A red mug full of roasted coffee beans is spilled out onto a saucer against a black, slate background.
General, Make It

How Do You Make Your Cup? 5 Best Coffee Brewing Methods

It’s time to spill the beans …

The consumption of coffee has become a daily ritual for most of us, especially those of us with busy schedules and early-morning alarms.  While our habits may be spurred by the life-giving properties of caffeine, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy and savor each and every cup.

Much like the complexities of something seemingly so simple as frying an egg, the different coffee brewing methods vary as significantly as over-easy versus sunny-side up.  At Planetary Design, our morning routines are all very similar; however, our respective coffee brewing tendencies vary from person to person and we cannot even attempt to agree on which is best.  So, we did some research and came up with this list — it is now up to you to decide! May the flavors be with you.

French Press

Perhaps the most well-known alternative to an electric drip roast (like your parent’s Mr. Coffee machine), the French press is a fool-proof coffee brewing method that provides the most consistent tasting and aromatic experience on a day-to-day basis.

Using a French press is pretty easy; pour your choice of ground beans and some hot water into the press, wait a little while, push down the plunger and voilà!  You have got yourself one of the best tasting cups of coffee you can make in the comfort of your own home.

This is the French press by our coffee aficionados here at Planetary Design.  You can see the plunger/lid to the left and the coffee carafe to the right.  With its patented Bru-stop screen press and its high-quality construction of restaurant-grade stainless steel, our French press makes your coffee exceptionally smooth, aromatic and never too bitter. Plus, you can take it with you wherever you go!

Moka Pot

Referred to as the macchinetta in its country of origin (which, you guessed it, is Italy), coffee lovers across the Europe and North America have been enjoying this coffee brewing technique since it was patented in 1933.  If you like strong coffee, as many of us do, consider testing out this method for yourself.

Known for accentuating the natural caramel, nutty and chocolatey notes in your favorite brew, Moka pots create a strong cup of coffee that highlights the naturally occurring earthy aromas and flavors of your favorite roast.

Brewing your own coffee with a Moka pot is relatively simple.  Fill the base of the pot with water, loosely pour your ground coffee in the filter funnel (more coarse than espresso but less than drip) and heat on your stove top between low and medium heat.  After heating for between 5-10 minutes, the water in the bottom reservoir will begin to bubble up through the coffee in the filter funnel into the top reservoir.

Once this happens, remove your Moka from heat immediately!  The residual heat stored in the pot will be enough to finish your brew — and over-brewing can make your coffee quite bitter.

For an in-depth look at the intricacies of Moka brewing, check out this guide by Death Wish Coffee.

Turkish Coffee

When you’re in Greece, the full-bodied beverage produced by this brewing method is referred to as “Greek coffee”.  If you’re in the Middle-East: “Arabic” or “Lebanese coffee”. People all over the world have taken to this brewing method, and albeit a little bit more labor intensive, we consider it to be a labor of love and well worth the savory experience.

Brewing Turkish coffee is much like every other coffee brewing method — grind your coffee, add it to hot water, brew and consume.  However, there is one aspect of Turkish coffee that is much different from other methods: The size of the grind.

Before you start brewing your own cup of Turkish coffee, make sure you have coffee that has been ground to a fine powder.  You can do this at home with traditional grinders that look more like pepper mills. For further instructions on how to grind your beans for Turkish coffee, check out this list.

This video by DIY Recipes provides a simple and easy to understand Turkish brewing tutorial.  Give it a watch and try for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

Pour Over

If you grew up in the United States and your parents prescribed to a good ol’ cup of joe each morning, chances are you might be familiar with the Mr. Coffee drip coffee-making machine.  While the sounds of the sputtering water and steam may prove nostalgic to many of us, the sad truth is that drip coffee machines, while they may be consistent, do not do the beans’ natural taste or aroma any favors.

Call it a groundbreaking advancement in coffee brewing, or maybe even call it pretentious, but certainly don’t knock the pour over method before you try it.  The prepared cup in its final stages can go toe-to-toe with Turkish and Moka methods in terms of scent and taste but requires no special equipment. There is beauty in the simplicity of pour over brewing.  

Pour over coffee enthusiasts find their brewing method to be the most intimate when compared to robobrews.  Really, it’s subtle and romantic. With just a few simple tools, you can make a personalized brew — as perfected as you like it — before facing the day’s work and challenges.  Take a moment each morning for yourself and your coffee — we think you may find it quite relaxing.

This step-by-step guide by Stumptown Coffee Roasters will ease you through the nuances of pour over and ensure that you can make the best cup for you, every brew.

Cold Brew

Our final favorite brewing method is somewhat of an antithesis to the previous techniques we talked about and proves to be so by name itself. Cold brew coffee is exactly that: coffee that has been brewed using cold water instead of hot. And oh boy, is it delightful.

If we could sum up a cold brew in one word, it’d be smooth.  Without the bitterness of traditional roasting styles, the flavor and temperature of cold brew coffee provide for a calm, cool and refreshing experience in every sip.  With just a spoonful of sugar and a splash of cream, you’ve got the best companion for reading outside on a balmy and sunny summer’s day.

Not only is cold brew coffee magnificently pleasant to drink, it’s also incredibly easy to make.  Forget about boiling any water, just put some room temperature H₂O and your grounds in a Mason jar when you get home from work, stir lightly and cover, put your jar in the fridge and by the time you need to go to work the next day, you’ve got the perfect cold brew waiting for you.

Have we piqued your interest? Check out this classic and awesome cold brew recipe from the New York Times and give it a whirl.

Brew On!

There’s a new personal favorite cup of coffee out there waiting for you! The way we each choose to enjoy our morning mug is specific to each an every one of us.  Something as simple as the way we brew our coffee expresses our individuality and to this we say: brew on!