Which coffee brewer to use?
For slow brewing, there are numerous options.
Sharon Welsch, 73, of Homestead, Florida, has a VacOne coffeemaker, a newer pour-over device that uses a vacuuming extraction system. Welsch was devoted to Mr. Coffee before she switched to a Keurig a few years ago. Now she’s hooked on fresh beans and her VacOne.
“It’s just really easy,” Welsch says. “The taste is so different. It’s so fresh. The aroma is marvelous.”
Those who love the flavor of coffee and the caffeine rush may want to invest in a Chemex, a glass carafe that some may remember from the Mary Tyler Moore Show — Mary Richards often poured coffee from a Chemex when hosting guests in her apartment.
Designed by a chemist, the Chemex uses coffee filters with density similar to a chemistry blotter, which catch more oils and minerals, thereby producing a clean, vibrant cup of joe. The filtration makes the Chemex ideal for cold brews, too.
Greg Morrison, 72, of Atlanta, is a retired CNN assignment editor who uses a Chemex.
“I decided, especially after my retirement from CNN, I’ve got a few extra minutes. I don’t have a clock to punch. Let me just do this right,” Morrison explains.
He begins his morning routine by selecting recently roasted beans. Peet’s dark-roast Major Dickason ‘s Blend is one of his favorites. He grinds the beans in a burr grinder and places a couple of scoops into the Chemex. Meanwhile, water boils in his electric tea kettle. He slowly pours hot water over the coffee as he monitors the water flow, saturation and emulsification.
“If I’m feeling real frisky,” he says, “I might put a slither of ginger in there. Give it some spice.”
Other coffee lovers might prefer a French press, which uses a plunging method to separate brewed coffee from grinds that have been steeping in hot water (similar to looseleaf tea). A French press produces a heavier, full-bodied coffee with texture.
Many connoisseurs favor the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, Melitta or other dripper pour-overs. These inexpensive drippers produce coffee almost as clean as that from a Chemex. (See the full guide to coffee brewers below.)
If you prefer a more automated approach to coffee brewing but like the results of a pour-over, you can purchase a drip coffee maker that replicates the pour-over method. Look for machines certified by the Specialty Coffee Association, which maintains a list of certified home brewers.
To learn more about slow-brewing methods, Berman and Michelman recommend searching for information online. Lots of YouTube videos can walk you through the process.
And then keep it simple, Berman says. “It’s just combining hot water and ground coffee. If you want to make it complex, you can. But if you don’t, just find your ritual; keep repeating it.”