Are all pieces of coffee brewing equipment created equal? Probably not. From those automatic drip machines that burn your coffee to expensive espresso machines to the classic French press. Let's talk coffee brewing methods!
Percolators – Unfortunately, many people are still using percolators to brew their coffee, but this is not one of the coffee brew tools we recommend unless you are going camping with a large group. A percolator resembles a pitcher where the water is poured into the bottom, and course-ground coffee beans are placed in the top chamber. The percolator is then placed on the stove or some other heating source. The water eventually boils, pushing itself up over the top of the beans to brew them. Due to the extremely high heat during boiling, this often leads to over-brewed coffee with a burnt or otherwise off flavor. Percolators may work well for brewing coffee for large groups of people, but not so much for obtaining the best coffee flavor. (Recommended: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator or Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker)
Automatic Drip Coffee Machines – Around the 1970s, percolators were replaced by automatic drip coffee machines as the coffee brew tools of choice in many households. This is the type of coffee brewing equipment that most who are reading this guide will be familiar with. In this case, ground coffee beans are placed into a filter at the top of the appliance and water is poured into a chamber. Once started the water will heat up and permeate the coffee grounds, causing brewed coffee to drip into a coffee pot underneath. Because the coffee is collected into a pot rather than recirculated into itself, drip coffee tends to have a better flavor than that of the percolator. Automatic drip coffee machines are often a great place to start for beginner coffee brewers. (Recommended: Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe with Stainless Steel Handle Programmable Coffeemaker)
French Press – French press coffee is, in my humble opinion, second to none. Even better, the process is ridiculously simple and gives off that minimalist vibe. In this case, water is boiled on the stove or in an electric kettle, and is then poured over the ground coffee beans in the French press itself. After brewing for three or more minutes, the coffee can then be pressed, pushing the course-ground coffee to the bottom and the liquid coffee to the top. It is now time to enjoy an amazing cup of coffee! This is one of the best and most classic coffee brew tools on the market. (Recommended: Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker along with this beautiful KitchenAid KEK1222PT Electric Kettle)
Moka Pot – Moka pot coffee is a staple in many Italian homes. In fact, this stovetop espresso machine can be found in kitchens throughout Europe, with a growing number appearing in the United States. Made famous by Bialetti, the moka pot resembles a tiny percolator. However, unlike coffee brewed in a percolator, the brewed coffee does not continue to recircle through the device, avoiding that burnt coffee flavor (assuming you remove it from the stove in a timely manner). Here, water in the bottom chamber is heated on the stove, causing pressure to force it up through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber. Once the process is complete, the drinker is left with moka pot coffee that is about as close to espresso as you can get without an expensive espresso machine. To learn more about brewing moka pot coffee, check out our how-to guide here.