Happy National Coffee Day, America! Did you know that the U.S. leads global coffee consumption with 146 billions cups guzzled per year? We clearly love our caffeine highs, but most people probably aren’t brewing the right kind of coffee at home. With so many different preparation methods and machines on the market, it can be difficult to break down the differences. Here are the most popular at-home brewing methods and who should use them.
- How it works: Ground coffee is placed in a paper filter, and a reservoir with of water pours over the grounds to brew a full pot of hot coffee.
- Who it’s for: Purists, traditionalists, people who want a large pot of coffee kept warm for a while.
- Pros: Simplicity, commonality
- Cons: Coffee can burn easily, requires cleaning after every use, has a tendency to mold.
- We recommend: The handmade Technivorm Moccamaster brews a complex and smooth pot of coffee that ranked highest in our taste test. This machine also fills a full pot quickly. See our other recommendations for drip coffee makers.
- How it works: A percolator constantly cycles boiling water through coffee grounds at the top of the pot in a perforated basket, and repeats until the desired strength is reached.
- Who it’s for: People who prefer strong or dark coffee.
- Pros: Stronger, more flavorful result.
- Cons: Requires thorough cleaning after every use, difficult to clean, difficult to master (lots of trial and error required).
- We recommend: This Presto Percolator is Amazon’s top-rated pick. It has almost 1k reviews and an average customer rating of 4 stars.
3. Cold Brew
- How it works: Ground coffee is steeped in cold or room-temperature water for at least 8 hours to create a lower-acid, smooth cold coffee.
- Who it’s for: Iced coffee lovers.
- Pros: Smooth, concentrated coffee, makes a sizable batch for a week of iced coffee, easy cleanup.
- Cons: Takes patience—the wait time is at least 8 hours and up to 24.
- We recommend: The dishwasher-safe Takeya not only yielded one of the best tasting brews, it also aced our usability tests. See our other recommendations for cold brew coffee makers.
4. Pod Brewer
- How it works: Fill a…