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Brewing

So you've bought yourself a bunch of green coffee beans with the eager goal of preparing a fresh batch of coffee like a coffee purist.  You've roasted the beans yourself and have grounded them, ready for final preparation.  Now, you're at the final stage - the brewing stage.

When you're finally ready to brew a fresh pot of coffee, you want to brew the ultimate cup.  Whether you're making an espresso or specialty coffee like Java or Mocha, you want to have the best temperature to heating up water.  The optimal water temperature to make coffee is between 92 and 96 degrees Celsius for 90% of the contact time.  As a cup of coffee is made up of at least 98% water, you want to make sure that you use the best quality of water, as the higher quality of water will produce a higher quality cup of coffee.

When you're brewing coffee  you are using coffee grounds and hot water.  There are four main groups of brewing methods that differ from each other in terms of how the water is introduced to the coffee grounds.  Your preferred method of coffee brewing will be largely determined on your preference for how you want your coffee to turn out.

The first group of brewing method is boiling.  This brewing method is predominantly used to make Turkish coffee and is a very early method of making coffee.  In this brewing method, you place the water together with very finely ground coffee in a coffee making instrument known as an ibrik in Arabic or cezve in Turkish.  The water briefly comes to the boil and produces small cups of very strong coffee that contain a layer of foam on the top of the drink and a thick layer of sludgy coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.  To learn more about the coffee maker, read the article Greek or Turkish bikri and to learn more about Turkish coffee, check out the article of the same name.

One of the most popular brewing methods of our time is the pressure method that is used in an espresso coffee maker and also a percolator.  The pressure method produces a strong cup of coffee and when used in an espresso machine, forces pressurized hot water through the coffee grounds.  This produces one of the strongest forms of coffee in the espresso drink, which features a distinctive flavor and a delicious foam that is known as crema.  The percolator coffee maker uses a three-chamber design, in which water is boiled in the lower section of the device.  Also known as a mocha pot, the boiling water is forced through the separated coffee grounds that sit in the middle section of the percolator.  What results is a strong cup of coffee that is collected in the upper section of the percolator.  The coffee that is produced by a percolator has been described as almost espresso strength without the crema.

The most commonly used brewing method in America is gravity.  It is predominantly used in drip brew coffee makers that are also known as filter coffee.  In the drip brew method, hot water drips onto coffee grounds that are held in a filter.  This easy method of brewing coffee produces a cup of coffee that tends to be weaker than espresso.  However, it is easy for the user to control the strength of their cup of coffee, as strength is largely determined to the ratio of water used to coffee grinds.  Another type of percolator uses the gravity brewing method, as the water passes through the grounds using gravity.  This method produces a stronger cup of coffee than the drip brew method of making coffee.

The final brewing method group is steeping which is the method predominantly used in coffee making machines like the French press or in coffee bags.  The French press coffee maker is a tall, narrow glass cylinder that contains a plunger and a filter.  Within the cylinder, coffee and hot water mix together for a couple of minutes.  The plunger is then depressed, which results in the finished coffee being isolated at the top ready to be drank.  Similar to tea bags, coffee bags are available to produce a cup of coffee.  Coffee bags are left in a cup, in which hot water is poured over it.  The coffee then steeps out ready to be drunk.  It is not a commonly used way to make coffee.

 
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