Title: Different ways to make coffee
Subtitle: Review of coffee machines, review of aeropress, review of cafetiere, review of french press and review of grind and brew machines.
So many ways to drink coffee so little time to sample them all. Gone are the days where you’re limited to your instant dissolvable granules. There are methods used to grind, brew, filter and create your coffee at home. Most of them you can buy in your local supermarket! There is literally no need to go out and buy coffee anymore – except for the fact that its our guilty pleasure!
I’m going to talk through what I think are the 4 most interesting ways you can enjoy your coffee at home. Please, if it gets too boring then tell me. Admittedly, we all love to venture out to pick up our morning coffee from the highstreet. I’ve established that already haven’t I? We all love a good Starbucks or Costa but how much does that actually cost?! If you buy a cappuccino from Starbucks around 3 times a week for say half the year that costs a whopping £450 quid a year. You can buy all 4 of my recommended coffee producers about five times over for the same price!!
The Best 4 Methods of Drinking Coffee.
1) Grind and Brew.
The Grind and Brew Coffee Makers are automatic coffee makers. They use whole coffee beans which get ground down to produce a liquid form of fresh black coffee. The majority of these machines work by placing the coffee beans in the coffee mill(part of the machine) and filling another separate section with water . You then decide the strength of your coffee and how many cups you’d like and then hit the grind button. It really is a simple as that.
P R O C E S S
The coffee beans once poured into the mill get ground down within the machine to produce a powder which then gets filtered through a shoot by the water which then drips down into a jug that sits on a hot plate. Hence why some of these machines can be referred to as a drip filter. The aim of Grind and Brew machines is to produce the freshest, filtered black coffee.
***It’s one of those amazing coffee jugs you always see on American movies where they wake up and the coffee is waiting for them**
I will specifically focus on Black & Decker CM5000B 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker, Black but most of these Grind and Brew Makers are the same. If youre a UK reader this is equivalent to the Russell Hobbs Grind and Brew 2200.
F A C T S. Positives and Negatives.
- The coffee sits on a hot plate keeping your coffee warm for up to 90 minutes.
- Strength of coffee adjustable.
- Creates the freshest form of coffee.
- Utilises the beauty of coffee beans at home.
- Electric – not easily portable.
- Requires effort to make coffee.
- Not so easy to clean – grinder, filter, jug and hot plate to be cleaned after each use!
- Can brew the coffee at any time just by setting a timer.
- Can brew up to 12 cups of coffee at once
- Creates aroma of freshly brewed coffee ( I know I use one).
- Uses both beans and ground coffee
Cafetiere / French Press
These are probably the most common way to drink coffee at home. They are more suited to the use ground coffee beans. It is almost like a coffee press. You pour ground coffee into the cafetière and add hot water. Let it brew and there you have it! Measure out the amount of ground coffee you would like to use. I usually measure it either based on how many people are drinking or how I strong I want it. Pour in boiling water let it brew for about 3-4 minutes. You then push down the lid which separates the coffee granules and the water. There you have it – a jug of filtered coffee. You then add your milk etc etc.. The french press creates coffee by immersion. This is where the coffee and water immerse and the longer the immersion the stronger the coffee. The grind of the coffee can affect the taste when using a cafetiere. The coarser the grind the less rich the taste. It takes around 3-4 minutes to brew a coffee using a french press. Due to most cafetieres being glass they are not easily portable but guys, they are super easy to clean. They retail from around £6 to around £40. Variety is great you can buy china ones, glass ones and steel ones but they all do pretty much the same job!
- Simple to use
- Easy for people who are not tech savy
- Uses ground coffee
- Makes up to 4 cups of coffee
- Takes about 5 minutes to make up to 4 cups
- Easy to store – small and convenient.
- Both of these methods are similar. They both create that black filter coffee baseline.
- The strength of the coffee is determined by how much coffee you actually add to the machine and the cafetière. However, you do have the option to change the strength manually with the Grind and Brew.
- The grind and brew uses whole coffee beans ( which create a deeper fuller flavour) the cafetiere uses ground coffee beans which creates a weaker less intense flavour. However, in some Grind and Brew machines there is an option to use ground coffee beans too!
- Grind and Brew needs only a small amount of beans to produce a full intense flavour whereas more coffee would be needed in the cafetiere to produce the same sort of taste.
- The Grind and Brew makes up to 12 cups of coffee whereas I would estimate that the average cafetiere only makes around 4 cups.
- Gind and Brew has a timer so you are able to prepare the beans and the water the night before, set a timer for it to brew at say, 8am the next day and voila – you’ve awoken to the sweet smell of freshly brewed coffee. This is much less time consuming and much more convenient than the cafetiere.
- Cafetieres are very simple to use. If you’re not into modern tech and machines with many buttons it’s an uncomplicated way to make multiple coffees at once.
Which one is better:
I have tried and tested both products. My favourite ever method to make coffee is the Grind and Brew because it produces such an intense, fresh, flavourful coffee.
2) Traditional Coffee Pod Machines
There are so many machines on the market today. The days of even buying roasted, ground or instant coffee are over.
These machines are specifically designed to use speciality ‘pods’ containing ground coffee. In general, they are small machines that enable you to fill up a water tank that then filters through an area where the coffee pods are held. This pours the coffee out directly into a glass.
The pods contain coffee but can also contain milk and flavours, therefore these machines do not just produce black coffee like the other ones. They make coffees such as lattes, cappuccinos, caramel macchiatos. You can turn the water to a hot setting or cold setting so you can even make iced coffee drinks( you’d obviously need to provide the ice).
B R A N D S/ T Y P E S
The machines can come in so many different forms, the main types include:
- Nespresso by Nescafe
- Dolce Gusto by Nescafe
- Tassimo by Kenco.
These machines are also so amazingly designed. They are aesthetically pleasing and look great on your kitchen worktop and they come in so many colours too! They start at around £40 but can go as high as £400.
I’ve had a few coffee machines in my time. I’ve had two different Dolce Gusto machines by Nescafe and a Nespresso machine. The cool thing about these machines are that you can buy lots of accessories to go with them and they are visually pleasing. You can buy speciality glasses that fit with the machine, you can buy branded cups and saucers, milk frothers(amazing!) pod stands etc etc.
- Super easy to use
- Many accessories to accompany the machines
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Huge variety of different drink options
- Easy to clean
- Creates coffee in seconds
- Pods are easy to buy
- Not portable
- Coffee is not fresh.
One of the only criticisms I would mention here is the fact that the coffee isn’t the best quality. I believe it is a mixture of instant coffee and finely ground coffee beans so it resembles the instant wholebean coffee on the open market. That is similar to things like Kenco Milicano or Nescafe Azera ( if you want to find out more about the difference between instant and fresh click here).
Aeropress is an inexpensive gadget. Made of plastic it contains a little chamber where you put coffee and water , with a push down it forces the coffee through a paper filter (as seen below). It is a modern invention that relies on heat and pressure to create the perfect up of coffee. It is really simple to use you literally fill the chamber with water and coffee, give them both a little mix and push the press down which forces the coffee through the filter giving you instant black coffee. The Aeropress is said to be the closest thing to a coffee machine. It produces instant espresso- like coffee. Aeropress does not use electricity meaning it does not need to be plugged in or switched on. It is literally a plastic device.
The aeropress can be carried around and used anywhere! Its so easy to take it on holiday with your coffee beans and voila – amazing coffee made anywhere in the world! They do say that freshly ground coffee beans are best used because you get a stronger flavour.
Aeropress is around £24 and the designs don’t vary so you don’t have to worry about whether you are getting the best one because they are all pretty much the same!
You can customise your aeropress coffee meaning that you can control whether you want a strong coffee or a weak one. This is done through time. The slower you push down on the press the stronger the coffee and vice versa. It takes under a minute to produce a good cup of coffee.
- Aeropress is a single serve coffee maker. This means you can only make one coffee at a time.
- Excellent portability
- No comparison with same products – all aeropress are basically the same.
- Customisation so you can vary strength of your coffee.
- Experiment with grind type if you have a coffee grinder.
- Uses a filter so the coffee is more ‘even’ compared with non filtered coffee.
- Easy to use after a few times.
So there you have it! I hope this has helped you make up your mind as to what method of coffee brewing you want to use at home! You may want to use all of them! I have three of them, the dolce gusto coffee machine, the cafetiere and the grind and brew and from my personal opinion the grind and brew is the best!
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