15+ Popular Coffee Brewing Methods Compared & Reviewed

There are probably more coffee brewing methods than you realize and they are all very popular.

You have to get pretty fringe to find a technique to make coffee that only a few people do regularly.

In my home I own a ton of different coffee makers and I have probably discarded more units that most people own in a lifetime.

Coffee is a passion of mine and it’s something I can’t imagine experimenting with day in and day out for years to come.

I have personally used almost all of these methods to make coffee more times than I can count and as such I’ve started building up a deep base of comparison articles here on this site dedicated just to the comparison of various methods for making coffee.

Want to know how to make coffee?

Point me to your preferred technique and I’ll be able to guide you right off the top of my head.

Want to know which way of making coffee is best?

That is hard to say because they all have their perks. They all have their cons too though.

Before we get straight into the comparisons I want to first introduce you to the list of major coffee brewing methods that are frequently covered here on this site.

The Most Common Coffee Brewing Techniques in the World

  • Regular Drip Coffee from an Automatic Coffee Maker
  • Keurig Style Coffee – K-cups & Other Pod Coffee
  • Espresso & Espresso Based Drinks
  • Stovetop Moka (Stovetop Espresso)
  • Percolator Coffee
  • Aeropress Coffee
  • Pour over Coffee – This type of coffee can be broken up easily into multiple sub-categories
    • Chemex
    • Coffee Drippers
    • Automatic Pour Over Coffee
  • Nespresso and Other Capsule Based Espresso Machines
  • French Press Coffee
  • Turkish Style Stovetop Coffee
  • Cold Brew Coffee
  • Slow Drip Coffee

Amazingly these are just the most common techniques used to make coffee and these methods can be grouped and categorized in many different ways.

There are filtered and unfiltered methods for making coffee. These are differentiated primarily by coffee brewing methods that preserve the oils in the coffee as opposed to those methods that filter out the oils.

Unfiltered methods include but are not limited to:

  • French Press,
  • Espresso,
  • Turkish, and
  • Moka

Filtered methods typically remove oils and fine sediment by filtering the liquid coffee through a paper filter.

Drip coffee makers do this as do many pour over drippers like the Chemex or the Hario V60.

Some devotees of percolator coffee will use paper filters although many perc brewers go the non-filtered route. Some machines may make this easier than others.

Let’s Start With Auto Drip (Regular Coffee)

Drip coffee is the most common brewing method in the US. If you go in to virtually any restaurant, gas station, supermarket or household in America they probably use a form of automatic drip coffee maker regularly and frequently.

This is easily the base for all comparisons because virtually everybody out there knows drip coffee, how it’s brewed, and what it tastes like.

I would argue however that of these people most don’t really ever make the best drip coffee possible and as such their view of drip coffee is slanted by their experience drinking bad coffee on a daily basis.

When you brew drip coffee with a coffee maker at full temperature using freshly roasted beans that were freshly ground your drip coffee will be quite flavorful, much more so that people typically make themselves.

Most people also don’t use enough coffee grind when making drip coffee so they have gotten used to weak or watered down coffee.

Properly brewed drip coffee can taste amazingly good and it can closely approximate common snob-styles like any of the pour over drippers, Chemex style carafe pour over models, or automatic pour over devices.

Although drip coffee is very similar to Keurig coffee it can always beat a Keurig in flavor if it is brewed correctly and with care mostly because Keurig style machines are limited by the grind – K cups are always a bit too small for a full cup of coffee and the grind is never fresh. It may be close to fresh but it’s just not.

Let’s move on to Espresso

One of the next most common forms of coffee brewed in the world is espresso. Even if you don”t drink straight espresso you may very well have it mixed into your favorite drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and mochas just to name a few.

Starbucks has made all the espresso drinks palatable to virtually everyone with all the creamers and sugars they have added to espresso and now an entire industry has been formed to bring espresso based drinks home to the kitchen without forcing the homeowner to maintain an entire coffee shop in their kitchen.

Nespresso has made espresso possible at the touch of a button just like Keurig has don’t to drip coffee.

The quality of Nespresso style espresso isn’t as good as you will get by doing everything fresh and manually but it’s close enough for most people.

For top tier quality doing everything manually is always best but good espresso done properly requires a lot of expensive equipment in the home.

In addition to real-deal espresso machines there are other products that are popular that  make coffee that closely approximates espresso for a lot smaller of an investment.

Moka pots are common and affordable and they make something very similar to espresso.

The Aeropress is another common alternative that kind of bridges the gap between strong coffee and espresso. It meets in the middle and some use it as an espresso alternative.

Old timey percolators aren’t really a replacement for espresso but it is a good option for people who want to get a super strong unfiltered coffee without having the fiddle with a french press.

There is No Best Way to Make Coffee

I firmly believe that all of these methods are great and perfect for certain types of people and in certain situations.

No matter how you choose to make coffee if you get the ingredients right up front then you will have a great cup.

Use filtered water, brew at the right temperature, use freshly roasted beans and grind them yourself just before making your coffee, don’t over extract your brew, and make sure to use enough grind for the amount of water you use.

Follow those simple rules and every coffee brewing method can turn out amazing.

Now, having said that let’s get on to the brew method comparisons I’ve published on this site. The following posts are direct head-to-head comparisons of one method to another. You should learn a bit about the differences between making coffee one way compared to the other as well what to expect with the taste and feel of coffee brewed one way over another.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll check out some of the following brew-method comparisons.

Keurig Style Coffee Comparisons

Keurig vs Drip Coffee (3709) – This is actually one of the most popular brewing method comparisons on this website. Everyone seems to know what makes drip coffee and although they know Keurig coffee is similar they also know it’s different somehow. In this post I go into greater detail on how Keurig coffee is brewed and how it is different from your standard drip coffee maker. These differences are the reason that Keurig coffee is fundamentally different.

Keurig Coffee vs Standard Espresso (605) – In some ways Keurig coffee seems a bit like Espresso in that the servings are single sized in both machines and both can be made somewhat automatically but beyond just a cursory glance out of the corner of your eye the two different machines make coffee in very different ways and the flavor profile of the drinks couldn’t be more different.

Keurig vs Pour Over Coffee (267) – Pour over coffee is a lot like a manual drip style coffee except it’s usually only created a single cup at a time. What’s interesting is that Keurig coffee can be described in almost the same way except that it’s not manual at all. Depending on the care you put into making pour over coffee it can be just as good as Keurig coffee or a lot better.

French Press vs Keurig Coffee (241) – With the exception of pressurized coffee brewing techniques like espresso, moka, and Nespresso French press coffee and Keurig coffee couldn’t be more different. One is filtered the other isn’t, one is manual, the other is automated, one is thought to be premium, the other considered to be a commodity.

Nespresso vs Keurig (268) – These are the big two brands in pod-style coffee and espresso. Keurig makes pod-based drip coffee while Nespresso makes pod-based shots of espresso. Neither system make a better product than their traditional counterparts but both do a great job at making good and easy alternatives to the manual style brewing methods that are more traditional.

How Drip Coffee Compares To Common Alternatives

Drip Vs Percolator Coffee (1484) – Text

Aeropress vs Regular Drip Coffee (381) – Text

Moka Pot vs Drip Coffee (50) – Text

Regular Drip Coffee vs Espresso (252) – Text

Pour Over Coffee vs Drip (93) – Text

Standard Drip Coffee vs French Press (96) – Text

Nespresso vs Drip Coffee (1681) – Text

How Nespresso Style Is Different

Nespresso vs Aeropress (183) – Text

Nespresso vs Real Espresso (191) – Text

French Press vs Nespresso (352) – Text

Ristretto vs Espresso vs Lungo (1073) – Text

The Aeropress Is Quite Unique

Aeropress vs Stovetop Espresso (Moka) (140) – Text

Aeropress vs Espresso (254) – Text

Aeropress vs French Press Coffee (0) – These are two very popular “upgrades” to drip coffee and both methods are frequently used by people who are either traveling or camping. Both can make particularly strong coffee too so its natural to compare the coffee that both of these devices can make.

Other Styles Of Coffee Compared

Percolator vs French Press Coffee (125) – Text

French Press vs Espresso (57) – Text

Percolator Coffee vs Espresso (193) – Text

Stovetop Espresso vs Real Espresso (118) – Text

Stovetop Espresso vs French Press Coffee (43) – Text

Moka Pot vs Percolator Coffee (76) – Text

Pour Over vs French Press Coffee (0) – Text

Chemex vs French Press Coffee (6) – Text

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee (16) – Text

Pour Over vs Chemex Coffee (36) – Text

Percolator vs Pour Over Coffee (384) – Text

Pour Over Coffee vs Stovetop Moka (244) – Text

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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