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How to Make Coffee: 17 Best Coffee Brewing Methods (Ultimate Recipe Guide)

Most of us know at least one way to make coffee, right? But if you're like me you want to know how to make coffee in lots of ways because each way brings out different flavor notes. This post has you covered with 17 different ways to make coffee. Each is complete with recipes and how to videos. Which is the best way to make coffee? I'll let you decide.

how to make coffee

How to Make Coffee: 17 Ways

People from every country in the world make coffee in a myriad of ways. Trying the local coffee is one way to enjoy a unique cultural experience. But don't worry if you can't travel, you can make coffee at home and bring some of that culture (and deliciousness) into your life.

So with that in mind, we've created this beginner’s guide of 17 coffee making methods (with instructions!)

List of ways to make coffee

This post is focused on different ways to make coffee and some of the great coffee gear you'll need to brew it. To read about all the different types of coffee, drinks, beans, roasts… check out this drool-worthy post.

Following this set of 17 ways to brew coffee, you'll learn 7 tips for making great coffee.

how do you make drip coffee


17 Coffee Brewing Methods

Let's start with the most common way to make coffee, the drip coffee maker.

This may seem like a no brainer to some, but if you're just getting started in the coffee game and you've bought your first electric drip coffee maker you need to know how to use it.

1. Drip Coffee Maker

  • Time to first sip: 4 to 15 minutes (depending on how many cups you’re making)
  • Type of Coffee: Usually an average cup of coffee but depends on how you make it
  • Coffee grind: Fine to medium
  • Gear required: Regular drip coffee maker, standard filters
  • Difficulty: Easy
Drip Coffee Tips: Use freshly ground coffee and a permanent filter. Don't let the carafe sit on the hot plate too long or your coffee will taste burnt.

The automatic drip coffee maker is one of the easiest, fastest and most common ways of making coffee in today’s culture.

Drip coffee recipe

  1. Add a paper filter (if needed)
  2. Put the fine to medium ground coffee into the filter compartment (1 to 2 tbsp per cup of coffee)
  3. Pour water into the tank
  4. Push a button or two

Within just a few minutes (depending upon how many cups you’re making), the unit heats the water while it runs through the ground coffee and drips below into the carafe.

If your primary goal for coffee making is getting your daily dose of caffeine to carry you throughout the day, then the drip coffee maker is a great choice.

You can also set up your drip coffee maker the night before with grounds and water and then just push the button the next morning when you’re still half asleep or rushing around trying to get ready for work. This is also a good method for making a batch of coffee if you’re entertaining at home or making coffee for the office.

With a drip coffee maker, you’re not going to get the same full-flavored cup of coffee that you would from another method like the French press. Still, it’s inexpensive (depending), easy to use, and it delivers a quick caffeine fix.

How to use a drip coffee maker video:

The following video will show how to use a drip coffee maker.

Watch on YouTube


2. French Press Coffee Maker

  • Time to first sip: Approximately 10 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Unique, delicate, aromatic, full of flavor
  • Coffee grind: Coarse
  • Gear required: French press, timer
  • Difficulty: Easy to use but requires attention and customizing
French Press Tips: Avoid the last drop in the beaker and your mug because it will often have thick sediment in it. Don’t allow your coffee to sit too long in the carafe on the grounds because this will create a bitter taste.

Of all the methods out there about how to make coffee, the French press is probably the most iconic of them all.

It has a French name but was patented in Italy nearly 100 years ago, yet it still remains the method of choice for many coffee lovers today.

how do you make french press coffee

The French press is a basic process that only involves hot water, a glass (or metal) beaker and a plunger. Because you don’t usually use a filter with the French press, you get the full flavor effect from the coffee beans.

The French press is not as effortless and fast as a drip coffee maker, but you can customize your brew to suit your taste. This is ideal for those whose aim is to savor the perfect cup of coffee.

French Press coffee recipe

  1. Heat your water on the stovetop or in an electric kettle to almost boiling 195°F (91°C ) to 205 °F (96 °C). You can also bring the water to a boil and then let it sit for about 30 seconds. Some like to preheat the French press by filling it with hot water for a few minutes then discarding the water before adding their ground coffee.
  2. Add your coarsely ground coffee in the French press (1 to 2 tbsp per cup).
  3. Add the hot water, stir and let it brew for about 3 to 5 minutes (according to your preference).
  4. Press the plunger down to the bottom of the French press.
  5. Immediately pour the coffee into a mug and enjoy.

How to make coffee with a french press video:

The following video shows how to make coffee in a french press.

Watch on YouTube 


3. Pour Over Coffee Maker

  • Time to first sip: 3 to 5 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Clear, clean and light-bodied cup
  • Coffee grind: Medium coarse
  • Gear required: Pour over brewer, carafe, filters, gooseneck kettle
  • Difficulty: Easy to do. Takes practice to get it just like you want it.
Pour Over Tips: If your coffee tastes bitter, you may need to grind your coffee beans a bit more coarsely. For more flavor, grind your beans more finely or pour your water more slowly.

A pour over coffee maker is going to require a little more time and effort than the push of a button on the drip coffee maker, so it may not be for everyone.

how to make pour over coffee

But, what’s really great about this method is that it gives you total control over the brewing process so that you can customize your coffee to your own preference. Once you taste the smooth, clean and light-bodied results, you’ll wonder why you never knew how to make coffee this way before.

When you make pour over coffee you funnel it through the ground coffee in a cone-shaped filter where a hole (or series of small holes) slows the rate of the water as it brews the coffee.

You can choose pour over coffee brewers in various styles, shapes and sizes. Some are small devices that you place over a single mug or carafe. Others are built right onto the top of a carafe, but they all basically work the same way.

Pour over coffee maker recipe

  1. Heat your water to the boiling point, let it sit off the heat for about 30 seconds.
  2. Place your pour over coffee maker over your mug, or whatever carafe you're using. Put your paper filter (if needed) into the pour over maker, prime if you like.
  3. Add medium/coarse ground coffee into the filter, about 2 to 3 tbsp for each cup of water. Gently shake the pour over maker so the grounds even out.
  4. Slowly pour a little hot water over the grounds in a circular motion and wait about 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom.
  5. Pour the rest of the water over the grounds, slowly in a circular motion.

To get your brew just right for you, you’ll need to experiment a few times with the water temperature, grind size, water/grind ratio, and pouring rate.

But, once you find your sweet spot, you’ll love your coffee.

How to make coffee with a pour over video:

Making pour over coffee is pretty easy. The following video will show the basics of brewing with a pour over.

Watch on YouTube 


4. Chemex Coffee Maker

  • Time to first sip: approximately 7 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Rich flavor
  • Coffee grind: Fine to medium
  • Gear required: Chemex, Chemex filters, kettle, stopwatch
  • Difficulty: Easy to use but requires practice to get your coffee suited to your preference
Chemex Coffee Tips: Avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter. If the water level nears the rim of the Chemex, pause for a moment to let it drain before continuing.

One of the most popular of the pour over brewers, the Chemex coffee maker looks more like a decorative, glass kitchen vase than a coffee-making gadget.

how to make Chemex coffee

It uses thick, bonded filters that slow the rate of the coffee, providing you with a rich-tasting brew without any sediment. Another nice benefit of the Chemex is that you can make 3 to 4 cups of coffee at one time.

Like other pour over methods, you’ll need to play around a few times with the water/grind ratio and brewing time to find your perfect equation where the coffee is not over or under extracted. This is where a timer and thermometer come in handy.

Otherwise, the Chemex is easy to use with these basic steps:

Chemex coffee maker recipe

  1. Heat your water to boiling and then let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  2. Open and insert the Chemex filter into the top of the brewer with the layered side facing the spout. Prime if you like.
  3. Add fine to medium ground coffee in the filter, 2 tbsp for each cup of water should work well.
  4. Set the timer for about 45 seconds and slowly pour (in a circular motion) enough hot water on the grounds to moisten them. This causes the coffee to “bloom,” releasing its wonderful aroma.
  5. Reset your timer for approximately two minutes and steadily pour the water into the filter in a circular pattern.
  6. Wait for the brewed coffee to completely drain into the lower chamber and then remove the dripper and grounds.
  7. Pour into your favorite cup and savor the deliciousness!

How to make pour over coffee video:

This video will show how to make pour over coffee with a Chemex which is my favorite way to make pour over.

In the video they use 1 to 2 heaping teaspoons per cup but I use 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water, that may even out to be about the same amount, but just thought I would mention how I like mine.

Watch on YouTube


5. Cold Brew Maker

  • Time to first sip: 12 to 24 hours
  • Type of Coffee: Rich flavor and super smooth body
  • Coffee grind: Coarse to Super Coarse
  • Gear required: Cold brew maker, stirring spoon
  • Difficulty: Easy, but requires patience
Cold Brew Tips: Don’t use fine grind coffee for this method. It could negatively affect the flavor of your cold brew and would be hard to filter out.

If you’ve never tried making cold brew coffee, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s not the same thing as iced coffee, which is coffee that’s been brewed hot and then chilled.

Cold brew coffee is coffee that’s been steeped slowly with cold water for 12 to 24 hours. It results in a coffee concentrate that is usually diluted when you drink it.

how do you make cold brew coffee

Because cold brew coffee is made with cold water instead of hot, the coffee acids and oils are not a soluble as they are in hot water which results in a more smooth and mellow brew with no bitterness. It is also much less acidic, making it gentler for those with sensitive stomachs.

Making cold brew coffee is easy. You can even do it with a mason jar, but using a cold brew maker gives you the ability to make a large batch that can last you up to two weeks.

Cold brew coffee recipe

  1. Add your coarsely ground coffee to the cold brew maker using a 1:4 or 1:5 ratio. For example one cup of coarse ground coffee to 4 cups of filtered water.
  2. Pour the water in slowly so that the grounds don’t suddenly float up and run over the brim.
  3. Once the carafe fills with the coffee and water mixture, stir it with a spoon. Many cold brew makers come with a spoon attachment, but you can use a long wooden one as well.
  4. Allow the coffee to cold brew between 12 and 24 hours. You can brew it at room temperature on the counter or in the refrigerator. I like to brew mine in the fridge.
  5. After the brewing process is complete, you will have a strong coffee concentrate that you can keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

To enjoy drinking your cold brew, you can dilute it with water or milk. You can add spices, flavors and other ingredients to make a variety of coffee drinks. Or, you can simply heat it up and drink it hot if you wish.

How to make cold brew coffee video:

Next, you'll see how to make cold brew coffee at home.

Watch on YouTube 


6. Iced Coffee

    • Time to first sip: Depends on the method you use, so from 2 minutes to 24 hours
    • Type of Coffee: Cold, smooth and refreshing drink with optional flavors
    • Coffee grind: Depends on the brewing method you use
    • Gear required: Thermal shock mug(s)
    • Difficulty: As easy as the brewing method you choose
Iced Coffee Tips: Cold brew coffee makes the best-tasting iced coffee because of the flavor, but also because it is already cold.
When making iced coffee from hot coffee make it nice and strong (about 3 tbsp per cup) because it will be diluted by the ice cubes used to cool it, plus the additional ice to keep it cold.
Use a liquid sweetener (liquid sugar, maple syrup…) because it dissolves better in cold liquid than regular sugar does.

For many, iced coffee is a treat that they drink occasionally like at a cafe with friends or during the hot summer. But, if you know how to make iced coffee at home, you can enjoy it as often as you like.

how to make iced coffee

Three iced coffee recipes

You can make iced coffee at home using either the cold or hot brew methods. You can also make it really quick and easy with instant coffee.

1. Making iced coffee with cold brew

If you already have cold brewed coffee on hand, you can dilute it with a little water and some ice cubes, then add in any sugar, cream or flavorings you wish.

If you don’t already have a batch of cold brew coffee in the refrigerator, you’ll have to first make some (described above in our 5th brewing method on this list) and that may take you anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. But, at least then you can make several cups or glasses of iced coffee at a time for use over a couple of weeks. Iced coffee made from cold brewed coffee is ideal because it gives you a smooth, naturally sweet taste.

And because cold brew is a concentrate it lasts longer (remaining flavorful) in the fridge than hot brewed coffee.

2. Making iced coffee with hot brew

You can also make iced coffee from hot brewed coffee. However, the key to getting the best taste is to cool the coffee as quickly as you can because the longer hot brewed coffee sits and cools, the more bitter it may become.

This is why you’ll need to immediately pour your hot brewed coffee over ice cubes. The sudden mixture of hot and cold temperatures like this can shatter your cups, so to prevent this, make sure you use mugs or drinking glasses that are thermal shock resistant.

When making iced coffee from hot brewed coffee, you can use any of the methods on this list such as the French press, drip coffee maker, pour over brewer, etc. The only difference will be that you add ice cubes to the carafe, beaker or mug to quickly cool the hot water as it drips or pours down. You can also use an iced coffee maker if you like.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is a great option. We received one as a review copy and I love it. It has an “over ice” setting that brews up iced coffee quickly. It also accounts for the ice in your mug by brewing the coffee rich and slow so it isn't too diluted and the ice doesn't melt very much.

Add-ins for your iced coffee

If you like your iced coffee to be sweet, you can make a liquid sugar sweetener ahead of time by mixing boiling water and sugar with a 1:1 ratio until the sugar is dissolved.

This is a good idea since sugar doesn’t dissolve that well in cold drinks. If you want to spice up your iced coffee, you can add syrup flavors like vanilla or caramel. I love maple syrup in mine.

3. Making iced coffee with instant coffee

The fastest way to make iced coffee is with quality instant coffee. All you need to do is mix a packet of instant coffee with a couple of tablespoons of room-temperature water and stir until the coffee crystals are completely dissolved.

Add in the rest of the water, ice cubes and sweeten according to your preferences with a liquid sweetener, cream and/or flavoring.

How to make iced coffee video

In the following video you'll see how iced coffee is made using the pour over method. She uses around 3 tbsp of coffee to make a nice strong brew because it will be diluted with ice.

 Watch on YouTube


7. Coffee Percolator

  • Time to first sip: Up to 10 minutes (depending on your taste preference)
  • Type of Coffee: Strong (and sometimes bitter) cup
  • Coffee grind: Coarse
  • Gear required: Percolator coffee maker, mugs
  • Difficulty: Easy to do, but you’ll need to monitor it for best results
Percolator Tips: The less you let it “percolate,” the milder your coffee will taste.

You either hate them or love them. Percolators are an old-fashioned method for making coffee that has been around for a long time. You’ll find them in both stovetop and electric stand-alone units.

making coffee with a percolator

Many people love them because they produce a pleasant aroma and “percolating” sound that makes your morning routine more enjoyable. Plus, stovetop percolators are safe for the environment since they don’t require disposable paper filters or single-use cups like many other types of coffee makers today.

Some people hate percolators because they produce a bitter cup. The reason for this is because percolators boil the brew multiple times, causing over-extraction and a bitter taste.

However, percolator fans will assure you that if you watch the boiling time, you will be rewarded with a wonderful, rich tasting cup.

Percolator coffee recipe

  1. Fill the reservoir with cold water (based on the amount of coffee you want to make). Starting with cold water will cause the percolator to heat slowly which gives you a better tasting cup.
  2. Add coarsely ground coffee to the basket, being mindful that percolators normally make strong coffee. So, less is better unless you love it strong.
  3. If you’re using a stovetop percolator, set it on the stove before turning the burner on to a medium or low setting.
  4. Monitor the brewing process. Most percolators feature a clear plastic or glass knob on the top of the kettle. Once the water gets hot enough, you’ll see it bubbling up inside the knob. You want the bubbles to sputter in short intervals. If the water is bubbling too fast, your water is heating too soon and too hot. If the water isn’t bubbling much, it’s too cool, so turn up the heat just a bit.
  5. Once your water is bubbling at steady intervals, you need to time it according to your taste, but it should be between 4 and 10 minutes. Anything less than 4 minutes is too weak while more than 10 minutes results in a bitter cup.
  6. Remove the percolator from heat and take out the basket of coffee grounds. Replace the lid and pour the coffee into mugs. Enjoy!

How to make coffee in a percolator video:

The following video will show how to make coffee in a coffee percolator. It is percolated for 7 minutes but you can experiment and see how long to percolate yours for the flavor you like best.

Watch on YouTube 


8. Espresso Machine

  • Time to first sip: 15 to 30 minutes to heat up the machine, 25 to 35 seconds to pull a shot
  • Type of Coffee: Strong, sharp, rich in flavor with thick with crema
  • Coffee grind: Fine and consistent
  • Gear required: Espresso machine, tamping tool and a milk frothing jug (if you like lattes and cappuccinos)
  • Difficulty: Easy with an automatic model, but a manual machine requires practice
Espresso Tips: When steaming the milk, angle the pitcher so that a whirlpool forms. This will heat your milk evenly.

Espresso drinks are favored by those who love a thick, strong brew that delivers a powerful jolt of caffeine. It’s also the base that’s used for many popular coffee drinks such as a latte or cappuccino.

how to make espresso

Espresso machines come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes with lots of features that can appear intimidating if you’ve never used one. Some are automatic, and all you need to do is push a set of buttons.

They all work basically the same way. They force a small amount of hot water through finely ground coffee at a fast speed. The end result is a sharp, rich brew that’s topped with a thick natural crema.

Espresso coffee recipe

  1. Purge the machine if needed.
  2. Add your finely ground coffee in the brew basket (metal filter) that’s part of the portafilter. Make sure you have the right shot size setting (single, double or triple).
  3. Use the tamping tool to pack the grounds into a neat puck.
  4. Lock the portafilter into place in the grouphead (which brews the coffee).
  5. Press the button or pull the lever to “pull a shot.” Your espresso is ready.
  6. If you’re making an espresso drink that includes steamed milk, pour your milk into the metal steaming pitcher and tug the steam lever (or push the button). Use the steam wand to create the right amount of foam you want. This will take experimenting a few times until you get it exactly like you want.
  7. If you’re making an Americano, just use the hot water spigot to add the hot water after pulling the espresso shot.

Once your shot is completed, make sure to immediately discard the coffee grounds to prevent cooking leftover espresso into a grimy muck and damaging the machine.

How to make espresso with an espresso machine video:

The following video will show how to make espresso with an espresso machine.

Watch on YouTube 


9. Stovetop Espresso Maker / Moka Pot

  • Time to first sip: Approximately 5 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Similar to espresso
  • Coffee grind: Fine but not as fine as espresso grind
  • Gear required: Stovetop espresso maker (moka pot), optional timer
  • Difficulty: Easy but requires undivided attention to avoid under and over extraction
Moka Pot Tips: Don't fill the water chamber above the pressure valve.
Remove the Moka pot from the heat as soon as it's finished brewing. You'll know it's done when you hear that last blast of steam.

If you can’t afford an espresso machine but want the creamy texture and caffeine kick of a pressurized espresso shot, you should give a Moka pot a try.

how to make coffee with a Moka pot

Also called a stovetop espresso maker, the Moka pot may not give you the exact results of an espresso machine, but it comes pretty close. Besides that, the Moka pot is portable, affordable and requires little effort and skill.

The Moka pot consists of a three-chambered device that you use on the stovetop. Water from the bottom chamber boils, causing steam to pressurize through the coffee grounds in the middle chamber. The coffee then flows up through an inner tube into the top chamber.

Moka pot coffee recipe

  1. Remove the top chamber and filter basket, then fill the lower part with hot water. Fill to just below the valve.
  2. Insert the filter basket and fill it with finely ground coffee (but not as fine as for espresso). Make sure there are no coffee grounds on the rim of the filter basket.
  3. Replace the top chamber and screw on tightly.
  4. Set the Moka pot on the stove and heat until the water boils and fills the top chamber with brewed coffee. You’ll know it’s ready when you hear the steaming and bubbling sounds. You can also lift the lit and look inside the top chamber. The coffee will not completely fill the top chamber – that last blast of steam tells you it's finished.
  5. As soon as it’s ready, remove the Moka pot from the stove.
  6. Pour cold water over the side to stop brewing, or just pour it in your mug right away.

If you want to make a latte or some other fancy, espresso-type drink, steam some milk and froth it with a frothing wand or jug. Then, pour it over your coffee and enjoy.

How to make coffee with a Moka pot video:

Watch on YouTube 


10. Aeropress Coffee Maker

  • Time to first sip: About 60 seconds after heating your water
  • Type of Coffee: Clean, clear, smooth and rich
  • Coffee grind: A coarse or fine grind can be used (depends on your preference).
  • Gear required: Aeropress kit, kettle (stovetop or electric), mug or pitcher, and optional timer and coffee grinder
  • Difficulty: Super easy
Aeropress Coffee Tips: Drizzle a small amount of warm water over the filter before plunging.

The Aeropress has a large fan base among coffee lovers. There are plenty of good reasons for this such as the clean, clear delicious cup of coffee it produces and the fact that it’s very affordable.

how do you make coffee with an Areopress

The Aeropress kit comes with several accessories, but don’t let that scare you. It’s one of the easiest and fastest methods of how to make coffee.

In fact, it’s pretty much just pour and push after heating your water.

Aeropress coffee recipe

  1. Assemble the Aeropress by putting the plunger inside the brew chamber (should be inserted to the chamber at around the 4 mark). Stand the Aeropress on top of the plunger (it will be upside down).
  2. Heat the water. Using a kettle (stovetop or electric), you want to make sure that the water is hot enough but not too hot because this can affect the taste of your coffee. Bring the water to a boil and let it sit for about 30 seconds. (You can use some of it to preheat your Aeropress and pre moisten your paper filter if you like, but don't forget to discard that water before you add the coffee.)
  3. Add 1-2 heaping tablespoons of coarsely or finely ground coffee to the brew chamber.
  4. Add the hot water and wait about 30 seconds.
  5. Give it a brief stir with the paddle or a spoon.
  6. Fill the rest of the brew chamber with water and wait about 1 minute and 30 seconds to finish the brewing.
  7. Add the filter section which holds the paper filter. Place your glass or mug on top of the brew chamber and holding firmly to the mug with one hand and the Aeropress with the other – flip it over so that the mug is on the counter with the AeroPress on top.
  8. Apply even pressure to the plunger pressing down firmly until you hear a long hissing sound.
  9. Taste and dilute if needed. The Aeropress produces concentrated coffee, so you might want to dilute it and make it into two cups of coffee.

How to use an Aeropress video:

The following video will show how to brew coffee in the Aeropress as described above.

Watch on YouTube 

That’s all there is to using the Aeropress!


11. Coffee Sock

  • Time to first sip: 3 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Rich, flavorful, bold body with natural coffee oils present
  • Coffee grind: Whatever suits you, but extra fine is often suggested
  • Gear required: Coffee sock filter and optional coffee scale, burr grinder, wooden spoon
  • Difficulty: Super easy
Coffee Sock Tips: Don’t pour boiling water over the grounds since this will scorch them. Let your water cool up to a minute before pouring.

It’s surprising that the coffee sock maker is not used by everyone. Not only is it the easiest method of how to make coffee, but it’s environment-friendly, super easy to use, and really low-priced. It’s also ideal for campers and travelers because it is small and lightweight.

 

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Best of all, the coffee sock produces a great cup of coffee that’s rich and flavorful because it allows the oils from the coffee to seep through the brewing process.

All you need is coffee grounds, your mug and a coffee sock which is a tightly-knitted, reusable cloth filter with an attached metal or wooden handle. Here’s how it works:

Coffee sock recipe

  1. Heat water to a boil and then let it cool between 30 and 60 seconds.
  2. Put the coffee sock into your empty mug.
  3. Measure your ground coffee into the coffee sock. Use what works for you, but 1 to 2 tablespoons is suggested for a single cup of coffee.
  4. Pour the water over the grounds slowly – just enough to thoroughly wet them and wait about a minute to let them gass off.
  5. Pour the remaining water over the grounds and allow the coffee to brew between 2 and 3 minutes (or whatever suits your taste).
  6. Remove the coffee sock and enjoy your coffee!

How easy is that?!

How to use a coffee sock video:

Now let's watch how easy it is to use a coffee sock.

Watch on YouTube 


12. Vacuum Pot

  • Time to first sip: About 10 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Super-pure and full of flavor
  • Coffee grind: Medium coarse
  • Gear required: Vacuum pot, stopwatch, flame
  • Difficulty: Requires undivided attention and practice

Vacuum Pot Tips: Use pre-heated water to quicken the brewing process.

The coffee vacuum pot maker (also called the siphon coffee pot) is for coffee lovers who enjoy experimenting with different ways of how to make coffee. In fact, just one look at its elaborate system of tubes and glass globes, and you will think it’s a science lab.

how to make vacuum pot coffee

Using the vacuum pot does require practice and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with pure, flavorful coffee in the end.

Vacuum pots come in stovetop or tabletop styles, but all require a heating source whether it be a butane burner, halogen burner system, cloth-wick alcohol burner, or gas or electric stovetop.

Most vacuum pots consist of four elements:

  1. The bottom chamber where the water begins and the coffee ends
  2. The top chamber that’s attached to a siphon tube where the coffee brews
  3. A rubber gasket that partially produces a vacuum in the bottom chamber during the brewing process
  4. A filter (metal, paper, cloth or glass)

Vacuum pot coffee recipe

  1. Insert the filter into the center of the top chamber and then pull the attached chain to secure the filter. Set the top chamber in its holder.
  2. Weigh out the amount of coffee you plan to use according to the number of cups you want to make and grind it to a medium coarseness. You'll usually want about 1 to 2 tbsp of grounds for every cup of water.
  3. Pour the water (according to your desired coffee/water ratio) into the bottom chamber.
  4. Ignite the burner (or another heating source) and place the bottom chamber over the flame. Wait for all the water from the bottom chamber to rise to the top chamber. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of the water and adjust the heat until it settles at around 203°F (95°C).
  5. Add your ground coffee to the top chamber and gently stir to saturate them.
  6. Allow the coffee to brew for around 40 to 90 seconds depending on your taste (you can gently stir part way through if you like).
  7. Stir the coffee for several rotations to create a deep whirlpool.
  8. Remove the vacuum system from the heat source. The brew should drop down into the bottom chamber within 30 to 45 seconds. (If it’s taking longer, your grind may be too fine).
  9. With a pot holder or towel, remove the bottom chamber. Pour the coffee into mugs and enjoy.

How to use a vacuum pot coffee maker video:

The following video will show you how to make coffee in a vacuum pot.

It doesn't show him putting the filter into the top chamber, but that's an important step – so you might want to do that before you get started brewing the coffee, make sure the chain is dangling below the siphon tube.

Watch on YouTube 


13. Bripe Coffee Brew

  • Time to first sip: 3 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Smooth, rich brew similar to that of French press
  • Coffee grind: Whatever suits you. The built-in filter has settings for three sizes.
  • Gear required: The Bripe™ Coffee Brew Kit, filtered water, ground coffee
  • Difficulty: Easy and simple
Bripe Coffee Tips: Be sure to hold the cork handle while the Bripe is hot.

Invented by two friends who love overnight treks and rafting in Costa Rica, the Bripe is an all-in-one system that makes great coffee possible anywhere you go, from camping trips to cafes.

 

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It’s ideal for outdoor adventures because it’s lightweight and fits easily into a backpack or tackle box. Even more, the Bripe is earth-friendly since it doesn’t create any waste.

With the Bripe, you don’t need to bother with carrying a kettle with you. You don’t even need to boil water because the Bripe has its own handheld quad jet torch lighter that heats the water.

You won't need to pack a mug either because you can drink straight from the Bripe. Plus, all it takes is three minutes from heating to sipping.

The Bripe kit comes with the following accessories:

  • The Bripe™ Coffee Brew Pipe
  • Quad jet torch
  • Reusable Stainless Steel Adjustable Filter
  • Base cooling plate
  • Thermometer
  • Coffee tube
  • Insulated Cork Handle
  • Carrying case

Bripe coffee recipe

  1. Place the filter so that the right size perforations for your size grind cover the stem hole.
  2. Add your ground coffee, 1 tbsp of coffee is recommended but you can adjust to your preference.
  3. Add clean, filtered water up to the line etched on the outside of the Bripe cup.
  4. Stir with the thermometer.
  5. Place the thermometer in the stand (inside the Bripe cup)
  6. Brew with the quad jet torch (about 60 seconds to a max temp of 185°F) making sure to always hold it with the cork.
  7. Cool to 140°F. Add sugar and milk if desired.
  8. Blow into the stem to make bubbles and then suck the brew through the stem and enjoy.

How to use a Bripe coffee maker video:

The following video will show how to use the Bripe to make coffee. They don't show adjusting the filter, but you'll want to do that so that you don't suck up coffee grounds.

We don't recommend using water from a stream, it's best to only use water from a source you know is safe, filtered water is the best.

Watch on YouTube 


14. Turkish Coffee Pot (Cezve)

  • Time to first sip: 3 to 4 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Thick, strong and aromatic black coffee
  • Coffee grind: Powdery fine
  • Gear required: Turkish coffee pot (cezve), Turkish grinder, thermometer
  • Difficulty: Easy after practicing a few times
Turkish Coffee Tips: You can use a regular saucepan if you don't mind not having the foam.

Turkish coffee has been around a long time. In fact, it’s listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Turkey.

Made in a Turkish coffee pot called a cezve, this traditional coffee is known for its strong, black, aromatic brew. It’s distinctively topped with a thick, frothy foam that’s created by boiling water through powdery-fine grounds.

how to make Turkish coffee

To make Turkish coffee, you’ll need a cezve pot and a coffee grinder that grinds the coffee beans really fine.

Water is not measured the same way for this brewing method as for others. It's usually measured with the cups you will be serving it in which can range from an ounce up to a cup.

Because of this variance, the amount of ground coffee you'll use may depend on your serving size. The general rule is to use a rounded tablespoon for each serving. But you may want to adjust this if your serving size is small (an ounce) and it tastes too strong for you.

Turkish coffee is made with a medium roast, powdery fine ground coffee.

There are unique traditional ways of making Turkish coffee and the amount of water, grounds, and times the coffee is put to boil can differ. The following recipe is just a guide to get you started.

Turkish coffee recipe

  1. Mix ingredients together: cold water, Turkish coffee grounds, and sugar (if desired) in the Turkish coffee pot with a small spoon. It’s recommended that you use a cup to a cup and a half (referring to the cups you will be serving the coffee in) of water and a tablespoon of coffee grounds per each cup you are making.
  2. Place the cezve on the stovetop and allow the coffee mixture to slowly reach a boil over medium heat. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes, so you’ll need to watch it closely.
  3. As the brew heats up, you’ll see a dark foam forming. Resist the urge to stir because it will break the foam. Just before it reaches a boil, spoon some of the foam into each of your Turkish coffee cups.
  4. Once the coffee comes to a boil, gently pour enough to fill your cups up halfway, being careful to not disturb the foam.
  5. Let the remaining coffee boil for about 15 to 20 seconds and then pour it into the cups to the brim.

If you really want to immerse yourself in Turkish coffee culture, you should know that this traditional coffee is often served with sweet treats such as candy, chocolate or Turkish delights and a cup of water on the side.

Also, you should know some of the Turkish terms that are used for sugar amounts:

      • “Sade” (No sugar, or plain)
      • “Az şekerli” ( A little sugar, or a half to one teaspoon)
      • “Orta şekerli” (Medium sugar, or one to two teaspoons)
      • “Çok şekerli (A lot of sugar, or two to three teaspoons)

How to make Turkish coffee video:

The following video will show you how to make Turkish coffee at home.

You'll notice that the water is measured in the cup the coffee will be served in. The cups are basically espresso cups which usually hold around one ounce. So with this method, you would use one heaping teaspoon of finely ground coffee for each ounce of water.

Watch on YouTube 


15. Cowboy Coffee

  • Time to first sip: From 2 to 3 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Strong and aromatic black coffee
  • Coffee grind: Medium to coarse
  • Gear required: Coffee pot
  • Difficulty: Easy
Cowboy Coffee Tips: After brewing is finished slowly pour a little cold water on the grounds to help them settle to the bottom of the pot.

Cowboy coffee is similar to Turkish and Bripe coffee. The coffee grounds are immersed in the water and are heated to boiling or near boiling.

how to make cowboy coffee

This makes a strong coffee and can be adjusted to your flavor preferences, like most of the brewing methods. Cowboy coffee is one of 7 easy ways to make coffee while camping.

It's very easy to make and does not require special equipment. You can make it in a regular pot or an enamel coffee pot.

There are a couple of ways to make cowboy coffee:

  1. Some cowboy coffee lovers like to mix the coffee and water together and bring it to a boil.
  2. Others bring the water to a boil and remove it from the heat, then add the coffee and let it brew for a few minutes.
  3. Some warm the water, add the grounds and then let them boil together. It's really up to you, so play around with the method and see what you like best.

The following recipe describes the last method.

Cowboy coffee recipe

  1. Put your water on the heat and when it gets warm add the grounds (usually a tablespoon or two for each cup).
  2. Stir the mix so the grounds are good and saturated.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil for 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, let it sit for a minute and then pour a little cold water over the floating grounds to make them sink to the bottom.

How to make cowboy coffee video:

This the next video, you'll learn how to make cowboy coffee. Some people add an egg to their cowboy coffee but not this cowboy – he just adds some cold water to help the grounds settle.

He's making a big pot for a lot of people so he's using a lot of coffee, the general rule is one or two tablespoons per cup of water.

In the video, it's mentioned that boiling the coffee takes the bitter acid out of the bean resulting in a smooth cup of coffee. That sounds like you would be getting rid of the acid but from my research I've learned that the acids in coffee are released more when it reaches a boil, meaning that you're actually getting more acid in your cup.

So to reduce the acid you would want to avoid boiling the coffee grounds.

I think the reason this method is so loved by its fans is that they prefer a bitter or acidic flavor to their coffee.

Watch on YouTube


16. Coffee Infuser

  • Time to first sip: From 3 to 4 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Depends on steeping time
  • Coffee grind: Medium to coarse
  • Gear required: An infuser
  • Difficulty: Easy
Coffee Infuser Tips: Use an infuser with the smallest perforations you can find. This will help you avoid getting grounds in your cup.

Using an infuser to make coffee is like making loose-leaf tea. It's really easy.

Again the amount of ground coffee you use is up to your taste preferences. Usually, you'll use one to two tablespoons per cup of water.

 

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Coffee infuser recipe

  1. Put your water on to boil, when it reaches a boil take it off the heat and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add your coffee into the infuser.
  3. Place your infuser into your mug or jug.
  4. Slowly pour the hot water over the grounds until the water fills the mug. Fill to below the top of the infuser (unless your infuser has a lid). (If you overfill, the grounds may float out the top of the infuser and into your cup.)
  5. Let the coffee infuse in the water for about 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Remove the infuser and enjoy.

How to make coffee with an infuser video:

This video will show how easy it is to make coffee with an infuser. In this video they use the InstaCuppa Infuser Travel Mug but you can use any infuser you like as long as the perforations in the infuser are small enough to contain the coffee grounds.

Watch on YouTube 

17. Instant Coffee

  • Time to first sip: 1 to 3 minutes
  • Type of Coffee: Weaker than fresh ground coffee
  • Coffee grind: Freeze-dried instant coffee is recommended
  • Gear required: Instant coffee, mug, kettle or saucepan
  • Difficulty: Fast and easy
Instant Coffee Tips: Don’t allow your water to boil or it will make your coffee taste bitter.
Choose freeze-dried instant coffee.
Use filtered water that doesn’t contain any chemicals or weird-tasting minerals.

Instant coffee is great to have on hand in case your coffee maker goes on the blink or you’re running late and don’t have time to make it with other methods.

how to make instant coffee

It's fast and convenient and can also be used to make iced coffee or added to food and drink recipes for a caffeine boost or coffee flavor.

The taste of instant coffee may not equal a cup of coffee that’s been brewed from fresh ground beans, but quality brands in the last few decades have made improvements that bring much more to the table for coffee lovers.

Exactly what is instant coffee? It’s brewed coffee that’s been dehydrated into crystals or powder that “instantly” dissolve when you add hot or room temperature water.

The two most common ways of dehydrating instant coffee are spray drying and freeze drying:

  1. Spray drying uses high temperatures which results in a more bitter taste.
  2. Freeze drying is a more costly method that doesn’t use high temperatures and results in higher quality, more flavorful instant coffee. So, when shopping for a good instant coffee, you want to look for a brand that uses the freeze-dried method (It should be noted on the label).

Instant coffee recipe

  1. Heat the water to just before boiling. You don’t want to pour boiling water on your instant coffee because it will overcook it and make it taste bad. If your water gets too hot, just take it off the stove and let it cool for about a minute. (If you enjoy a thick, creamy coffee, use a cup of hot milk instead of water.)
  2. Add one or two rounded teaspoons of instant coffee per 8 ounces of water (or according to your own preference) to your coffee mug.
  3. Pour a little hot water into your mug and stir to dissolve the instant coffee grounds completely. Then add the rest of the water and stir.
  4. Flavor to your taste. Add sugar, cream, milk, honey, cinnamon or flavor syrups like vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut or caramel.

How to make instant coffee video:

The following video will show how easy it is to make a basic cup of instant coffee.

Watch on YouTube 

For iced coffee, mix a tablespoon of cold or room-temperature filtered water with one or two rounded teaspoons of instant coffee (per cup or glass) to saturate the instant coffee grounds.

Then, pour in about 8 ounces of cold water and give it a good stir until the coffee and water are mixed well. Add ice and any flavorings you prefer.


7 Tips for Making Good Coffee

There are a few general things that will make every brewing method better. For each coffee making method mentioned in our list, these tips apply.

So to make coffee with the best results, here are a few things to consider before you get started.

1. Use fresh, whole coffee beans

Start with arabica whole beans that have been roasted recently. Coffee beans begin losing their flavor about two weeks after being roasted.

Robusta coffee beans don't have the same pleasant flavor notes as arabica, but they have a place in a good espresso mix – adding the crema. So if you're into espresso, a good arabica/robusta mix would be just fine.

If you’re using pre-ground coffee, the freshness is sealed inside until you open the bag, but just keep in mind that it only maintains its best flavor for about a week after it's open, and that's when it's stored properly.

Have you wondered how long coffee lasts, or if ground or whole beans stay fresh longer? Well, the whole bean coffee wins – the beans have less surface area exposed to heat, light, moisture, and air (elements that cause coffee to lose its flavor) than ground coffee does.

2. Get a burr grinder and a scale

Having a burr grinder on hand is recommended for most of the methods in this guide. A burr grinder gives you control over how well you want your beans grounded.

When shopping for a burr grinder, why not invest in a coffee ground scale as well? Once you determine your preferred water to coffee grounds ratio, a scale enables you to measure out just the right amount of grounds so that you can make the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Here are the best coffee grinders.

3. Use filtered water and a gooseneck Kettle

For best taste results, it’s a good idea to use filtered water that has no odd flavors from chemicals and minerals. We use a Berkey water filter system.

For methods that require you to heat and pour hot water over your coffee grounds, a gooseneck kettle is recommended because it gives you control over the rate and direction at which you are pouring which impacts the taste of your coffee.

4. Use the right temperature water

Use water that is 195°F (91°C ) to 205 °F (96 °C).

If the water is too hot, it can scorch the grounds. If the water isn’t hot enough, it won’t extract the flavor well enough, resulting in a weak brew.

An easy way to get your water to the right temperature is to bring it to a boil and then let it sit off the heat for around 30 seconds before you brew your coffee.

tips for making coffee

5. Use the right size grind

Before you begin brewing check to make sure you're using the right size grind for your method.

Depending on which coffee making method you use:

  • coarse grounds are extracted more slowly, giving you a more mellow taste.
  • finer grounds are quickly extracted, producing a stronger, and sometimes bitter flavor.

If you're purchasing pre-ground coffee just ask for the size you need for your brewing method.

If you're grinding your own, most burr grinders come with brew method instructions and clearly marked grind size indicators – easy peasy.

For each coffee making method on our list, the grind size is noted at the top in the bullet list.

6. Prime your coffee maker

Many coffee makers (french press, pour over…) perform a little better when they are primed, or pre-moistened.

To prime just pour a little hot water over the filter (if you're using one) and into the coffee maker.

This will make the brewing process a little better and warm things up so your coffee will stay a hotter a little longer.

7. Use the right amount of coffee

Some coffee lovers like to weigh their beans to get as close as possible to the same results each time they brew. While I think that way is more precise, I don't weigh mine.

But I do like a fairly consistent, strong cup of coffee. To achieve that I usually use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of water.

If you like a strong flavorful cup of coffee that's a pretty good rule to go by. Most brewing methods will work well with that ratio.

There are some exceptions like espresso and Turkish coffee. But generally speaking 2 tbsp per cup will do just fine.


different ways to make coffee

Your Turn

We hope this beginner's coffee guide has helped you learn more about how to make coffee.

Are you familiar with these methods? Is there a method that we left out? Let us know about it in the comments below.

How many of the methods on this list have you tried? Which ones are your favorite? Do you think you'll try one that you haven't tried yet? We would love to hear your thoughts, please join us in the comments!

Meet the Author

Dena Haines

Dena Haines is co-editor of EnjoyJava! - and is working to make it the best coffee blog in the world. Ambitious, right? She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of GudGear (an outdoor adventure blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with Bryan and Dena.

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