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Home Brewing Coffee: The Best Home Brewing Alternatives for the Home Barista

Posted by Eliana Ifill on
Home Brewing Coffee: The Best Home Brewing Alternatives for the Home Barista

Whether you’re a seasoned home brewing champ or just dabbing your feet in the home barista game, choosing the best method can be overwhelming. Should you go with a simple, low-tech method? A countertop drip pot? A high-end espresso machine?

Making coffee shouldn’t be so complicated! We’ve reviewed some of the most popular home brewing methods, and we’re excited to share our results with you--let us know if we skipped your favorite!

Get ready to brew the best cup of homemade coffee you’ve ever had!

The Best Ways To Brew Coffee At Home:

Espresso Machine

If you’ve fantasized about the perfect shots of espresso in your very own home, you’re not alone! Putting rich Americanos or silky lattes within easy reach is a dream come true.

Espresso machines are known for:

  • Being best to brew fine grind coffee
  • A more concentrated brew 
  • Super quick brew (down to about 30 seconds compared to drip coffee at 7-8 minutes)

With espresso machines, the possibilities are endless, too! There are manual, semi-automatic, automatic, super-automatic (wondering what that means? So are we ;)) and yes, even pod espresso.

Now, a pro-level espresso machine can be upwards of $500. And it takes quite a bit of work: Perfecting your homemade espresso can take years of practicing at home with different origins, roasts and settings to truly master your own espresso game.

To brew a really good cup of espresso, you’ll likely need your own grinder. And you may also want to learn how to roast coffee at home depending on how dedicated you are to your barista chops. 

Pour Over Coffee

Known for smooth, full-bodied brew, the pour over coffee method involves slowly pouring hot water into an hourglass-shaped carafe with a paper filter--you’ve probably seen it.

The water drips through the grounds, extracting the coffee slowly. This method lets you customize your coffee by adjusting your grind size and water-to-coffee ratio and it has that cool brewing vibe many coffee afficionados love ;)

No electric parts, no complicated settings, and the initial investment is very low.

The difference between pour over and most electric coffee machines is that you’re the one controlling the water flow. So if you’re brewing for two (or just need an extra boost, we’re not judging ;)) there could be 10 or 15 minutes of hands-on time each morning.

Coffee Pods

Single-serve coffee pods are one of the simplest brewing methods available for homemade coffee: You stick the pod in your machine and tapping “brew;” your machine speeds the water through the pod and quickly extracts any flavors from the pod directly into your mug. That’s it.

And most of them are available in different flavors for a quick pick me up on your way out the door. However, if you’re a coffee purist, or just someone who likes actually good coffee ;) you’ll probably want to customize your coffee and get more flavor out of every bean, which you can’t really do with pods since they’re pre-packaged and pre-measured for you.

Pods are disposable (most of them, anyway) so your daily brewing can add up pretty quickly!

Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee makers are the most common type you’ll find in hotels, office kitchens, and probably your parents’ home. Drip coffee is similar to pour over, except that this is an electric machine (many of them even have timers, so you can set it up to brew while you get ready in the morning): You place your ground coffee in a filter and the machine drips water through it, depositing it into the little jug or cup below.

Drip coffee is quick, relatively painless and allows you to use whatever beans and grinds you like (although medium grind is often advised as the best). Plus, depending on the model you can brew several cups at once, perfect for the office or your roomies.

Stovetop or Electric Percolator

Stovetop or electric percolators are an alternative a lot of coffee lovers use for camping trips and similar occasions.

A percolator works by letting nearly boiling water continually cycle through the coffee grounds, in contrast with drip methods or the French press. This cycling results in a strong, flavorful cup of coffee that many people enjoy.

The risk with the stovetop percolator is that it can be difficult to control the water temperature. If your water is too hot, it can cause over-extraction and bitterness.

Similar to pour-over coffee, percolators take a bit of time: You want the water to get hot and have the time to extract the best of your beans. But you can often make quite a bit of coffee in one run: Many percolators have up to a 12-cup capacity!

French Press

Home brewing with a French press has grown increasingly popular recently because of its ease of use and affordability.

French presses are generally made of glass or steel, with plastic or other elements in the filter and plunger. No electric parts or direct heat here: You pour hot water over your grounds and let them sit for a bit before, you know… pressing your coffee down and pouring out the brew.

French press coffee is full-bodied and rich. You can also use your French press to make cold brew coffee or steep hot tea, and its small size lets you put it away when you’re done.

The downside? Grit. Many French presses come with a filter that’s on the bigger side, so you need a coarse grind to prevent as much of it from getting to your cup as possible. Still, it happens!

Plus, the coarse grind and the limited exposure mean that you get less bang for your buck in terms of flavor and yes, caffeine. And cleanup can be a pain, requiring you to scoop the grounds out of the carafe with your hands to prevent it from going down the drain.

Many people love the romance and tradition of a French press, but the practice wins over the theory and they end up leaving it in favor of modern alternatives.

For Us, It’s All Bring Out The Best In Taste & Time

We wanted to mix and match the best of all our favorite brewing alternatives to truly get the best of every bean. So we made Simpli Press: Inspired by the full body of a pour over, the silky smooth texture of espresso (from where we got the idea for our filter!) and the tradition and romance of the French press, we made this small but mighty brewing alternative for the home barista:

  • Unlike the traditional French press, you can use medium-fine grounds to get the most flavor in every cup with the ultrafine double filter
  • The coffee basket allows you to easily dump your grounds after brewing--no need to get messy with it or clog up the drain
  • Comes with premeasured grounds and water lines for easy brewing
  • Brew 2-4 cups at once with the 34oz carafe. No more picking who gets the first cup ;)
  • Thanks to the medium-fine grinds, brewing only takes 3-4 minutes
  • Did we mention Simpli Press is attractive to leave on the counter?

The Verdict? Coffee Brewing at Home Is An Art

For us, the best brew depends on you: The best way to start your day is with a grounding ritual. After all, your morning sets the tone for the whole day ;)

And we know every home barista has their preference. Which is why every Simpli Press comes with a Coffee Happiness Guarantee. If you decide to give it a try and don’t love it, you can send it back on us within 30 days. Ship free on us too! No questions asked.

Try it for yourself. SHOP NOW.

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