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6 Ways to Brew Coffee and Their Origins

Updated on August 25, 2015

How to Brew Coffee-Global Style

 You may have believed that the only coffee brewing method consisted of hearing the steady drip-drip of your Krups in the morning, but the world of coffee is so much bigger than that! All over the world cultures from both East and West have divised their own unique ways to brew a satisfying cup of joe, and you can experiment with many of these brewing tehniques right in your own home. This Hub is simply an overview of the many ways to brew coffee, if you'd like more in depth information check out some of my other, more specific Hubs!

Drip Coffee

The most popular and easily recognizable method of brewing coffee in the USA, the drip method. The beans are ground to a medium consistency then placed in a filter basket. The machine then heats the water and begins to let water drip into the filter basket, where the coffee magic happens. After spending some time with the grounds the water drips into the pot after acquiring some flavor. Drip coffee provides a moderate to weak flavor, but is easy to make because a machine does all of the hard work. The flavor of the coffee also varies widely depending on the type and quality of beans you buy. But with the event of Starbucks, even the cheapest coffees are now 100% Arabica beans, so if you don't have a ton of money, at least you'll be drinking real coffee and not mud, even if it is the cheap stuff. The best way to make drip coffee is to grind high quality beans right before you brew. Now there are coffee machines that will even grind the beans for you, then automatically brew the coffee. Not shabby!

Vietnamese Coffee

This brewing method is a great way to enjoy a single cup of sweet coffee, and is really quite simple as well! First, start with a single coffee cup, glass is best becuase it lets you watch the brewing as it happens. Pour a small amount of condensed milk into the bottom of the glass. Then place the filter, which looks like a little hat on top of the glass. Add coffee, tighten the filter, and pour hot water in, and watch the brewing occur! The coffee should be ground fairly coarse, between a french press grind and a drip grind. Some people like to save the sweetened milk for last, but I like to stir it up. It's also very good iced!

French Press

 The French press is a tool of coffee conossieurs, or snobs, it just depends on your point of view I suppose. A French press is really a very simple way of brewing coffe, all you need is a press, hot water, and ground coffee. For this type of brewing the beans need to be ground coarsely, between drip and percolator, so that they do not escape the mesh wire of the plunger. To make coffee with a French press simply add coffee grounds to the pot, add hot water, let steep, and then push the plunger down to confine all those pesky little grounds. Of course, this is a quick by-blow of the process. Lovers of this method will preach to you for hours about the proper temperature of the water and how long to brew your coffee.

Turkish Coffee

 This ancient, Middle-Eastern way of brewing coffee can be tricky, but those who love it swear by it! For this type of brewing the beans must be ground to an almost powder-like consistency, the finest grind you can possibly get. First, sugar is placed in the ibrik (see right), and then it is filled with water up to the neck. Finally, two heaping spoonfuls of coffee are placed on the top, but not stirred in. When heating careful attention is required, or an explosive mess will ensue. The coffee will foam, after which it is stirred and the foaming/stirring is repeated a couple of times. After letting the ground settle to the bottom the coffee is served!

Percolator

 A percolator is a brewing device which, using tubes, cycles boiling water over coffee ground several times. Coffee ground for a percolator should be very coarse, even more so than for a French press. Many people turn their noses up at a percolator because the boiling water creates a very tarry and bitter coffe, but it's the cowboy's brewing method of choice! Afterall, you can't use an automatic drip coffee machine with a campfire, now can you?

Espresso

 This European favorite took the US by storm around a decade ago, and now espresso shops and machines are standard fare in even the most backwater towns (including the one in which I live)! Espresso is created by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure for a short period of time. The resulting coffee is very strong and has a little foam on top, which is called the "crema". Traditionally espresso would be served straight up or with a little milk (latte) or milk foam (cappucino) to accent the flavor of the coffee. Now, we Americans add everything from vanilla flavoring to chocolate syrup. Still, nothing beats a high quality espresso.

How do You Brew?

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Comments

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    • profile image

      tom parisella 

      7 years ago

      i drink 12 cups a day is that too much coffe to drink in a day

    • globalcoffeegrind profile image

      globalcoffeegrind 

      8 years ago

      Love that you featured Vietnamese coffee. :) Just about the best kind of coffee on earth.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      As a devoted coffee addict I loved this Hub. Thanks for the information.

      Love and peace

      Tony

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