How do you Brew?
Coffee. The brew we love so much. Have you ever wondered how the first person discovered the heavenly gift that is coffee? We have, but how coffee went from a cherry like fruit on a tree in Ethiopia to the multi billion dollar industry of today is a story for another time. Seriously though, how much thought have you given to your coffee brewer?
The earliest reliably documented method of brewing coffee dates to roughly 500 years ago and is credited to the Turkish, who used a mortar and pestle to crush roasted beans to be boiled in a tin called an Ibrik. Not much has changed to today for this method of brewing. Hey if it isn't broke don’t fix it, right?
Today we have a dizzying array of ways to make coffee. Manual, automatic, drip, percolate, cold brewed, french-press, pour-over, aeropress, centrifusion, single serve pod, instant, espresso, infusion, cowboy, nitro, steeped. From the press of a button to an elaborate siphon.
Things can get overwhelming really quick. Grab yourself a cup, drop your brew method of choice below in the comments and settle in while we help break it all down.
Basically all brew methods boil down to 4 main categories (see what we did there ;) ) that are categorized by the way the coffee is extracted. In other words, how the water passes through the coffee grinds.
The 4 main brewing categories are: Decoction, Infusion, Gravitational Feed and Pressurized.
1) Decoction. This is extraction by boiling and is used in Turkish and Ethiopian Coffee Culture.
Click the link below to see us pouring from a traditional Ethiopian Jebena as we compete for cold brew champion at the 2022 NYC CoffeeFest.
2) Infusion. This is extraction by steeping. Steeping is a brew method most commonly associated with tea, however, cold brewing coffee by steeping is a phenomenon taking the coffee world by storm.
3)Gravity. Gravitational extraction includes percolation (like grandma's stovetop coffee maker with the floral patterns) and drip (the coffee method so popular they call it Mr.) Drip is broken into two subcategories consisting of manual and automatic.
4) Pressurized. Extraction by forced water as in espresso.
Now that we are all brushed up on the basics of coffee brewing techniques, let’s dive a little deeper into a couple popular brew methods. As fellow coffee lovers we recognize that you likely already have your preferred method to brew. Although we would almost never turn down a cup brewed by any method, should you like to step up your coffee game and get the most out of your coffee we recommend using the manual pour over method such as a Ceramic Coffee Dripper. This is especially true if you are using high quality specialty grade coffee, such as our Organic Espresso blend (which may be used for any of the brew methods mentioned in this article) .
The two methods that we will focus on in part 1 of our Brew methods blog are both listed under the Specialty Coffee Association’s protocols for best brewing methods. With all things in our practice, Coffee Culture Revival follows the standards set by this world renowned Coffee Authority. You can see more here
Let’s first look at the infusion method. Infusion techniques include instant coffee, cold brew, siphon pot and french press. We are going to focus today on the french press.
For most, the french press is a familiar way to brew coffee. Our brew method of choice in our college days was the french press and once in a while we still enjoy a cup made this way. A considerable step up from instant coffee, two infusion methods with vastly different tastes and mouthfeel.
A french press brewer makes use of a glass or stainless pitcher to steep grinds. The grinds are placed in the bottom of the pitcher and boiling water is added. A coarse ground coffee is best for this brew method as a fine or medium grind will often leave a sludge like residue or even grinds in your cup. After steeping for about 3 to 5 minutes a plunger is used to press the grinds down which filters the brew through a fine metal filter. The resulting brew is a full-bodied coffee that is served straight from the pitcher. Typically makes enough for pouring 3 cups.
- Accessible, user friendly
- Often stylish
- Wide range of price points
- Economical use of coffee
- Eco-friendly without the use of filters or “pods” and absent of plastic
- Can produce more coffee in a decent amount of time
- Must be consumed immediately
- Difficult to clean grounds
- Heavy residue/ grinds in coffee due to filter design
- Lack of paper filter may be associated with higher levels of cafestol the chemical that is associated with the cholesterol causing aspect in coffee
- Must drink immediately with no thermal property
The next brew method we chose to highlight in this article is gravitational feed or drip.
There are many different styles of drip brewers. Drip coffee brewers can be automatic or manual and include, percolator, autodrip, chemex, cleaver and pour over drippers. Water is passed or poured through a bed of coffee grinds and gravity extracts the brew to the cup or carafe below as it passes through.
Our focus today is the manual pour over dripper. Many industry professionals select this method of brewing as the best for highlighting flavor. This method can seem intimidating to start ,but it actually is very forgiving even for a beginner. You will soon be pouring like a pro.
A #4 paper cone filter sits inside your dripper. The dripper then sits on top of your cup. The goal then is to evenly wet the coffee grounds and work your way in concentric circles around the grounds with your kettle pour. The aim is to complete your pour from beginning to end within three minutes. You can watch our how to video here>
The pour-over dripper is one of the oldest brew methods in the modern world. Designed by Melitta Bentz to remove the bitterness often associated with infusion coffee methods. Pour-overs come in a wide range of materials from glass to metal to ceramic. Coffee Culture Revival uses a bee-hive style Ceramic Coffee Dripper .
Their simplistic, elegant and functional design makes coffee making fun, fail proof and functional.
Use code: brewblog at check out for 5$ off your ceramic dripper.
- Dripper Can last forever. No need to ever buy another brewer again.
- Clean, smooth, full flavor coffee
- Single serve
- No waste
- Doesn't take up space on counter
- No fail tasty coffee
- Wide range of price points and styles
- Beauty and function
- Uses more coffee to brew a cup
- Must be attentive to process
Whatever method you use to brew your coffee, remember it can only be as good as the coffee you use. In a society that values convenience and speed, we encourage you to take time to unplug a moment while you enjoy a good cup of coffee before heading out into the fast paced hub bub of our modern throw away world.
Cheers Coffee friends.
Your roaster and fellow coffee lover,