Coffee brewing methods
According to the legend, an Arabian shepherd from the actual Ethiopia found his goats jumping from one bush to another, grazing on the bright red cherries. He wondered if the red cherries were the source of this unusual energy experienced by his goats, and he tried them too. The precious fruit and seed were further studied by the monks at the local monastery, who started to use them to cope with the long hours during prayer. Then, they sent them to other monasteries around the world, and coffee was popularized. More coffee history on National Geographic's web page.
The legend is beautiful, and it makes us wonder how did they brew their coffee at the time? They surely didn't have a drip coffee machine, and they didn't have espresso machines then. They relied on infusing the finely ground coffee beans, in a way that is now known as Turkish brewing. The beans were pounded into a fine powder then infused in hot water.
The technology evolved since then...here are some of the most popular brewing methods:
Espresso is prepared by pushing hot water through a layer of compacted ground coffee, contained in a port-filter. Espresso is a very concentrated coffee, with a lot of body, aroma, and flavor. It contains a lot of coffee oils and solids. The most distinctive features of espresso are the foamy layer on top, and the low volume of the drink.
Turkish coffee is a method of infusing finely ground coffee in nearly boiling water. What is very specific to Turkish brewing method is the grind size which is the finest possible, almost a powder. There are no electrical Turkish coffee grinding machines for the residential use, but the manual mills work perfectly. Turkish coffee has the fullest body of all brewing methods and it is the least clear coffee cup.
Drip coffee or filter coffee is the most popular preparing method in North America. The method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans, through a paper filter, or a metal or plastic mesh. The coffee obtained with this method is clear and clean, with a high ratio of caffeine extracted per spoon of ground coffee. Pour-over devices can compete with high end coffee makers in terms of taste and aroma, however this manual drippers are much less efficient than electrical drip brewers.
French press, or press pot, is a very simple coffee brewing device with a beaker and a plunger/filter. The process consists in pouring hot water over coffee grinds and let it steep for a few minutes. After the steeping is over the plunger/ filter is pressed down, to separate the grinds. French press coffee has a medium body, less than espresso but more dense than drip. This method provides an intense aroma and flavor.
Using the basic principle of espresso machines, moka pot is a device for making coffee that uses steam pressure to push water through coffee grinds. The pressure in a Moka pot is about 1 Barr compared to a real espresso machine with 9 Barr. The coffee made in a Moka pot is very bold, it resembles espresso, but it lacks the "crema" and it has much less oils.
This brewing method, generally chosen by people with stomach problems implies steeping coffee grinds for extended periods of time, (12 to 36 hours), then straining it and serving it cold or hot. Because it takes so long to brew, people prepare large batches and store it in the fridge for several days.
Aeropress is a manual coffee making device that allows the user to generate the pressure to brew a cup. The method involves a two steps process, with a few minutes steeping followed by pushing the brew through the coffee grounds under pressure to extract even more solids and caffeine. Aeropress coffee is strong with body, and resembles a lot with espresso.
SINGLE SERVE BREWING
When tradition meets high tech and convenience, in order to deliver the finest coffees in a cosmopolitan brewing approach and in line with our modern lifestyles.
These machines use pressure to push water through the coffee grounds, but the pressure is not as high as with professional espresso machines.
The coffee is ground coarser than for Moka pot, and it is less compact, allowing a faster brewing time. Single serve provide a clean cup, with good aroma and flavor, and minimum effort.
There's no doubt that single serve brewers can bring home the wonderful gourmet coffee shop experience at a fraction of the price.
There are various types of single serve brewers and they're not the same when it comes to what they can brew. It's best to confirm before you buy to be sure that it can make the type of coffee or tea you like. Popular brands include Nespresso®, Dolce Gusto®, Keurig®, Tassimo®.
Convenenice and gourmet quality... just pressing a button, time after time!