Every day is full of choices… What will you wear? Should I have one dessert or two? The list goes on, though few choices are as important as how will you make your morning coffee?
There are so many options on the market about coffee from the beans, the filters, the presses and more that it can be hard to decide if how you are making your coffee now is really give you what you need (or desire).
Maybe it’s time to take a step back, look at some of the best of those coffee processing options and think, what’s right for you?
Drip Coffee: The Orignal
Picture making coffee… Are you picturing it yet?
For many people, traditional drip coffee is what comes to mind when making a regular cup of coffee. Stocking up on coffee filters so that every morning can be started with a fresh cup of hot coffee.
Most Americans live for their drip machine (here’s one of the most popular ones from Ninja), with the convenience factor adding to the coffee addiction. (Me included). Some machines even have settings so that you can wake up to a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. What more could you need!?
The main disadvantage for including a drip machine in your coffee routine is the fact that it results in a somewhat flat coffee, but with that comes the advantage of convenience. What would you rather sacrifice more: time or taste?
Drip machines nowadays are quite advanced in their abilities, meaning they make more quality coffee but their simple mechanisms cannot replace the refreshing depth of flavor that hard work produces.
There’s nothing wrong with taking the easy way out, especially if that still leads you to a fresh cup of morning coffee, but there is so much more beautiful potential when it comes to making coffee.
Drip Coffee: The Remix
Most coffee shops now offer pour over coffee options. This is still considered “drip coffee”—potentially more so than from your coffee machine considering the slow drip of the coffee as it is made. It’s those odd looking apparatuses found in coffee shops, that look like they’d be better suited in a science lab, who’s methodology leads to a perfect cup of coffee.
This is not to mean that pour over coffee is the easiest method out there. With that being said, few things beat the pride of making a perfect cup of coffee from pour over for the first time.
Timing is everything with pour over. The blooming process turns coffee making from a science to an art. This is when you pour hot water over the coffee, only to make it wet enough for the coffee to be soaked but not so much so that it starts to drip through the filter.
It is like waking the coffee up itself, and the science behind it reveals that doing so sets of different reactions between the coffee and water. Blooming can be done in multiple coffee-making styles, but it is most important for pour over.
There’s few disadvantages when it comes to the pour over. It’s a fun way to make coffee—if you do it right. The main downfall is working out the kinks in your own methods and learning how to make coffee that suits your pallet the best. The key there is to pay attention to detail and be patient.
How to Make the Perfect Pour Over Coffee
- Place a paper coffee filter into the cone, and place that on a mug on a scale (which comes in to play soon). Here’s a coffee filter we like to use a lot.
- Rinse the paper coffee filter with hot water.
- Add 32 grams of ground coffee to the filter.
- Reset the scale. Using a scale ensures a more exact amount, as using a measuring cup leaves more room for error. Here’s an inexpensive scale we found on Amazon.
- Pour 50 grams of hot water evenly over the grounds.
- Bloom for 30 seconds, and then stir gently.
- Pour 430 grams of hot water over the grounds in a slow, even spiral motion. Do this until the paper is three-quarters full. Do not let the water get over that level.
- Allow the water to soak through, then keep pouring the rest of the 430 grams.
- Once all of the water is poured, let it sit so the water can absorb and drip through.
- Remove the filter and let the coffee cool.
More info can be found from The Curious Baristas Guide to Coffee.
Much like figuring out your ideal ratio, getting your hands on a pour-over system comes down to some preference. Chemex is popular not only for its high-quality but its aesthetics. People have been reaching for Chemexes for decades. A cheaper, yet quality qualified, option is the Hario V60.
A french press might be one of the easiest ways to step up your coffee game. You can personalize every drink based on flavor, acidity and temperature. You want your coffee a bit cooler? Heat it a bit less before you put it in to the french press. Thinking of making homemade cold brew? A french press will do the job. Like any other technique, using different roasts creates different flavors.
The french press has been a staple in households internationally for well over a century now, with a patent being made in 1852 in France. The french press exudes European flair in most of the models sold today, with a glass and metal finish, but it is important to get your hands on a french press with a quality filter and plunger.
Like pour overs, french press is all about the ratio. Lower ratios will make your coffee stronger and thicker bodied—and wanting more of less of that comes down to individual preference. Considering I tend to crave a medium roast but sometimes only have a dark roast on hand, I will adjust the ratio a bit in order to water down the dark roast flavor.
The french press leaves a lot of room for error, which makes it a good learning tool. The following outline is a good place to start and can easily be adjusted based on what you like! It is possible to just eyeball the ingredients, but measuring things out specifically is what makes for bold flavors.
How to Make Coffee with a French Press
- Grind your coffee beans. 22g is a good place to start. Some grinders have a french press setting itself, but no matter what you will want to make sure it is coarsely ground.
- Add grounded coffee beans to the french press. Shake the french press so that the coffee is evenly spread out on the bottom.
- Pour 11oz of hot water into the french press and stir gently.
- Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 seconds.
- Cover. Make sure to not push down the plunger just yet.
- Allow it to sit for several minutes. This comes down to personal preferences. 5 minutes is typically the standard time frame.
- Press the plunger down. This pushes the grinds to the bottom and leaves fresh coffee on top to be served.
- Let the coffee sit for a few minutes, as it will still be very hot. Be careful!
- Simply enjoy your french pressed coffee.
So… What’s Right For You?
Better question might be what isn’t right for you. Deciding on french press versus dip coffee might come down to how you want your coffee to taste or the morning routine you develop based on the coffee that you like.
Stick to the drip machine if you’re here for the basics and want to be quick. Otherwise, perfect your pour-over if you know how to pay attention to detail for the sake of a great cup.
Surprise anyone who comes over for a cup of coffee with your perfected pour over technique!
Baristas are often willing to share their knowledge, so if you find yourself hesitant stop in to your local shop for a live tutorial. Grab a French press if you’re just beginning your coffee journey—but you know that journey is part of a life long love affair. Be sure to give them all a try at least once.
If you have interest in all coffee-making methods, the natural progression would be drip machine, to French press, to pour over. This will secure a growth in knowledge as you learn more about what you like and the science behind good coffee. Incorporating a scale and a timer to your coffee making routine may seem like a lot, but be sure to have fun with it and pay attention to how every mishap and miscalculation can actually lead you to a better cup in the future!
Thanks for reading our newest article on french press versus drip coffee. Be sure to share and join 80K+ other people following @coffeesesh. Also if you want to learn more about making coffee from people just like you, be sure to join our private Facebook group here at Daily Coffee Talk. You’ll be able to learn how to brew, how to roast and most importantly how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee!