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How to Become a Coffee Brewing Master at Home

by Kaitlin Graham 06 Apr 2023

From a simple coffee machine to barista level pour-over, it can be difficult to decipher which brewing method to choose when making coffee at home. Do you prefer a rich or mild flavor? Do you prefer your coffee to be sweet or bitter? Choosing the right coffee brewing method for you will help you make a delicious brew any time of the day. All these methods produce first-rate coffee, so the method you choose is ultimately up to your personal preference. This concise brewing method guide will help you consider all the factors involved in choosing a brewing method including equipment needed, difficulty, time, and recommended grind size. 

 

9 Coffee Brewing Methods

Single-Serve Coffee Maker


Simple, fast, and a fan favorite

A well-known coffee brewing technique, using a single-serve coffee maker, like a Keurig, is a quick and easy way to get your daily brew when you’re short on time. This method involves inserting either a prefilled pod of coffee grounds or a refillable pod that you can fill with your choice of coffee into the coffee maker. It’s great for any roast (light, medium, or dark) and it’s ideal for when you want to brew a single cup. 

What You Need: Single-Serve Coffee Maker (i.e., Keurig), Coffee Pod, Water
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: ~2 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Medium
We Love: Decaf Peru pods, Barrel of Monkey pods & Le RĂ©veil pods


Traditional Coffee Maker (Auto-Drip Brewer)

Great for brewing multiple cups at once

Looking for a brewing method that can satisfy everyone? Using a traditional coffee maker might be just right. It’s a simple and effective way to brew multiple cups at once. To make coffee with a traditional coffee pot, fill a coffee filter with coffee grounds, fill the maker with water, brew the coffee into the pot, and that’s it! This method allows you to choose the strength of the brew and how many cups are brewed. We recommend any of our Monkey Hanger coffees for this brewing method.

What You Need: Coffee Maker, Filter, Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: ~10 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Medium
We Love: Ethiopia & Costa Rica


Cold Brew

Trendy, smooth, and sweet

Cold brew is an increasingly popular method for enjoying your specialty coffee any time of year. Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee, which is generally brewed hot and then served chilled. Instead, cold brew is exactly what the name says - coffee that is brewed with cold water, which makes it less acidic, slightly sweeter, and smoother. There are many ways to make cold brew, ranging from French Press immersion to nitro, but basically it is coffee that is steeped in cold water for a minimum of 12 hours to slowly extract the coffee flavor. Our Brass Monkey coffee, with its smooth cocoa, vanilla, and caramelized sugar notes, is perfect for a cold brew.

What You Need: Cup, Cold Brew Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: 12 - 24 hours
Recommended Grind Size: Coarse
We Love: Brass Monkey


Espresso

For that quick shot of caffeine to jump-start your energy

If you’re a coffee aficionado who likes a stronger cup, espresso might be the right choice for you. Because espresso machines use pressure to brew coffee, the brewing process intensifies the coffee flavor, giving you a concentrated, flavorful brew. A fresh, dark roast is the perfect coffee for espresso brewing. You can purchase either an automatic or a manual espresso machine to make your own espresso at home.

What You Need: Espresso Machine, Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: ~1 minute
Recommended Grind Size: Fine
We Love: Barrel of Monkeys


French Press

Straightforward with a rich flavor

Invented in France in the 1800s, around the same time our monkey met his fate, the French Press is another classic coffee brewing method. It works best with coarse ground coffee and can be made in 5-10 minutes. To make the best press, pull out the plunger of the French Press, add one rounded tablespoon of coffee per 8 ounce cup of water to the pot, pour hot water into the pot and stir gently. Then, place the plunger back in the press and wait for about four minutes. Next, press the plunger down smoothly and enjoy your fresh brew of revolutionary flavor. Even though French Press only brews a small batch, it’s a fast and cost-effective way to get your brew on at home.

What You Need: French Press, Coffee, Hot Water
Difficulty Level: Medium
Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Coarse
We Love: Colombia, Honduras & Le RĂ©veil


Pour-Over

This quick method evokes a subtle, clear flavor profile

The pour over brewing method is loved by those who enjoy rich and balanced flavors. Invented in Germany in the early 1900s, this brewing method is an ode to European tradition. You’ll need a kettle, a filter, and a pour-over cone to make your perfect pour-over coffee. Start with hot water that’s not quite boiling, place your filter in the pour-over cone, put two rounded tablespoons of coffee per 8 ounces of water in the filter, then pour the hot water over it in a circular motion. This method is preferred by coffee enthusiasts who want greater control over their brew.

What You Need: Kettle, Filter, Pour-Over Cone, Coffee, Hot Water
Difficulty Level: Medium
Time: 3 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Medium
We Love: Colombia, Peru & Mexico


Cowboy Coffee

Bitter and thick, this simplistic method is an inexpensive way to brew

Take your taste buds back in time with this old-time brewing method. Cowboy coffee is a brewing method that was first made popular by cowboys traveling west with few resources at their disposal. Today, it’s a popular form of brewing for camping enthusiasts and history buffs. To make your own cup of cowboy coffee, start with a pot of boiling water. Stir coffee into the boiling water, steep for two minutes, then remove from heat. Add cold water to the pot, then slowly pour coffee into your cup, leaving the coffee grounds in the bottom of the pot. It’s best to use very coarse grind for cowboy coffee so the least amount of grinds end up in your finished brew. 

What You Need: Pot, Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Medium
Time: ~10 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Coarse
We Love: Honduras


Turkish Coffee

Bold, heightened flavor creates a unique taste experience

Another manual coffee brewing method is the Turkish method. Turkish coffee combines finely ground coffee with water to create a robust flavor. It’s traditionally brewed in a cezve, but a small pot is commonly used today. The uniqueness of this brewing method creates a one-of-a-kind coffee experience. To brew, simply combine water, coffee, and sugar (optional) in a small pot. Heat the mixture until it begins to foam up. Then, take your pot off the heat and slowly pour the coffee into cups. Let it settle for a few minutes, then enjoy your cup of joe! 

What You Need: Small Pot, Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Hard
Time: ~10 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Fine
We Love: Barrel of Monkeys


Siphon

Clean, rich coffee is created in a unique vacuum chamber

Siphon coffee is another unique way to brew coffee. It’s known for its clean, rich flavor. 

This method requires a vacuum coffee maker that uses steam and vapor to brew the coffee. Since it doesn’t use boiling water, it’s said to take out the bitterness that develops with traditional forms of brewing. While this method is more complicated than others, coffee aficionados boast that it’s worth the effort for the richness of the brew. A siphon coffee brewer has two glass chambers connected with a funnel. To brew coffee with this method, put your grounds in the upper chamber, put a filter in the funnel, and put water in the lower chamber. Depending on the machine you have, you can heat up the lower chamber with the press of a button or on the stovetop. As the water boils, it creates a steam vapor. The vapor pressure causes the water to rise and mix with the coffee grounds. After the pressure is relieved, the coffee drips into the lower chamber, leaving you with a clean, rich brew. Cheers!

What You Need: Vacuum Coffee Maker (Siphon), Coffee, Water
Difficulty Level: Hard
Time: ~5 minutes
Recommended Grind Size: Medium
We Love: Ethiopia & Costa Rica

How to Choose?

Now that you’re well versed in the most common brewing methods, you can choose which one to try out. Hey, try them all! There’s enough coffee to go around. The bottom line is the best coffee brewing method is different for everyone. Whichever one fits into your lifestyle, is in your budget, and tastes the best to you is the one you should choose. With your knowledge of coffee brewing and Monkey Hanger coffee, you'll be making barista quality coffee at home in no time!


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