Coffee Brewing Methods: The Best Ways To Brew Coffee At Home
From pour over to cold brew, there’s a coffee brewing method for everyone's unique tastes and preferences.
But, with so many ways to brew coffee at home, it can be hard to know which method is right for you.
In this post, we'll review the coffee brewing methods that we believe produce the best and most consistent results for the at-home coffee brewer.
So grab your favorite beans and let's get brewing!
Our Favorite Methods For Brewing Coffee At Home
For each method we recommend, we'll share the basics of how the method works, why we recommend it, what types of coffee roasts work best with it, notes on the best grind for your beans, and any speciality equipment that is required.
Pro Tip: Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to store your coffee beans properly for peak freshness!
Pour Over Method (Our Top Choice)
One of the classic and most common ways to make coffee is the pour over method.
In this method, coffee grounds are put into a paper filter that lines a plastic, metal, or ceramic cone dripper. The dripper is then placed over a carafe, decanter, or coffee mug. Hot water is manually poured over the coffee grinds in concentric circles to evenly extract the coffee as it drips into the carafe below.
Why We Recommend Pour Over Coffee
We recommend pour over coffee because it allows for even and controlled extraction of all of the coffee grinds, whereas using a drip coffee maker doesn’t give you that control over extraction.
If you are trying to get a true taste of a single origin coffee, then there is no better method than pour over. Once mastered, its process allows you to pull out subtle and distinct tasting notes from across the world.
Required Equipment For Pour Over Coffee
If you are just getting started, you can purchase various inexpensive cone drippers, and use any mug you have at home as your decanter.
We recommend using a Chemex carafe or V60 dripper. They are affordable, can last a lifetime, and are a must-have piece of equipment for any at-home barista.
Shop Now: Check out our Chemex Collection
We recommend a gooseneck kettle for easily controlling your manual pour, and ensuring even extraction of all the grinds.
Suggested Grind For Pour Over Coffee
Aim for medium coarse grounds about the size of kosher sea salt. If you have coffee that is too finely ground the water can "over-extract" the flavor, resulting in a coffee that is too bitter for most people's preferences.
French Press Method
This method could arguably be named the "European Method" given the somewhat tenuous debate over its history and origins.
While the method does date back to a Frenchmen in the 1850s, the most common designs of French Presses we see on the market today were patented by an Italian man in 1928 and a Swiss man in 1958.
Regardless of who invented it and when, the French Press is an immersion method of brewing where the grounds are soaked in hot water and then strained/pressed through a fine mesh strainer. This is a great choice for medium to dark roasts coffees.
Why We Recommend The French Press Method
The French Press brew process is beloved for so many reasons. It is easy to master, releases an abundance of natural oils into the brew, and the brewing device also doubles as the serving carafe.
Required Equipment For French Press Coffee
This goes without saying, but we are saying it anyways...it requires a French Press. They come in a variety of sizes with the most common being 4 cups or 0.5 liters.
Suggested Grind For French Press Coffee
We recommend grinding your coffee slightly coarser than you would for drip coffee. Without a paper filter, too fine grinds will settle into a sediment in your cup of joe.
When buying our coffee online simply choose the French Press option, or when picking up a bag at our cafes, ask for it “French Press ground” and we'll take it from there!
Cold Brew Method
No method has risen to fame in recent years quite like Cold Brew. Some even say it is the drink that defines an entire generation.
To be clear though, Cold Brew coffee and Iced Coffee are not the same things.
Iced Coffee is any coffee that is served cold, whereas Cold Brew coffee was brewed cold.
So, if you brew hot drip coffee in the morning and then serve it over ice in the afternoon that doesn't make it Cold Brew.
Cold Brew is yet another immersion brew method, but uses room temperature water rather than hot for the immersion process. And rather than a quick immersion, Cold Brew uses a slow process lasting anywhere from a few hours to overnight. It is great with medium to medium-dark roasts.
Why We Recommend The Cold Brew Method
We love it because it tastes amazing and results in such a unique texture and flavor profile compared to more traditional methods.
Required Equipment For Cold Brew At Home
This is a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. If you are just getting started you can use a mason jar and coffee filters to create a DIY cold brew station. Or you could use your existing French Press, if you happen to have one.
For more advanced brewers, there are automated brewing devices, dedicated cold brew filters, and even cold brew bottles that brew and serve all in one.
Recommended Grind For Cold Brew
Use a very coarse grind size to ensure that your grinds don’t over extract in the several hours they are steeping.
Drip Coffeemaker Method
And last but not least is the good ole' drip coffee maker that has been a staple in American homes for nearly a century. Perfect for medium roast and breakfast blends.
This process is how most of us first learned to brew coffee and it utilizes a dedicated kitchen appliance that attempts to mimic the pour over method.
Why We Recommend Drip Coffeemakers
The reasons this became the most common method of brewing coffee are the same reasons we’d include it on any list of top coffee brewing methods…it is quick, easy, and produces a cup of coffee with amazingly consistent results.
Required Equipment For Drip Coffee
You'll need a coffee maker (take your pick!) and some filters.
Recommended Grind For Drip Coffee
Use the same grind size you would for a pourover; a medium grind size will lead to very balanced extraction with this brew method.
Other Methods of Brewing Coffee
While we recommend starting with one of the methods above, there are many other methods for brewing coffee, and we've included a few of the more popular here to round out our list.
The Siphon Method is another immersion method of brewing that involves the use of a glass device called a "siphon."
Water is first placed into a bulb at the bottom of the device where it is heated to a boiling temperature via a flame (or other heating device) placed beneath the siphon.
That water then percolates up to the upper chamber and once it reaches the right temperature the coffee grounds are added.
After a quick stir, the grounds are left to rest and the water from the top chamber slowly filters its way back down to the original lower bulb.
Cowboy Coffee Method
This is about as basic of a process as it gets. Simply add coarsely ground coffee to a pot of boiling water. Let it simmer for a few minutes before removing the pot from the heat. Whether you attempt to filter the final product is up to you. Pour yourself a cup and ride off into the sunset.
Turkish Coffee Method
This process is uniquely Turkish and requires the use of a "cezve", which is a type of long-handled pot. The process combines coffee grounds with sugar, and the brew is boiled until it is foaming and full of froth.
Nitrous Coffee Method
Due to the vast amount of specialized equipment required for this method, this type of coffee is best left to the professionals. The base coffee brew is infused with nitrous oxide which gives it a distinct creamy and luscious texture.
The ritual of brewing coffee is almost as sacred as the cup of joe it produces, but regardless of the method you choose, be sure you start with high quality beans from a reputable roaster.