Coffee Club

Our Favorite Coffee Brewing Methods

By Megan Rice | January 13, 2021

Arbor Day Coffee Club members: this post on our favorite coffee brewing methods is especially for you! If we had to guess, coffee is an integral part of your daily routine — whether you brew a pot first thing in the morning or in the afternoon for a midday pick me up.

There are many ways to brew coffee outside of the standard automatic coffee maker (which you’re probably a pro at by now). The Arbor Day Coffee team compiled three of our personal favorite coffee brewing methods, with step-by-step instructions for you to try. For each of these brew methods, our team recommends using whole-bean Arbor Day Coffee for optimal freshness, a water kettle, and a coffee grinder. If you don’t have a grinder, no worries! Your ground coffee will work just fine.

The Chemex

Kara is the Business Development Manager for the Arbor Day Coffee program and uses a Chemex every morning to start her day.

“Each morning, my day starts with coffee. I switched from a traditional coffee maker to a Chemex a couple years ago and haven’t looked back. This pour-over method really brings out the flavor characteristics of the coffee, making each cup an experience. It’s a morning ritual I truly look forward to.”

You’ll need:

  1. A Chemex that best meets your consumption needs. Kara uses the 8-cup model, but there are many different sizes to choose from.
  2. Special Chemex filters, however the Melitta #4 filters work well in a pinch.

Brewing instructions:

  1. Measure out your coffee for a 1:18 brew ratio. In an 8-cup Chemex, our recommendation would be to use 50 grams of coffee and 900 grams of water.
  2. Grind your coffee medium-course so it is the consistency of fine sea salt.
  3. Heat the water until it comes to a boil and then reduce the heat. You’ll want your water just off boil (200–205° F).
  4. Place the filter into the Chemex and pour some of the hot water through the filter to rinse out the paper fibers. (Don’t forget to dump out the water!)
  5. Pour your ground coffee into the filter.
  6. For precise brewing, place the Chemex onto a scale. Be sure to tare the scale before pouring the water through the grounds.
  7. Slowly pour the hot water over the grounds until gradually the scale reaches 900 grams. This will take roughly 4 minutes.

French Press

Ryan is the Operations Manager for the Arbor Day Coffee program and enjoys brewing his coffee in a French press at home and on camping trips!

I love French press coffee for its simplicity and consistently great results. Because there’s no paper filter used, French press coffee delivers a complex, full-bodied, and slightly more viscous cup of coffee (often you’ll see a small amount of coffee sediment on the bottom of your cup, similar to loose-leaf tea). I find French press the perfect method to use when camping or traveling.”

You’ll need:

  1. A French press that best meets your consumption needs. Ryan uses the 34 oz., 8-cup Bodum Caffettiera French Press, however smaller and larger options are available as well.

Brewing Instructions:

  1. Measure out your coffee for a 1:15 brew ration. In a 34 oz. French Press, our recommendation would be to use 60 grams of coffee and 900 grams of water.
  2. Grind your coffee course. It should look like course sea salt.
  3. Heat the water until it comes to a boil and then reduce the heat. You’ll want your water just off boil (200–205° F).
  4. Pour your ground coffee into the French press and give it a little shake so the grounds settle at the bottom.
  5. Pour the hot water over the grounds, ensuring all the grounds are saturated. Pouring the water until it reaches the top will be approximate 900 grams, so using a scale isn’t necessary for this brew method.
  6. Put the plunger lid on and set your timer for 4 minutes.

After 4 minutes, slowly push the plunger all the way down. Then enjoy!

OXO Pour-Over

Jon is the Coffee Quality Specialist for the Arbor Day Coffee program and has extensive knowledge and experience in the world of coffee. Here is one of his favorite brew methods!

“I love this brewing method because it allows for a perfect balance between quality and convenience. Once you find your preferred “sweet spot” for how much coffee to use for your single cup (I like 23 grams, which is exactly ¼ cup in volume), you can easily replicate it. Additionally, you only need to pour hot water into the reservoir, and then you can walk away and finish cooking your breakfast while it’s brewing. If that’s not enough to convince you, the price for this brewer is less than $20. So it’s a great entry-level pour-over method that anyone can master in a few minutes.”

You’ll need:

  1. Oxo Pour-Over Coffee Maker
  2. #4 paper filter (like these #4 Melitta filters)

Brewing Instructions:

  1. Start boiling water. A helpful hint to speed up the process is to only boil the water you’ll use for a single serving.
  2. Put the #4 filter into the cone.
  3. Grind approximately ¼ cup of coffee to a medium-fine size. 
  4. Add your ¼ cup of ground (leveled) coffee into the paper filter.
  5. Pour off-boiling water (200–205° F) to the “12” fill line in the water reservoir to brew a full 12 oz. cup of coffee. 

Which of these coffee brewing methods will you try next?

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