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Brewing Techniques

BREWING THE PERFECT GOURMET COFFEE


Your quest for finding the best coffee brewing method is not an easy job, because all coffee preparation methods have their individuality. To say that espresso is better than Turkish is just wrong. If you ask someone from the Middle East, or from the Eastern Europe, they’ll say that Turkish coffee is the best. If you ask a drip coffee lover, they’ll say Turkish is really bad, and espresso is too strong. So it’s really a very personal matter. To make things even more complicated, the coffee roast will make a huge difference. The same brewing method will give you very different cups of coffee with different roasts. It takes a few days to a week to get used to a new roast, or a new coffee bean’s variety. But once you get used to it, it’s hard to get back to the old one. This shows how subjective coffee taste is.

A perfect coffee cup is a mix of various choices about the right coffee beans, the appropriate roast, the perfect grind, and the preferred coffee brewing method. Coffee perfection is a lot about preference and choice. I am a coffee lover. Does this make a coffee connoisseur? Maybe not, but I made a lot of research about coffee because I love to drink a good cup in the morning. A day started with a bad cup of coffee can change my mood and productivity.

Note: Don’t skimp on coffee beans, no matter the brewing technique; if you buy cheap coffee beans, no matter how you brew it, you will get a bad cup.

There are many ways to brew coffee. People choose their own way of preparation, depending on culture, habits, personal taste and convenience. I will present you a few of our favorite ways of brewing, and some interesting facts about coffee. It will be up to you to choose the method of preparing coffee that works best for you.


ESPRESSOimage of coffee-espresso_flower

Espresso is a specially brewed coffee using a method of pushing hot water through a layer of finely ground coffee beans. The water is pushed with a high pressure extracting the caffeine and natural oils. Some of the natural oils in the coffee beans are responsible for the flavors giving the espresso its distinctive richness and strength. Espresso brewing method, contrary to a popular belief, is not stronger than a regular coffee. The same amount of coffee used for a drip coffee makes a stronger coffee. Because of its concentration though, espresso seems to contain a lot of caffeine. Espresso is the base for many popular coffee beverages such as cappuccino, mocha coffee, etc.

image of Drip Coffee

DRIP COFFEE

Drip Coffee-Makers

These are the most popular coffee machines, and we can find one in every office, in coffee shops, restaurants, etc…The advantage of the drip coffee machine is the facility in operation. To make coffee is very easy, is very clean and it is fairly easy to control the strength of the coffee. The disadvantage is that the drip coffee doesn’t have the full range of the flavors and oils that make a coffee a great coffee. Also it is complicated to brew fresh coffee for one person. The reason is the paper filter.  A paper filter is extremely dense and it will filter out all of the oils that give the coffee bean its great flavor. Caffeine content is not affected though. The new trend in drip coffee makers is the one cup coffee makers. These are way better than the regular coffee makers allowing a fresh coffee to be obtained at anytime.

Single Cup Coffee Makers

Single Cup Coffee Brewers are the greatest invention after espresso. They are great additions to any personal office or office kitchen. Whether you are an espresso enthusiast, or a drip coffee addict, or a cappuccino lover, there is a machine that does it for you.

image of Southeast Asian sweet coffee

SOUTHEAST ASIAN SWEET COFFEE

When making Southeast Asian sweet coffee, I brew very strong coffee by doubling the amount of coffee grounds than I normally use. It’s best to use our Thai dark roast coffee bean, Espresso or the Laos Elephant Express. This makes sure that the iced coffee is perfectly balanced and not diluted.

Strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk and chilled on ice make an unbeatable Southeast Asian treat. Even those who only take their coffee black will like this. Serve it on hot summer days or as an evening treat. We learned this in Thailand, and now drink almost all our espresso this way.

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans (ok to add more if you like it stronger)
  • 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Brew coffee with water using your preferred method to make brewed coffee.
  2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into each coffee cup.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
  4. Pour 1 cup of fresh hot coffee into each cup, and stir to dissolve the milk.
  5. Pour into tall glasses of ice and serve.

EASY COLD BREWED COFFEE

Sometimes people get confused between iced coffee and cold brewed coffee. The difference in flavor between the two methods is immense. Iced coffee is a very fast process, but has to be brewed stronger than standard coffee to make up for the severe dilution caused by the ice. This method tends to make for a much more bitter drink, because of the intense and rapid extraction of flavor from the beans by the hot water.

Cold brew, on the other hand, takes 18-24 hours to make. However, the far gentler infusion process produces a drink lower in acidity, which is what makes cold brewed naturally sweeter. It can be also be served over ice without dilution because it is already cold. For these reasons, cold brewing is generally regarded as the best method for producing cold coffee.

image of cold brewed coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound coarsely ground coffee beans (adjust accordingly)
  • 6-8 cups of cold water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Coffee filters

Directions:

  1. Put coffee grounds into a large pitcher. Slowly pour water over the grounds.
  2. Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap or lid and steep at room temperature for 18/24 hours.
  3. Line a strainer with several layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters and place atop a pitcher; strain coffee through the cheesecloth/filters into the pitcher. Discard the grounds. To get an even clearer brew strain the coffee again through the filters. Store in the refrigerator.
  4. Pour 1 cup of fresh hot coffee into each cup, and stir to dissolve the milk.
  5. Pour into tall glasses of ice and serve.

image of French press coffee pot

FRENCH PRESS COFFEE POT

French press coffee pot is a glass pitcher with a plunger. You place the ground coffee in the pitcher, pour hot water over the coffee, give the grounds a stir, push the plunger just a half of an inch so that the ground coffee is covered with water. Let it sit for five minutes, then push the plunger down to separate the ground coffee from the water. This method gives a better control of the brewing process and the result is a flavorful coffee. This method works with finely ground beans. For hot coffee the grounds need to be more course and to reduce the infusion time. You also need to adjust the coffee beans amount.

Stove Top Espresso Pot and Cold Brew Coffee

  • Stove Top Espresso Pot
    It is an excellent way to obtain an espresso without the complications of a regular espresso machine.
  • Hourglass Cold Coffee Maker
    Coffee prepared with cold water. Less acidity and a smooth taste makes this one of our favorite ways of brewing. It is a great way to enjoy a great coffee for people with a sensitive stomach.

TURKISH COFFEE

How to Brew Coffee Without a Coffee Machineimage of Ibrik Turkish Coffee Cup

Before the popularization of the coffee machine people drank coffee. How did they brew it? Here is a simple method that will enhance your drinking coffee experience. This type of brewing is the favorite way of making coffee in Eastern Europe and Indonesia. It is also called cowboy coffee, or sometimes mountain coffee. What you need:

  • teaspoon
  • stove or microwave (or hot water)
  • finely ground coffee (the finer ground the better), the Turkish grind is recommended
  • optionally sugar and milk
  • a recipient such as a deep pan or an ibrik – ibrik is a specially designed pot for the preparation of coffee and tea.

The preparation consists in bringing the water, ground coffee, and sugar to a boil, one or more times. Then the brew is poured in little cups without filtering. The grinds will eventually settle at the bottom of the cup, leaving a clean cup, as long as you don’t drink the last two sips.