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Nowadays, coffee seems to be the centre of our culture. We start our day with a cup of coffee, chat with friends in a coffee bar as well as use coffee to help us stay alert. In order to serve us like this, coffee beans are passed through a complex series of steps: Harvesting, Drying, Packaging, Roasting, Grinding… All of these efforts may come to nothing without the last but also the most important step: Brewing. Once this step is taken properly, all you need to do is just enjoy your cup and stay alert!
Brewing - Last but not least
©Sweet Maria's, Mark Prince
There are many methods used for brewing coffee. These methods have different origins: some come from France, some from Italy, some from Japan. But from wherever the methods evolved, the final goal is to create the perfect cup of coffee. The following methods are just some of the various methods used.
Filter drip: the most widely used method, thanks to its ease and consistency. All you need is to heat water until it has almost boiled and then pour it slowly over the ground coffee beans. There are 2 ways to do this: by machine and by a cone-shaped filter.
- French Drip: another form of drip coffee making. Pour water onto the ground coffee, then strain it through a separate top of a porcelain coffee pot. The coffee liquid then trickles through the top section into the lower receptacle.
- French Press: A popular European method, making a cup of coffee with more aromas and a dense body. Place ground coffee in a glass beaker, add hot water and wait for it to infuse for about 4-5 minutes. You then push the plunger (an attached tightly fitting device) to the bottom of the beaker. The grounds will be trapped and your coffee is brewed.
- Percolator: Once the preferred method of coffee making in the 1950's in the US this method is now almost obsolete as the method is inconvenient. Water is first boiled in the percolator. It is then forced up a metal stem into a filter basket containing coffee grounds. Later, it drips back into the bottom section of the percolator, circulating until the correct strength is reached.
- Vacuum: This is quite a ceremonious procedure, widely used by the Japanese. The device has 2 lightweight glass chambers. Water is heated to nearly boiling point in the lower chamber, then being forced up into the upper chamber, seeping through the coffee grounds. The heat is then shut off. The temperature in the lower chamber starts to drop, forming a vacuum and causing the coffee infusion to be pulled back into this lower chamber. The coffee and the grounds are separated by a filter during this process.
The way leading to a perfect cup of coffee…
Here are some brewing tips for you:
- Always use fresh water for brewing
Coffee should be brewed just 3 – 4 minutes after grinding
Make sure your machine is clean
Warm up the cups before brewing so that your coffee will be hot longer
The grinder used to grind the coffee should match the brewing method to be used. See more in Grinding Tips.
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