There’s so much coffee gear on the market today it can be difficult, if not impossible, to pick the best coffee brewing method for you. The question I get so many times is “what is your favorite way to brew coffee?” Simple answer – it depends! Some coffee brewing methods have just recently become popular. Some have stood the test of time, and some are brand new and yet to be proven. If you keep an eye on Kickstarter, you’ll see a few new coffee brewing methods coming out just about every month! Everyone has what they see as the best coffee brewing method. Our friend John has a whole web site dedicated to manual coffee brewing methods.These are just a few of the most popular manual brewing methods we’ve seen on the market. There’s, of course, a TON more like the French Press (or plunger, as most of the world calls it), along with just about 30 new contraptions that have showed up on Kickstarter while you were reading this post. What do you think is the best coffee brewing method?
Our Vote for Best Coffee Brewing MethodLike I said – it all depends. Each coffee brewing method has it’s plusses and minuses. If you’ve been paying attention to our Four Coffee Brewing Basics, you know that the fourth point is to find good coffee brewing gear. Throughout this month, we’ll be highlighting a couple of different brewing methods and their strengths and weaknesses. Here are a couple of my favorites:
ChemexI am a bit biased. I use a Chemex for my morning coffee every day. Plus, when we serve coffee at farmer’s markets, we brew it all in a Chemex. I love the Chemex. Some of the pros and cons of the Chemex? Pros:
- Brews enough for 3-4 cups (or more!) of coffee easily
- You can make a great iced coffee using the Japanese Method
- Super simple cleanup – remove filter, rinse.
- James Bond used one in “From Russia With Love” (case closed right there)
- Just looks awesome on your counter top
- Also makes a great sangria serving pitcher
- Has this neat little bump that shows you when its half full.
- It’s glass. It can break.
- Uses special filters that may or may not be easy to find
Learn How To Brew in a Chemex
Aerobie AeropressThis one has just come on the market in the last couple of years but it looks like it’s definitely here to stay. Did you know there’s a World Aeropress Championship? Practice really hard and you too can be an Aeropress champion! Pros:
- Plastic – it travels really well. I take mine backpacking all the time
- Very forgiving and easy to use – make a great cup of coffee no matter what
- Works well when you don’t have perfectly heated water
- Super easy clean up
- Stores well in your bottom desk drawer at work
- Only makes one cup at a time
- You need a really sturdy cup to push down on the Aeropress
- Makes a pretty strong cup that some people might not like
Travelling With The Aeropress Video
Hario V60 / Bonavita / Beehive / Kalita Wave / Melita Pour OversThere’s a whole category of single-cup pour over methods for brewing coffee. It seems like every manufacturer has their own little twist on a simple pour over cone. Really, they’re all just about the same and I highly doubt that the average coffee drinker will be able to tell a difference in flavor from one method to another. Whichever single cup pour over you choose, here are a couple of pros and cons for the category as a whole. Pros:
- Easy to make a single cup
- Easy cleanup and storage
- Some are plastic and don’t break easily
- Relatively easy to find filters (especially for the Bonavita, Melita and Beehive drippers)
- Brew into just about any vessel
- Crazy inexpensive to start out – especially with the plastic ones
- Only brews one cup at a time – difficult if there are 2 or 3 coffee drinkers in your household
- Can be somewhat finicky – use too fine a grind, or the wrong water temperature and your coffee changes dramatically