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Coffee Brew Methods

Coffee Brew Methods
There are a number of ways to make your favourite coffee brew at home, all of which produce very different results. We will go thorough each of the most popular ones listed below.
• Espresso
• French press
• Drip (Filter)
• Moka Pot
• Pour Over (Manual Filter)
• Cold Brew
It is worth mentioning before we get started that there are four key areas that affect the flavours and end result of your coffee brew. There is a huge amount of science behind the brew process, however we will keep it simple for now.
Water temperature: Temperature of water during brewing / extraction.
Pressure: Pressure of water passed through or in contact with coffee
Coffeegrind size: Particle size of ground coffee beans
Extraction time: Time allowed for coffee brew to take place.

ESPRESSO COFFEE

An Espresso is small amount of concentrated coffee, with a lot of body, aroma, and flavour. The brewing process takes place by pushing hot water through a compacted layer of coffee placed within a portafilter. Due to the high-pressure extraction and finely ground coffee, the espresso contains a lot of oils and solids resulting in an intense concentrated shot.
You can experiment with extraction time and grind size as there is no write or wrong answer, it’s purely down to your specific taste preference.
Espresso coffee is often blended from several roasts and varietals to form a bold - not bitter flavour. Typically, between 16-18g of coffee ground is used to produce 20z (Double Shot) of coffee.
Coffee Grind Size: Fine Grind
Extraction Time: Between 25-30 seconds.
Espresso Coffee

FRENCH PRESS COFFEE

The French Press or Cafetière works by steeping coffee grounds in hot water in what is normally a glass beaker with a metal mesh filter plunger. This simple device uses the ‘Immersion Brewing' process, where the coffee ground is left in hot water for an extended time allowing the extraction of flavours.
 After the coffee has finished steeping, a metal mesh filter is slowly pressed down to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid you will drink. The mesh filter still allows for the natural oils and fine particles to pass through allowing for a medium body with intense flavours.
It is well suited for coffee drinkers that enjoy a luscious, expressive and complex taste experience, however this method is vulnerable to over extraction due to the coffee particles being too fine or being allowed to steep for too long. Typically 14-17g of ground coffee (2-3 teaspoons) would be used per cup.
Coffee Grind Size: Course Grind
Extraction Time: Around 4 Minutes
French Press Coffee

DRIP FILTER COFFEE

Drip Coffee, also known as filter, is one of the most popular methods of brewing due to its simplicity and cost. Hot water is poured over medium-fine ground coffee which then passes through a paper filter or metal/plastic mesh using gravity alone.  The coffee drips into what is usually a cup or glass jar resulting in a clear and clean liquid.
Automated drip brewers heat the water relying on thermally induced pressure in order to get the liquid above the grinds. There is usually hot plate on which the pot sits helping keep the freshly filtered coffee hot. These machines will generally have a 12 cup capacity glass jug suitable for larger brew quantities.
Typically, you would use 2 tablespoons per cup, which amounts to around 5-7 grams of ground coffee.
Coffee Grind Size: Medium Fine Grind
Extraction Time: Between 1-3 Minutes
Drip Filter Coffee

POUR OVER COFFEE (Manual Filter)

The Pour Over method is relatively inexpensive for preparing a single cup of coffee. In essence, pour-over is drip brewing, but you have to heat the water on the stove, and then manually pour it into the small brewing device where the water slowly drips through, thus optimising the infusion.
Pouring the water has two parts, the bloom and the brew time.
Bloom: Pour a little water (30 grams or so) over the grounds. You’ll see the grounds swell, rise, and bubble. Allow 30 seconds for the bloom to finish.
Brew time: Pour the rest of the water over the grounds slowly. Start at the center and move out in a widening spiral so all the grounds are evenly soaked. Stop when you’ve added water to your chosen ratio.
There are various pour over brewers available with the Hario V60 and the Chemex being some of the most popular.
Hario V60 - View Here
Coffee Grind Size: Medium Fine Grind
Extraction Time: Around 5 Minutes
Chemex
Coffee Grind Size: Medium Course Grind
Extraction Time: Around 4 Minutes
Pour Over Coffee

MOKA POT

Patented in 1933, the Moka Pot is a device that uses steam pressure to push water through the coffee grinds, similar to the espresso method. The Moka Pot uses around 1 Bar compare to the Espresso Machine with 9 Bar. As you will remember from the beginning of this article, pressure is one of the key factors that effects the overall brew result.
Boiling water from the bottom section is pushed up through the grounds of the mid filter chamber where brewed coffee then sits in the top part of the pot. The mid filter section is made of metal and is reusable, so there is no use for paper filters. The result is bold resembling that of the espresso, however lacks the crema and with less of the aromatic oils.
Depending on the size of your Moka Pot, you would use around 2.5 to 3 table spoons of coffee (17-22g) which is placed in the mid chamber filter, producing 2 cups of coffee.
Coffee Grind Size: Fine Grind
Extraction Time: Around 5 Minutes
Moka Pot Coffee

COLD BREW COFFEE

Making cold brew coffee doesn’t require a trained barista to achieve a great result, nor does it require special equipment beyond a large container for making the coffee and a strainer.
The brewing method involves steeping course coffee grounds in cold water for between 12 and 18 hours, then straining it and serving it either cold or hot. During this time, the coffee slowly infuses into the water, creating a strong, concentrated brew. Simply strain the following day and you’re ready to drink hot or cold.
In terms of flavour, cold brew delivers a caffeinated beverage that's more sweet than bitter. The reason most traditional coffees taste bitter and acidic is because of the heat used in the brewing process. Without the heat, cold brew coffee takes on a smoother consistency with less acidity meaning it is easier on the stomach.
You would typically use 3/4 cup ground (course) coffee to four cups cold water. After steeping, the brew is typically diluted with water by up to 50 percent and served ice cold either straight or on the rocks!
If you don’t already have a brewing jug you can find the Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Jug on our website.
Coffee Grind Size: Course Grind
Extraction Time: 12 Hours+
Cold Brew Coffee

Popular Coffee Grind Sizes, And What They Are Used For

The following seven grind sizes are all you’ll need to make great cups of coffee using the various brew methods.

GRIND SIZE
BREWING METHOD
GRIND EXAMPLE
Extra Coarse:
Cold Brew Coffee, Cowboy Coffee
Ground Peppercorns
Coarse:
French Press, Percolator, Coffee Cupping
Sea Salt
Medium Coarse:
Chemex coffee maker, Clever Dripper, Cafe Solo Brewer
Course Rough Sand
Medium:
Cone-shaped Pour-over Brewers, Flat Bottom Drip Coffee Machines, Siphon Coffee, Aeropress
(with 3+ minute brew time)
Regular Sand
Medium Fine:
Cone-shaped Pour-over Brewers, Aeropress
(with 2-3 minute brew time)
Table Salt
Fine:
Espresso, Moka Pot (Stovetop Espresso Maker), Aeropress
(with 1 minute brew time)
Fine Table Salt
Extra Fine
Turkish Coffee
Flour

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