How do you take yours?

By Emily
February 13, 2016

‘How do you take yours?’ The title of one of my first presentations on the history of coffee brewing and how different cultures around the world enjoy their daily brew. At that time, it covered just five key brewing methods: Turkish, French Press, Filter, Stove top and Espresso. Often, in the more multi-cultural sessions, there were personal experiences, insights and a good level of debate into the virtues of each.

That was almost 15 years ago now and coffee brewing has truly evolved since then. V60, Aeropress, Syphon, cold brew and Clever Dripper are just some of the alternative brew methods on the market today. There is now much less cultural differentiation in brewing as the artisan coffee world is brought together through competitions, forums and events that foster education and the sharing of techniques to create the perfect cup.

This is very exciting for home baristas and professional barista alike. Though possibly a bit daunting if you find a list of brews you’ve not heard of on the menu in a coffee shop. Be re-assured that many of these new brew methods are just more sophisticated versions of some of the classics, classics that can still make an exceptional brew if used well with fresh, good quality coffee. Some are hybrids, mixing the principles of different methods designed to give the best of both or all.

What is very exciting is that coffee brewing has become more scientific. We understand to a better degree how to control the extraction of the compounds in the coffee bean to achieve the best taste, flavour and all important balance in a cup. Scales, probes, refractometers and extract mojos are common place in the coffee professional’s lab.

Good news! Similar results can be achieved at home, in your own kitchen, by using some basic techniques, equipment you probably have already and just a little understanding of brewing theory and sensory evaluation. This will enable you to both perfect and then refine to your own taste.

Coffee brewing has never before been such a personal thing, and now with so much choice we can explore and chose a method and recipe that suits us best whether it is for taste, ease, or aesthetics.

‘How do you take yours?’ is not about ‘milk and two sugars’ it’s about how you choose to brew this wonderful bean to draw out and enjoy the flavour potential inside.

In a future post I will outline the key principles for achieving delicious coffee at home and perhaps some more detailed guides to specific brewers.

In the mean- time I would love to learn;
How do you take yours?
What’s your preferred brew method and why?

6 thoughts on “How do you take yours?

    1. Thanks Tanya, This really is a classic brewer. Although the french stake claim to the original idea the patent was actually taken out by an Italian Designer in 1929. The Italians fell in love with espresso and stove top pots but no french household could be with out their ‘Cafetiere’. Hence the name ‘French Press’.
      Some tips for ensuring a full bodied and strong brew, with out bitterness, coming soon.

  1. My home brew journey started recently with a wonderful V60 birthday present so that’s how I like mine at the moment. Black as milk just gets in the way of the full flavour experience. Currently sipping on a cup made from a bean from Papua New Guinea.

    1. Ahhh the V60, so named due to the 60 degree angle of the cone designed for a perfect manual filter brew. Simple yet still scope to fine tune with grind and technique. More to come. Happy exploring the world of coffee with your new brewer Fergus!

  2. I was introduced to a method using the French Press in Italy nearly ten years ago when the host left the water to circulate for 10 minutes before ‘pressing’. The Italians call it ‘mocha’ or ‘moccha’, I’m not sure which. This contrasts with the chocolate and heated milk/cream concoction that I have seen the name tied with almost everywhere else. Produces a wonderfully smooth brew which I stuck with until recently buying my AeroPress. Enjoying having a play with that.

    1. Hi Melvyn,
      I wonder if your host was using an Italian stove top brewer known as a ‘Moka pot’. It can take around 10 minutes to prepare as water in the bottom chamber builds up pressure and is forced through the coffee grounds. With the right grind it can indeed produce a rich and smooth brew.
      So glad you have invested in an Aeropress, it’s such a great brewer. You should be getting some really smooth coffee? There’s lots of possibilities with this brewer…

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