The Caffeinated Chemist

What's the Best Way to Brew your Coffee??

What’s the Best Way to Brew your Coffee??

What's the Best Way to Brew your Coffee??

If you’re like us, you loved that morning routine of going to your favorite coffee shop before work or your daily activities. But then the COVID-19 crisis broke out causing many of these amazing shops to close down. What now? Enter the dark ages. The time has come for us to make our own coffee again. For many of us, it has lead to experimenting with at home brewing techniques. With so many different methods out there which one delivers the best cup of coffee? The article will cover 5 of the most popular coffee brewing methods today including french press, percolator, pour-over, automatic, and moka pot brewing methods.

Read on to find out my favorite brewing technique and which method may be right for you! (Hint: the best is saved for last.) After reviewing each method, I will post a link to what I think is the all-around best, most affordable options that are available with Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping. Buying a new brewing device will not only enhance your coffee life but will also help support this page to continue making quality content (at not extra cost to you)!!

 

k pods review

1. Single-Serve Pod Brewers:

Typically, I recommend you do NOT use single-serve brewers such as the Keurig or other knock of brands. Why? Two reasons. 

1.    They are expensive both front up as well as the price per pod when compared with buying normal coffee grounds.

2.    It just doesn’t taste great.

That being said, they can make great options for a few types of people in particular. One of the primary target demographics for the Keurig (and related-knock off brands) is the college student. Students are often in a hurry, tight on space, and just want a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of caffeine. Just be warned that these single-pod brewers are not able to give you the same quality as any of the other methods on this page. The main reason is there is not enough time for the beans to bloom or mix with the water before being poured out. The result: a poorly brewed cup that lacks many of the underlying accents that make great coffee taste so rich. 

Good for versatile coffe maker on a budget:

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 oz. Brew Sizes, Rhubarb

 

2. Programmable (Drip) Coffee Maker:

This is arguably the fastest and most common brewing method around. It is also one of the worst, in my opinion. While it makes many reliable cups of coffee, you may be hard-pressed to find an automatic drip brewer that gives a robust and delicious cup of coffee without having to spend a small fortune. However, these are a definite upgrade (both in price and taste) than the single serve-pod brewers. Programmable coffee makers have become popular for a reason; they can be found universally in nearly every office and church since they are extremely convenient and hard to mess up. If you one of those people who may have never gotten the chance to learn how to make proper coffee using an automatic brewer, check out the article about the best and easiest way to make a quick pot here: 

Who is the automatic coffee maker for? It is great for people who are in a hurry, just want a caffeine boost or don’t care about the quality of their cup. It is surely an upgrade from single-pod servers but ranks slightly lower than the rest of the brewing techniques to follow.

For a VERY affordable starter pot:

how to make coffee pot (automatic drip coffee)
french press coffee maker review

3. French Press:

This technique is one of the cheapest and most trusted methods around. It’s fast, affordable, and makes a decent cup of coffee. It also takes up significantly less space than, say, an automatic drip brewer. The thing that makes this brewing method unique is that the grounds are first stirred and steep in the hot (not boiling!) water for a few minutes before being compressed by a plunger. The result is a full-bodied coffee that is often slightly too acidic for many. However, the steeping allows the ground’s accents to be extra pronounced. Overall, if you can handle the slightly acidic tones, then this may be a perfect compromise on efficiency, cost, and overall flavor.

I really like this one for its sleek design, positive reviews, and lifetime replacement policy:

Cafe Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker (34 oz)

 Also check out the best way to brew French Press coffee:

 

4. The Percolator:

It’s an oldie but a goodie. The percolator method has been around for ages and has made quite an impressive comeback in recent years. Percolators work by cycling hot water repeatedly in direct contact with the coffee grounds allowing full extraction of the coffee which results in a rich and full-bodied brew. It is a classic way to enjoy a strong cup of Joe. Note the word strong. For many people, the percolator results in a burnt taste that is far too strong. While this is often due to some slight technique errors, I can’t deny this method gives one of the strongest cups out there. If you like strong and flavorful coffee, this may be the perfect method for you! Just make sure you know how to make a proper cup before you let your grounds steep too long.

I can personally say this is a very sturdy, quality albeit boring percolator: 

Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator – 8 Cup, Silver

coffee cup, coffee, cup
moka pot coffee maker

5. Moka Pot:

Isn’t the name even fun to say? Everything about the Moka pot is awesome—except the amount of coffee it produces. Stuck as the child of an expresso mixed with a normal coffee brew, the resulting cup provides a great alternative to plain coffee. It packs wayyyy more caffeine per ounce than its coffee friends. I’ve found the Moka pot is THE BEST WAY TO MAKE LATTES.

 It also makes great, albeit strong, coffee for straight-up shots. The only downside to this cute little brewer is the size of most cups and the cleanup/setup process. But if you’re willing to spend just a few extra minutes and can brew multiple cups, this little pot will have you on a caffeine buzz all day long.

This is VERY similar to the more expensive, name brand versions. Just a lot cheaper:

6. Pour-Over:

I saved the best for last. The pour-over method is my absolute favorite way to brew coffee. Why? Because you get to control nearly every variable in the brewing process. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up with either a watered-down cup or one that is 10x as strong as it should be. You can end up with overly bitter cups and cups that make you pour the entire thing down the drain. But once you master the technique…..there’s no going back. 

The great thing about this method is you can experiment and tweak your technique until you find the perfect flavor and body for YOU. Like it strong? Great. Prefer a weaker brew without much body? Fantastic. This is the ultimate method (and the method I use to test many of the brews in reviews) that will not only deliver one of the best cups of your life but is also fun to make. Setting up a morning routine by manually pouring the hot-water over your freshly grounded beans and watching them bloom is a near Zen-like experience and a fantastic way to start your morning.

I will give to reccomendations here. 

The first is my personal favorite that is better suited for those on a budget and does not require filter paper! However, you do get a bit more of a stronger body with more oils in your brew (I actually think this is a plus…)

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter

Alternatively, slightly more pricy but has a huge following:

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker – Classic Series – 6-Cup

Check out the review to my favorite pour-over maker below:

pour-over coffee

Don’t agree with my rankings? Drop a comment and let us know down below!

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