Want to make the best coffee at home? Here’s how to make coffee 6 ways: pour over, French press, cold brew, espresso and more!
Over here at A Couple Cooks, we are unashamedly coffee obsessed. And it’s not about caffeine (really!). It’s that cozy feeling you get when you’re holding a warm, fragrant cup and embrace the promise of a new day. Since research seems to indicate that drinking coffee is A-OK (as long as you’re not overdosing), we are 100% passionate about sharing the love of a great cup of joe. Here’s how to make coffee at home: 6 different ways!
The journey toward great coffee
I first got into coffee while studying in Spain. In my university building in Madrid, there was a little cafe that served café con leche. The flavor was incredibly strong, perfect mixed with the creamy milk and sugar: and it was the best I’d ever tasted. Café con leche was my gateway to trying espresso: that astringent dark bitter liquid in a tiny cup. On our honeymoon to Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Alex and I drank espresso with breakfast in bed, and at a little Roman cafes with a pastry.
Alex and I brought back our new European coffee habit to the US, mainly drinking dark roast coffee like the Italian espresso that we loved. After a few years, our coffee tastes changed when we met our neighbors, Sarah and Andy of Blue Mind Roasting. They taught us about the nuanced flavor of craft medium roast and light roast coffee. At first, light roast tasted oddly floral and almost like tea! But after starting to drink their light roast and medium roast coffees, we began to appreciate the unique flavors of single origin beans. We’ve been making this coffee in our Chemex every morning ever since. Keep reading for how we learned to make the best cup of coffee.
And now…how to make coffee!
After years of cultivating a passionate love for brewing, we’ve perfected all our favorite methods. Here are our top 6 ways of how to make coffee: pour over, French press, cold brew, Moka pot, Aeropress, and espresso. Ready to get started?
The coffee that we make every single day is pour over coffee, made in a Chemex. The Chemex has a beautiful, curvy beaker shape and makes for what we think is the perfect cup. Making the perfect pot of pour over takes about 10 minutes and results in 2 to 3 cups of coffee. (We typically make 2 pots per day...sometimes three!) We've found the best coffee for the pour over method is medium roast or light roast.
An electric gooseneck kettle is helpful for heating the water to a specific temperature and pouring it in a circular motion into the grounds. There's of course the Chemex and its special filters. You'll also need a kitchen scale to weigh out your coffee. Once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature!
The French press is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to brew a great cup of coffee. It’s a forgiving method that works for all sorts of coffee beans and roasts, and you don’t need lots of extra equipment. It’s the ideal tool for your morning coffee ritual!
So, we’ve covered hot: but how about cold coffee? We’re big fans of cold brew coffee over here, and the great thing about cold brew is that it barely requires any special equipment at all! All you need is time: 24 hours in fact. We’ve found the best type of coffee to use for cold brew is dark roast coffee.
To make cold brew coffee, you grind a boatload of coffee and place it in a pitcher with cold water overnight. Letting the coffee stand in the refrigerator “brews” it by letting it seep into the water. We love keeping a pitcher of cold brew around for afternoon coffee with no brewing required! It’s also our base for making iced coffee.
There’s nothing better than a bitter, rich espresso shot with a layer of foamy crema. Even better, once you’ve mastered espresso you can make a whole host of espresso drinks just like your favorite coffeeshop: the latte, cappuccino, flat white, macchiato, and more.
What's espresso?Espresso is an Italian way of making coffee in highly concentrated shots. A single espresso shot is 1 ounce, and a double shot is 2 ounces.
Love a great cup of strong coffee? Here’s how to make a smooth, bold brew: the Moka Pot (aka Bialetti)! This stovetop espresso maker makes a dark, intense cup that’s somewhere between espresso and very strong coffee. It’s very easy to use, either for your everyday coffee or to make “espresso” for homemade coffee drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and more.
The Moka Pot is a stovetop coffee maker used to make espresso-like coffee. It uses boiling water to force steam through the coffee grounds, so the coffee bubbles up into the pot versus percolating down like in brewed coffee.
What’s this space age-y looking plastic cylinder? It’s the Aeropress! It may look a little funky, but the Aeropress makes one very good cup of coffee. Our preferred method is the Chemex (above), but the Aeropress has its place. It makes a single cup at a time, and it’s quick! It’s also great for travel: we recently took it on a trip to Arizona and it worked fabulously.
The Aeropress has its own filters as well, and the method is not as exacting as the Chemex. Overall, it’s cheaper and quicker! You can use any roast of coffee with the Aeropress.