A Guide To Coffee Brewing Methods

This article is a brief introduction to various coffee brewing methods. We have edited and re-plublished this article from the good folks at Coffee-Brewing-Methods.com, where you can find more information about brewing and equipment. Coffee-Brewing-Methods.com aims to help readers understand the various methods of preparing coffee and guide them in brewing equipment choices.

Try as many coffee brewing techniques as you want and don’t stop at the first one. Experiment with a brewing method and tweak it for yourself. Part of the fun of brewing coffee is adjusting your recipe and method to personalize your cuppa joe and get it just the way you like! Changing the water temperature, grind size, timing, and other things may give you the flavor you have been seeking.

Almost all of the coffee brewing methods described here require some level of preparation and technique, from very basic to very involved. A little online searching will reveal plenty of tutorials and videos to help you learn.

Cup Of EspressoEspresso

Espresso is prepared by pushing hot water at high pressure through a layer of compacted ground coffee contained in what is called a porta-filter. Espresso is a very concentrated coffee with a lot of body, aroma, and flavor. It contains a lot of coffee oils and solids. The most distinctive features of espresso are the foamy layer on top (crema) and the low volume of the drink. Pulling the perfect shot of espresso requires training, knowledge, and practice, but don’t let that stop you from brewing your own whenever you get the chance.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to use “espresso blend” or “espresso roast” coffee when brewing espresso. Espresso is just a brewing method, like a coffee press is a brewing method. You can use any coffee you want in an espresso machine. Clutch Kickstart Espresso Blend makes a great cup of espresso but our Sumatra Lintong does, too.

For a brief tutorial see http://coffee-brewing-methods.com/how-to-brew-espresso-perfect-shot/

Turkish CoffeeTurkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a method of infusing very finely ground coffee in nearly boiling water. What is very specific to the Turkish brewing method is the grind size which is the finest possible, almost a powder. There are no electrical Turkish coffee grinding machines for home use but the manual mills work perfectly. Turkish coffee has the fullest body of all brewing methods. If you like clear coffee, stay away from it—It is thick, muddy, and delicious!

For a brief tutorial see http://coffee-brewing-methods.com/how-to-make-turkish-coffee/

Electrick Drip Coffee MakerElectric Drip Coffee

Drip coffee or filter coffee is the most popular coffee brewing method in North America. An electrical appliance heats the water, pumps it from the water reservoir, and sprinkles it over the ground coffee beans. The brew is strained through a paper filter, or a metal or plastic mesh. The coffee from a drip brewer is clear and clean, with a high ratio of caffeine extraction. There are quite a few different brands of drip machines, ranging from affordable kitchen brands costing $30 to high-end specialty brands costing hundreds of dollars. High end machines may have some adjustability so that you can fine tune the brew just the way you like.

For a brief tutorial see http://coffee-brewing-methods.com/drip-coffee/

Pour Over Coffee MakerManual Drip (Pour-Over) Coffee

Pour-over is basically the same method as electric drip but you do it all by hand. Heat the water in a kettle, put your ground coffee in the pour-over device with the filter, and then slowly pour the water over the ground coffee. There is a technique to it and it takes a little practice but you can get a truly divine cup of coffee by pour-over. One of the advantages of pour-over is you control every step and can adjust any step to change the brew. This is a very easy method to experiment with.

For a brief tutorial see http://coffee-brewing-methods.com/how-to-make-pour-over-coffee-at-home/

Coffee PressCoffee (French) Press

The coffee press, or press pot, is a very simple coffee brewing device with a beaker and a plunger/filter. The preparing technique consists in pouring hot water over ground coffee and letting it steep for a few minutes. After steeping the plunger/ filter is pressed down to push the spent grinds to the bottom of the beaker, leaving your brew at the top. Press coffee has a medium body, less than espresso but more dense than drip. The aroma and flavor of press coffee can be intense but, like with pour-over, it is easy to adjust any step of the process to get just the cup you like.

For a tutorial see https://www.craftcoffee.com/how-to-make-coffee/french-press-brew-guide

Moka PotMoka Pot (Sometimes Called Stove-Top Espresso)

The Moka pot uses steam pressure to push water through a bed of ground coffee similar to the espresso method but at much lower pressure. The pressure in a Moka pot is about 1 Barr compared to a real espresso machine at 9 Barr. The coffee made in a Moka pot, as you would expect, is very bold and resembles espresso but typically lacks crema and it has much less oils. It is a good espresso alternative and buying a Moka pot is considerably less expensive than buying an espresso machine.

For a tutorial see https://www.hilinecoffee.com/moka-pot-coffee

Toddy Cold BrewCold Brew

Cold brew is lower in acids that other methods and is the favorite way of preparing coffee for people with stomach problems. If regular, hot, coffee brews upset your stomach, cold brew is definitely your choice. The brewing method implies steeping ground for extended periods of time in cold or room temperature water (12 to 36 hours) and then straining and serving. Because it takes so long to brew, people prepare large batches and store it in the refrigerator for several days.

While a commercially available cold-brew maker may be helpful it is certainly not necessary. Anybody can make cold-brew with a coffee press or even a canning jar. It really is just coarsely ground coffee soaked in cold water for 12-plus hours and then strained.

For a tutorial see http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/

Keurig MachineSingle Serve Brewing

The Keurig and similar machines are basically little electric drip machines that push the water through the cup with a little pressure. The hallmark of this method is the convenience and minimum effort required. The tradeoff is generally a mediocre tasting cup of coffee. But then, you can’t have high expectations of a brewing method that only requires you to put a pre-filled cup in a holder and push a button. One way to get a little more out of a single serve machine is to use a manual-fill cup and freshly ground, quality coffee.

AeroPress BrewerAeropress

The Aeropress is a manual coffee device that allows you to use hand pressure to brew a cup. The method involves a two steps process, with steeping followed by manually pushing the brew through the coffee grounds. Some people use an Aeropress to make strong coffee similar to espresso while others use it to make “regular” strength coffee. As with the pour-over method, this is completely manual and you have a lot of opportunities to fine-tune to your preference.

For a tutorial see http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-aeropress-coffee-two-ways-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-210815

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Custom Coffee Blends For Non-Profit Fundraising

Clutch Coffee has teamed up separately with Hatch Innovation and Oregon Humane Society to develop custom coffee blends for each of them and their individual fundraising missions. Both Hatch and OHS offer their custom coffees for sale at their offices and all proceeds benefit their non-profit organizations.

Read more about Hatch Innovation at hatchthefuture.org and visit them at 2420 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR.

Read more about Oregon Humane Society at oregonhumane.org and visit them at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd. Portland, OR. OHS Forever Friend Blend is also available online.

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Clutch Coffee In The News

Clutch recently received some good press! Click the link to DailyCoffeeNews.com to read more.

“In a city as teeming with micro-roasters as Portland, Ore., it may take any number of strategies to make a name for oneself — popup shops, wholesale relationships at multiroaster cafés and beer collaborations being just a few on top of straightforward differentiation based on quality.

All of these strategies have been employed by one of Portland’s newest commercial coffee ventures, Clutch Coffee Roasters. Yet for the bootstrapping young company, there is one more unfolding, which, while potentially less fashionable, is just as potentially more productive: local community support.”

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Clutch Coffee and Great Notion Brewing release a delicious coffee beer.

Clutch Coffee has collaborated with Portland’s newest microbrewery and pub, Great Notion Brewing, to bring you a new coffee beer: Clutch Coffee & Cream Ale!

If you’re thinking this is yet another coffee stout then you will be surprised. Clutch Coffee & Cream Ale is based on a cream ale—a pale, low-hop beer with smooth flavor. Cream ale itself is very easygoing and drinkable. Add Clutch Colombian Coffee and you get a whole new world of flavor in a coffee beer.

Great Notion Brewing is hosting a release party on Saturday, February 6th, starting at noon! Clutch Coffee will be hosting a sampling table at the party from noon ‘til 3:00. Come by for a visit and a pint!

Great Notion Brewing, 2204 NE Alberta Street, #101, Portland, OR 97211

So, how did this come about, you ask? Clutch Coffee President and head roaster Dave Schwanke had heard about Great Notion Brewing and what they were doing with the old Mash Tun brewpub, so he decided to stop in one afternoon to check it out. Dave liked what he saw (and tasted!) and decided to leave a business card with a note on the back for GNB brewmaster James Duggan: “Give me a call if you’d like to collaborate on a coffee beer!”

James called that night and the two talked beer and coffee. Dave is an avid home-brewer, so he fully understands the processes involved with brewing good beer. They met at the brewery a few days later to sample the cream ale and make plans.

Since James wanted to add ground coffee directly to the secondary fermentation, Dave made small cold-brewed samples of all of the coffees currently in the Clutch lineup and took them to the brewery. Dave, James, Paul, and Andy (two more GNBers) played mad scientist with beer and coffee samples for an afternoon until they found the perfect combination and ratio of beer to coffee–Talk about a rough day at the office, eh?!

Great Notion Brewing Showing CoffeeGreat Notion Brewing Adding Coffee To BeerThe next day, Dave brought in a big bucket of coffee and James added it to the beer right in fermenter! After a day and a half of steeping on the ground coffee, the beer was racked to the bright tank for clarifying and nitrofication.

And now it’s ready for you to enjoy! Served on nitro, Clutch Coffee & Cream Ale is a true treat in the coffee beer world.

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