Drinking coffee is no longer an activity that you do half-awake while sitting in front of the computer, it’s now an art form.
Anyone who really loves a morning cup of coffee has probably made it in more than one form. There are so many different ways to make coffee, from the very basic coffee machines to espresso machines that are limitless in capability. The trick is to find the right one for your needs. Often, the answer is more than one.
Personal Coffee Machines
If you do not own one of these now, chances are pretty good that you received one as a housewarming gift or a hand-me-down at some point. A plus to the standard coffee machine is that you are able to make a lot of coffee in it at once. Mr. Coffee, for example, has a variety of 12-cup models that produce enough for your co-workers at the office. And if you think that a regular coffee machine is beneath you, check out the sleek new models coming this year. It can take a lot of coffee to make a full pot every day, so make sure you get a large quantity of ground coffee for this method.
While the coffee machine was designed for everyone, the French press is for others. Since the press is not electric, it is ideal for travel or for places where to power is limited. The typical French press is made mostly of glass, but stainless steel models are available as well. A major benefit to the press is that since it uses no paper filter, it can make most hot drinks in a snap, from coffee and loose-leaf tea to many others.
Sometimes, you just want one cup, without the hassle. And in that case, the pour-over cone is for you. You have a couple of options for the pour-over, from a plastic cone with a flexible paper filter or a stiff disposable paper cone. While doing a pour-over can cause a bit of a mess if you do not pour the water slowly, there is a big plus in added convenience. Just heat up the water in the microwave, pour in the ground coffee and it’s ready! You can even try this special Japanese technique for minimizing the mess.
These days, it seems everybody has a different preference. And at that point, it makes sense to consider a machine that uses cups or packets to provide everyone with their preferred coffee drink without wasting as much coffee and milk. You are likely familiar with the Keurig machines with their K-cups filled with everything from Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts. Starbucks has its own version, called the Verismo. The variety and popularity of these devices ensures that everyone can get exactly what they want in their coffee cup, every time.
If you want to get as far from convenience as possible and really get your hands into the coffee-making process, you want an espresso maker. Espresso is a particularly concentrated coffee that is especially popular in Italy. The machine uses a pump to force hot water through the coffee grounds. And beyond that, the sky is the limit on the price you can pay for convenience and perfection.
A basic model costs around $100 and offers basic espresso production and usually a wand to steam or froth milk. For a bit more, you can invest in a machine that will grind your coffee for you, steam milk and pull shots into your cup on a timer.
At the end of the day, you just need a good cup of coffee. It should not be too bitter or acidic, but pleasant. And the easier it is to make, the happier most people are to make it. Thankfully, the simplicity of these methods makes the art of coffee more achievable for everyone.