The automatic drip coffee maker is one of the easiest, fastest and most common ways of making coffee in today’s culture.
Time to first sip: 4 to 15 minutes (depending on how many cups you’re making)
Type of Coffee: Usually an average cup of coffee but depends on how you make it
Coffee grind: Fine to medium
Gear required: Regular drip coffee maker, standard filters
Drip Coffee Tips: Use freshly ground coffee and a permanent filter. Don't let the carafe sit on the hot plate too long or your coffee will taste burnt.
A pour over coffee maker is going to require a little more time and effort than the push of a button on the drip coffee maker, so it may not be for everyone.
Time to first sip: 3 to 5 minutes
Type of Coffee: Clear, clean and light-bodied cup
Coffee grind: Medium coarse
Gear required: Pour over brewer, carafe, filters, gooseneck kettle
Difficulty: Easy to do. Takes practice to get it just like you want it.
Pour Over Tips: If your coffee tastes bitter, you may need to grind your coffee beans a bit more coarsely. For more flavor, grind your beans more finely or pour your water more slowly.
It has a French name but was patented in Italy nearly 100 years ago, yet it still remains the method of choice for many coffee lovers today.
Time to first sip: Approximately 10 minutes
Type of Coffee: Unique, delicate, aromatic, full of flavor
Coffee grind: Coarse
Gear required: French press, timer
Difficulty: Easy to use but requires attention and customizing
French Press Tips: Avoid the last drop in the beaker and your mug because it will often have thick sediment in it. Don’t allow your coffee to sit too long in the carafe on the grounds because this will create a bitter taste.
Of all the methods out there about how to make coffee, the French press is probably the most iconic of them all.
STOVETOP ESPRESSO MAKER / MOKA POT
Also called a stovetop espresso maker, the Moka pot may not give you the exact results of an espresso machine, but it comes pretty close. Besides that, the Moka pot is portable, affordable and requires little effort and skill.
If you can’t afford an espresso machine but want the creamy texture and caffeine kick of a pressurized espresso shot, you should give a Moka pot a try.
Time to first sip: Approximately 5 minutes
Type of Coffee: Similar to espresso
Coffee grind: Fine but not as fine as espresso grind
Gear required: Stovetop espresso maker (moka pot), optional timer
Difficulty: Easy but requires undivided attention to avoid under and over extraction
Moka Pot Tips: Don't fill the water chamber above the pressure valve. Remove the Moka pot from the heat as soon as it's finished brewing. You'll know it's done when you hear that last blast of steam.
One of the most popular of the pour over brewers, the Chemex coffee maker looks more like a decorative, glass kitchen vase than a coffee-making gadget.
Time to first sip: approximately 7 minutes
Type of Coffee: Rich flavor
Coffee grind: Fine to medium
Gear required: Chemex, Chemex filters, kettle, stopwatch
Difficulty: Easy to use but requires practice to get your coffee suited to your preference
Chemex Coffee Tips: Avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter. If the water level nears the rim of the Chemex, pause for a moment to let it drain before continuing.
Cold brew coffee is coffee that’s been steeped slowly with cold water for 12 to 24 hours. It results in a coffee concentrate that is usually diluted when you drink it.
Time to first sip: 12 to 24 hours
Type of Coffee: Rich flavor and super smooth body
Coffee grind: Coarse to Super Coarse
Gear required: Cold brew maker, stirring spoon
Difficulty: Easy, but requires patience
Cold Brew Tips: Don’t use fine grind coffee for this method. It could negatively affect the flavor of your cold brew and would be hard to filter out.
If you’ve never tried making cold brew coffee, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s not the same thing as iced coffee, which is coffee that’s been brewed hot and then chilled.