To me the smell of fresh made coffee is one of the greatest inventions. -Hugh Jackman
There is nothing like waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh made coffee. From taking your first sip standing in the kitchen to savoring the last, coffee is the fuel that sustains so many...so much so that there’s a national holiday to celebrate the delicious brew. To prepare for the September 29th celebrations, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite brew methods - whether you’re looking for an upgrade or you simply want to know what ‘pour over’ is, we’ve got the details just in time. And of course, we couldn’t bring you National Coffee Day without also giving you a few of our favorite coffee recipes, could we? Go ahead, find a way to celebrate.
Methods of Brewing Coffee
There are so many different methods of brewing coffee, we couldn’t possibly cover them all. Instead, we’ve picked a few of the most popular to go over so when you decide to upgrade, you know what the choices are.
Standard Coffee Maker
The standard coffee maker is a lot less standard than it used to be. While you can still get the old 8-cup Mr. Coffee Maker, there are now tons of upgraded options that include coffee makers that grind the beans for your, coffee makers that brew either one cup or 8 cups at a time, and even coffee makers you can set with your smartphone. Brewing has come a long way.
Keurigs are a relatively new machine, part of a wave of automation efforts. These machines allow you to insert a single-serve pod of coffee, select your cup size, and have a fresh-brewed, single cup of coffee in a matter of minutes (and not many of them, either). While k-cups (the pods you insert) have gotten a bad rap for being non-recyclable and filling landfills, you can buy a reusable filter and add your own coffee, which only takes a few seconds more.
Using a french press is pretty simple, though it takes a little more work than a regular coffee maker. You put the coarse-ground coffee in the bottom of the press, fill it with hot water, replace the press-mechanism but wait about 4 minutes before pressing. Then, you push down the plunger to remove the grounds from your cup of coffee, and pour. This simple methods retains the flavor of the beans better than many other methods and makes a nice, strong cup of coffee. Pressed come in varying sizes (for single cups to enough for the family).
A relatively new way of brewing coffee, aeropresses are a super simple and inexpensive way to brew coffee right into your cup. While the idea is similar to that of the French Press, you instead put a filter and then the coffee into the chamber of the press, which sits over your mug. You add hot water and stir for 10 seconds, then press the water and coffee down so that it filters into the cup. Again, the process retains the flavors of the beans but it takes a little less time and there’s a bit less clean up (though you do have to do the clean up right away to keep your press in good shape).
Ah, the pour over. Often cited by coffee-snobs as the "only way to enjoy coffee," the pour over method involves setting up coffee grounds in a filter over a chamber and slowly pouring (using a particular method) water over the grounds. This method has become pretty scientific, so read up on the right ways to create the perfect cup of coffee.
As promised, we’ve collected a few of our favorite coffee recipes (even one for non-coffee-lovers, gasp!) to share in honor of National Coffee Day. Take a look at the recipes below!
- Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee (did you know coffee changes its chemical structure when it goes from hot to cold? That’s what makes it so bitter. Cold-brewing is a way to make ice coffee that avoids that unfortunate side effect)
- These Starbucks-Inspired Coffee Drinks (you can get your fix without leaving the house!)
- For the non-coffee-lovers, try this Black Magic Cake just in time for Halloween. The coffee is used to bring out the taste of the chocolate (like the guinness in guinness cupcakes) and you can’t taste it at all.
- Coffee Milkshakes
- Homemade Coffee Ice Cream
- And to build on the recipe above, Coffee Ice Cream Cake
- Coffee-Infused Whiskey
- Espresso Martini