If you’re like me, or any other average student, you drink coffee. A lot of coffee. Also like the average student, you probably don’t spend $6 on a coffee at your neighborhood Starbucks every morning. Or at least you shouldn’t, because there are a lot of simple solutions to making a delicious cup of coffee at home. When it comes to choosing between different types of coffee makers, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. This week, UeaT Basics has created a profile of different at-home coffee options so you can choose the best for yourself!
The Siphon: This machine makes the list simply because it looks like an awesome science experiment. This coffee maker model was invented in the 1830s in Berlin, and it consists of two containers that rest directly on a heat source to brew coffee. As the water in the bottom container heats up, it generates steam that pushes the water up the siphon tube and into to the top container, which contains the ground coffee. Once it’s had a few minutes to brew, the heat source is removed and a vacuum is created as the steam dissipates. This forces the water through the coffee bed back into the lower chamber, and Voila! You have coffee. The benefits of this machine are a strong cup of coffee with clean flavor. The drawback however is that the machine can be complicated to use. On the one hand you will look like a total hipster with one of these in your kitchen, but on the other it does look pretty cool. You’ve been warned!
The AeroPress: This coffee contraption is admittedly a lot less cool looking than the siphon, but it’s quicker and easier. Made in 2005, the AeroPress is making waves in the coffee world. The apparatus consists of a tube and filter that rests on the lid of a cup. Coffee and hot water mix in a reservoir above the cup for 10 seconds. When you have steeped the grounds for long enough, you press the tube down slowly for 20 seconds. The gentle air pressure generated from the tube pushes the coffee through a filter and into the cup. This relatively new invention makes a smooth, rich cup of coffee in 30 seconds, and makes for a great Americano. It’s also fairy inexpensive at $35 dollars a pop! If you’re pressed for time (couldn’t resist the pun) this is your best bet!
The French Press: This coffee maker is as classic as it gets, being made in 1929 and still popular as ever. The French Press is an easy way to make coffee, and are also quite inexpensive because widely available. It’s worth noting though that the best ones are made with tempered glass – an investment you’ll wish you had made if your glass cracks from the heat. With this device you’ll want coarse grinds since it’s a full-immersion brew. Finer grinds will also slip through the fairly porous filter, which doesn’t feel very good in one’s mouth. Brewing with a French Press involves placing grounds in the container and pouring near-boiling water over them. Once the desired time has passed, pressing down the plunger-filter into the coffee pot will push the grounds to the bottom, effectively ending the brewing process. A French Press is quick to make but not the easiest to clean. Because there is no paper filter though it gives you a bold, delicious, aromatic cup of coffee!
The Pour-Over: This is another wonderfully easy and relatively inexpensive method of making coffee. In fact, someone gave me one of these before I left for university, and I use it nearly every day! There are a few varieties of devices one can use for a pour-over, but the one that is easiest to come by is in the shape of a mug with a triangular bottom. This structure rests on the top of your coffee mug, and you put a filter and grounds inside before pouring the hot water over the grounds (hence the ‘pour-over’). The water will percolate through the grounds until reaching the bottom where it filters into your cup through an opening at the bottom of the apparatus. This method is easy to do, easy to clean, and it brews a lighter-tasting cup because of the filter.
Bialetti: This is the coffee maker I personally use. It’s wonderfully easy to work with, it looks nice, it’s very portable, and it brews a smooth, strong cup. Made in 1933, the Bialetti became an iconic design in Italy. The Bialetti consists of a metal bottom container, inside of which water is placed. A filter with a spout sits atop the bottom container. The grounds are placed in the filter-cup, and a metal coffee pot with a siphon-like spout is screwed on over top the filter. The Bialetti sits on top of the stove, and as the water heats, it rises through the grounds and up the spout into the coffee pot. It takes about four minutes, and brews a rich, smooth cup of coffee. If you like espressos, Bialetti also makes a Moka Express, which works essentially the same way but brews a smaller, stronger amount of coffee. I love my Bialetti and it’s perfect for the student life!
by Lauren Sutherland.