The Different Coffee Brewing Methods Compared with Pros & Cons

By | June 5, 2018

different coffee brewing methodsIn the coffee world everybody has their own preferred coffee brewing method. Some may even prefer two methods depending on the specific circumstances of their day.

I for one love making both stovetop espresso and french press coffee. These are my favorites by far.

I’m fine with drip coffee and I’ve had good coffee from a percolator too but I know that I just don’t like cold coffee, even when it’s made well.

Even still I know plenty of people out there love cold brewed coffee so I won’t shut them out.

Below I’ve summarized the most popular coffee brewing techniques and I’ve linked out to other pages here on TOMC where I’ve covered each method in greater depth.

There are pros and cons to each method and (when right prepared well) each way of brewing coffee can really be fabulous.

If you are looking for guides or tips on how to brew better coffee then this is the place to start looking. Scroll down to learn a bit about all the various ways to get your morning jolt.

What Coffee Brewing Method Interests You The Most?

How to Make French Press Coffee
I have published an epic post on brewing coffee with a french press. If you want to learn everything possible about making the best french press coffee possible then check out this post.

Future posts on this site will detail everything you need to know about the other methods of brewing coffee. Those methods include:

  • Stovetop Espresso – This is one of the best brewing methods for single serve coffee in my opinion. Though technically this is not coffee and it’s not espresso either. A moka pot makes something kind of like really strong coffee. It is brewed under light pressure and almost achieves crema like an espresso machine. Just don’t expect to be able to make latte art with moka brew.
  • Drip Coffee – These days drip coffee is about as standard as it gets. It’s the most common type of coffee brewed in the United States but some people don’t realize how many was you cam prepare drip coffee. You can use an automatic coffee maker like most people do but you can also brew with a pour over coffee dripper like the smaller units that rest on top of your cup or you can sue larger devices like the Chmex which is a plastic free coffee maker that is basically a large pour over that can brew enough for a few people at once. The biggest pro to using drip coffee is the clean cup of coffee it produces. With grind usually being filtered through paper the grit and coffee dust stays out of your cup. Unfortunately a negative for this technique is that the paper also prevents coffee oils from getting to your cup too.
  • Pour Over
  • Steam Espresso
  • Pump Espresso
  • Percolator Coffee
  • Cold Brew
  • Alternative Brewing Methods

Different Coffee Brewing Methods Comparisons

More than one billion people across the world love coffee. But if you ask each of these people ,you will find out various preferences when it comes to taste, flavor, and health benefits. No doubt, the brewing process can yield subtleties into the coffee beans and create a cup of bittersweet drink that we all love.

Coffee Brewing Methods 101

Here are 5 coffee brewing methods to yield coffee. Find the method that would work well for you.

French Press

This is notably the simplest way of brewing coffee by steeping the grounds in hot water and pressing the coffee with a plunger to extract the liquid.

What you will need: French press, water kettle, coarse ground coffee (2 tbsp for every 1 cup of water)

Instructions:

  1. Place coffee grounds in the French press.
  2. Boil water and allow to cool for 1 minute (ideal temperature is between195°F to 205°F).
  3. Pour hot water and let the grounds steep for 3 to 5 minutes. This will depend on how strong you want the coffee.
  4. Press the plunger all the way down. Pour in a cup. Serve hot and enjoy.

Why people love this technique for making coffee:

  • It’s easy to control the brewing process.
  • It preserves coffee flavor.
  • Can be used for making espresso at home
  • Higher antioxidants like chlorogenic acid which helps protect from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Caffeine Amount: Average of 107.5 mg per 8 oz cup.

Automatic Drip Coffee

This is the most common coffee brewing machine found in our kitchen and in hotel rooms.

What you will need: Automatic coffee maker, unbleached paper filter or hemp filter, ground coffee, water

Instructions:

  1. Put ground coffee in the paper filter.
  2. Fill the water reservoir with the amount of water you need.
  3. Press the “brew” button.
  4. Wait to brew. Serve in a cup and enjoy hot coffee.

Why people love this brew:

  • Most popular brewing method
  • Very convenient and practical
  • Some new automatic drip coffee have built-in coffee grinders.
  • Strong coffee flavor
  • Caffeine amount: Drip coffee is higher in caffeine at roughly 145 mg per cup.

Pour Over

Have you heard of Chemex and Hario? These are popular pour over coffee equipment. Some coffee lovers vow for the pour over’s rich and strong flavor. Other say when you try pour over, there’s no turning back.

What you will need: Pour over coffee maker, pour over coffee filter, filter holder, coarse ground coffee (like the texture of brown sugar) hot water (not boiling water)

Instructions:

  1. Boil water and cool it for 1 to 2 minutes. (Suggested temperature is between 195°F to 205°F)
  2. Place the dripper on the pour over machine and put the filter in the dripper.
  3. Add the grounds in the filter. Ensure the grounds are evenly distributed.
  4. Pour ¼ cup of water on the grounds and make sure that all grounds are wet.
  5. Wait for 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the remaining water. Pausing every pour so coffee is extracted evenly.

Cold Brew

Over the last couple of years, cold brew gained popularity in the mainstream coffee scene and coffee shops start to pick up the trend. Cold brew is a special, almost 24-hr process that lets cold water steep through the coffee grounds giving a cold, lighter in the palate but highly caffeinated drink.

What you will need: Large glass with lid, sieve or cheesecloth, coarse ground coffee, cold water.

Instructions:

  1. Put coffee grounds in a glass jar.
  2. Fill with cold water and stir well.
  3. Cover glass and steep for 18 to 24 hours.
  4. Filter the mixture with a sieve or cheesecloth to remove coffee grounds.
  5. Drink or transfer the cold brew in a container and store in your refrigerator.

Why people love this brew:

  • Enjoy your caffeine fix even on a hot summer day
  • Less acidity that regular hot brewed coffee
  • Sweeter and milder taste
  • Can be stored for a week and does not go stale quickly

Turkish Coffee

This is a special coffee brew in which you can add sugar and spices to make a flavorful cup. Fine coffee grounds are brewed in a brass pot over low temperature.

What you will need: Brass or copper cezve, sugar (coconut sugar for vegan), water, fine coffee grounds (1-2 tsp per 3 oz cup)

Instructions:

  1. Measure the water you need and pour it into the cezve.
  2. Place cezve over medium-high heat. Let water heat up but never let it boil. (Just about 195°F to 205°F).
  3. Add fine ground coffee, according to the volume of coffee you will make.
  4. Do not stir the coffee. Just let it float for a smoother taste.
  5. Add sugar, and still do not stir.
  6. Wait for the grounds to sink and the sugar to melt. Start stirring.
  7. Reduce to low heat.
  8. Continue stirring until a foam forms on the surface.

Why people love this brew:

  • Low temperature yields a smoother, sweeter brewed coffee
  • Requires less coffee grounds due to the unique steeping process
  • Caffeine Amount: 163 mg per 8 oz, or 61mg per 3 oz.

Coffee can be brewed with different methods. Often, it’s a matter of personality, preference and situation. Which one is your favorite?


In the future this site will feature large amounts of information on all these different ways of brewing coffee.

This page will be updated periodically as new posts are published. Thanks for reading!

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