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I was sent a post about brewing methods by my daughter and that got me thinking.... I have seen a few alternative methods and have even seen videos on making your own, but how do they relate and how many methods are there? What characteristics does each present?
Here is an informing layout I found on Pop Chart Lab's site. It categorizes the methods into logical groups very nicely: Confused much? Let me start demystifying by briefly describing the main method categories and which well-known methods belong to each category.
For this method, you will have a coarse ground coffee which will be steeped (soaked) in either cold or hot water. For cold water it could be for up to twelve hours. See our post on Making Cold Brew Coffee
Most common and well known example of steeping is the French press, but the Aeropress is gaining popularity and even has competitions wordwide and it's own world championship!
Drip or pour over
Pour over coffee also starts with a medium coarse ground coffee generally, which is placed in a paper or metal mesh filter, and a filter holder or 'pour over dripper.'
Hot water is poured over the grounds and coffee filters through. Best commonplace example would be the filter machine. Other manual examples are Chemex and V60. For the Chemex and V60, the use of a gooseneck kettle is a recomended in order to have control over your pour.
Pressure or vacuum
These are the same in principle since vacuum is just reverse pressure. For this method, hot water, is pushed through finely ground coffee under pressure. The result will be a smaller volume, full-bodied coffee with firm acidity. Best known example are the Espresso machine and the trusty Mokka pot, but vacuum coffee makers are becoming more accessible.