...and one you should probably avoid... How to pick the right brew method for your home.
Ahhhh, coffee. It wakes you up in the morning, keeps you going in the afternoon, and, if you’re anything like us, it allows you to form full sentences. When you truly love coffee, you’ll do almost anything to find the perfect cup. Which leads to questions and concerns about the best methods for brewing. We’ll let you in on a little secret – here at Bean Box, we truly believe that the best way to make coffee is the method that works best for you. That being said, here are 3 of our favorite ways to get our brew on - and one that you should only try when you’re truly desperate.
The old standby. We’re all familiar with drip-brewed coffee - whether you’re still using that old Mr. Coffee you got as a housewarming gift when you finally got your own place, or you’ve upgraded to something a bit nicer (see Bean Box recommendations on coffee brewers) - the process is simple. You pour water into the reservoir of your coffee maker and your grounds into the filter. Once you turn on the machine, the water heats up and flows into and through the coffee grounds. The end result - liquid gold that keeps you moving - drips into the carafe or cup below.
For most coffee drinkers, especially those that need their fix to be fully automated and ready to go as soon as they hop out of bed in the morning, the drip method is best because of it’s convenience and ease of use. Most brewers have a timer so you can set it and forget it, waking up to the best smell known to humankind.
While the drip method may be known for being easy and convenient, using a French press isn’t exactly difficult. Pour coarse ground coffee into the bottom of the carafe, followed by nearly boiling water. Note: Boil your water and then let it cool slightly before pouring it over the grounds to get the perfect temperature. After allowing it to sit and steep for a few minutes (we think 4 minutes is close to the perfect amount of time), slowly press the plunger down so that the water and the grounds can separate. What’s left is pure happiness.
Brewing your coffee in a French press may feel like it takes longer (especially if it’s your first cup of the day) but it really only takes a few minutes and the results may surprise you. Because the water and coffee grounds stay in contact the whole time, you get a thicker, richer flavor. If you like your cup a bit on the bolder side, this may be the best way to make coffee for your tastes. The oil in the coffee is extracted more readily and the taste is amazing. See our best French press coffees.
If you think that the perfect pour over can only be achieved by the mustachioed barista at your favorite coffee shop, think again. Like using the French press, it only seems complicated. In it’s simplest form, you’ll place a filter over a carafe or mug. Into the filter, add your ground coffee and then pour in a little hot water in a circular path around the grounds to allow the coffee grounds to “bloom” - a release of gas that occurs when hot water meets coffee grounds. You only want to use enough water to get the grounds wet. Let it sit for a minute or so and then slowly add the rest of the water to begin the brewing process. The next step is really easy. Wait. As the water makes it’s way through the ground coffee, deliciousness will drip out into the carafe below.
The pour over method of brewing coffee is one of the best ways to make coffee part of your morning ritual - assuming you’ve got a couple of extra minutes on your hands. Slowly pouring the water and watching the grounds bloom - it can make your first cup of the day quite the Zen-like experience! Unlike the French press method, your coffee won’t be quite as strong, but it will still have a full-bodied flavor you’ll enjoy. You also won’t have to deal with grit like you sometimes do with a French press so it’ll be a smoother cup, too. See our best pour over coffees.
Cowboy Method - Only for the Truly Desperate (well…not really)
Pouring over, pressing, remembering to set the timer on your Mr. Coffee - when you’re barely awake, that might all seem too complicated. If the other methods are just too much for you, you can always try the Cowboy Method. Throw a handful of grounds into hot water and stir. No fancy equipment required, and all that grit gives you something to chew on later. Think of it as a snack. Now you know why cowboys walk around with toothpicks or hay in their mouth all day.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you brew your coffee. Go for convenience with drip. Make sure you get a great robust cup from your French press. Pretend you’re in a coffee shop (without the coffee shop price) and treat yourself to a pour over. No matter how you make your coffee, if you start with great beans, you’re guaranteed a great cup of coffee.