There are many different ways to manually brew a tasty cup of coffee in your own home. However, if you are looking to be more hands on and in control of how your cup of coffee is going to taste, then try one of these 5 common manual brew methods. Be ready to toss out that regular household automatic coffee maker or stick it back in the kitchen cabinet for a busy or lazy day.
1. POUR OVER method, also known as hand drip coffee, is very simple, but allows your to have complete control of the taste, strength, and water temperature. You just grind fresh coffee and then use a brewing system to pour hot water over the grounds. Basically this consists of ground coffee, filter, filter holder, and a cup of serving vessel. There are no electronic parts to plug anything into and no complicated parts to put together or break. Cleaning is low maintenance and anyone can do it! The two common brewing systems are the Hario V60 and Chemex. They are different in appearance, but similar in the brewing method. They both give you great control over the brew. If you want elegance and the ability to choose many different sizes, go with the Chemex. The Chemex can also make many cups of coffee for more people with just one brew. The Hario V60 is really just a cup or two for just one person, but is easier to clean up and gives you a quicker brew. It is also more portable with the plastic option.
2. FRENCH PRESS, sometimes called a coffee plunger in some parts of the world, is a full immersion brewing device. Simply, it steeps the coffee grounds in hot water and then the grounds are pressed out for a delicious bold cup of coffee. It is affordable and does not require any paper filters as it uses a metal mesh filter. You can control the brew time letting the grounds sit a little longer in the hot water giving you a stronger cup, but not too long as it can become bitter. It is recommended that grounds be on the coarse side, unless you like your coffee a little muddy. The French Press is simple, saves you counter space, and you can take it anywhere with you. Nothing to plug it into and best of all, you can use it for cold brew or tea.
3. AEROPRESS is a plunger and chamber coffee maker that is perfect for the on the go busy coffee enthusiast. There are two ways to brew with the Aeropress. There is the tradition method and there is the inverted way to brew. The traditional way the water drips through the filter paper immediately when poured over the grounds. With the inverted method, the water stays with the ground until the Aeropress is flipped over. Try out both ways to see how you prefer your coffee! Even though either method only makes a single cup, it can make a more concentrated espresso like coffee. The brew time is super quick with just a minute or two and very easy to clean up. The Aeropress is super portable as it small with only a few parts and can be packed for travel. It does require specific filters and a quick assembly each time you want to drink coffee. Other than that, if you are on the go, this is perfect.
4. MOKA POT, also known as the stove top coffee maker, is the brewing device people prefer and go to for a more espresso like cup of coffee. No electricity is needed for the Moka Pot, but it does require a stove top. How does the magic happen with this type of brew method? Well, the pot is divided into three chambers: one for water, one for grounds, and one for the final product. While on the stove, the water at the bottom of the pot will boil. As the steam pressure pushes the water upward through the coffee ground , the extracted coffee will be sent through the top of the pot. This process is going to take a little getting used to, but worth it for the intensity and strength of the coffee produced. This can portable for the outdoors as long as there is a portable stove top or flame such as a campfire.
5. SIPHON coffee maker, sometimes called a vacuum pot, may be the most visually interesting of all the brewing methods while producing great tasting coffee. The Siphon has two chambers where the bottom is first filled with water. The bottom chamber is then heated where vapor pressure will force the water to rise into the upper chamber. Coffee grounds is now poured into the top chamber to mix. Next, the heat is turned off and the loss of vapor pressure will cause the water to drop back into the bottom chamber due to gravity and a vacuum effect. With the Siphon you get a full immersion brew for full flavor results. While it is stunning to look at, the Siphon is complex with delicate parts. It is hard to clean, not portable, and brewing time is a little longer than some of the other methods. There are many different kinds of Siphons out there. However, if you want a home version that is a little easier to use, KitchenAid has one available.