Personal coffee brewing has come a long way in the past fifty years. What was once an annoying time consuming process to produce a single cup has been cut down to a science that can be performed in less than a minute. To the chagrin of brand name coffee houses everywhere, a quality cup can be brewed in the privacy of one’s own home like never before (of course, they will still get your $10 for that latte). At affordable prices, home brewers offer quality and efficient cups that could once only be found amongst bulk suppliers. Here is a look at some of the modern home brewing options:
Single brew coffee bags are a simple technology that should surprise us did not occur sooner due to the similarities with tea bags. While the technology for how tea and coffee is brewed need be a little different by definition, these bags are typically placed into a cup of water to be microwaved to the point of brewing, with the a greater length of time resulting in a stronger java and less time making the brew a bit weaker. This nuke and forget system (just wait for the microwaves ding) is ideal for lone drinkers or for non-drinkers who are entertaining guests.
The French press operates by brewing coffee grounds and water together. The press then operates as a filter, pushing the grounds to the bottom of the device, leaving only the brewed coffee water above for consumption. The strength of the coffee can be adjusted by adding or removing grounds. This is a simple and easy method for brewing coffee, but a couple of disadvantages do exist. First, only certain types of grounds may be used – finer grounds may find a way to sift through the press and ruin the coffee. Second, French press coffee tends to spoil much more quickly than that created by other methods.
Drip brew coffee makers gained a great deal of popularity with the Mr. Coffee products. They operate by brewing boiling (or near boiling) water over ground beans in a filter. The coffee water passes through the filter into a pot, leaving the beans behind. The filter with the beans is then discarded and the coffee remains in a pot. The pot typically rests on a hot plate to keep the coffee fresh for a longer period of time. Depending on the pot, batches can be made to serve anywhere from 10-12 cups. The downside is that each batch still takes a few minutes to brew, so there is no immediacy.
The newest innovation in home coffee brewing has been the single cup coffee brewer. These operate by rapidly heating water internally, then passing it through a premade cup or disc (purchased separately). The end effect is a single cup of coffee produced in about a minute or less. This especially makes sense for individuals who prefer flavored styles of coffee (e.g. French vanilla or hazelnut). Since that is more of an acquired taste, it makes more sense to produce in a single cup manner as opposed to an entire pot’s worth.
Related articles you may find interesting: