Brewing

The type of brewer you use can greatly enhance the flavor of your coffee. Automatic drip coffee makers are the most popular, and when used properly, produce a flavorful cup of coffee.  For an even richer taste, experiment with other types of brewing. For example, the French Press (plunger method) adds a heavier body to the richness of the coffee. For a delicious, dark-roasted flavor, use an espresso maker.

No matter which brewing method you choose, PapaNicholas has three suggestions that apply to all to ensure a flavorful, great-tasting cup of coffee.

1) Be sure your water has a good taste as this enhances the rich flavor of the coffee. If your water has an unpleasant taste, you may consider purchasing bottled water.

2) Measuring/Water to Coffee – Measure accurately. Start with two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounce cup of water and experiment with variations to achieve the strength that is right for you.

3) It is important to keep your machine clean. Remove and discard coffee grounds immediately after brewing to prevent bitterness in your next pot of coffee.  We also recommend giving each fresh pot of coffee a quick stir to ensure consistent flavor.

Let’s talk about Extraction!

The technical term for any “brewing” process is extraction. In the case of coffee, extraction works best using very hot water (195*f to 205*f) and moving it through, or mixing it with, ground coffee (see coffee grinding tips). For a basic American (not to be confused with an Americano – espresso based beverage) cup of brewed coffee, Papa believes the best brewing method is the drip-type brewer. These systems pass water over the coffee once and use a paper filter to ensure that no grounds or sediment is contained in the finished coffee.

One of the downsides to using a drip coffee machine and a paper filter or a single-serve cup is that the filter traps essential oils that carry with them some of the distinct characteristics that define a coffee. That is why Papa recommends that you invest in a good French Press/Plunger Pot system. These systems use mesh screen, which allow oils through and provide a great cup of coffee. The only downside, and this is a minimal downside, finely ground sediment can get through the mesh screen and find its way into your cup. Papa recommends a coarse grind for French Press systems.

The espresso method of extraction is one of Papa's favorites. For a no grinding/no mess espresso, Papa offers Papa-pods for use in your espresso machine. The one-time use pods take the guesswork out of grinding and measuring to give a smooth, consistent espresso every time!

Brewing Methods

We have included a brief description of a variety of brewers for your information to help you choose the brewers that are right for you. Please visit our store to purchase a brewer or to redeem your PAPA POINTS .

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Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

As mentioned, this is the most common type of brewer. Coffee grounds are placed in a filter basket and inserted into the machine. Inside is a reservoir that heats the water before it passes through an insulated tube to either spray or drip over the coffee grounds. Coffee collects in a carafe under the brew basket.  This is an automatic, quick and easy way to make coffee.  The specifications of a brewer can make a huge difference in coffee taste.  Some less expensive brewers do not get the water hot enough for a good extraction. 

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Single Serve Machines

The desire for convenience introduced a new type of brewer to the market that utilizes ground coffee, prepackaged in single-serve brewing cups.  More recent single serve machines have improved with longer steep times and more correct brewing temperatures.  This along with more effective cup construction provides a fuller-flavored and more satisfying cup on the go.

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French Press

The French press is also known as the plunger pot. The coffee grounds are added into a pot of boiling-point water. Once the grounds have steeped, a plunger is pressed down to strain the grounds to the bottom of the pot. This method allows essential oils from the coffee bean to permeate and provide a unique depth of flavor, unlike that from a paper filter. This is a delicious and quite simple way to brew coffee.

 

Other More Unique Brewing Methods

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Vacuum Pot

In a vacuum brewer the water is heated on a burner in a lower pot until expansion forces the water through a narrow tube into an upper pot containing ground coffee. Once the lower pot is emptied and sufficient brewing time has elapsed, the pot is removed from the heat and the resulting vacuum draws the brewed coffee back through a strainer into the lower pot. This method is a bit more time-consuming and hands-on than an automatic drip, but can produce a flavorful cup of coffee.

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Percolators

Percolators were much more common in yesteryear and have been replaced with more effective brewing methods; such as the automatic drip and the French press. For percolators, the grounds are placed in a basket inside the kettle of water. The water is boiled and bubbles up through the grounds to make coffee. The glass bubble on the top of percolators helps to determine when the coffee has brewed sufficiently and is the right darkness. The problem with percolators is that the coffee has a tendency to be over extracted producing a bitter-tasting cup of coffee.

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Ibriki

This brewing method originated in Turkey and while it is not very widespread in this country, it produces a very rich, full-bodied cup of coffee. This is a small metal cup on the end of a long handle. The pot is wider at the bottom than the top. The cup is filled with water and a spoon of finely ground coffee is placed on top of the water. The cup is placed over heat and the water begins to boil. The water must boil/foam three times for the coffee to be done. The coffee grounds fall to the bottom of the cup.