. It makes for a great-tasting coffee that is rich and full of flavor.
The Bee House Dripper (filtration)
This is a Japanese brewing technique that has seen a resurgence in popularity in the past couple of years. The Bee House Dripper is a ceramic device that sits on top of a vessel that collects the coffee. A filter is folded to fit the Bee House and put in place. Some hot water is run through the filter to remove the paper taste.
Coffee that is ground to a medium-fine level is placed on the filter. Hot water between 195 to 205 degrees is poured onto the coffee in the filter. At this point, the goal is to saturate the coffee with the least amount of water possible. This will let the coffee degas and develop some subtle flavors. This is the “bloom” component of the coffee making process.
After 30 to 45 seconds, more water is added in a circular pattern. It filters through the paper filter into the collection vessel. The result is a clean-tasting coffee similar to that of other filtration methods.
There are some other new filtration devices that work in a similar way, including:
- The Chemex
- The Hario V60 Dipper
- The Kalita Wave Dripper
- The Melitta Ready Set Joe Dripper
- The Clever Dripper
These devices have slightly different designs but essentially work in the same way.
The Vaccum Pot (steeping)
This method was developed in the late 19th-century but has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. It consists of two glass beakers and a stand. The top glass beaker can form a seal with the bottom beaker and has a glass tube that reaches into the bottom beaker.
Water is placed into the bottom beaker and brought to a boil with a small gas cooker. The top beaker is placed on top of the bottom beaker, at an angle while the water is boiling. Once the water has boiled, the top beaker is sealed, which draws water into the top beaker.
Heat is reduced, and coffee is added to the water in the top beaker. The coffee is left to steep for about 2 minutes. The heat level is manipulated to keep the brew in the top beaker without it boiling. The heat is then reduced, which relieves the pressure in the vessel, drawing coffee into the bottom beaker again. After a couple of minutes, the top beaker is removed, and the coffee is poured.
Cold Drip Brewing (filtration)
This is another old technique that has seen a resurgence in popularity recently. It is made by slowly dripping cold water through coarse coffee grounds for a long period — usually 10 hours or more. This technique results in a cup of coffee that is very strong and smooth. Cold brew coffee also benefits from having much less bitterness and acidity.
Nitrous Coffee (additive)
Nitrous coffee uses nitrogen gas to infuse the brew, making it very creamy and sweet. It is normally used in conjunction with cold brew coffee, which makes for a delicious brew with a luxurious mouthfeel.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to try a few different brewing techniques out; you will be surprised by how much they can change the flavor of your coffee!
Guest post by the team at Doppio Coffee Warehouse.