Design: The siphon (or vacpot) is the most visually captivating of all brew methods. But the design is more than just eye candy; it’s driven by its fascinating function. As a “vacuum brewer”, the two primary components are separate glass chambers. The top chamber includes a siphon tube that is inserted into the lower globe. This allows water in the bottom chamber to rise upward when pushed by water vapor pressure. The siphon brewer also includes a stand (table-top models only) and a cloth filter assembly.

Grind: The siphon, can be used with a variety of grind settings, depending on your preferred technique. We generally recommend a grind that is finer than that which is used for standard drip.

Technique: Boil water and pour into the lower globe. Compared to heating cool water over the siphon’s burner, this will save time and conserve fuel. Apply heat from a butane or alcohol burner (included), fix the filter assembly, and fit the top chamber inside of the opening of the bottom bowl, ensuring a snug fit. When water begins rising into the top chamber, lower the flame (if you’re using a butane burner). Use a stirring utensil to push around the edges of the filter, minimizing large bubbles. If you have a thermometer, begin tracking the temperature at this point. Without a thermometer, a good stir on the 3-cup tabletop and 5-cup stovetop models can help steer the temperature toward proper brewing range. The 5-cup tabletop and 8-cup stovetop models should be ready to go by the time you’ve adjusted the heat and made sure that there are no air bubbles. Now grind the coffee and add it to the top chamber. Starting a timer immediately. Stir the coffee in a zig-zag pattern until all the grounds are submerged. After 30 seconds, stir again. Once the timer has hit 1:00, extinguish the flame and stir one last time. Total brew time should be close to 2 minutes, including draw-down.

Advantage: The siphon is the ideal brewing method for those that desire complete control of brewing parameters. The water temperature is constant due to the applied heat source, the coffee is fully and evenly saturated, and the user can easily control brew time and agitation. All of these controlled factors have caused many to name the siphon the best manual brewing method available. The siphon uses a cloth filter, which creates a exceptionally clean cup. Besides, it looks awesome. The siphon makes pretty much any coffee taste great, but we especially enjoy using it with highly floral coffees, as well as those that are dry-processed.


Design: French press is a classic and is probably the most widely recognizable brewing device available. It’s comprised of a glass or metal beaker and a mesh plunger that separates coffee grounds from water.

Grind:A coarse grind generally recommended

Technique: Preheat the press with hot water. Toss the preheat water and add coarsely ground coffee to the press. Heat water and pour about 10% of the total target volume over the ground coffee. Allow the coffee to bloom for a few seconds, give it a stir, and then add the rest of the water. Put the plunger on and press just far enough to fully submerge all the grounds in the water. After 3:45-4:00 minutes, press slowly and decant into a mug or server.

Advantage: The press provides a full-bodied cup and, using a metal filter, permits more oils to pass than do other filter mediums. Many folks enjoy a french pressed beverage more than anything else, and the full and viscous mouthfeel is exactly what they want in a cup of coffee. To keep your pressed coffee tasting great, we recommend taking the press and filter apart completely and thoroughly scrubbing all of the components with detergent immediately after brewing. Neglecting to do so can result in the buildup of stale oils that impart an unpleasant flavor to coffee.


Design: The Aeropress is a very unconventional device. Designed by a manufacturer of flying discs, there was little expectation that the Aeropress would emerge as a legitimate brewing option. But, surprise of all surprises, the Aeropress makes a great cup of coffee. It’s constructed entirely with BPA-free plastics and is virtually indestructible, making it ideal for travel. The design seems to be inspired by the french press, using a plunger to push brewed coffee from the grounds through a paper or metal filter.

Grind: It’s hard to provide a universal grind setting recommendation for the Aeropress, as it’s an incredibly versatile brewing device (one of the reasons that we love it!). We’ve had great results with all different grind settings. If you opt for a medium grind, shoot for a 2-minute dwell and a 30-second press. If you’re interested in playing around with a finer grind setting, brew for 45-90 seconds. Of course, all of this is dependent upon your precise technique.

Technique: We’ll provide you with a couple of different methods, the first being the inverted method. For this recipe, turn the Aeropress upside down and insert the plunger just enough to seal the bottom. Be very careful. This is a tricky maneuver to master, and the possibility of spilling near-boiling water is high. Dump medium-ground coffee into the chamber and add hot water until the desired volume is reached. Steep for 1:45-2:00, stirring once or twice. Screw the filter on and press just until a blond crema-like head appears on top. Carefully invert the entire apparatus and place onto your mug or server, pressing down slowly for about 30 seconds.

[Here’s another method that’s geared toward espresso-lovers. Although some claim that the Aeropress makes espresso, this not an accurate description of what happens when brewing with this device. But we’ve found that you can produce a cup with the Aeropress that carries some attributes of espresso and — whatever you want to call it — we think that it makes a delicious cup of coffee. Use the traditional upright position and a fine-medium grind setting. Place the Aeropress atop a server or mug with the filter in place. Add coffee and pour hot water to target volume. Stir thoroughly and, after 30-45 seconds, begin to press in a steady and controlled motion. You should have a cup with a syrupy body and intense flavors.]

Advantage: The Aeropress is compact, easy, versatile, and virtually unbreakable. In addition to experimenting with different brewing parameters, you can also play around with different filters. The Aeropress comes with paper filters, which work very well. This method also brings the best out of bright coffees; the short brew time accentuates these characteristics.


Design: The Solo features an hourglass design, a stylin’ neoprene jacket to assist with heat retention and impact protection, and a mesh filter that separates grit from goodness as you pour.

Grind: Like the press, we generally recommend a coarse grind setting.

Technique: We recommend preheating the Solo with near boiling water while you prepare. After tossing this water, add ground coffee to the Solo then pour the desired water volume. The coffee should begin to bloom. After about 30 seconds, stir and close the top. After 2:00, we swirl the Solo a couple of times to agitate the coffee, but this step is optional. At 4:00, slowly decant the Solo into a server. We recommend pouring in one controlled motion, so as to not over-agitate.

Advantage: We really like the Solo, but its only downside is its high price point. The idea behind the Solo is the same as that of the press, but the Solo seems to produce a cleaner cup, improve heat retention, and provide an easier cleanup (no parts to unscrew). The Solo is a beautiful brewer and makes for a great presentation in a shop or at home. Many coffees will do well in a Solo. We especially like the fullness that the Solo brings out of dry-processed coffees.


Design: The Chemex features an hourglass-shaped design with a stylish wooden collar around the neck which allows it to be easily handled and poured when full of hot coffee. The Chemex uses a bonded paper that is thicker than standard paper filters. This removes most of the coffee oils and makes the coffee much “cleaner” than brewed coffee.

Grind: We recommend a medium-coarse grind leaning more towards the course side.

Technique: To start, make sure that the single fold of the filter is facing away from the spout and the multiple folds are lined up against the spout. Then the brewer needs to be preheated. Rinse the filter with hot water (93-96 *C/195-205 *F) to get an even seal all the way around the funnel and then dump the rinse water. This gets rid of any paper flavors from the filter. We recommend weighing or measuring the coffee. Add 42g or about 6 Tablespoons of coffee to the center of the Chemex. Start the timer when the hot water is added. Pour in a circular motion until all the grounds are saturated. Stir to make sure that there are no dry clumps. When the timer reaches 45 seconds, start the second pour. We recommend a circular motion to reintegrate the coffee and water. Add water until the volume reaches about a fingertip down from the top rim. While pouring, make sure to pour over the dark spots and avoid the light ones. When there is roughly 1:45 on the timer, fill the brewer flush to the top and wait till 4:00. That indicates that it should be close to volume (about 20 ounces). Lift the filter and let hover for a couple seconds to make sure the volume is correct. Then remove the filter completely and set aside.

Advantage: This pour over method is brewed to order and very fresh. It is perfect for bringing out the complexities of lighter roasts and more nuanced coffees creating a smooth cup of coffee.


Design: The moka pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. The Moka Pot places water in a bottom compartment, in between the water and the serving spot is the coffee grounds. As pressure builds up more quickly in this method due to less leakage of vapour it reaches the level required for water to rise through the ground coffee in a shorter time. The result of this is coffee brewed at a higher pressure and temperature than the standard pot.

Grind: Every Moka pot is different so grind size is not universal. Start with a fine grind but if the brew is over extracted (bitter, sharp), move up to a medium-fine grind.

Technique: To start, boil water and fill the bottom half of the Moka pot with water that was just boiled. Fill the pot’s filter basket with about 20g of ground coffee and make sure the grounds are settled evenly. Screw on the Moka Pot’s spouted top. Then place the pot on the stove over medium heat. When the water in the bottom chamber approaches a boil, the pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly through to the upper chamber. If it explodes upward, your water is too hot but if it burbles, turn up the flame. It will be done when there is a hissing and bubbling sound.

Advantage: The coffee that comes out is very concentrated, thick, and delicious. The aluminum body helps to retain heat.


Design: The cold brew method relies on long brewing times instead of high temperature. This produces a completely different flavour profile–one that is mellow and smooth. This is because many of the sweeter flavour compounds are soluble even in cold water but the oils and acids are not. The cold brew also calls for 2-5 times more coffee grounds than an ordinary drip.

Grind: Cold Brew requires a larger grind–something like sugar. This keeps the brew from getting bitter overnight. A medium grind can also be used but that means that the coffee can not be steeped as along. The longer the steep the coarser the coffee should be.

Technique: This method is one that requires patience because it typically takes 18 to 24 hours before it is ready. Combine the coffee grounds into a jar or pitcher and add water. Gently stir the coffee with the water until well-blended. Make sure that all the coffee gets wet but do not worry if some floats to the top. Cover and refrigerate the cold brew for at least 18 hours or up to 24 hours. The next step is to strain the coffee. We recommend using a cheesecloth. Line a small fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a measuring cup. Slowly pour the coffee concentrate through the strainer and resist the temptation to squeeze the coffee grounds in the cheesecloth. Transfer the cold brew into a clean airtight jar for a long term storage of up to 2 weeks. When preparing the iced coffee, fill a glass with 1 cup ice and pour ½ cup of the cold brew over the ice and add ½ cup cold water and stir to combine. Then add sweet cream or half-and-half if desired.

Advantage: Creating a homemade cold brew will always be better than any store bought cold brew. It is easier to control the brewing process while leaving space for experimentation and also creating the ability to brew large batches. The cold steeping process makes a smooth, mellow cup of coffee that has very little acidity or bitterness.


Design: This method is a favorite for most Americans. There is a separate component in the back part of the machine that holds water. A holding spot above a pot where a filter and the coffee sits.

Grind: We recommend the drip grind which is closer to a medium grind.

Technique: A Home Drip Machine brews by heating water then dripping it through a basket that is lined with a paper filter that is filled with the ground coffee. The water drains out the bottom of the basket into the waiting pot below.

Advantage: It is easy, quick, and cleanup is easy. It also leaves a lot of the essential oils and sludge behind in the filer, so it is a little easier on the stomachs of people who are bothered by coffee’s oils. Drip brewing also results in a greater amount of caffeine per cup because of the length of time the water spends in the grounds.

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