The battle of coffee making
Although caffeine will be the main substance of coffee into your mug, the method of brewing has a tremendous effect on other important aspects. During brewing many traits of coffee can be lost such as its taste and aroma if is not properly performed. Two of the most common and economical ways for brewing coffee is French press and drip maker. However they exhibit quite distinct results which will be discussed shortly.
Making coffee with a French press
French press is the easiest way to brew coffee at home. You just need a water heater, preground cofffee and a French press. But if you care about freshness you should certainly use coffee beans and a grinder instead of preground coffee. Ideally the heater should have a temperature control to heat the water exactly at 200F°. This is the optimum temperature for any method of brewing. For the most favorable result we will describe the method of brewing fresh beans. You can use any kind of coffee as long as you like it.
For this method you will also need a digital precision scale to weight the beans. The gold ratio of coffee to water is 2 tablespoons per 6 oz. respectively. A French press usually accepts up to 34 oz. of water. So for a full output you should add approximately 12 tbsp of coffee ground. First you should scale your beans and put them into the grinder to have them ready for brewing. Make sure to choose the coarsest setting which is the most suitable for French press. After having you water heated you drain into the French press the coffee ground and subsequently you pour the hot water.
Let the ground dissolve into the hot water for exactly four minutes and place the pump at the top to seal it up and preserve the heat. Then simply grab the pump with the filter attached and push slowly until it reaches the bottom. Avoid pushing fast to let the ground settle at the bottom. What stays in the upper part of the press is your freshly made coffee. Please note that you never let the coffee brewing more than four minutes. If you let it more time you will extract more coffee from top and the result will be less desirable.
Making coffee with a drip maker
Similar rules apply for making coffee with drip maker. What differentiates it is mainly the ground fineness. It should be adjusted to a finer setting, which most grinders name it simply drip coffee, or just move the setting at the center. You may need some time until finding the best position as each grinder’s setting is unique and their numbers are just indicators. Even and uniform grounds are vital for making delicious coffee so choose your grinder wisely. Ideally the grinds should have the size of table salt.
First you will need a pour over coffee dripper and some paper filters. The rest of the required equipment has already been mentioned before. After placing the filter into the dripper you pour the hot water all over its surface to rinse it out. This way you will clean the slightest residue of paper taste left. Of course you should empty the water out of the carafe after rinse to keep it clear. Afterwards pour into the filter your ground and shape a tiny crater in the middle for even water dispersion.
Initially you must soak the ground by pouring about some hot water that has the double weight of the coffee. A gooseneck kettle will be your partner for this procedure. After the first part of water has been passed through you continue slowly with the remainder in concentric motion. The whole process would take approximately two minutes. When finished pouring stir the content clockwise to pull any grounds of the filter’s wall and speed up draining. Just swirl your freshly brewed coffee for a moment and you are ready to go.
Which is the best brewing method
Certainly there is no clear winner as both methods have its strengths and drawbacks. Both are simple to use but French press requires more attention as you need to be precise on the four minutes mark. Furthermore the water will get cooler at the end due to its stay into the press. So you may need to quickly transfer the remainder into a thermo carafe. On the other hand the drip coffee will be slightly faster but takes some time for achieving the perfect cup. In addition the drip maker is easier for cleaning but usually comes in smaller sizes, as a rule up to 12 cups.
In terms of the coffee quality they are similar with a tendency of French press for a slightly bitterness. Some users prefer this though and find the drip coffee somewhat light, so at the end may be a matter of personal taste. Ideally you should try both methods and see which suits you better. Alternatively you can avoid all the headache and choose a flawless coffee machine that will offer you consistency and convenience for many years.