What is the best way to brew coffee? Well I’m afraid to say I’m sitting on the fence with this one. Each brew method produces a different taste so in my book they’re all good (well most of them). It’s like cooking an egg: fried, poached, scrambled, boiled; they all taste different.
Today, I’m going to focus on filter (sometimes called drip) and cafetiere (French press), as they are the two simplest (and cheapest) ways to brew coffee at home.
The cafetiere produces a rich full bodied cup in comparison to the filter method. With a cafetiere the grounds are steeped in hot water (like brewing tea) and this extracts more compounds from the coffee. Steeping extracts oils, which add a creamy/buttery rich flavour to the cup. With the filter method hardly any oils are present.
So what is body and what difference does it make to the taste? Well body refers to the feeling in your mouth. Filter coffee, with its lighter body, just coats the tongue as it gently slivers down the back of your throat. Whereas, the fuller bodied cafetiere, coats the whole of your mouth making the flavour far more enduring. A good analogy is water (with its light body) in comparison to milk (heavy bodied).