Brewing coffee is as much of an art as it
is a science. The history of coffee brewing equipment is rich,
and methods of brewing are culturally dependent. Of the
thousands of coffee machines and coffee brewing devices invented
since the advent of coffee consumption, only a few have gained
worldwide popularity. The coffee brewing methods discussed below are recommended
since they have been found to maximize the extraction of
the beneficial flavors of coffee, while minimizing the extraction
of bitter coffee compounds a nd undesirable components.
Procedure of Making Coffee: Directions
The following general rules apply
to each coffee making process discussed. Coffee should be brewed
for 4.5-5 minutes using a ratio of 55 grams of ground coffee
per liter of filtered water (195-205°F). It is convenient
to use 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of filtered
water. Filtered water and spring water are recommended.
Tap water imparts off flavors to the coffee and some
minerals are essential to coffee flavor. Distilled water
is not recommended for brewing coffee as it lacks the minerals to bring out the natural flavors of the coffee.
Coffee Maker Reviews
Press: The best way to control the time and temperature
is to use a French press coffee maker. The French press offers unparalleled
flavor due to perfect extraction time and delivery of the
volatile oils that are often trapped in paper filters. A French
press is also the least expensive coffee brewer available. To make coffee
in a French press: boil the correct amount of water, freshly
grind the coffee beans using a course setting, remove the plunger,
place the coffee grounds at the bottom of the glass, add the hot water,
stir by shaking, and after 4-5 minutes press the plunger
down to separate the grounds from the extracted coffee.
The best French presses are made by Bodum
and come in sizes of
3 and 12
cups. An insulated
version is also available. Note: You do not want to pour boiling water directly onto the coffee. The goal is to brew coffee at a temperature between 195-205°F.
Unfortunately, French press coffee makers are not quite as convenient
as a drip coffee makers due to preparation time and cleaning time.
The French press also loses heat faster than some other
methods, but extraction at slightly varying temperatures
will promote a more dynamic and complex cup of coffee. To
minimize heat loss effects, Bodum has developed an
insulated coffee press. This press is highly recommended
for both design and attention to coffee brewing details.
novel integrated electric water heater-French press is available
This French press minimizes the complexity of using multiple
devices to boil and then brew the coffee. We use it daily
at the Coffee Research Institute and highly recommend it
for those who want to simplify the brewing process without
Coffee Pot: The vacuum coffee pot is a clever device invented by Robert
Napier in 1840 that prepares an exceptional cup of coffee
with a potent aroma. This is an appropriate alternative
for those who have an aversion to the taste of the paper
filters from drip brewers or for people who dislike the sediment
in the bottom of the cup from the French press method.
brew coffee in a vacuum pot, add the proper amount of
filtered water to the bottom bulb, attach the filter to
the upper bulb and fit the upper glass bulb tightly over
the bottom glass bulb. Place the vacuum coffee pot on the stove,
making sure that the bottom bulb is completely dry on the
outside. Use a medium grind and add the grounds when the
water begins to fill the upper chamber. Leave the pot on
the stove for 3.5 minutes and then place on a hot pad. Within
30 seconds the lower pot will cool enough to form a vacuum
to pull the brewing coffee into the lower chamber, thereby
separating it from the grounds. Experiment with the heating
and cooling cycles until the total extraction time is between
4-5 minutes. A great and inexpensive vacuum coffee pot available
is the Bodum
pot (pictured to the left). An electric vacuum
pot (pictured to the right) is also available from Bodum.
Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: The easiest way to brew coffee
is by using an automatic drip coffee brewer. Unfortunately, few
coffee machines brew at the right temperature for the correct amount
of time. The best drip coffee makers currently available are produced
by Techni Vorm and distributed by Boyd's
coffee and Sweet Maria's Coffee. Of the available models, the MoccaMaster Clubline
KB 741 with the insulated carafe is probably the best drip
brewer available on the market.
To brew coffee in a drip brewer, place a thick paper filter
in the brewing cone (basket) and thoroughly wet with water.
This helps remove the paper taste from the filter. Then
freshly grind the coffee using a medium grinder setting.
As the water begins to boil, pour the coffee into the coffee
filter. Now as the water pours over the coffee, shake the
basket (removable in the Technivorm) to ensure an even extraction.
Brew time and temperature are taken care of automatically.
If your brewer has a hot plate under a glass carafe, remove
the carafe after the coffee is fully brewed to prevent the
coffee from burning.
Espresso: Making espresso is a bit more difficult than
the above brewing methods and an espresso section of this website has been dedicated to it.
No other coffee brewing method is recommended due to problems
with either over extraction, under extraction, or timing.
El Ultimo Cafe by Gerard Flores