A short brew thru
The variety of coffee preparation methods can be a little bit overwhelming. To some, the french press might be a little exotic, but for those who really love great coffee, its a staple. The stovetop moka pot has also gained significant popularity recently, however numerous methods exist which can offer a superior cup of coffee when compared to a standard drip brewer. Some of these methods actually save you money versus buying a drip brewer, which is certainly advantageous if you’re willing to put in a little effort for your coffee.
The most cost effective and (arguably) the most simple coffee preparation method is by the use of a pour over filter cone. These can be purchased for as little as $10. Except for paper filters (or a reusable one) that’s all you need if you have a way to heat water. For a Melitta-type filter cone, the idea is to add ground coffee to the filter cone, which sits atop your coffee mug, then add hot water to the filter cone. A small hole in the bottom of the filter allows water to pass at the proper rate so that amazing quality coffee is produced with minimal effort.
One of the more exotic methods being enjoyed today is the vacuum pot. This one is on our wish list of coffee equipment. The idea is really cool and the results are supposedly optimal if done correctly. According to SCIENCE, over-extraction of the coffee grounds is impossible, and the coffee is brewed at exactly the right temperature. Water is poured into the bottom bowl, while the coffee grounds are placed in the top bowl (funnel). When the water is just starting to boil, you place the funnel into the bottom bowl and wait for the majority of the water to ascend into the funnel, then wait about a minute for the coffee to infuse. It’s a little more involved than most methods (with the exception of the lever espresso machine), however you see the whole process right in front of you because the brewer is made of glass!
As for espresso, there are several options, depending on how involved you are willing to get. If, like me, you’re lucky, you can find a vintage espresso machine for cheap and enjoy high quality espresso anytime you want. However, there are reasonable alternatives to searching for a cheap vintage espresso machine or popping for a brand new one. The most common alternative is the moka stovetop pot. This isn’t true espresso, however, the results can be impressive and some prefer the taste of well made moka coffee to a proper espresso. But, if you’re looking for true espresso on the cheap (and on the fly), then this cool gadget could be what you’re looking for. I’ve never tried this one, but it looks awesome. The Mypressi Twist is a C02 powered portable espresso machine. I might take one of these instead of my moka pot next time I go backpacking!