How to make the best coffee: Six geeky ways

How to make the best coffee: Six geeky ways

Summary: If you want to make the perfect cup of coffee, you might want to try a new method. Here are six geeky ways to brew your best-ever beverage.


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  • If you are tired of your existing electric auto-drip machine and want to experiment with making coffee that extracts the best flavour possible, here are some methods you can try.

  • Chemex

    Chemex carafes are not the same as the auto-drip although they use a very similar brewing style. The Chemex carafe is a heat-resistant glass beaker. This means you need to boil a kettle to pour hot water over the grounds. This gives you control over the temperature — unlike an electrical auto drip.

    You slowly pour the water over the Chemex filters, which are thicker than standard coffee filters. The coffee grounds then get to soak longer before going through the filter, which results in a much richer cup of coffee.

    Image: Coffee Online

  • Espresso

    Espresso is brewed by forcing a small amount of water that is under pressure and heated to almost boiling through finely ground coffee. It tends to be thicker than coffee brewed by other methods.

    Ground beans are tamped into the portafilter to produce a tightly packed bed of coffee grounds. You attach the portafilter to the espresso machine by twisting it into a unit that contains the head, which then forces water through the grounds into the cup below the portafilter.

    Espresso has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has a creamy consistency (crema) foam. As the coffee is pressurised as it brews, the flavour is really concentrated in the cup.

    Image: 1st Line


Topics: After Hours, Consumerization, Hardware

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  • Give me a cheap maker anyday

    I basically buy a OK maker and spend my money on coffee. As one coffee special said once, the best cup of coffee is the one you like. There is no perfect cup of coffee.
    • Sorry meant coffee specialist

      I meant to say coffee specialist once said, the best cup of coffee is what you like.
      I brewed some on a camp fire with a old stove pot peculator with some Dollar General coffee.
      Got more compliments about that coffee. Its really not about the maker.
  • Gallery,

    • So why post?

      If you're skipping, why not just skip?
      • posting to complain and rightly so

        ZDNet is notorious about splitting articles into many parts/web pages and have slide galleries that are not necessary to artificially inflate "page views" -- so they can LIE to advertisers. Very annoying to readers. This "article" (even with pictures) is not many words and could have been on one page. Instead we have to click on all the picture links and readjust our browsers to read each link.
    • New gallery system

      The new system has vastly improved and does not send you to a new page each click. Not bad.
      Rann Xeroxx
      • not AS bad

        but still unnecessary and annoying. Put it all on one page.
      • "one page" or "print" option?

        many sites have a "view on one page" or "print" option (which puts it all on one page). Why not offer that?
  • Cold Brew?

    Where is Cold Brew? Cold brew is 67% less acidic than conventional brewed coffee, so you get a low-acid smooth great tasting coffee.
  • I'm a pour over fan

    Ever since I started using my grandma's 70+ year old pour over. Insanely good.
  • Still think Melitta is the Best

    I personally love great coffee and have found that the Melitta system is the best. Like the chemex it gives me control over the water temperature (biggest flaw of auto coffee makers, water is not hot enough). I ground the coffee almost expresso fine and pour through. The cone shaped filter keeps the coffee focused as long as you're patient and don't pour too fast. For me, the coffee is worth it. I've personally never found anything that gives me the rich full taste that I get from the Melitta system. Best of all, it's incredibly cheap. Kettle, carafe, filter holder, filters - less than $30 US. Great cup of coffee . . .Priceless
  • Another overlooked method: Turkish coffee
  • French Press

    I have uses most of these but I still find the french press the best way to brew coffee. It keeps the coffee oils with the coffee and improves flavor. I would suggest a thermal press, one that keeps the coffee warm. I find that the glass presses let the heat dissipate way too fast.

    Another thing about good coffee drinking is how you drink your coffee. You should wait and let it cool so its not scolding as a burnt tongue tastes nothing. And don't just pour it down your throat but let is slosh around your mouth a bit as you have different flavor receptors on various parts of your tongue. It sounds like the way you drink wine but its the same outcome. I drink a good craft beer this way as well (temp plays a bit part there as well). And don't forget to use your nose as you drink as this is a big part of how things tastes.
    Rann Xeroxx
  • Percolator

    I believe that is a 'Mocha Pot' pictured in the Percolator section. Mocha Pots do not re-circulate water/coffee the way a Percolator does. Water in the bottom is forced via pressure through the grounds in the middle chamber with the coffee then staying in the top.
    • @jthompson

      The picture labeled "percolator" is neither a percolator nor a "mocha pot." It is an Italian-style stovetop espresso maker. The machine opens up into three parts. You fill the bottom part with water. The middle part is a small basket to hold the coffee which must be ground almost powder-fine. When the pot is reassembled via screwing the whole thing together, you put it on top of the electric or gas range and set the temperature to high. The water in the bottom eventually boils, is forced through the coffee above it and winds up in the top part. The machine illustrated here would hold about two to four cups of coffee at 4 ounces per cup.

      By the way, no percolator was presented in this article.
      • Correct

        Bartoo1fr is correct. The picture in the "percolator" section is an Italian stove-top coffee maker, and it makes the best coffee you can get without an expensive electric espresso machine. However, the grounds should not be powder-fine in the Italian machine the way they would be in an electric espresso machine.

        This machine rams the water through the grounds very quickly, under the steam pressure of the boiled water in the bottom section, and allows the use of a greater quantity of grounds without bitterness. Thus the brewed coffee costs more (uses more grounds) but is nearly espresso quality.
  • press your luck

    never had it made with a French press before, think I’m going to order one and try it.
    • @chichan

      Don't bother; it's not worth the expense.

      Essentially you would be just as well to put your grounds directly into the cup and filling your cup with water, wait the requisite four minutes, then filter out the resulting coffee into another cup.

      You get a better cup from a Melitta-type of coffee maker.

      I have found one at Walmart which was sold as a single cup maker, where you would put the coffee in the bottom part with a permanent filter in the bottom. snap the top part into place on that and with the assembly sitting on the cup, pour the water into the funnel-like top part. The water slowly drips onto the coffee and pours directly into the cup.

      When the correct amount of coffee is used, the coffee is delicious. Depending, of course on the coffee beans you bought in the first place. You have to buy the best you can afford and the darkest coffee is better for taste, besides which the more roasted the beans, the less caffeine the hold. Grind the beans with a burr grinder, NOT a whirling-blade-type.

      Do NOT keep the coffee in the refrigirator or freezer; condensing humidity when you take it out will ruin the coffee. Keep it instead in a glass jar sealed with a rubber-lined cap. Preferably, the jar should be of dark green or brown glass. But you can also reuse an Illy steel can the plastic sealer in the cap is also very good for keeping your coffee dry and and keeping the air outside from seeping in.

      I hope this helps.
  • Are those supposed to be

    green coffee beans in the first picture?
    They look like soybeans to me. Definitely not coffee.
    • @scottadtn

      No. Those are black eyed navy beans.