Brewing the Perfect Gourmet Coffee
Your quest for finding the best coffee brewing method is not an easy job, because all coffee preparation methods have their individuality. To say that espresso is better than Turkish is just wrong. If you ask someone from the Middle East, or from the Eastern Europe, they’ll say that Turkish coffee is the best. If you ask a drip coffee lover, they’ll say Turkish is really bad, and espresso is too strong. So it’s really a very subjective matter. To make things even more complicated, the coffee roast will make a huge difference. The same brewing method will give you very different cups of coffee with different roasts. It takes a few days to a week to get used to a new roast, or a new coffee beans variety. But once you get used to it, it’s hard to get back to the old one. This show how subjective is coffee taste.
A perfect coffee cup is a mix of various choices about the right coffee beans, the appropriate roast, the perfect grind, and the preferred coffee brewing method. Coffee perfection is a lot about preference and preference implies choice. I am a coffee lover. Does this make me a coffee connoisseur? Maybe not, but I made a lot of research about coffee because I love to drink a good cup in the morning. A day started with a bad cup of coffee can change my mood and productivity.
There are many ways to brew coffee. People choose their own way of preparation, depending on culture, habits, personal taste and convenience. I will present you a few of my favorite ways of brewing, and some interesting facts about coffee. It will be up to you to choose the method of preparing coffee that works best for you.
Espresso is a specially brewed coffee using a method of pushing hot water, though not boiled, through a layer of finely ground coffee. The water is pushed with a high pressure extracting the caffeine and natural oils. Some of the natural oils in the coffee are responsible for the flavours giving the espresso its distinctive richness and strength.
Espresso brewing method, contrary to a popular believe, is not stronger than a regular coffee. The same amount of coffee used for a drip coffee makes a stronger coffee. Because of its concentration though, espresso seems to contain a lot of caffeine. Espresso is the base for many popular coffee beverages such as Cappuccino, Mocha Coffee, etc…
The advantage of the drip coffee machines is the facility in operation. To make coffee is very easy, is very clean and it is fairly easy to control the strength of the coffee.The disadvantage is that the drip coffee doesn’t have the full range of the flavours and oils that make a coffee a great coffee. Also it is complicated to brew fresh coffee for one person. The reason is the paper filter. Paper filter is extremely dense and it will filter out all of the oils that give coffee its great flavor. Caffeine content is not affected though.The new trend in drip coffee makers is the one cup coffee makers. These are way better than the regular coffee makers allowing a fresh coffee to be obtained at anytime.
Single Cup Coffee Makers
Single Cup Coffee Brewers are the greatest invention after Espresso. They are great additions to any personal or office kitchen. Whether you are an Espresso enthusiast, or a drip coffee addicted, or a cappuccino lover, there is a machine that does it for you. I am still waiting for one to brew me a Turkish coffee, LOL.
Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker
Bonavita is one of the best drip coffee machines on the market. It is more expensive than your regular coffee maker, but it is designed to brew your coffee to perfection. When someone asks me what drip coffee machine I would recommend them, the first two that come into my mind are Bonavita and Technivorm, but Technivorm is twice as much as expensive.
The Bonavita brewing system has a powerful 1400W heater, so water gets very fast to the right temperature, and it can be maintained easily. It has a shower head to ensure a complete saturation of the coffee grinds. Bonavita is engineered in Germany, aiming for the greatest precision for brewing temperature, and time. With a 2 year warranty, you are sure you are not buying a lemon.
Before the popularization of the coffee machine people drank coffee. How did they brew it? Turkish coffee is a simple method that will enhance your drinking coffee experience. Turkish coffee is the favorite way of making coffee in Eastern Europe, and Indonesia. It is also called cowboy coffee, or sometimes mountain coffee. What you need:
- stove or microwave, (or hot water),
- finely ground coffee, (the finer ground the better), the Turkish grind is recommended,
- optionally sugar and milk and
- a recipient such as a deep pan or an ibrik. Ibrik is a specially designed pot for the preparation of coffee and tea.
The preparation consists in bringing the water, ground coffee, and sugar to a boil, one or more times. Then the brew is poured in little cups without filtering. The grinds will eventually settle at the bottom, leaving a clean cup, as long as you don’t drink the last two sips.
If you want to try this brewing method, here is a complete tutorial: How To Make Turkish Coffee.
Ibrik – Turkish Coffee Pot
A beautiful, copper, hand-made in Turkey. Each ibrik is hammered into shape by artisans in Turkey, and then polished for a nice finish. If you are a coffee lover, this ibrik will greatly improve your daily coffee experience. Wooden handles will protect from the heat as you make your coffee. They are tin lined inside for durability and ease of cleaning. The pots are made from thick copper, which ensures a long life, and the proper heat transfer/retention.
French Press Coffee Pot
French press coffee pot is a glass pitcher with a plunger. You place the ground coffee in the pitcher, pour hot water over the coffee, give the grounds a stir, push the plunger just a half of inch so that the ground coffee is covered with water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then push the plunger down to separate the ground coffee from the water.This method gives a better control of the brewing process and the result is a flavourful coffee.This method works with finely ground beans. For hot coffee the grounds need to be more coarse and to reduce the infusion time. You also need to adjust the coffee beans amount.
Check our French pot brewing page for a detailed tutorial.
Bodum Brazil – 8-cup French Press
The French press is the perfect choice for extracting coffee’s aromatic oils and subtle flavors. This Bodum Brazil 8 cup press pot is made with a borosilicate glass, which is thermoresistant. Many other press pots on the market are made from regular glass, which breaks easily at high temperature changes, such as pouring hot water too fast. The steel mesh filter is perfectly fit on the beaker, and it is not flimsy as other products. This ensures a perfect filtration, with no grinds getting into your coffee. The lid is made from PBA free plastic, and it is excellent at keeping the water hot during brewing, for a better extraction. This is a great inexpensive device that will fulfill your strong coffee needs.
For a side by side comparison between four stainless steel French pot coffee makers, check our article.
Aeropress Coffee – Cheap Espresso-like brewing – The Best Coffee for Sensitive Stomach
AeroPress coffee tastes great because the ground coffee is totally immersed in the hot water, resulting in fast extraction of the flavor and aromatic oils. The AeroPress method shortens brew time, avoiding the bitterness created by slower methods.
The acid level of AeroPress brew is much less than other methods, due to the shorter brew time. Laboratory testing measured AeroPress coffee as having under a fifth of the acid generated by regular drip coffee makers. AeroPress brew is more friendly to stomach.
Using the ideal water temperature and gentle air pressure brewing yields rich flavor with lower acidity and without bitterness.
Total immersion brewing results in uniform extraction of the ultimate in full coffee flavor. Other coffee makers drip hot water on bed of grounds, over extracting at the center and under extracting at the edge.
AeroPress Coffee Maker
Aeropress is marketed as a manual espresso machine, and because the coffee is so strong, we might be convinced to believe that it is. I reality the pressure during extraction is way to low to ensure proper extraction, and the long steeping time makes this device closer to a press pot. However, coffee brewed in an Aeropress is better than the French press, with a slight modification.
The device comes with paper filters, which will make you a cup of coffee a bit dull. The solution is to buy the metallic filter disks, which will not filter out the oils in coffee. Two of the options on the market are the S Filter and the Able brewing disk which will drastically improve the body and the aroma of your coffee.
Other Ways to Brew Coffee
StoveTop Espresso Pot and Cold Brew Coffee
- Stove top Espresso Pot
It is an excellent way to obtain an espresso without the complications of a regular espresso machine.
- Cold brew coffee
Coffee prepared with cold water. Less acidity and a smooth taste makes this one of my favorite ways of brewing. It is a great way to enjoy a great coffee for people with a sensitive stomach. Great, great, great. Take a look at our review of the best cold brew coffee makers.
Percolators less and less popular with so many other ways to brew, but the coffee prepared this way is very good.