Brew Methods

You brew your coffee using some sort of device that moves clean water through ground up beans and consuming the liquid that is created. Methods of doing this vary wildly, from K-CUP coffee pods to Espresso to French Press to Siphon, and on and on. Like many things, there are trade-offs for the method you choose. Pop Chart Labs has an excellent break down for brew methods that you can purchase:

Brew Methods

I think of brewing methods on the Convienence/Quality scale. At one end you have convienence but the coffee is terrible. Think K-cups, instant coffee, or a drive-thru McCafe. At the other you have high quality coffee but it takes a while to make and you have lots of equipment to clean afterward. At this end, think the Chemex, espresso, or a French Press.

Drip coffee machines probably fall somewhere in the middle, depending on quality. If you can find a good coffee maker that gets good extraction while not burning the coffee from some hot plate underneath, you should probably buy that. However, If your ratio of coffee to water is off somehow no brew method will save you.

My daily driver is a Chemex, but the more I learn about extraction the more I think maybe this isn’t the best. As you pour water into the top, the grounds move around, with the smaller grounds settling to the bottom and the larger grounds ending up on top. The Chemex has a cone shape, which means that the smaller grounds can end up being over-extracted if your timing is off.

The Kalita Wave, on the other hand, has a flat bottom. This means that as the grounds swirl around, it’s less likely that the smaller grounds get overextracted. I’ve noticed several coffee shops in San Antonio that once used Chemex for slow pours are now using Kalitas. Coincidence? Maybe not.