Joe. Java. Brew. Hot bean water.
Whatever you like to call your favourite delicious beverage, coffee is an important part of lives all around the globe. While overall coffee consumption in Canada fluctuates throughout the years, according to an online poll by Statista, intake was down from 3.6 cups per day in 2008 to 2.7 cups per day in 2020. Perhaps with such a change it is more important than ever to consider superior quality versus speed or ease.
While many love to head to their local coffee shops to pick up their daily fix or socialize with friends, brewing your own coffee at home is often a more affordable and convenient choice. When choosing a brewing method, it is important to consider the positives and negatives of each available method in order to select the right coffee maker that meets your needs. And in this two-part series, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to help you make that choice.
- Pour Over
- French Press
- The Bottom Line
Simple to operate, percolators have been commonly utilized for home coffee brewing for hundreds of years, and their design has only improved over time. Percolators consist of two inner chambers: a lower chamber for water and an upper chamber for coffee grounds. Most commonly, heat forces the water up through a tube to the top chamber, where the water filters down through the coffee grounds and drips back into the bottom chamber. Due to this process, the water passes over the grounds several times, resulting in an aromatic and bold cup of coffee.
Initially requiring a heat source, electric versions are now available in addition to the stovetop versions. Popular among adventurers, these are an excellent choice for brewing coffee over a campfire. Taking the brewing process into consideration, percolators may be better suited to a lighter roast, depending on your preferences.
Furthermore, if you do not keep a close eye on brew time, you may ultimately wind up with burnt coffee. If you are concerned about missing the window to collect your coffee before it burns, you may want to consider an electric version with a “done” indicator, rather than a stovetop style. Quite possibly, you may even want to consider a different coffee maker altogether, such as a drip style.
Drip coffee makers are incredibly popular for numerous reasons, from cost to ease of use. The majority of drip coffee makers have a simple and straightforward process to get them brewing: just add water, filter, coffee grounds, and push start. Drip is also excellent for entertaining, as they come in a wide variety of sizes that can accommodate brewing several cups at once. Another huge appeal of drip coffee makers is the ability to pre-program your coffee to begin brewing at a convenient time for you, ensuring you have hot coffee ready right when you need it.
In addition to pre-programmable versions, grind and brew options are also available, which allow you to have the freshest coffee possible without needing to grind the beans yourself. While disposable filters are available, you can often find reasonably priced reusable filters, giving you the opportunity to reduce personal waste from your caffeine (or decaf, as the case may be) routine. Although you won’t be getting fancy espresso drinks from your common drip machine, you can easily get copious amounts of decent black coffee.
The water does flow through the grounds quickly, which may not result in the most flavourful coffee, but the biggest concern is letting the coffee sit too long on the warmer after brewing. This could ultimately result in burnt coffee, though it would take considerably longer than the accidental burning from a percolator. Of course, there are plenty of ways to avoid scorching your coffee entirely, such as using a pour over coffee maker.
Pour over coffee is at the mercy of each individual, which can result in unfortunate inconsistencies. However, if you are willing to take the time to change your method little by little and perfect your brew, pour over is an excellent way to get a superior cup of coffee. There are many different methods of brewing a pour over and you may want to alter your technique to suit your personal flavour, but you can check out this helpful video from our coffee expert, Ryan, if you’re looking for a place to get started.
While it doesn’t take an excessive amount of equipment to manage a pour over, there are some things you need and others that will significantly improve your experience. A pour over coffee maker and filter, whether it be paper or cloth, is necessary, as well as a kettle. Using a gooseneck kettle will help you control the flow of water, which in turn will allow you to more carefully distribute the water evenly across the coffee grounds. Another way to significantly increase your chances of successful pour over brewing is to utilize a kitchen scale, making certain your measurements are precise each and every time.
It is also important to note how crucial it is the filter fit the pour over device properly. If your filter is too small, you will need to take extra precaution to prevent from overfilling with water. Alternately, if the filter is too large you risk bunching, which can impede water flow and affect the overall quality of your brew. If slow and precise is not right for you, a French press might be better suited to create your perfect cup of coffee.
French press brewers create some of the most robust and full bodied coffee possible. The lack of filter allows the natural oils of the coffee beans to infuse the water with their flavour, really rounding each cup of coffee and preventing watery taste and feel. While there are many benefits to coffee that are possibly enhanced in bypassing the filter, such as antioxidant rich compounds and minerals like magnesium, you also then run the risk of raising your LDL (bad cholesterol) by consuming cafestol and kahweol, two coffee oils that are typically filtered out.
But by keeping a close eye on your cholesterol levels and limiting your daily intake of coffee, you are still able to enjoy that perfect cup of French press coffee guilt free. While this is a technique you can perfect over time, we show you how you can learn the basics and get started. Using a French press gives you the control to choose the temperature at which you brew your grounds and also the steep time to cater to your own preferences, but it does cool quickly. Some may prefer to drink their coffee chilled, anyway, so quick cooling is ideal. A French press is excellent in that case, or you may prefer to try cold brewing.
The Bottom Line
Still looking for your perfect coffee maker or want to learn more before making your final decision? In our next piece, we’ll round out our coffee maker reviews so that you can pick the a great coffee maker that you’ll love.
At Two Bears, our mission is to energize your mission, your moments. In a world of influence, our hope is to reconnect you with you so that you can make meaningful connections with the world around you. We craft the freshest, frothiest energy for you to sip and turn into whatever you need that day – human connection, motivation, creativity, confidence, slowness... we encourage you to craft your moment with Two Bears, whatever that moment may be.