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Differences in Home Brew Methods

With coffee shops closed and stay at home orders in place, many consumers who don’t typically brew at home are turning towards new methods to get their caffeine fix every morning.  With the myriad of brew methods at their disposal, choosing just one can get a bit overwhelming, and understanding what makes a pour-over different from a French press is suddenly important.  There are three main ways to brew a cup on your kitchen counter— pour-overs, drip brewers, and French presses.  Each requires a different set of equipment and produces a different cup.
 
The option you’re most likely to find in most homes is a drip brewer. A few steps above machines that require only a pod and the touch of a button, they’re just a bit more involved for a much higher quality cup.  Unlike the other two methods, automatic brewers take you almost entirely out of the equation.  On the upside, you don’t have to monitor your coffee while it’s brewing, so it’s perfect if you find yourself in a rush to get ready most mornings— plenty of the machines on the market now even have settings to allow you to wake up to a cup already brewed.  However, you pay more for the ease of use.  High-quality home brewers can easily run you over $100 and are much more likely to malfunction and need to be replaced than the simplicity of glass or ceramic pour-overs and French presses.
 
The biggest advantage of choosing to brew a pour-over (such as this ceramic Hario) is the ability to influence the flavor of your coffee much more heavily.  With this method, you regain control over the temperature and amount of water you brew with, as well as the length of brew time.  While these may not sound like they have a huge impact, the few extra minutes you spend monitoring your cup each morning alter the taste of your coffee substantially.  Different water temperatures and extraction times bring out different flavors that may be hidden when brewed with an automatic machine.  Using a pour-over allows you to tweak different factors until you find your perfect brew!
 
When it comes to choosing between a French press or a pour-over method, it comes down to the flavors you prefer.  As French presses do not use filters, much more of the oils and “grit” from the beans translates into the final product.  This results in a much bolder cup of coffee.  While pour-over methods create a smoother cup, if you drink coffee because you love its strong flavor, the French press may be the choice for you.  
 
Whether you most value speed and ease of use, ability to customize, or bold flavor, there is a brew method for you. If you’re not sure what to pick, feel free to browse through the tools and equipment and reach out to us via phone or email with any questions!

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