Try these four alternative ways to brew your morning coffee
Another new morning; another cup of coffee. Not that we’re complaining — at this point, the only way we can even look at our laptops is after a strong, freshly-ground cup of French roast. But, following almost two years of working-from-home (oh, you’re back in an office? Lucky you…) even coffee is getting a bit, well, boring.
Which is a shame. Because coffee was once a black, rich beacon — an unbreakable lifeline that pulled us through our humdrum mornings. Now, it’s percolated into just another tedious, tiresome daily task. Every morning, we grind the beans. Every morning, we boil the kettle. Every morning, we plunge the cafetière. And so it goes on. And on. And on.
So we’ve decided to bring the buzz back to our morning cup. We’re mixing up our coffee-making ritual with a handful of alternative brewing methods — from delicately drip-infused blends to frosty, nitro-infused serves. If you too are looking to add some kick back into your caffeine, read on…
Let’s start simply. If you’re using a cafetière or even (shudder the thought) instant coffee, it’s probably because of speed and convenience. Thankfully, pour-over coffeemakers can brew a decent cup just as quickly.
Using dripping and filtration, these coffeemakers create very rich and aromatic brews by letting your coffee grounds slowly infuse into ever-moving water. And, while it may take some time for you to master the grind size, water temperature and amount of coffee for your ideal cup, at least it’ll give you a lockdown project to work on.
The best option to buy is made by American brand Chemex. Widely acknowledged as the best pour-over coffeemaker in the world — it was even James Bond’s tool of choice — the glass design is finished with a polished wood collar and leather tie. Other options include Bodum’s similarly styled coffeemaker, with a cork collar — and the Kalita Wave server, with ruched filter for maximum flavour extraction.
Next up, the Moka pot. Named not for the chocolatey drink, but rather for the Yemeni city of Mocha (itself a major marketplace for coffee beans), this design is ideal for bittersweet, super-strong brews.
The magic of the Moka pot is threefold. Firstly, the water in its bottom chamber boils when you put it on the hob. The resulting steam forces scalding water up through the coffee grounds in the mid-layer, extracts the flavour from them and then works its way up into the top chamber where, bitter and black, it settles.
The classic Moka pot is made by Bialetti — cast from aluminium and available in multiple sizes. But there are more artful options out there, including this Mario Trimarchi-designed pot from Alessi, or even the suitably Scandinavian ‘Collar’ espresso maker from Stelton, with a teflon coated body and oak handle.
This one can look a little daunting. But, also known as ‘vacuum brewing’, the syphon coffee pot is a unique combination of different brewing methods all boiled down into one purified process.
But it’s not one for those busy Monday mornings. Instead, syphon coffeemaking takes time and patience to complete the process — using full immersion brewing to extract flavour from your coffee, before syphoning the rich result through glass tubes and into your mug. It’s very fragile, very difficult to clean — but makes the purest, most potent coffee you could ever create at home.
So which to buy? Bodum, once more, have a great option — a work of art crafted from heat-resistant borosilicate glass and stainless steel. Hario’s ‘Sommelier’ design is another particular favourite of ours; designed to resemble a wine decanter. Or, for a slightly cheaper option, Timemore’s wooden-handled syphon brewer will still do an admirable job.
Now we’re talking. If you really, really want to put some pep into your morning mug, there are few better options than a cup of nitrogen-infused, sweet-tasting, crisp-textured cold brew.
You may have spotted that shiny tap in your local Starbucks and been intrigued — but, gladly, nitro cold brew coffee is much easier to recreate than all the pomp and chrome suggests. Like making squirty cream with nitrogen canisters, all you need to go nitro is a whipper — something to shoot an infusion of bubbles into your existing brew and create a super-creamy, frothy cup of coffee.
Easily the best-looking option is this GrowlerWerks uKeg in black chrome, double-wall insulated and with a full cascading pour. Vevor’s mini-keg is a similar spin on the style, for a considerably lower price. Or, for a handheld option, ISI’s Nitro Coffee Whipper is easy to use and fashioned from sleek stainless steel.
Got your brewing method? Now you need to give it some beans. Here are the best in the world…
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