Top Coffee Brewing Methods & Machines: The Ultimate Guide
Brewing coffee isn’t just about the beans, it about getting the right machines, equipment and methods. Find out how to brew coffee like an expert with Waaqa.
As coffee lovers, we all want to be able to brew the best coffee possible. Yes, getting yourself down to your local coffee shop is all well and good, but brewing a great coffee yourself is a skill everyone wants to have. To get going on our journey, we need good coffee brewing equipment, methods and machinery. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need so you can choose which methods tickle your fancy. Can you tell we’re excited to share our secrets? Let’s get started!
Coffee brewing equipment
Good coffee brewing equipment is what you need to make great cups of coffee time and time again. Here, we have all the basic equipment for coffee brewing.
A coffee bean storage system
We need to keep our coffee fresh – it’s essential to getting the rich coffee flavour we crave. To do this, we need to protect our precious coffee beans from light, air, moisture and heat (talk about sensitive!) We’ll need to take the beans out of the packet they came in and place them into a coffee container that is air tight, opaque and made from glass, ceramic or a non-reactive metal. Keep the container in a cool and dry place (room temperature, not in the fridge) and keep it away from direct heat of the sun.
Because the flavour is preserved, your beans will taste better for longer.
Trusty kitchen scales
Accuracy is key, my coffee-lovers. We can’t have the best cup of coffee possible without the help of our scales for coffee bean accuracy. Because beans come in a variety of sizes, a scale will give you a better outcome than ‘teaspoon’ measurements.
A sturdy coffee grinder
You already know…we’re having none of that pre-ground coffee on this turf. It’s time to start grinding those beautiful beans by yourself.
Keep the beans whole and in their container until you want a fresh cup of coffee. We recommend to do this until the moment you’re ready to brew. Getting yourself a coffee grinder with good size variance control can also be a great help for the different variety of coffees you’re about to make. You can learn all about grinding coffee the right way with our article.
An electric kettle
We need control in this kitchen! That’s why an electric kettle is recommended, so you can pay attention to the perfect temperature of the water you’re using. Your kettle should ideally have:
1. It’s a gooseneck (you can control the pour more precisely)
2. Its electric
3. It has variable temperatures (so you can easily heat to the preferred temp to achieve an optimised extraction for your chosen brewing method).
How to brew coffee: coffee brewing methods you need to know about
Now that you know about all of the equipment you need, it’s time to get cracking with the coffee brewing methods. We’ve listed some brewing methods and how they work. Different brewing methods give us a different flavour profile so our tastebuds stay alert. Afterall, we crave variety! Take a look at our methods listed below and make sure to pick your favourites.
A French press makes coffee by immersing (coarsely) ground coffee in hot water and then separating the grounds from the coffee by pressing down the filter with a pump.
Drip brewing and Pourover
This is where your fancy gooseneck electric kettle can really shine. Drip brewing is done during the process of pulling cold filtered water out of a reservoir, warming up that filtered water with heat and pressure and siphoning it up through the machine. The hot water is filtered down through the grounds so the freshly brewed coffee can pass through the paper filter and into the carafe.
We all know and love this one! The perfect cup of espresso is crafted when pressurized water passes through finely-ground coffee. The beans used for espresso are roasted for longer, giving us a thick coffee with crema on top.
Cold-brewed coffee is the method of patience. It uses time rather than heat to extract oils and caffeine from coffee beans. Coffee grounds and cold water are left to ‘brew’ over an extended period of time (usually 18 to 24 hours), and then filtered for drinking. Delicious!
Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti invented this method in 1933. It brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through the coffee grounds. Who doesn’t love an Italian coffee?
The Siphon is another form of immersion coffee. It’s brewed by two chambers where the vacuum and vapor pressure work together. The Siphon works by heating and cooling the water gases from the carafe chamber to the infusion chamber. It does this again and again until we get finely brewed coffee.
Types of coffee brewing machines to choose from
For all those delicious coffee brewing methods, a machine to do the all the hard work is needed. Getting the right coffee brewing machine for your desired coffee is essential to get the right flavours.
We’ve split these between electric and manual – which does require a little bit of elbow grease on your part. But hey – no pain, no gain!
Electric: Drip coffee makers
A drip coffee maker is where the water automatically drips into a heating tube. Once the water is heated, it’s poured on the ground coffee and goes through a filter.
Electric: Espresso machines
An electric espresso machine is a bit more expensive and can be quite fiddley. If you’re espresso-obsessed, this can work for you when you get the technique right. Then, you’re on your way to coffee-shop coffee from the comfort of your home sanctuary.
Electric: Siphon coffee makers
Siphons are also known as vacuum pot coffee makers. They’re not very practical for everyday use due to their many fragile parts and the time that goes into brewing each pot. Many siphon users love the unique taste – so, as coffee lovers, it’s definitely one to try (and, not to mention, how cool it looks).
Manual: French press coffee makers
A French press is easy to use, easy to clean, and is even travel friendly for when you’re exploring the world. The press uses a mesh metal filter so all the coffee’s flavour oils are in your cup, rather than in the filter paper. For this, water should be at about 93ºC to optimise flavour extraction – we don’t want our coffee to be burnt!
Manual: Cold brew coffee makers
Like we mentioned earlier, this one is easy and reliable. Coffee grounds are left to steep in room-temperature water overnight. After this, the liquid is poured through a filter to remove the grounds, and then ice is added. This method is known for producing a less acidic brew than other types of coffee brewing machines.
Manual: Stovetop pot coffee maker
This stovetop pot is also known as a Moka pot. It’s an Italian cost-effective alternative to a big home espresso machine. It produces a thick, rich and flavourful brew. Moka Pots rely on steam pressure to convey the water through the coffee grounds and into the upper chamber.
This is another great one for those who love travelling and, particularly, staying outdoors. This stovetop pot can be easily placed over a campfire, brews quickly and produces an espresso-like kind of coffee.
Now, we know this isn’t technically a coffee brewing machine, but we couldn’t resist reminding you how great a frother is. For the perfect, thick foam on top of your homemade coffee, this device is essential. For those of you plant-based milk drinkers out there, an automatic frother will likely work best for you.
We hope you loved our ‘how to brew coffee’ article! Waaqa is here to be your personal coffee guide, so why not read all about our best tips to make the perfect cup of coffee right in your own home, next!