The amazing world of coffee exists well beyond the gold liquid average Americans brew in their counter top machines. From small handheld devices to large cumbersome machines the varies ways we’ve invented to create coffee are as varied as the coffee itself. Many of these methods are not expensive and produce a superior quality product.
How many of these are you familiar with?
Single Serve Machines
Single serve machines like Nespresso and Keurig top our list of coffee makers, merely because of their popularity. These machines are convenient and produce a single cup of coffee or espresso without the hassle and fuss of measuring, tamping and pouring. The ease is countered by their high cost to purchase, use, and maintain. For some coffee drinkers who enjoy only smaller portions of coffee or who are limited on time, single serve machines are a worthwhile cost.
Drip coffee pot
Next up is the good old standby—the drip coffee pot. Almost always overpriced and usually failing to get a premium cup of coffee. The drip coffee pot makes up for quality with quantity. Families and offices that need to make multiple cups of coffee defer to the machine that can make up to 20 cups in one go. Many smaller families fall into the drip coffee as a standby, but would be better off with a variety of different options.
The French Press
Press coffee is simple and easy, it’s also one of the most convenient options available for premium coffee makers. French Presses are a universal product, in fact, you won’t even find coffee connoisseurs turning down a french press. It’s ideal for premium beans, affordable, portable, and quick. Almost all homes that make the switch from drip coffee to presses will never go back to their drip coffee pot.
Light portability and premium coffee are the product of this fickle little device. Its creator is more known for Frisbees rather than fine espresso, so that might explain the large learning curve I experience with the Aero Press. Once you’ve mastered the technique this small plastic, toy like device will make excellent strong coffee without an expensive cumbersome machine.
The Chemex is what I like to call Pour over coffee made complicated and pretty. It is the current favorite of hipsters and trendsetters everywhere — largely because it looks awesome and it makes an incredible cup of coffee. It’s unique design brews flavorful, clear coffee in a bit of a time-consuming ritual. The coffee is worth the wait as every cup of Chemex coffee comes out with beautiful clarity and body.
Vacuum devices like the Bodum Pebo are more akin to something you’d see on breaking bad than a typical countertop. But, I’ll admit. The appeal is there. There is something so deliciously evil about playing mad barista scientist, and I laugh every time I do it. Syphon pots are perfect for the tech geek with a few extra minutes on their hands to make their brew. However, it’s a full hour of prepping, heating, brewing and cleaning — so if you just need your cup to go, skip this option.
Percolators are not like any other coffee available. Just like drip vs. espresso there is no comparison. It’s hard to find quality percolator pots anymore, but there are some usable options available online. The brew is smooth and rich with a strong, clear body. I encourage everyone to try it at least once and if you like it? Well, hope you start searching the deep internet, you’re not going to find it anywhere else.
Moka pot or Bialetti Italian coffee makers make a dark coffee brew that is uniquely Italian. Styled as a percolator the Moka pot makes closer to a Turkish coffee, rather than an espresso or drip coffee. The style can only be achieved with a traditional Moka pot which is cheap and convent enough. It’s about 30 bucks and makes Moka in about 5 minutes on the stove.
Espresso to us refers only to those shots which are properly pulled from an espresso machine. The clarification is important as coffee very similar to espresso can be made with smaller, more portable, and cheaper machines. However, the rich, full bodied shots of espresso with a thick crema will only come directly from an espresso machine. By far the most complicated device to produce coffee it’s also the most worthwhile to learn.
Turkish coffee is a strong, original brew that is created using only traditional beans and equipment. Made without filtering the beans the brew is strong and traditionally served with water to clear the palette.
Choosing the best device for your family can be a difficult process; however, it’s great to know that multiple options are available beyond the simple drip pots offered by large box stores. We like all types of devices to make our morning brew and can’t recommend one type over another. We suggest trying as many as you can until you find one that works well for you.
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