It doesn’t take much to brew perfect coffee; as a matter of fact, it only takes three things:
Here are the basic steps to make coffee—assuming you’re not making it with an automatic coffee machine (in which case, you’d follow manufacturers’ guidelines):
If you thrill to the chill, maybe iced coffee is your jam. See how to make iced coffee.
Personal preference reigns when it comes to coffee makers. No single brewing method is necessarily better than another; each coffee maker simply operates differently and might lend itself to a particular need more than another. Let’s look at the most popular types and find out what each does best:
It makes sense to look at these two side by side because they are very similar brewing methods: Water pours through the coffee filter and basket into a pot. For this method, you could use an automatic coffee maker, or you can pour in a measure of hot water by hand. Aside from differences in brands, these coffee makers differ only in the shapes of their baskets (indicated by their names).
Best for: brewing multiple cups of coffee at a time with little fuss.
This is a manual brewing process where grounds are soaked in hot water then pressed down to the bottom of the coffee maker by pushing down on a plunger. A French press brews the fullest-flavored cup of coffee, thanks to its stainless steel filter. While a paper filter soaks up the coffee’s natural oils (where much of the flavor is held), the press’ built-in metal filter allows the oils through. Note: Because a French press does not use a paper filter, there will be a little coffee sediment at the bottom, so leave that last sip in the mug.
Best for: brewing one to four good-sized cups (depending on size of carafe) of full-flavored coffee that will be served right away.