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Common Coffee Brewing Methods
There are many ways to brew coffee and it is important to know how to do each technique properly; brewing is a key factor in how your coffee tastes.
We will describe the most common ones:
French Press
As opposed to drip machines that only pass the water through the coffee and a filter, the French press, also known as a press pot, actually brews the coffee with the hot water. Then, a metal filter is pressed inside the pot and it traps all the coffee grinds. This method leaves the coffees oils and rich tastes and aromas. With the French press, you also have a lot of control. You can make the temperature of the water much hotter, it should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers can not reach. You can also control the amount of coffee you want to add to make it stronger. And also, you can control the brew time, which should be about 4 minutes. The French press is also extremely portable; you do not need electricity or lots of space, just hot water. An important tip to remember is to take out the coffee; do not leave it in with the grounds after it is brewed.
Vacuum Brewer
Like French presses, vacuum brewers make the coffee together with the hot water. However, these are not very common and are hard to find. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a thin tube with a small filter inside. Ground coffee is placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower. As the pot is heated, the water slowly rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber and begins to brew. Finally, the water is cooled and the coffee seeps back into the lower chamber through the tube, leaving the grounds behind. The top chamber is removed, and you can serve the coffee. These can be electric or stovetop.
The Toddy Maker
The toddy maker is an uncommon tool, which uses a cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. Then, the concentrate can be refrigerated and used to make one cup of coffee at a time, whenever you desire. This method is exceptional for coffee drinkers with stomach problems because the resulting coffee is very low-acid. However, this method does take a great deal of time because the water is cold. Plan to brew over night for multiple cups of great tasting coffee!
Drip Grind with a Permanent Filter
Permanent filters are superior to one-time-use filters because they let more of the coffee taste in. Permanent filters allow for more liquid (as well as aromatic oils) to pass through, and the end result is more flavorful. Look for gold plated filters because they do not leave a metallic after-taste.
Drip Grind with a Paper Filter
Paper filter coffee brewing is very quick and efficient, but it clearly produces the worst tasting coffee. If you are a person who has never had their coffee brewed another way, buy a French press and experience the difference!