There are a multitude of ways to brew coffee and this article isn’t meant to be exhaustive. Below I’ll highlight a few common brewing methods along with recipes for each type.
Pourover – you’ll need a cone and paper filters $
Pourover is probably the most approachable method and therefore one of the more common brewing methods. It produces a very clean cup of coffee as the paper filter is able to pull most non solubles and fats from the steeping coffee as it is filtered into your cup.
Ground coffee – medium fine is a good starting point with grounds about the size of table salt or a bit coarser.
Try starting with 20 grams of coffee or about 4 tablespoons.
Hot water – water between 195 to 212° or just off a boil.
Technique – place your cone over a large coffee mug and insert your filter. Rinse your filter with hot water and dump out this water, or taste it to see what paper filters taste like. Next, add water until your grounds are saturated. Feel free to agitate with a spoon. Once the bloom has subsided, add hot water until the large cup is full. Using a 15:1 ratio, you would be looking for about 300 grams of brewed coffee. Feel free to adjust this ratio for a stronger or weaker cup.
The being process should last about 2:30 minutes. If it goes faster, try grinding your coffee finer. If it goes too slowly, use a coarser grind.
French Press – you’ll need a french press. $$
French press is a very popular and very easy method of brewing coffee where the hardest part is probably the clean up afterward. This method produces a very full bodied cup as the stainless mesh filter cannot pull as many non solubles out of the coffee. You’ll note there is an oily surface on your coffee, which is normal as this method cannot filter out as much of the coffee fats.
Ground coffee: the french press requires a medium coarse grind akin to beach sand. If the grind is too fine, you’ll likely choke your filter and pushing too hard on the press could result in quite a mess.
Try starting with 30 grams of coffee, or about 6 tablespoons of ground coffee. Add the grounds to the carafe without the plunger in place.
Water: Add 500 grams or about 2 cups of boiling water. Insert the filter and lid over top of the coffee bed, which should have floated to the to of the carafe. Try not to press the coffee bed down and feel free to sit the carafe with a swirling motion.
Technique: let the water sit for 3 minutes and then press the plunger slowly until all coffee is separated from the brewers coffee. Or and enjoy!
Aeropress – you’ll need an Aeropress $$$
The Aeropress is my absolute favorite way to make a single cup of coffee and is an extremely versatile method as you can use paper filters for a cleaner cup or a reuseable stainless filter for a fuller bodied cup. Aftermarket vendors even make “espresso” filters that hope to simulate a cup of espresso and while they can help produce a much stronger cup of coffee, you’ll never reach the pressures needed to produce a true cup of espresso.
Ground coffee – 15 grams or 3 1/2 tbsp medium ground coffee
Water – 175 grams boiling water or about 3/4 cups
Technique – there are a few techniques, but I like to set the plunger upside down and barely insert the brew cylinder over top, forming a seal at the bottom of the brew chamber. Then, add your ground coffee and your boiling water. Stir for 10s and add water until the chamber is full. Next, add your cap with filter (best if you’ve rinsed it). Let steep for 1 minute. Carefully turn the Aeropress over and place on your cup. Apply pressure until all coffee has exited the brew chamber. Remove Aeropress and enjoy your coffee!