Sometimes mornings are difficult and you need a little boost. Coffee is an essential part of most college students’ mornings and it can be prepared in a variety of ways. With that in mind, here is a list of 5 coffee preparation methods to get you going!
1. Drip Coffee Pot
When you imagine a coffee maker, chances are it is a drip coffee pot. Drip coffee pots are the classic American standard for coffee preparation . It is the diner coffee that you has saved you from that awful hangover that is slowly creeping up on you, trying to ruin your morning. It is safe to assume that most, if not all college students have used a drip coffee pot at one point in their lives.
It should go without saying then that drip coffee pots have some significant pros and cons. For instance, drip coffee pots are one of the few preparation methods that allow you to make larger batches of coffee – making them an obvious choice if you are brewing for larger groups. Drip coffee pots also have a built-in warming plate that can keep your coffee warm for long periods of time.
Despite its wide availability and familiarity, a lot of college students have instead opted for Keurig single serving coffee machines. This switch is more than likely due to the convenience of being able to make a single cup of coffee at a time, thereby not wasting large amounts of the precious grounds. It is noteworthy, however, that drip coffee pots generally brew a stronger, more flavorful coffee than single serving K-cups.
Coffee percolators have faded from popularity in recent years, as they come with downsides similar to those of the drip coffee pot, but they still have a lot to offer more adventurous caffeine seekers. Percolator coffee is a more rustic form of coffee preparation. Percolators are generally made from metal and heated on a stove or fire. Their bottom half is a reservoir for water, on top of which is placed a metal filter packed with coffee grounds.
As the water begins to boil, it releases steam, which passes up through the coffee grounds and into the top of the percolator. This process often results in the boiling water vapor passing through the densely packed coffee grounds several times before condensing in the top pour-spout portion of the percolator, creating an intensely concentrated brew. If you are looking for an intense cup of coffee, the percolator is the way to go!
3. French Press
French press coffee makers are fairly easy to come by and are commonly used in popular coffee chains like Peet’s and Starbucks. Generally, the public is familiar with the French press as a coffee preparation tool, however most people have not actually prepared a cup of it in their own homes. To prepare coffee using a French press, you have to start with a coarse grind of your favorite roast (presumably a French roast) and top it with almost boiling water. Stir the grounds into the water and let them macerate for around 4 minutes. When the time has passed, you can push the titular press on top of the entire contraption, which will force a fine filter through the coffee, pushing the grounds to the bottom. French press coffee is not quite as rustic or concentrated as percolator coffee, but still typically has a much fuller body that drip pot coffee. Overall, French press coffee represents a sort of happy-medium between the different styles of coffee preparation. It is not an overly time consuming method of coffee preparation and is certainly worth whatever extra time it might take!
4. Cold Brew
Recently, cold brew coffee has become more of a household term due, in part, to Starbucks’s adopting it as a coffee preparation method. Prior to this, cold brew coffee was generally a style that you might find in a smaller boutique coffee shop. Now everyone knows though! Cold brew coffee is a coffee preparation method in which water is slowly infused with coffee grounds over a long period of time, resulting in a highly caffeinated brew with less bitterness and acidity than your average cup of joe. There are endless amounts of articles and videos explaining how to prepare cold brew coffee and giving tips on how to make it your own. Essentially, you just grind up some of your favorite coffee roast and throw it in a container with water. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours to slow infuse and then you are done. Cold brew coffee is as easy as can be, it is just super time consuming. Of course, cold brew coffee drinkers would argue that this extra time produces a superior end product – a coffee free of bitterness and other astringent characteristics. Proponents of other coffee preparation methods would argue that cold brewing your coffee removes the signature bitterness you would get with a percolator or French press coffee. It is also worth noting that, as its name suggests, cold brew coffee is always served cold. If you are not a fan of some of coffee’s more aggressive flavors or if you just want a giant dose of caffeine, then cold brew might be the coffee preparation method for you!
5. Pour Over Filter
Pour over coffee is the coffee preparation method in which the consumer is given total control. You, as an amateur barista in your own kitchen, will be tasked with achieving the proper grind texture (medium-coarse) and heating the water to exactly 205 degrees Fahrenheit (optimal coffee temperature). The you will slowly pour the hot water over the grounds in a circular pattern, stopping occasionally. The pour over coffee preparation method takes a little more time than most of the other entries on this list. When you find that you have poured the proper amount of water in relation to the amount of grounds you have in your filter, then you may drink the final product. Pour over filtration may seem daunting at first, but it is really simple. The ritual that goes into preparing a cup of pour over coffee has an almost meditative quality and, while this understandably might not fit in with everyone’s morning routine, it certainly is worth a try one of these times.