Which coffee preparation is the best?

Kaffeezubereitung
Guten Kaffee kann man auf ganz verschiedene Weisen zubereiten

Good coffee can be made with many different methods. There is no objective evaluation; only personal preferences count. Whether it is a simple brewing infusion, an ambitious espresso or coffee from a modern pad system: you need a little knowledge and some experience to prepare a good tasting coffee with the respective system. After the correct roasting and grinding of the coffee, the method determines the taste of the coffee.

Brewing without pressure

Brewing infusion

The Ethiopian way of preparation and coffee tradition is probably the most original: After roasting the beans in a large iron pan, they are coarsely ground or crushed in a mortar. The ground coffee is boiled up with water and sugar in the so-called jabana, a bulbous clay jug similar to a carafe, and served in small bowls.

Turkish or Greek mocha

Mocha, Turkish coffee or Greek mocha is a coffee that is made in the original way by pouring water into a pot (Ibrik, Briki) filled with dust-fine ground coffee powder in a bed of sand in the embers of a fireplace or on a hot hotplate. It is a very original way of making coffee. Therefore, before the invention of filter coffee, every coffee was a mocha coffee. Turkish mocha sometimes contains spices such as cardamom or cinnamon, while Greek mocha is cooked with sugar if desired. A characteristic feature of mocha is the coffee grounds that are added to the cup when it is poured.

Turning pot or Napoletana

The Wendkanne or Napoletana, also known as Cuccumella, looks very unusual at first glance, but it actually works. First you put 4-6 grams of coffee per cup (medium grind) into the coffee container and screw it on the filter. Now you fill water into the lower part of the coffee maker. Then you put the turning pot on the stove and bring the water to boil, which you can see by the steam coming out. Now take the jug off the stove, turn it with both hands and the water slowly seeps down through the metal filter. This takes a few minutes, but then you get a rather unique coffee from the Napoletana, which is still used in the Naples area.

Filter methods

Carlsbad jug

A soap pot is a special coffee pot with an attached container in which there is a coffee filter. After the coffee has passed through, the upper container can be removed and the coffee can be drunk from the lower pot. The Karlovy Vary jug, also known as the Karlovy Vary coffee maker, is a special form of the French soap jug. It is made of white porcelain and has a bulbous shape. It should be preheated well before use and for the relatively wide-meshed sieve it is best to use coarsely ground coffee powder. These jugs became so popular that they became the epitome of a soap pot in many places.

Filter coffee

After coffee was prepared for a long time by boiling the powder with water, a groundbreaking invention was made. In 1908, the Haufrau Melitta Bentz developed and patented a paper filter. The container for it was initially made of sheet metal, aluminum or porcelain and is now usually made of plastic. The jug was to be preheated and then the medium ground coffee powder was to be filled into the filter. Now the ground coffee is poured over the ground coffee with a stream of hot, non-boiling water so that the coffee is moistened and can swell. Pour the remaining water over it, making sure that the liquid runs off evenly. This can be recognized by the fact that a level coffee bed is left behind. Filter coffee is still the most popular way to prepare coffee in Germany today, although coffee machines are usually used for this purpose.

Filter machine with built-in grinder

Mostly pre-ground coffee is used for filter coffee. However, if it is not used up quickly, it loses some of its aroma very quickly. There is a solution to this problem with fully automatic filter coffee makers: Here, a grinder is built into the coffee machine, which grinds the coffee beans fresh directly before the brewing process and then prepares them through the filter as usual. The strength of the coffee can be regulated by the amount of coffee to be ground and the degree of grinding. Some of these machines also have a timer so that you can be woken up in the morning by freshly ground and brewed coffee.

French Press

The ram pot (also French Press, coffee press, coffee pusher, cafetière, piston pot, chamboard or sieve ram pot) is a coffee pot in which coffee is brewed and the coffee grounds are pressed down by means of a ram with a sieve. First, coffee powder is put into the pot, then hot, no longer boiling water is poured over it. The coffee powder mixes with the water and can release its aroma, unhindered by a filter. The duration of this process (three to six minutes) and the quantity of coffee powder determines the strength of the resulting coffee. In a second step, the coffee is stirred. Then the metal filter is pressed onto the bottom of the pot. The coffee grounds are now separated from the liquid at the bottom of the jug. The finished coffee can be poured out of the jug without the coffee grounds getting into the cup. For larger quantities the coffee should now be decanted

Coffee preparation with pressure

Percolator

A simple percolator consists of a lower chamber into which water is filled. From this chamber a vertical tube leads to an upper chamber into which the coarsely ground coffee grounds are filled. When the percolator is heated, the water rises through the inner tube into the upper chamber where it drips onto the ground coffee. The water then seeps through the coffee grounds, extracts the water-soluble substances contained therein and then flows through the perforated bottom of the coffee chamber and then mixes again with the water in the lower chamber. This process is continued until the coffee has the desired strength. With a manual percolator, it is important not to let the temperature of the water rise too high, otherwise the coffee will have a bitter taste.

Espresso or mocha pot

An espresso or mocha can works on a similar principle to a percolator. Here, however, one speaks of a pump percolator, in which the water only drips once over the ground coffee and is then collected in a separate container. These percolators therefore have another container for the finished coffee in addition to a “water container”. This method of preparation generates a maximum pressure of 1.5 bar, so you can’t really speak of “real” espresso, but you can still make good strong coffee with it.

Syphon, vacuum jug

A further development of the percolators are the vacuum generators, which have been used since about 1830. Well known is the so-called glass balloon. Here, two glass vessels are placed one above the other. The lower vessel is filled with water, the upper one with coffee powder. If the lower vessel is now preferably heated with a burner, the water rises through a riser pipe into the upper vessel where it mixes with the ground coffee. Now the spirit flame is extinguished under the lower vessel, so that the steam cools down (the steam of the boiling water completely displaces the air originally present) and a vacuum is created, which draws the water mixed with the coffee powder through a filter into the lower vessel. The coffee can now be served from this lower vessel after the machine has been disassembled. The jugs from Bodum do not need a burner, you can put them directly on the stove.

Aeropress

The Aeropress is a manual coffee machine consisting of a brewing cylinder, a press piston and a coffee filter, which is fixed to the bottom of the brewing cylinder with a filter holder. In the brewing cylinder, the ground coffee is mixed with the brewing water and the brewing water is pressed through a disposable filter into a cup or a jug with the press plunger. In contrast to the press plunger jug, the coffee is filtered so that no coffee grounds remain in the brewing result. In addition, the coffee can be ground more finely. While the French Press itself functions as a jug, Aeropress requires an additional jug or cup. With the Aeropress, the brewing water is mixed directly with the ground coffee, so unlike a filter bag, the brewing time can be determined by the user. Since this method results in short brewing times, the coffee does not become bitter, but the high pressure makes it taste very intense.

Espresso machine

An espresso machine is generally a device for the quick brewing of coffee (espresso) and other coffee specialties. During this process, hot water is forced through the coffee grounds at high pressure. It is often argued about the sufficient pressure. Usually it is assumed that the pressure is slightly below 9 bar. An important criterion for espresso lovers is the resulting crema. To prevent the ground coffee from being whirled up in the brewing chamber and thus being over-brewed, the coffee powder is pressed with a tamper, also known as a coffee tamper or espresso tamper.

Bacchi

The Italian Andrea Bacchi is the inventor of this espresso pot. With this you can produce real espresso with up to 9 bar pressure directly on the stove. You pour water and finely ground coffee into the designated containers, place the coffee machine on a heat source (burner) and a few minutes later a whistle will tell you when the time is right to get one or two cups of real espresso coffee Italian style with a lot of frothy crema. The new “CARIOCA” espresso machine does not use any electromechanical parts (pumps, resistors, solenoid valves, etc.), but relies on a hydraulic-physical principle to obtain the necessary pressure and a fine, balanced heat conduction to heat the water used to make the coffee.

Sieve carrier machine

Sieve carrier machines work partly like professional catering equipment with a removable sieve carrier, which is filled with ground coffee and fixed in the machine by means of a bayonet lock. They must be supplemented with a separate coffee grinder if the coffee is to be ground fresh and the grinder is not integrated in the machine. With these machines, the operator can influence a variety of factors that are decisive for the quality of the result: The degree of grinding, the amount and strength of compression of the ground coffee in the sieve carrier and the duration of the brewing time. With a little practice, it is therefore possible to optimally adjust the process to the quality of the coffee used and achieve a better result than with a fully automatic machine.

Fully automatic coffee machine

A fully automatic coffee machine is a coffee machine that can produce various types of coffee fully automatically according to the espresso method. It should not be confused with the classic espresso machine. In many models a coffee grinder is integrated, so that each portion is freshly ground and brewed, which has a positive effect on the taste. In some machines, the brewing unit can be removed and cleaned in a few easy steps, which is optimal from a hygienic point of view. The quality of the fully automatic machines is more in the preparation of Café Crème or Schümli, but these machines often cannot produce a “real” espresso according to the Italian model (contrary to what the manufacturers themselves advertise). The reason for this is the brewing group made of plastic, which would not withstand the necessary brewing pressure required for correct espresso preparation.
In addition to preparing coffee, many machines can foam milk with the help of steam. Some models produce the milk foam for a cappuccino or latte macchiato using a cappuccinator. This automatically sucks in milk and processes it into milk foam. The machines are equipped with cleaning and descaling programs that require the user to add the necessary descaling agents at regular intervals. To prevent the machine from calcifying prematurely and to remove unwanted substances from the water used, manufacturers equip their devices with replaceable water filters.

Pad and capsule systems

The portioned coffee machine is a collective term for coffee machines that work with single or double portions, so-called coffee pods or capsules. Some machines also use the term hot beverage system to indicate that the portions are not only offered with coffee but also with other flavors such as cocoa or tea. The characteristic features of the portioned coffee machine are the very simple operation and short preparation time of the hot beverage by pre-mixing the ingredients to the appropriate machine. These systems have their advantages and disadvantages: Since the capsules are usually not interchangeable between the different manufacturers of such devices, one is bound to the offer of the respective manufacturer. Who is content with it however and drinks only relatively little coffee has the advantage that the portion-wise packed coffee remains fresh also with rare coffee consumption. Not to be neglected with capsule systems are however the garbage problem and the usually substantially higher costs for the coffee.

ColdBrew or IcedBrew

It is even possible to prepare coffee with water at room temperature, but this requires a much longer time of at least eight hours. Coarsely ground coffee is mixed directly with cold water and left to brew at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours and then filtered. One liter of water requires about 200 grams of ground coffee. Cold Brew is a young phenomenon that has only been added to the product range of larger coffee chains internationally since 2015. You can even make coffee with ice-cold water: Cold Drip is a special form of Cold Brew. In this process, water is mixed with ice cubes and dripped onto the coffee powder over many hours.

Instant Coffee

Soluble coffee, instant coffee or instant coffee is dried coffee extract. Various types of green coffee are mixed, roasted and ground, the ground roasted coffee is then brewed and filtered. In this way, a viscous coffee concentrate is produced, from which water can now be removed by spray drying or freeze drying. By infusing this powder with hot water, a coffee drink is created immediately. Compared to regular bean coffee, soluble coffee contains about half the caffeine. The Swiss company Nestlé laid the foundation for industrial production in 1938 with its product Nescafé.

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