Home coffee brewing equipment favouritism

Like many people reading this I have acquired a fair amount of different coffee brewing methods.  Some reside at the back of the cupboard and rarely get a look in (the Moka pots) while others get more regular workouts.

chemex french press aeropress and one cup drip coffee brewers

The front line each get used pretty often but these four still mean I have to make decisions and I was thinking about why I chose one on any given day.  Stephen was staying the last couple of days (that’s his borrowed press in the photo) and this morning we were sat around chatting and it was time to brew some coffee he’d brought (from HasBean).  I went for the press, mostly because it for me it is the easiest to get a good and honest cup from.  The Chemex is great, but a little intolerant of grind, the aeropress can really make the flavours in some coffees pop but it is useless if there are two of you and I couldn’t be bothered to spend the time rinsing paper filters.  The cup (Finca La Fany from El Salvador) was great, I ought to post a review in the cupping room really, nice and full bodied with a lovely caramel finish.  I went back later today on  my own and aeropressed it and was a little disappointed that it didn’t shine as clearly.

My question to you is which brewer do you reach for most often and why?

11 Comments

  1. I definitely go for my press more often than anything else. It’s easy, and as you said, it produces a good, honest cup. I also like the primal simplicity of it – just grounds in water – and the manual action involved in the final press.

    On another note, I am also a latecomer (that is, yet-to-come) to the aeropress scene. I need to check that out!

  2. Hi Jim,

    You wrote;

    “the aeropress can really make the flavours in some coffees pop but it is useless if there are two of you and I couldn’t be bothered to spend the time rinsing paper filters.”

    I press two or three mugs frequently. I press one triple, then divide the concentrate into halves or thirds and top-off each cup with hot water.

    I also make a carafe of AeroPress by pressing three triples, then topping off the carafe with hot water. It takes me about five minutes. Of course I’m working during that time (unlike an auto drip brewer), but my guests appreciate the taste.

    Most of our customers don’t bother to rinse their filters. They just discard the filter along with the spent coffee. However despite having all the filters I could ever want, I do rinse them. I think I’ve gotten so fast at rinsing that it takes the same amount of time as grabbing a new filter. It’s strictly your call.

    Sincerely yours,

    Alan Adler – Inventor of AeroPress

  3. Whether you are using (what we call) a French press, an Aeropress, a Chemex, or another press or manual drip setup, I advocate the use of a Zojirushi hot water pot, particularly this one:
    http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/elepots/cv_dsc.html
    When the mood strikes you to brew, you don’t have to wait for a kettle to boil (and then cool a little). It has the choice of three temperatures, 208F, 195F, or 175F (98C, 91C, 79C, low temperature for green tea), which it holds quite accurately. Since it is a vacuum pot it is very energy efficient. The vacuum pot feature is what really sets it apart from other electric kettles. It holds a full 4 liters.

  4. I frequently switch between the Goldfiltered Aeropress and a plain porcalain filter with paper filters. As for why I switch, in the morning that heavily depends on how tired I am. Filter is easier because it involves not much manual action, and I tend to mess up aeropress brews early in the morning.

    What really helped me in getting consistant brews in any brewing method is my digital thermometer and a small scale.

  5. I am currently using Hario vac pot the most, but i also do use my press pot(which, in fact, is identical to the one in Jim`s photo) when i have people over.. occasionally i grab for my Melitta pourovers.. they also produce an enjoyable cup

  6. Old faithful, french press, or what we call a plunger here in Australia. I’m yet to experience an Aeropress so the pluger gets a nice, clean cup that’s faithful to the coffee.

  7. I use my Hario Vacpots on an almost daily basis when I’m not opening at the cafe. I love the temperature stability that you can get during the brew/dwell time, as well as the complete coffee extraction that you can get with total immersion brewing. I find that I have to change the cloth filters quite frequently though.

    A close second would be the evasolo cafesolo brewer, which does more or less the same thing with neoprene and a pretty nice filter. The only negative with the evasolo would be that sometimes the grinds get caught up around the filter, resulting in a super-slow pour…

    Press pots are also great, I use that the most at the cafe when I want to try a new bean. I’m just not 100% what effects temperature loss have on the coffee during the 3-4 minutes brew time, especially in a smaller press.

  8. Just a quick follow-up. My first Aeropress will be arriving tomorrow (hopefully), so who knows… maybe I’ll have to change my answer.

    Looks like I’m going to have to get a vac pot and try the Hario thing, as well!

  9. Ah, the joy of stumbling on an interesting older post… At the moment it’s my 2 cup Hario porcelain dripper with SO beans of choice. Aeropress is getting more and more usage, just have to find a reliable brew ratio/recipe.
    Surprised more people didn’t post on this one.
    As with most people I guess my most reached-for brewer changes from time to time (and depending on what coffee I have on the go).

  10. Eva Solo CafeSolo exclusively. I like a strong cup without bitterness, but prefer med-full roast coffee. The CafeSolo produces the cleanest, most flavorful and complex yet bitter-free cup I’ve ever tasted. And it’s easier to clean-up than a press pot. I’ve tried pour-over drip, but found it too finicky–I could never get it right.

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