Over the past couple of years, my approach to coffee has changed immensely. Whereas I only used to drink a latte macchiato with vanilla syrup in the beginning, the thought of that actually is repulsing to me now. The more coffee I drank, the less fancy it had to be. Nowadays, I’m the happiest when I get a strong hot espresso right after getting up and a nice little cappuccino when meeting friends for a chat. With my coffee-preferences changing, I have tried and tested a lot of different coffee-making techniques and a few of them I want to talk you through today.
Which coffee brewing method is right for me?
My first ever sip of coffee must have been my mom’s morning coffee back home from our old filter machine. I remember vividly how god-awful I found it and how I wondered if she only gulps that hideous drink down because that disgusting smell wakes her up from a dream-like state in the morning. After a short venture into the world of the skinny vanilla latte, I came to appreciate coffee in its true and most valued form, though. The espresso. With a dash of milk, of course.
So when I moved into my first own flat, almost six years ago, I immediately knew I had to get me a capsule machine (this one)* for the house. And so we did. And I had been loving and drinking my coffee at home like this for years. It’s the easiest way to prepare coffee at home – be it a latte, a cappuccino or a plain espresso. I have loved this and even worked with one of the producers of capsules in the past. As I have grown both, as a person and coffee-lover in the past few months, though, I decided it would be best to switch things up on the coffee brewing department.
After lots of research and numerous discussions with friends and experts, I have found out and realized how damaging this actually is to our environment and health. Furthermore, I have come to the realization that it is way too expensive home-brewedwed coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with paying 3,50 for my cappuccino at the caffé when enjoying a lovely afternoon with a friend. I do not want my 3-5 coffee at home to turn into a financial burden. That is why I decided I needed to break with this habit and venture one step further into the world of the barista.
Using a French Press at home
The first brewing method I tried after the capsule machine was a french press. I got a pretty little thing in copper (buy here) and immediately fell in love. I bought some ground coffee and started making my morning coffee with the little gem. This brewing method is, without doubt, the easiest and cheapest. All you have to do is put your coffee into the French press, add a bit of boiling water and wait for a few minutes to pour into your mug.
French Press – the pros and cons:
- + Easy and quick – probably the best option for beginners
- + If you opt for a wonderfully copper french press it also doubles as a nice decoration item for the flat
- + You can easily switch up coffee flavors and strength of your brew
- – The French press I own is fairly small and only fits one cup of coffee, which to me always seemed like a waste of time, energy and – most importantly – coffee
Back to the roots with my Bialetti
When I had enough of French press coffee, I decided I’d invest in a Bialetti (buy here). I had already known this from my grandparents and used to love waking up to the sound and smell of the Bialetti cooking coffee on the stove when I stayed at their house in the summers. Purchasing this was not only exciting to me because I could learn more about coffee, it also brought back this beautiful nostalgia that I hold so dearly.
I must admit I’m a big fan of the Bialetti. It makes Sunday morning coffee so much more special and never fails to take me back to my childhood. I feel like it also makes my coffee much stronger than any other brewing method I have tried so far and some days that is very much what I need in the mornings.
Bialetti – the pros and cons:
- – Of all the brewing methods I have tried so far, I find the Bialetti to be most annoying when cleaning. It always has water spots on it and that drives me crazy and you literally have to thoroughly clean it after every use
- +/- The coffee gets better over time. When you buy a new Bialetti it will not taste like its supposed to be. The more use you get out of it, the better it gets.
- – It uses a lot of energy on my stove. As I want to reduce my energy bill and consumption at home, this is something that I do not particularly appreciate.
- + The coffee from the Bialetti most probably is the best one ever. It’s strong, hot and kicks you right off the ground.
- + The nostalgia that comes with it. And it’s really pretty too!
The newest member to the family: My espresso machine
I knew I had found my thing when the Bialetti started to get better and better with every use. Still, I wasn’t satisfied as I only had hand brewing methods at home and really wanted to own a machine that was a real game-changer when having friends around. After browsing the net for weeks and talking to almost everyone I know about espresso machines and the possibilities on the market, I found the perfect match. When a colleague at work then talked about how amazing this machine is, I knew I had to get my hands on it. So I now am the very proud owner of a gorgeous vintage inspired De’Longhi Espresso machine (buy here)*.
And I do love it. Just like the French press and my Bialetti, this machine also uses ground coffee. Therefore I ordered a coffee grinder (buy here) as well so I can fully cater to my coffee-lover needs. Working your way with this machine is also surprisingly easy. I always wanted to own a machine that was like the ones they use in coffee shops. And here I am, pressing my ground coffee into the portafilter in the morning, waiting for my coffee to run into my mug. And I love it. The coffee tastes amazing and it’s so much cheaper and environmentally friendly than the capsule machine I used before.
The pros and cons of using a lever espresso machine:
- + Beautiful addition to the kitchen. It has a unique style and makes the whole coffee brewing process look immediately more professional
- + Environmentally friendly and really cheap in use
- – Takes up much more space on the kitchen counter than a Bialetti, Chemex or French press
- + The coffee tastes delicious and you can prepare two espressi at the same time
- + The machine has a build in water nozzle for the perfect barista milk foam
- -/+ More expensive when first buying than a French press or Bialetti, much cheaper in use than a capsule machine, though
- – To me the coffee does not appear as strong as from the Bialetti. It is the perfect blend for a morning coffee and/or cappuccino
- + Easier to use and much more efficient when having friends over than any other brewing method I have used before
What brewing method do you use at home? Do you have any questions on any of these methods? Hope this was helpful :)