Brewing Coffee At Home
Home brewing can be a bit overwhelming, especially with the variety of methods and devices available today. Don't fret, this is one of the best things about specialty coffee -- you can find and make "your" cup. To help you on your journey to find the perfect cup, here is a breakdown of four popular home brewing devices and a few helpful tips.
The Hario V60
Named and known for its distinct 60-degree cone, this is a highly popular pour-over/drip brewer. The V60 provides consistency and a clean flavor profile. It’s also easy to experiment with key variables such as water temperature, grind size, and coffee to water ratio.
We recommend using a medium to fine grind size and, after letting it bloom, pour water in a circular motion directly on the coffee bed. You can also try using a pulse pour, simply pouring small amounts of water at a time.
Best For Brewing: If you want a clean cup of coffee, you want to manipulate or duplicate your recipe and/or results, and you're a slightly more experienced coffee brewer or looking for a bit of a challenge.
The Chemex is perhaps the most well-known coffee brewer across the board. It's visually stunning and is one of the most photographed coffee brewers in the world. Plus, you can brew up to eight cups at a time with this pour-over device.
As for the coffee, the great thing about this brewer is its filters. They’re thicker than average, keeping lots of oil out of the final cup. However, due to the Chemex’s deep v-shape, it can be harder to ensure consistency in brewing. Oh, and unlike most pour overs, a Chemex normally works better with a more coarse grind.
Best For Brewing: If you prefer extremely clean coffee, you want to brew pour-over coffee for more than one person at a time, you're not too concerned with consistency.
Photo Credit: E.J. Schiro
The French PressThe French press is one of the most commonly used and simplest coffee-making tools around. Even though this device is not as popular among veteran specialty coffee drinkers, a few simple tweaks can dramatically improve the flavor profile extracted.
The key is to make sure that after pressing, you "decant" the coffee--pour it out of the French press into another container. This removes the brewed coffee from the grounds and stops the extraction process. The more bitter notes are the last to be extracted, so leaving it in the French press too long will result in a sour or bitter tasting coffee.
We suggest using a coarse grind, but encourage you to experiment with grind and immersion time to get the desired flavor and body.
Best For Brewing: If you like smooth flavor notes and a simple and inexpensive brewing device.
A lightweight, portable, and durable innovation from Aerobie, Inc., designed by Alan Adler, the AeroPress is loved by people who make coffee on the go. Whether you're taking a quick hike, backpacking through the Appalachian Trail, or even sailing.
The AeroPress tends to produce full-bodied brew, but you can certainly experiment with the various methods to use this device. AeroPress is an excellent device for beginners, even though it’s the only manual brewing device to have its own world championship.
Check out this article to learn more about the AeroPress and the two popular ways to use an AeroPress: inverted and traditional.
Best For Brewing: If you want coffee on-the-go or a simple way to brew full-bodied coffee.
Photo Credit: Leela Cyd