Home Coffee Brewing PART THREE

To date we’ve covered what not to brew with, what principles to use when brewing, now it makes logical sense to tell you what to brew with! It’s time for the brewing device recommendations!!

1) ESPRESSO MACHINES (don’t buy one)

I’ll start with one recommendation of what not to buy! An espresso machine. Might sound strange as that’s the brewing device of choice of cafes. If it’s good enough for cafes why is it not for the home. After all, there’s nothing quite like a cappuccino or flat white and we’ve seen some shiny Delonghi machines in Currys for €150. That’s not too bad an investment eh?. Unfortunately I’m going to say a.big.fat.no!

Why? Two main reasons. The first is that decent home espresso machines start at around €1,500 not €150! In order to make espresso you need top notch water boilers with high temperature stability. You won’t get this on a €150 machine, Secondly, if you fancy a silky textured flat white you’ll also need a decent amount of steam capacity which you simply won’t get in a cheap machine. Rather than silky microfilm, you’ll end up with a gurgly bubbly soup that resembles something that results from winding a baby.

The second reason for not recommending an espresso machine is that making quality espresso is very wasteful. To get the extraction of coffee right you need a perfect grind level that takes at least 3-5 batches of coffee to go through before you hit the sweet spot. Not good. Not cheap.

Do not buy a home espresso machine. Don’t.

Don’t. Just don’t.

Don’t. Just don’t.

2) AEROPRESS (do buy one)!!

Never heard of one? Don’t worry - you soon will and it could be your next best friend.

Strange name, right? It might make more sense when you realise that it’s made by the guy who invented the Aerobie frisbee! The downside of this brewing device is that it only makes one coffee at a time. The upside is that the coffee it makes is incredible.

Think of it essentially as a french press but with the resulting brew being passed through a filter. This removes a little of the body, but also removes any dirty, off flavours and emphasises more bright acidity and subtle nuances of the coffee. It’s quite tricky to explain in words how you use it, but thankfully the guys at Stumptown Coffee have provided a great video on how to use. Click below and enjoy. It’s a very cost effective brewer and for sale in the shop at just €37.50. (credit: Stumptown Coffee Roasters)

3) Moccamaster (pricy but great)!!

I’m usually against technology and coffee at home, with one exception. This is an amazing filter coffee machine. There are cheap filter coffee machines out there, but they don’t tend to brew very good coffee. Why? Temperature stability.

Unless the temperature of water used to brew coffee is a steady 90-94 degrees centigrade, you’re not going to get a good extraction of the coffee in to your cup. Too cool and there’s insufficient extraction, too hot and we’re in to bitter territory. This machine is super temperature stable and built to last. It comes with a 5 year guarantee and makes up to 6 cups. An investment truly worth making. €219 (credit: European Coffee trip)

4) Kalita Wave

Think of this as a Mocca master, but you do the water pour! It really is that simple.

OK - so it only makes one cup, but you simply grind the coffee, pop it in the filter, pop the filter over your cup and slowly pour hot water over the coffee for a period of 3 minutes or so. Simple but soooo delicious.

Cheap too at only €37.50 for the brewer and €7.50 for 200 filters. Perfect for travelling or if you’re on the cheap!!!! Video below… (credit Stumptown Coffee Roasters)

Richard Finney