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Commentary: Coffee’s Big Makeover

10 Jun 2013

With serious coffee drinkers, it isn’t just what you drink. It’s how you prepare what you drink.

French PressThese days, there are two big trends in the world of coffee preparation. For the majority, it’s single-serve pods. For the connoisseur, it’s pour-over. Of course, it doesn’t stop there.

While nothing could seem simpler than pour-over preparation, you won’t be surprised to learn that even such a rudimentary system offers numerous options. These can range from the plain, inexpensive Melitta to the elegant and pricey Chemex.

And chic coffee bars, like Stumptown out of Portland and Chicago’s Intelligentsia, now make individual cup preparation part of their shops.

You’ll find a good guide to seven methods—though Melitta is omitted—at Prima Coffee Equipment’s blog. Another excellent instruction site, Brew Methods, collects guidance from many sources, including 17 on pour-over alone.

Recently, the website Lifehacker asked its readers to nominate the best coffeemaker and then reported on the top five vote-getters. Interestingly, the French press method came in first, followed by AeroPress and none of the uber-trendy Japanese manufacturers, such as Hario, or Kalita made the cut. You’ll also find quite a few other articles and reviews on coffee and coffee-making at Lifehacker.

An in-depth drip-off was done a couple of years ago by Serious Eats, which compared ceramic cones.

So, go as deep into the subject as you like. Just don’t forget to enjoy the end result.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Commentary: Coffee’s Big Makeover”

  1. Patrick Ashby Monday, June 10, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    I can't say I've officially turned into a coffee snob, but I'm afraid I may be getting there.

    These days I'm using a French press (that's mine in the photo above).

    As a Chicagoan, I can vouch for Intelligentsia. There's a location a few blocks from my home, and it's a nice place to get an individual cup preparation (you get one of these free if you buy a take-home bag of whole bean). It is admittedly expensive.

    My favorite coffee maker right now has to be Metropolis, which is also Chicago-based: A local restaurant serves their coffee, and that's how I found out about them. I've been buying their whole bean stuff for at-home use since.

    Finally, I'll say I've had excellent experiences with Counter Culture Coffee, buying whole bean over the web:

  2. cigarfan Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    And if you want to follow the yellow brick road to true snobbery, you can always roast your own beans. It's been a learning experience for me, and also an excellent excuse to spend time in the garage with a good cigar.

  3. Ellen Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 10:49 am #

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