We certainly are in unprecedented times. Just two months ago, we were going about our daily lives of work, study, friends, and family without so much as a backward glance. And suddenly—unsuspectingly, we were forced to letup our endeavours and submit to the confines of our four walls.
So how does one stay amused with all the extra time? There’s only so much Netflix one can watch—cleaning, gardening and cooking one can do until they physically and emotionally burn out. At some point you’re going to have to get those creative juices flowing and there’s no better way to do that than with a cup of coffee.
There’s so much more to this wonderful craft than meets the eye, and if you’ve ever been curious enough to know more; there’s no better time than now. To get you started, we comprised a list of our top five favourite ways to brew coffee in lockdown. You’ll be surprised at just how easy and inexpensive some of these methods can be!
Undoubtedly the most versatile and affordable coffee press ever made. The Aerobie Aeropress is a beacon of innovation and originality. Created in 2005 by renowned inventor Alan Adler, the Aeropress is a one-of-a-kind coffee maker, which uses air to push water through ground coffee – creating a coffee beverage. Coffee styles that can be made with an Aeropress range from espresso, american style coffee, specialty filter coffee, cold brew, cold drip, and many more methods – all the while being incredibly mobile and easy to use.
Alan Adler first debuted the Aeropress in a trade show in November 2005, initially there wasn’t much interest for the little brewer. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that it gained traction in the adolescent specialty coffee industry as a unique way to brew filter coffee, and from there its fan base just exploded. It now has millions of users worldwide and even holds its own world brewing Championship – The World Aeropress Championship.
The competition was originally founded by Tim Wendleboe (2004 World Barista Champion) and Tim Varney in 2008, and initially ran at a local level in Oslo, Norway. The event has now grown to a colossal 65 countries with a total of 140 events taking place in 2019. The Aeropress really is in a class of its own, and for under $50 AUD, it’s great value. It’s light, it’s durable and a whole lot of fun! Happy Aeropressing!
Watch our video tutorials on the Aeropress here!
The undisputed champion of filter brewing. Pour over coffee offers clarity, finesse, and tact like no other brew method. On our social channels, it is the most photographed style of coffee. In brewing competitions such as the Brewer’s Cup, it is the most common method. There is so much adoration for this style of brewing, and there are good reasons why.
In essence, pour over coffee is a very basic and simple method of brewing. By definition; pour over coffee is a style of drip filtration coffee that involves manually pouring hot water over coffee grounds, and allowing the contents to extract through a filter (usually paper), which sits inside a coffee dripper. This results in a very clean, delicate coffee beverage which has the ability to produce very positive flavour characteristics derived from the bean.
Every stage of the brewing process is manageable, and observable. However there are some challenges as this method can be quite fickle and sensitive to variables such as; pouring technique, grind size, brew ratio, etc. It does take a bit of practice.
Coffee drippers come in all shapes and sizes, some of the most popular brands are Hario, Kalita, Melitta and the the very modern Origami, all of which have their own flair and perks. The average price for one of these is around $20 – $40 AUD. If you’re really going to commit, we’d recommend buying a pair of scales and a pour over kettle so you can really nail your brews.
So, if you enjoy your coffee in the realms of filter, but you don’t really have the time to brew it meticulously like a pour over; there is an option for you – the Clever Dripper. The Clever Dripper is somewhat a cross between a drip filtration device (pour over) and an immersion brewer (French press). But with one neat perk, it has a plug.
This plug will stop your coffee from drawing down until you place the dripper on a cup or carafe. Pretty clever right? Not only is this really handy and easy, but it also means you have full control of all your brew variables such as; grind size, dose, temperature, and contact time, independently of each other.
Coffee brewed with the Clever Dripper is generally more full bodied; as the brewing process is an immersion. But because it’s filtered with paper, the end result is very clean. The Clever Dripper is incredibly light and is made of a very durable BPA-Free Eastman Tritan plastic.
It comes in two sizes – small (1 to 2 cups) and large (2 – 4 cups) and takes wedge style paper filters. Most stores will retail the larger size for no more than $35 AUD so it’s a really good value. If you’re looking for an easy, reliable way to brew tasty coffee, this is it!
Watch our video tutorials on the Clever Dripper here!
* Tip: You can also use it as a pour over simply by placing the Clever Dripper on top of your carafe or cup before you brew. That way the draw down will begin as soon as you start pouring.
Perhaps filter coffee isn’t your thing? Instead you prefer a good old fashioned espresso, but the idea of owning a home espresso machine has always been a little wishful? We don’t blame you. They’re known to be really expensive, incredibly bulky and uncompromising on space. Well, today is your lucky day because we’re going to show you three awesome, man-powered espresso machines that are affordable, space-efficient, and will make you delicious espresso!
The Flair Pro 2 by Flair Espresso is a superbly engineered lever espresso machine that offers practicality, portability, and mouth-watering aesthetics. Made from high quality materials, it has no trouble delivering espresso in the range of 6 – 10 bars.
It completely packs away into its very own custom carry case – perfect for travelling. Some of its core features include 16 – 24 gram baskets, bottomless or spouted portafilter options, pressure gauge, stainless steel brewing head – everything you need to make delicious cafe quality espresso.
The Pro 2 is Flair’s most sophisticated model and retails for around $550 AUD. Cheaper models are available such as the Classic, Signature, and the highly anticipated NEO which just had a very successful Kickstarter campagin.
Watch our video tutorials on the Flair Pro 2 here!
Before coffee was cool, there was ROK. The company (Formerly known as Presso) – founded in 1997, have been making their iconic double armed lever espresso maker ever since. It’s built incredibly tough. So tough in fact that it comes with a 10 year guarantee upon purchase.
It delivers espresso up to 10 bars of pressure, made easy with a very comfortable double-arm grip. It’s fair to say that ROK paved the way for many home lever machines in the market today. Their latest model – the ‘GC’, had some very neat internal upgrades, making it even stronger, and efficient.
All older models can actually be upgraded to a GC simply by replacing the older parts – testament to the company’s commitment. You can purchase a brand new ROK GC for a very modest $260 AUD. User reviews speak for themselves.
Watch our video tutorials on the ROK GC here!
All the way from Curitiba, Brazil, comes the gorgeous Aram Coffee Maker. Inspired by the stunning highlands of Minas Gerais, founders Maycon Aram and Juca Esmanhoto used their network of friends, local suppliers, and craftsmen to bring this beauty to life.
Unlike the classic lever machines, the Aram uses a unique, patented technology that turns a threaded piston up and down, creating pressure in the brew chamber. The faster you turn the screw down, the more pressure it creates, with a total range of 0 – 15 bars. It’s built incredibly sturdy and gives the option to brew on a stand (recommended if at home), or on the go with a click in espresso cup.
The Aram retails for approximately $750 AUD, making it one of the more expensive manual espresso makers. But the attention to detail and quality of the build is certainly evident. Users say it’s an incredible device and a product that was very passionately crafted. Want to see it for yourself?
Watch our video tutorials on the Aram Coffee Maker here!
Now who doesn’t love a good cold brew? Maybe you’ve had one at your local cafe? Or maybe you’ve had a friend tell you about it? The magical liquid that cools you down and perks you up at the same time. Perhaps you’ve wondered how they make the stuff? There’s a funny preconception that cold brew is really complicated, and requires fancy equipment, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Cold brew is so easy! There are a tonne of ways to make it, but our favourite method is to use a cold brew bottle.
If you’ve never made cold brew coffee before, this may shock you a bit; it is literally just refrigerated ground coffee, and water. That’s all there is to it! Sometimes it can be a little difficult separating the coffee particles from the water, after it’s brewed. But that’s where the cold brew bottle comes in. It’s the easiest, fastest, and most practical ways to do it.
Inside the cold brew bottle is a little chamber which holds the coffee, the chamber (usually made from silicone or metal) has tiny, little pores which allow the coffee to steep over time and brew. It’s an incredibly effective way of filtering out the coffee particles without any fuss or mess, and produces super tasty results. It’s definitely recommended to use a coffee that you enjoy, and a recipe that will suit that coffee.
There are plenty of companies that make cold brew bottles, but our favourite is Hario. Hario have been servicing the specialty coffee industry with high quality equipment for years, and their range of cold brew bottles are no exception. You can pick one up for as little as $30 AUD.
Watch our video tutorials on Cold Brew here!
So there you have it, our top 5 ways to brew coffee during lockdown. Hopefully we’ve managed to inspire you a bit! Picked a favourite yet? Maybe you want to try them all? Which ever you deicde, be sure to tell us and tag us in your brewing adventures on Instagram with @brewmethods, and use the hashtag #brewmethods for a chance to be featured on our feed! If you liked this post, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll keep you up to date with our latest posts!
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