Brewing a great cup coffee starts with figuring out what is a great cup of coffee.  Some people like bitter coffee.  Some like burnt coffee.  Some don’t care.  Yet others think a great cup of coffee should be smooth, never bitter, never burnt, with real coffee flavor, and subtle hints of chocolate, spice, or nut.  If that’s what you’re looking for then that’s what we’ll talk about here.

Believe it or not, each type of coffee brewing has its own taste profile.  You can take the same beans with the same roast and brew them in five different brewers and guess what?  You’ll get five different tastes.  Click Here for reviews of our favorite brewing machines.

whole bean coffee

Percolate

This is about as nasty as coffee gets.  The problem with a percolator is that it keeps passing the same coffee over the grounds over and over again.  This is the proverbial definition of bitter coffee.

how to make a great cup of coffeeCowboy/Turkish Coffee

Yep, this is about as basic as it comes.  Toss some course grounds in a pot (no filter) add water and set it on the fire.  This can be some nasty stuff.  But, if you let the water get just hot enough to drink, then take it off the fire and drink it straight, letting the grounds settle to the bottom of the pot and cup.  This is pretty darn good coffee.  Pretty simple and fun.  You might even start yodeling or singing cowboy songs afterwards.  Oh, Turkish coffee is made very similarly.  But I’m sure the Turks would have a fit being compared to “Cowboy’s”.

best coffee brewingDrip Machines

Simple and efficient, but not an entirely bad cup of coffee.  I use a Quisinart Grinder-Brewer when we have a slew of people come over.  It’s not the best coffee brewing method, but it is the simplest.  The worst I can say is that I can taste a very small hint of bitterness.  Surprisingly, you can actually taste a difference between paper filters and gold filters; between one drip make/model and another.  Keep in mind that I’m talking very small differences.

costa rican coffeePour Over (Costa Rican Sock)

Basically, this is very similar to the drip machines with a filter, except that you’re pouring (dripping) the water by hand over the grounds very slowly.  By slow, I mean 5 minutes per cup.  This is very good coffee and smoother than most brewing methods.

coffee brewingFrench Press

Yeah, leave it to the French.  With this method, you’re going to get all the taste that the beans can produce. The French Press reveals and magnifies all.   If you have bitter beans, this method will magnify that bitter taste.  If the roaster burnt your beans, the French Press is really going to magnify that burnt flavor.   BUT, if you like strong coffee this is the way to go.   Just remember, it really takes good coffee beans and a good roast to do this method justice.

Espresso

 

AeroPress

OK, this is my all time favorite brewing method.  It’s little more than an 8 ounce syringe, basically it’s a poor man’s espresso machine.  The results are nothing short of amazing.  This method/device makes the smoothest and least bitter coffee that I’ve ever encountered.  Check out the video near the bottom of this page (Click Here).

making coffeeCold Brew

Holly Molly!  This is one very smooth and naturally sweet cup of coffee.  If you like your caffeine cold, then this is the best way to go.  Just toss a 1/4 cup of course ground fresh coffee into a quart mason jar, fill it with water, put the lid on, shake it a few times, then set it in the refrigerator over night.  The next morning, just slowly pour of the top 2/3 into a glass.  Pure nirvana.

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How To Make Great Coffee

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