Do you want to brew better coffee at home? There are dozens of different coffee brewing techniques these days and it can be confusing to know the which is the best way to make coffee at home.
In this home coffee brewing guide we strip away all the complexity and share what we consider to be the 4 best coffee brewing methods for making coffee at home.
Easy to learn, affordable and producing delicious coffee, each method will change up your daily coffee routine and who knows, you might discover a new favorite way of making coffee.
What’s The Best Way To Make Coffee At Home?
One of the things I love about coffee is that most brewing methods you see in your local coffee shop can be replicated at home. The other thing I love about coffee is how different it can taste depending on how it is brewed.
Like many things, it is easy to fall into the habit of drinking the same coffee brew every day. And it might taste great!
But learning different types of coffee brewing is a great way to experiment with coffee. Discover new coffee bean types and learn how different methods of making coffee influence the features of coffee beans in varied ways. It can be a lot of fun.
So how did we come up with our shortlist for brewing the perfect cup of coffee? Our criteria were pretty simple:
- The required coffee equipment is readily available and affordable
- The brewing technique is easy to learn
- The brew methods are varied and deliver a range of coffee textures
We stand by our 4 choices here, but ultimately it comes down to your personal taste preference, the intensity of coffee flavor you enjoy and how well the brew method fits with your lifestyle.
Coffee Brewing Methods Comparison Chart
If you are short on time and just want to know what are the top coffee making methods for making the best coffee at home, see the table below.
Otherwise, read on for more detail on how to make good coffee with each of these coffee making techniques.
|Coffee Brewing Method||Image||Recommended Product||Our Rating||Price|
|Pour Over||Chemex Classic Series Brewer||5||CHECK|
|Pour Over||Hario V60 Coffee Filter||5||CHECK|
|French Press||Stainless Steel Press||4.5||CHECK|
|Espresso Machine||Breville Infuser||4.8||CHECK|
|Cold Brew||Mason Jar with Filter||4.5||CHECK|
4 Best Coffee Brewing Methods
In this section we go into each of the 4 coffee brew methods in more detail.
We explain why it made our list, the basics of the coffee brewing process and tips for how to make perfect brewed coffee.
- Pour Over Method
- French Press
- Cold Brew Coffee
Pour Over Coffee Method
If you own an automatic drip coffee maker, the pour over method might seem a little daunting.
But the pour over coffee technique is actually very simple and in our view it is the best way to brew coffee at home as it is flavorful and cost effective.
There are a number of different pour over coffee methods including:
- The Kalita Wave
- Chemex brewing method
- Hario v60 coffee brewer
- The Clever Dripper
- Even the Vietnamese Phin.
There is even a range of automatic pour over coffee makers available too.
But don’t let the number of different coffee brewing systems deter you from trying this brew method.
So which is the best pour over coffee system? Here are two of our favorites.
1. Chemex Coffee Brewing
The Chemex coffee maker has taken the world by storm and for good reason.
Not only is it incredibly beautiful to look at (and have on display in your kitchen!) it produces some of the best coffee at home too.
Place coarsely ground coffee in the paper filter and place on top of the Chemex brewer. Slowly pour boiling water over the grinds in a swirling motion.
A gooseneck kettle like this one makes this process a lot easier.
Continue to pour slowly and allow the water to filter through the grounds. Coffee is filtered into the glass vessel below.
The result? Coffee with complex aromatics and delicate flavors that you just don’t notice with other brew methods. In our opinion it is the best way to make pour over coffee.
Be warned that the method will take a little practice to get right – the grind, the speed at which you pour and the coffee beans you use all have a big impact on the taste when using the Chemex method.
The Chemex comes in a number of sizes from 3 cup to 10 cup, which makes it the best coffee brewing method on our list for people who love more than one cup of coffee or who are making coffee for a large group.
One reason for the superior taste is due to the Chemex filters which are 20 – 30% thicker than regular coffee filters. This produces a rich tasting coffee and there is less sediment in your cup than other coffee making methods.
The filters come in both bleached and unbleached varieties and you can find them here.
2. Hario V60 Coffee Filter
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Dripper is one of the most popular pour over coffee filters on the market. They are cost effective, have a really simple design and a compact size.
Together these features make the Hario dripper the best way to make pour over coffee in small homes, when camping, or for coffee drinkers looking to make just one or two cups of perfect coffee at a time.
Place ground coffee in the paper filter and place in the Hario on top of your cup or pot.
Slowly swirl boiling water over the grinds just enough to get them wet then wait for 30 seconds. Continue to add water slowly in a pour and wait pattern. Coffee is filtered into your cup below.
It can also be used in conjunction with some automatic pour over brewers. See the full list of auto pour over makers here.
The Hario v60 filter comes in three sizes. Size 2 suits most, making 1-4 cups at a time. It can be placed over your regular cup, or you can purchase a Hario pot. The drippers also come in a range of colors and materials including stainless steel, plastic and ceramic.
Like the Chemex, the filters come in natural and bleached and can be purchased online.
THe Hario V60 method can take some refinement to achieve the perfect cup of coffee but it is absolutely worth experimenting to achieve.
French Press Coffee Brewing Method
French Press coffee is one of the most popular manual coffee brewing methods and for good reason.
Easily accessible, affordable and with little preparation required. It is smooth tasting and simple to brew – there really is no reason not to add a coffee press to your coffee brewing kit.
Unlike pour over coffee, the french press uses an immersion brewing or steeped coffee method.
The coffee rests in water for a period of time to draw out the natural flavors of the french press coffee beans. The resulting coffee has a silky mouthfeel unlike other methods.
The best way to make french press coffee is to add your coarse coffee grinds to your Press.
Add hot water (not boiling, it should be allowed to sit a couple of minutes to come into the optimum temperature range of 195-205 F).
Place your filter on top but do not push it down just yet. Allow the coffee beans to steep in the water for 4 – 6 minutes depending on the beans and your preferences.
When the time is up, push the filter down and pour! French press coffee has a smooth and aromatic flavor.
If you want to learn more, our in depth guide on how to make french press coffee is a great place to start.
It is a good idea to experiment with the steeping time as the flavors will vary a lot. You can see our top recommendations for french press coffee beans here.
It takes a little more time than the pour over method, but many people prefer the more hands off approach to french press brewing and the unique flavor it imparts.
Note it is important to get the grind right, as a finer grind will get through the mesh filter and ruin your coffee. We review all the best coarse coffee grinder options here.
Best French Press Coffee Maker
The Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker comes in a range of sizes from 17 oz to 50 oz, a high quality filter to trap coffee grounds and reduce sediment in your cup.
It has double walls to keep your coffee hot for longer PLUS they have a range of colors to choose from!
French Press Coffee is one of the quintessential ways to brew coffee.
It is popular all around the world and we are confident you can make better coffee with this method.
Espresso Brewing Methods
Of all the different ways to brew coffee, pressure brewed coffee is one of my favorite methods.
Yes, an espresso machine will set you back more than the other coffee brewing equipment on our list. But espresso coffee has a concentrated and unique taste unlike any other method.
There is something luxurious about waking up and making a barista-quality coffee at home and for this reason it makes our list of 4 best ways to brew coffee.
Most home espresso machines are ready to go in just a couple of minutes.
Add fine grounds to the portafilter, run the preferred program and within 30 seconds you have a shot of pure espresso goodness in your mug.
Drink as is, add water or steam milk for a cafe quality latte.
We recommend you use a medium to dark roast for espresso coffee, particularly if you like to add milk.
Light roast beans tend to lack enough depth to withstand the pressure of an espresso machine method. You can see our list of the top espresso beans here.
Best Espresso Machine For Home
I have the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler at home and I love it!
But if you are not ready to invest in this machine, the Breville Barista Express is an excellent machine too.
The Breville Barista Express is a great all in one espresso machine.
It looks great, the steam wand produces perfect texturized milk every time and the quality of the espresso shot is consistent day to day.
Buying an espresso machine is a big financial decision, but if you regularly buy coffee at the local coffeehouse, know that your purchase will pay off within months.
Cold Brew Coffee Methods
Cold brewed coffee has become increasingly popular in the past few years and is considered by many to be the best coffee making method, especially by people who live in hot climates.
For some it is the simplicity of the cold brew method. For others it is the crisp, sweet taste of cold brew, with lower acidity and no bitterness.
More and more home baristas use it as the base to make nitro cold brew coffee.
Many love the fact you make it in bulk and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. How is that for convenience?
The best cold brew coffee method is to use extra coarse grind beans and immerse them in room temperature or cold water.
This can be done in a jar, a french press or a cold brew coffee maker.
Suspend the coffee grounds in water for 12 – 24 hours. A longer time will result in a stronger steeped coffee, but the flavour will also depend on the coffee beans you use.
The final product will be smooth, mellow and lower in acidity than other brewing coffee methods, which makes it a great choice if you have a sensitive stomach.
Of the different ways to make coffee this is the simplest, most environmentally friendly and cheapest.
Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Due to the current popularity of cold brew coffee, there are a lot of different coffee makers on the market.
One of our favorite options is the simple mason jar.
These jars are heavy duty, with a fine mesh stainless steel filter and easy to pour lid. Cold brew mason jars are perfect for home (grab a few to have in rotation) or for drinking coffee on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Make The Best Coffee At Home
Here we answer some of the most common questions about how to brew coffee at home.
Every coffee brewing method can produce great tasting coffee. The best way to find your favorite coffee brew is to experiment with different coffee methods, try different types of coffee beans and discover what you love best.
Two of the 4 best coffee brewing methods on our list are the amongst the cheapest ways to make coffee.
French Press Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee require just one piece of coffee equipment and ground coffee beans. Both coffee systems are very affordable to purchase and produce great tasting coffee.
One of the secrets to making perfect coffee is water temperature. In fact it is one of the criteria set by the SCAA to test and certify coffee makers.
The recommended water temperature for all of the 4 best coffee brewing methods is between 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why is coffee water temperature important? Water over 205 tends to over extract the coffee flavors, resulting in bitter coffee. Water less than 195 is too cool to extract the coffee flavor, resulting in weak, watery tasting coffee.
Coffee has become a little complicated over the years (some Starbucks orders come to mind) but if you are looking for the best ways to make coffee that are also good for you, stick to simple black coffee. No calories, no fat, no sugar.
All the different coffee brewing methods we have listed here are great ways to enjoy black coffee. If you need some help making the transition we share our top tips for drinking (and enjoying) black coffee here.
If you love milk based coffee, the best way to make a single cup of coffee is with an espresso machine.
Pull a single or double shot, steam your milk and you are done. No waste, no left over coffee. And you don’t need a super expensive coffee machine. There are many great espresso makers for under $200. See our top picks for budget espresso machines here.
If you drink coffee black, then the Hario V60 is the best single serve coffee brewing style. Grab your cup, pop the filter on top, grind your beans and pour away. A delicious cup of coffee is yours in under 5 minutes.
The amount of caffeine in your daily cup of coffee varies depending on the brewing method, the type of beans, the coffee bean roast and how long the coffee is steeped for.
The FDA recommended maximum intake of caffeine for adults is 400 mg per day. For the 4 best coffee brewing methods we have shared, see the comparison below:
8.5 oz Pour Over: 173 mg
8.5 oz French Press: 185 mg
1 shot of Espresso: 60 mg
2 oz of Cold Brew Concentrate: 134 mg
More coffee brewing articles
- How to keep coffee hot
- How to flavor coffee at home
- Guide to different coffee drinks
- Best espresso machines under $500
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