What's the least wasteful way to brew coffee?


QUESTION:


What brewing method uses the least coffee for the taste? Or, which method is most efficient in terms of beans per cup? I've heard that the french press uses more ground coffee than other methods for the same strength cup of coffee. Is this true?

ANSWER:

All other things being equal, the fineness of the grind will likely have the most impact on “efficiency”. In other words, the greater the surface area of the bean that is exposed to the hot water, the more flavor you will extract from the bean.

If the French press method has been cited as being less efficient, it is probably because the grind for a French press is fairly coarse.

A drip brewer, by contrast, uses a finer grind and theoretically is more efficient for that reason. That said, a cheaper drip brewer might do a poor job of bringing the water into contact with all the coffee in the filter basket.

So there are no absolutes here.

Hope this helps.

Nick

Comments for What's the least wasteful way to brew coffee?

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Nov 18, 2017
Same Grind
by: Jon

What if you use the same grind in a drip coffee maker vs. a french press?

Jan 08, 2009
Or Turkish coffee?
by: Nick (The Coffee Detective)

David, hi

Good point. But if we take that route, then we will finish with Turkish coffee, which has a grind as fine as talcum powder.

To my mind, espresso is a whole different "class" of coffee. Different process and different equipment.

I don't think any coffee brewing process is particularly wasteful of the coffee itself. (If you use a single serve coffee maker with K-Cups or T-discs, you get into a whole different discussion on waste.)

Nick

Jan 08, 2009
Extraction
by: David Donde

"All other things being equal, the fineness of the grind will likely have the most impact" therefore espresso?

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