In my business, people have always asked me, what is the best tasting coffee maker ? It’s a good question and one that anyone who has been in the business for a long time knows how to answer to a customer. Ultimately, it is not up to me to tell them how to drink their coffee. It is the customer’s preference on what characteristics they like in their coffee as well as the type of bean that will ultimately determine for the individual customer themselves – how best do I brew my coffee to get it to taste the best…….TO ME!
That’s why I thought it best to run through a few brewing options to help you along the path.
The Espresso Machine – My barista at home.
Once the property of only the well-to-do, espresso machines have expanded from the commercial market to the domestic market. Many households now have some type of espresso machine sitting on their kitchen bench.
Many have been presents, or purchases by people who wish to have that cafe style coffee in the morning before they go off for work. The problem is, that not many people know what to buy or what they are looking for. Ideally, if you are going to purchase a domestic coffee machine, you want one that has a decent water pump in it. A decent pump ensures that your extraction is ideal. The second and most important factor in purchasing an espresso machine, is ensuring you purchase a separate grinder with it. Personally I have not been a fan of grinders built into machines as I don’t believe that they can get the grind fine enough for a perfect extraction. Ideally, you are looking to buy a domestic grinder with conical burr blades.
The espresso machine brings out the thick essence of the coffee bean. You are effectively pushing 25ml of water through 22 grams of coffee, which is why many people prefer to have it with milk to take the edge off it. If you like your coffee rich and thick, then this is a brewing method for you.
The French Press – Also known as The Plunger
Plunging coffee was traditionally how many people drank their weekend morning coffee. Plunging coffee basically uses a coarser grind of coffee than the espresso. The measurements are typically one tablespoon for one cup, however people change this to taste. The method in making plunging coffee is pretty simple, which is why it is popular. All you do is paste the coffee grounds with some cold water, then pour recently boiled water over the top. Let it steep for a few minutes, then press the lid down which fuses the water and coffee grind together and pushes the used coffee grind to the bottom leaving the coffee in the upper chamber.
Plunging coffee is a fantastic morning coffee. It is ideally suited to people who don’t like their coffee overly strong, but also a coffee that has a fresh, clean feel about it. Mostly people drink it black due to it’s lighter properties, however there is no problem adding milk.
The Espresso Stove Top
Frequently known as the “Anywhere coffee maker”, as it is one that is ideal to take camping, but it is also quite at home on the stove in your kitchen.
The Espresso Stove Top uses a grind that is the same course level as plunger. However due to the brewing method, the coffee brews a lot darker and richer that the plunger coffee. Typically, customers will use a single origin coffee or a blend that is 100% Arabica, as the brewing method calls for a softer style bean with a medium roast.
The brewing process is again pretty simple with the Stove Top Espresso with the water being put in the bottom chamber, ground coffee in the middle chamber and then put on the stove. There are three things to remember though when brewing Stove Top Espresso. Firstly, always fill the coffee chamber to ensure a good extraction, secondly do not pack the ground coffee down as the pressure coming up through the Stovetop will be sufficient and thirdly, never leave the stove as forgetting that it is there will mean you will burn the bottom out!
Options are a plenty!
These are just a few of the more common brewing methods of coffee and I will cover more in future articles. I encourage those people that like their coffee to give each of these a try as you may just find the perfect coffee maker for you.