Coffee Brewing Methods – Most Popular Ways to Make Coffee

Brewing Tutorials and Equipment Reviews

Coffee Brewing Methods

This is a review of the most popular coffee brewing methods. Espresso, Drip, French press, Aeropress, Cold brew, Turkish coffee, Pour over and Moka pot.

Coffee Brewing Devices

If you have you mind set on a preparation method and you have a recipe, you can check our coffee brewing devices section.

Coffee Brewing Methods – An Introduction

Coffee Brewing Methods List

This is a review of the most popular coffee brewing methods. Espresso, Drip, French press, Aeropress, Cold brew, Turkish coffee, Pour over and Moka pot.

  • Espresso
  • Drip Coffee
  • French press
  • Turkish or Arabic Coffee
  • Moka Pot
  • Cold Brew
  • Manual Drip
  • Single Serve Coffee
  • Percolator
  • The Vacuum Pot, (Siphon)

The list is not an exhaustive one; it contains the most popular brewing methods in the Western hemisphere. We could add to the list the Indian coffee and Vietnamese coffee methods, (very similar by the way). For a longer list check our wiki page about coffee preparation methods.


Espresso Coffee cupEspresso is prepared by pushing hot water through a layer of compacted ground coffee, contained in a port-filter. Espresso is a very concentrated coffee, with a lot of body, aroma, and flavor. It contains a lot of coffee oils and solids. The most distinctive features of espresso are the foamy layer on top and the low volume of the drink. Pulling a shot of espresso requires training and knowledge, take a look at our espresso brewing guide, for a comprehensive tutorial.

Turkish Coffee

How to make Turkish coffeeTurkish coffee is a method of infusing finely ground coffee in nearly boiling water. What is very specific to Turkish brewing method is the grind size which is the finest possible, almost a powder. There are no electrical Turkish coffee grinding machines for the residential use, but the manual mills work perfectly. Turkish coffee has the fullest body of all brewing methods. If you like clear coffee, stay away from it.

Drip Coffee

Technivorm Moccamaster coffee makerDrip coffee or filter coffee is one of the most popular coffee brewing methods. The method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans. We strain the brew with a paper filter, or a metal or plastic mesh. The coffee from a drip brewer is clear and clean, with a high ratio of caffeine extracted per spoon of ground coffee. The brew is good if you use a good coffee machine, but it’s only average with cheap equipment. Pour-over devices can compete with high-end coffee makers such as Technivorm or Bonavita, in terms of taste and aroma. However, manual drippers, as they are also called, are less convenient than electrical drip brewers. Learn how to brew drip coffee here.

French Press

Freshly Brewed French Press Coffee
Photo by Christy via Flickr.

French press, or press pot, is a very simple coffee brewing device with a beaker and a plunger/filter. The preparing technique consists of pouring hot water over coffee grinds and let it steep for a few minutes. After the steeping is over the plunger/ filter is pressed down, to separate the grinds. French press coffee has a medium body, less than espresso but denser than drip. The aroma and flavor of a press pot coffee are intense, and the method it is gaining more and more popularity. Check our guide to brew with a French press for a detailed tutorial. You can also check our product comparison stainless steel press pot comparison here. This brewing method is re-gaining the once lost popularity because it’s inexpensive and simple.

Moka Pot

Moka Pot brewing coffeeMoka pot is a device for making coffee that uses steam pressure to push water through coffee grinds similar to espresso method, but with much lower pressure. The pressure in a Moka pot is about 1 bar compared to a real espresso machine with 9 bar. The coffee made in a Moka pot, as you would expect, is very bold, it resembles espresso. Stovetop espresso lacks the crema, and it has much less aromatic oils. It is a decent espresso alternative. You can take a look at our Moka pot brewing tutorial if you need some guidance. It’s a great resource.

Cold Brew

coffee dripping from a Toddy coffee systemCold brew is the favorite way of preparing coffee for people with stomach problems. If regular, hot, coffee brews upset your stomach, cold brew is your choice. The brewing method implies steeping coffee grinds for extended periods of time, (12 to 36 hours), then straining it and serving it cold or hot. Because it takes so long to brew, people prepare large batches and store it in the fridge for several days. Check this page for a few cold brew coffee makers.

Single Serve Brewing

There is no consensus whether single serve coffee machines are a distinctive brewing method or not. However, if you think about Keurig brewers, they use pressure to push water through the coffee grounds, but the pressure is not as high as with espresso machines. The coffee is ground coarser than for Moka pot, and it is less compact, hence a faster brewing time. In the end, a Keurig machine brews coffee in a unique way, like no other coffee maker. Single serve provides you a clean cup, with decent aroma and flavor, and minimum effort. It is one of the most convenient devices, reducing the operator’s manual intervention to zero.


Making Coffee with AeroPress Brewer
AeroPress Brewer

Aeropress is a manual coffee making device that allows you to use pressure to brew a cup. The method involves a two steps process, with a few minutes of steeping followed by pushing the brew through the coffee grounds under pressure to extract even more solids and caffeine. Aeropress coffee is strong with ample body and resembles a lot with espresso.

The method is most known for its versatility. You can brew from the mildest cup of hot brewed coffee to a strong cup with bite. We wrote an AeroPress brewing tutorial that has many tips and tricks, if you want to learn more about it.

Coffee Brewing Devices and other Coffee Making Resources

Cold Brew Coffee

So many complaints about cold brew. Too weak, too strong, not enough flavor, too wasteful, etc… Learn how to avoid all common mistakes with cold brew.

Coffee Grinders

A good coffee grinder is essential for a great cup of coffee. We said it so many times, almost obsesively. Here is our piece on how to choose a coffee grinder.

How to Use a French Press

Learn how to use a French press. A step by step tutorial to teach you how to tweak your cup and troubleshoot it. You don’t own a French press? Check these great stainless steel French pots.

How To Use an AeroPress

An AeroPress Brewing guide with tips and tricks to help you master this versatile brewing method.
Oh, and here is an AeroPress review, and a link to buy it.

Moka Pot

The stove-top espresso coffee maker can get you an espresso-like beverage. You need to learn a few tricks to avoid over-extraction, (bitterness). Here is our guide on how to brew it.

Espresso Brewing Guide

Learn how to make espresso from a step by step guide, with geeky details. If you are a beginner check this page with various, all levels, espresso brewing resources.

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Espresso Coffee Makers

Looking for equipment? Read this review of some popular super automatic espresso machines or this one for espresso makers on a budget. And this comparison between capsule-based espresso makers and semiautomatics.

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Best Latte Machine

This article a pragmatic approach to choosing a latte machine for domestic use. Find out how you can get the best bang for your buck when all you need is a great latte.

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Great Espresso Beans

Espresso is my favorite way of making and drinking coffee. I have tried so many coffee beans, way beyond the standard espresso blend. If you like your espresso shot perfect, this buying guide is for you. We have a few great beans recommendations for your next shot.

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Combination Coffee Makers

I own all the coffee makers possible, and they rotate in my kitchen because I don’t have enough space. If you need both an espresso machine and a drip coffee maker, the combo is the best choice.

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SCAA Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee is the most convenient way to brew coffee. Here is a list of SCAA certified coffee makers. They are guaranteed to make the perfect coffee. The most popular ones have their own comparison page here: Bonavita and Technivorm.

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Drip Coffee Guide

Learn how to prepare the best drip coffee you’ve ever drunk. We delve deep into all brewing aspects, and how they affect your cup. You’ll be amazed to see what details you might be missing.

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Pour Over

Manual drip is my favorite way to make drip coffee. It gives me more control over the brewing and allows me to make a stronger cup, and more flavorful, exactly how I like it. Learn how to make yours, strong or mild.

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Turkish Coffee

If you are up for a strong coffee, nothing like your daily drip, stronger even than a French press coffee, check out our Turkish coffee brewing guide.