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Worldwide coffee brewing has turned into a delicate art. Stacey Moss, managing director, Avanti Coffee Company, unpacks some of his favourite alternative brewing methods that are shaping the coffee industry and are perfect for you to try at home.
The pour-over method
This method continues to gain popularity for its ability to bring out a crisp, clean cup of coffee high in flavour and low in body from the grounds. It works particularly well with single origins as you can taste the different characteristics of each country’s coffee. “It might seem like a daunting process but it’s actually really simple and in my opinion, it’s one of the best ways to brew coffee at home,” Stacey says.
There are a number of different permutations of this method, but the two that are really making waves are those using the Chemex pour-over coffee maker and the Hario v60 dripper. With these, one simply pours hot water over the grounds, preferably with a gooseneck kettle. If you don’t have one, however, a normal kettle will work just fine.
“What makes the pour-over method so great is that you can control the taste. So, if you’re looking for a lighter taste, you will need to pour faster and if you’re looking for a stronger flavour, you will need to pour for longer,” Stacey says.
The French press
This process is simple too and is one of the least expensive ways to make a good cup of coffee. Unlike the pour-over method, the French press uses immersion brewing whereby the coffee rests in the water for a period of time. This allows it to draw out the natural flavours of the coffee. It also retains more of the natural oils which is what gives it a finer taste and medium body.
“Although a simple method, it does take a bit of time and you need to ensure that the coffee has been extracted enough. This is probably one of the best ways to achieve a classic coffee flavour that is heavily bodied. If it’s over extracted, however, the coffee becomes bitter in taste,” Stacey says.
This is a quick and clean brewer which can brew a full filter-style cup, or a stronger more concentrated coffee. “I wouldn’t suggest this method if you’re not a fan of strong coffee,” he says.
It gives you the same taste you can expect from a French press without the oils and the sludge. “It brews delicious, concentrated shots of coffee that you can add water to, giving you great-tasting black coffee.”
The Moka pot
This stove-top espresso maker brews a strong cup of coffee. It uses pressurised steam which is forced through the coffee grounds. The end result is an intense and thick brew of heavily bodied coffee with rich, earthy chocolatey notes. It’s similar in consistency and taste to espresso.
The Moka pot consists of a steel body with two chambers, separated by a funnel-like filter. Water is added to the bottom chamber and ground coffee to the filter. It’s then placed on a gas or induction stove where the heat turns the water into steam and forces it through the coffee.
“It’s simple and effective,” Stacey says, “but you need to ensure you’re maintaining a medium temperature throughout as a higher temperature can negatively affect the taste of the coffee. It can be quite difficult to control the variables. If it’s done wrong, you can end up with an acidic and not-so-pleasant cup.”