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How To Brew Coffee: Brewing Methods & Techniques

person making pour over coffee on a tree stump

In recent years, more and more people have been turning to home brewing as a way to enjoy a high-quality cup of coffee without having to go to a cafe. This trend has been fueled by the rise of specialty coffee shops, the increasing availability of high-quality beans and brewing equipment, and being forced to stay indoors during the pandemic.

As a result, more people are becoming interested in learning how to brew coffee at home and experimenting with different brewing methods and techniques. According to a recent survey, nearly half of all coffee drinkers in the United States now make their own coffee at home at least once a week, with many reporting that they prefer the taste and convenience of home-brewed coffee to that of store-bought options.

Making coffee at home can also be a cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite beverage. While it may seem cheaper to grab a cup of coffee on the go or from a drive-thru, the cost of these convenience options can add up over time. In contrast, making coffee at home allows you to control the cost of your ingredients and the overall cost of your coffee.

One of the biggest advantages of making coffee at home is that you can buy high-quality beans in bulk at a lower cost than pre-packaged coffee. Additionally, you can choose to use less expensive brewing methods, such as a French press or pour-over, rather than more expensive options like a high-end espresso machine.

Furthermore, making coffee at home allows you to control the strength and flavor of your coffee, so you can adjust the amount of beans and water to suit your preferences. This can help you save money by using less coffee for a weaker brew or using more for a stronger one.

Overall, making coffee at home can be a cost-effective option for coffee lovers who want to enjoy their favorite beverage without breaking the bank. 

Planetary Design explores how you can make an amazing cup of coffee at home below.

What Are the 4 Methods to Brew Coffee?

There are many ways to make coffee at home, and the method you choose will depend on your personal preference and the equipment you have available. Here are a few common methods for making coffee at home:

This is the most common and convenient method for making coffee at home. Simply fill the machine with water, add coffee grounds to the filter, and turn it on. The machine will brew the coffee and dispense it into a carafe or mug.

To use a French press, heat water to near boiling and pour it over coarsely ground coffee beans in the pot. Let it steep for a few minutes, then press the plunger down to separate the coffee from the grounds. Pour the coffee into a mug or carafe and enjoy.

To make coffee using the pour-over method, place a filter in a cone-shaped device over a mug or carafe. Add coffee grounds to the filter, then slowly pour hot water over the grounds, allowing it to drip through the filter and into the mug or carafe.

If you don’t have any specialized equipment, you can also make coffee using instant coffee granules. Simply mix the granules with hot water in a mug or cup and stir.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to use fresh, high-quality coffee beans and clean equipment for the best-tasting coffee. You may also want to experiment with different brewing ratios (the amount of coffee to water) to find the strength and flavor that you prefer. We recommend this coffee-to-water ratio calculator as a good starting point.

How to Make the Best Coffee Step-by-Step

Here is a step-by-step guide to making the best coffee at home:

  1. Start with high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans: Choose beans that have been roasted within the past week or two and stored in an airtight container.
  2. Grind your beans: Freshly ground beans yield the best results.
  3. Heat water: Bring a pot of water to a boil, then let it cool for a minute or two. The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Prepare your equipment: If you are using a drip coffee maker, place a filter in the machine and add coffee grounds to the filter. If you are using a French press or pour-over method, place a clean filter in the device and add the ground coffee.
  5. Pour the water: Slowly pour the heated water over the coffee grounds, using a circular motion to ensure that all of the grounds are evenly saturated.
  6. Let it brew: For drip coffee makers, the brewing process will be automatic. For the French press, let the coffee steep for about four minutes, then press the plunger down to separate the coffee from the grounds. For pour-over, the brewing process should take about two to three minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy: Pour the brewed coffee into a mug or carafe and serve. You can add milk, sugar, or other sweeteners to taste.

Other Ways to Make Coffee

Here are a few additional methods for making coffee at home:


finely ground coffee - Planetary Design

The AeroPress is a handheld brewing device that uses a combination of air pressure and gravity to extract the flavors from coffee grounds. To use an AeroPress, you’ll need to add coffee grounds to the chamber, pour in hot water, and then press the plunger down to force the brewed coffee through a filter and into your mug.


chemex - Planetary Design

The Chemex is a pour-over coffee maker that uses a thick, paper filter to produce a clean, flavorful brew. To use a Chemex, you’ll need to heat water, wet the filter to remove any papery taste, add coffee grounds to the filter, and then slowly pour hot water over the grounds.

Moka Pot

moka pot - Planetary Design

A Moka pot is a small stovetop coffee maker that uses steam pressure to force hot water through ground coffee. To use a Moka pot, fill the lower chamber with water, add coffee grounds to the filter basket, and then place the pot on the stove over medium heat. The brewed coffee will collect in the upper chamber, which can be poured into a mug or carafe.

Cold Brew

person pouring coffee into glass cup out of borosilicate french press

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping ground coffee in cold water for an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. To make cold brew coffee, you’ll need to mix ground coffee and cold water in a jar or container, let it steep in the fridge and then strain out the grounds. Cold brew coffee has a smooth, mellow flavor and can be served over ice or mixed with milk and sweeteners. Read our guide to making the best cold brew coffee.

What Are the Three T’s of Coffee Brewing?

The three T’s of coffee brewing refer to three factors that can affect the taste of your coffee: time, temperature, and technique. Here’s a brief overview of each of the three T’s:

  1. Time: The length of time that you brew your coffee can have a big impact on its flavor. Longer brewing times can produce a stronger, more bitter flavor, while shorter brewing times will result in a milder, smoother flavor. It’s important to pay attention to the brewing time for your particular brewing method to ensure that you get the flavor you want.
  1. Temperature: The temperature of the water you use to brew your coffee can also affect its flavor. Water that is too hot can extract bitter flavors from the coffee beans, while water that is too cold may not extract enough flavor. Aim for a brewing temperature of between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
  1. Technique: The technique you use to brew your coffee can also have an impact on its flavor. This includes the brewing method you choose, the ratio of coffee to water you use, and the grind size of your beans. Experimenting with different techniques and adjusting the three T’s can help you achieve the perfect brew.

Advanced Tips for Making Better Coffee

Here are a few advanced tips for making better coffee at home:

  1. Use freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans: Freshly roasted beans will have a more complex and nuanced flavor than beans that have been sitting on a shelf for a while. Look for beans that have been roasted within the past week or two, and choose beans from a reputable source.
  2. Grind your own beans: Grinding your own beans just before brewing will give you the freshest and most flavorful coffee. Use a burr grinder, which crushes the beans evenly, rather than a blade grinder, which can produce unevenly ground coffee.
  3. Use the right water: The quality of the water you use can have a big impact on the flavor of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water has a strong taste or odor.
  4. Experiment with the brewing ratio: The brewing ratio is the amount of coffee to water you use. A common ratio is 1:15 (one part coffee to 15 parts water), but you may prefer a stronger or weaker brew. Experiment to find the ratio that works best for you.
  5. Preheat your equipment: Preheating your coffee pot, mug, or French press will help to ensure that your coffee stays hot and flavors are preserved.
  6. Experiment with brewing times: The length of time that you brew your coffee can affect its flavor. Longer brewing times can produce a stronger, more bitter flavor, while shorter brewing times will result in a milder, smoother flavor. Experiment to find the brewing time that works best for you.
  7. Store your coffee properly: To preserve the freshness and flavor of your coffee beans, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The Airscape Classic is a great option to prevent oxidative and UV degradation of your beans. Avoid storing them in the fridge or freezer, as the fluctuations in temperature can affect the beans’ flavor.

If you’re starting to get confident in your abilities then it may be fun to start experimenting with a couple of variables. Part of why making coffee at home has become so popular is because there are so many ways to create a good brew.

Here are some fun and easy ways to experiment:

  • Brew with different beans: One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your coffee is to try different types of beans. Experiment with beans from different regions, roast levels, and varieties to find the ones that you like best.
  • Use a scale to measure your beans and water: Using a scale to measure your beans and water will help you achieve a consistent brew every time. Follow the recommended ratios for your brewing method and adjust as needed to suit your taste.
  • Try adding flavorings to your coffee: Adding flavorings like syrup, cocoa powder, or spices to your coffee can add an extra layer of flavor to your brew. Experiment with different combinations to find the ones that you like best. You can even experiment with ice cream and candy bars.

Fun Ways to Make Coffee

An affogato is an Italian coffee-based dessert made with a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream. It’s a simple and elegant dessert that’s perfect for coffee lovers. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream.
  • 1 shot of hot espresso.
  • Optional: whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish.


  1. Scoop a single serving of vanilla gelato or ice cream into a small bowl or dessert dish.
  2. Brew a shot of espresso.
  3. Pour the hot espresso over the ice cream.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use strong brewed coffee instead. Just make sure it’s hot and pour it over the ice cream in the same way.

If you want to use a candy bar to add flavor to your coffee, you can try adding a small piece of chocolate to your coffee as it brews. This will allow the chocolate to melt and infuse its flavor into the coffee. Here’s a simple recipe you can follow:


  • 1 cup of water.
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coffee.
  • 1 small piece of chocolate (dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate work well).


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the ground coffee to a coffee filter and place it in a coffee maker or French press.
  3. Place the chocolate piece in the coffee filter with the ground coffee.
  4. Pour the hot water over the coffee and chocolate, and allow it to brew according to the instructions for your coffee maker or French press.
  5. Once the coffee is brewed, remove the coffee filter and discard it.
  6. Stir the coffee well to ensure that the chocolate is well combined.
  7. Serve the coffee hot and enjoy!

Note: You can also add some flavor extract, such as vanilla or peppermint, to the melted chocolate for added flavor. Just be sure to start with a small amount and adjust to taste.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making a coffee-based cocktail at home? Some classic options include the espresso martini, Irish coffee, and the black Russian. You can also get creative and invent your own coffee-based cocktails using a variety of ingredients and flavors.

To make a coffee cocktail at home, you’ll need a few basic ingredients and some basic cocktail-making equipment. Here’s a simple recipe for an espresso martini:


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka.
  • 1 ounce Kahlua or other coffee liqueur.
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup.
  • 1 shot of espresso.


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the vodka, Kahlua, simple syrup, and espresso to the shaker.
  3. Shake the ingredients together vigorously until the shaker is cold to the touch.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a twist of lemon or an espresso bean, if desired.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can also make this cocktail using cold brew coffee instead of espresso if you prefer. Simply mix the cold brew with the other ingredients and shake well before serving.

In conclusion, making coffee at home can be a convenient, cost-effective, and rewarding way to enjoy your favorite beverage. With the right equipment and a little bit of practice, you can learn how to make a wide range of coffee drinks, from simple drip coffee to espresso-based specialties.

coffee maker - Planetary Design

Whether you prefer a classic French press or a modern pour-over setup, there is a brewing method out there that will suit your needs and preferences. By taking the time to learn about the different coffee brewing methods and experimenting with different beans and brewing ratios, you can create the perfect cup of coffee to suit your taste and budget. Contact Us at Planetary Design if you would like to learn more!

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