There are some pretty high-tech ways to brew coffee these days. But coffee has been enjoyed for thousands of years now, and over time people have developed some very interesting ways to make their coffee.
A coffee bean in itself is a beautiful thing, especially once roasted. And there are many ways to enjoy the tactile experience of actually making coffee.
The automation of coffee making, for the sake of convenience, robs us of the simple pleasure of making our own coffee, starting with the beans.
In other words, when you're not in a hurry, and particularly when you have purchased some really good coffee beans, you can find a lot of pleasure in taking a more hands-on approaching to grinding and brewing your coffee.
When you next want to make some coffee, start by using a manual coffee grinder. That way you can actually feel the beans being ground. You can feel the vibration of the burrs biting into the beans, and watch the ground coffee pouring out.
Then use a coffee maker that allows you to participate, manually and visually in the coffee brewing process.
For instance, a simple French Press makes wonderful coffee, and you become part of the process when it comes time to push down the plunger, separating the grinds from the finished coffee.
Or enjoy watching the brewing process take place with a vacuum coffee maker.
Or try something completely different by making some Turkish coffee with an Ibrik. (That's an Ibrik next to the coffee cup in the photo below.)
If you want to follow the most recent coffee-brewing fashions, you can make coffee with the Chemex brewer, which is shown in the photo at the top of the page.
This is called the pour-over method which, when combined with the thick filter papers used with the Chemex, gives you total control over the brewing process and results in a brew that is clear and without any sediment.
In other words, while automatic brewers make it easier to brew coffee, they rob us of the experience of participating in the coffee making process.
And even if you do prefer to brew coffee in an automatic drip brewer or a one cup coffee maker most of the time, you can still enjoy the manual, hands-on approach from time to time.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…