Alternative coffee brewing methods yield superb results

Jack Howland

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CHATTANOOGA (UTC/TheLoop) — Long regarded as the norm when it comes to brewing coffee, the conventional drip coffee maker is starting to lose popularity among coffee aficionados.

Of the many methods to alternatively brew coffee, there are two that stand out as being cheap and easy to produce good coffee.

First, the French press method is probably the easiest way to brew stellar coffee with little effort. All one needs is a coffee grinder, a French press, and a way to bring water to a boil.

The French press can be very cheap to buy and is visually stimulating if brewing for guests.

The second method, referred to as the pourover method, is less widely known, but is equally as easy to employ and yields a very good cup of coffee. Aaron Rauch, head barista at Windfarm Coffee Bar & Café, 1427 Williams Street, admits that the pourover method requires a little bit more work but the end result “is a lot cleaner tasting and a lot more flavorful and eliminates some unnecessary oils and acids that drip brewers will bring out.”

The benefits to using these two methods is that though they take a little longer to make coffee than drip coffee machines, the end result is that they are cheaper and the product they produce is far superior to drip coffee.

To brew French press coffee, coarsely grind coffee beans and measure out approximately one well-rounded tablespoon of grounds per four ounces of coffee and then dump those grounds into the French press beaker. French presses can be found for around $20 anywhere coffee accessories are sold.

Next, once a pot of water reaches a boil turn off the heat and let sit for about 30 seconds before pouring over the grounds. Cover the saturated grounds with the French press mesh plunger and let stand for three and a half minutes before plunging and forcing the grounds to the bottom. Pour and enjoy.

To employ the second method of brewing first one must go out and buy a pourover ceramic or plastic cone filter that fits over a standard coffee mug and paper filters to put inside the pourovers. The pourovers can range anywhere from $4 to much more expensive glass or ceramic models.

Next, grind the same amount of beans as for the French press method, only this time use a finer grind. Then pour the grounds in the filter and add a little bit of near boiling water to the grounds so that they bloom and are able to hydrate.

After thirty seconds, slowly add about ten more ounces of hot water to the grounds allowing as much grounds to come in contact with the water creating a much cleaner and smoother taste to the coffee. Remove the pourover and enjoy.

While these two methods require a little bit of effort and work on behalf of the home consumer, the end results can be very satisfying. And one does not need to spend the money on an expensive drip machine.

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