Want to make the best coffee at home? Here’s how to make coffee 4 ways: perfect pourover, Aeropress, cold brew, and iced.
Over here at A Couple Cooks, Alex and I unashamedly coffee obsessed. Coffee has been a constant bright spot of connection in our relationship. And it’s not about caffeine (really!). It’s that cozy feeling you get when you’re holding a warm, fragrant cup and embrace the promise of a new day. Since research seems to indicate that drinking coffee is A-OK (as long as you’re not overdosing on it), we are 100% passionate about sharing the love of a great cup of joe. Here’s how to make coffee at home: 4 different ways!
Our journey toward great coffee
I first got into coffee while studying in Spain. In my university building in Madrid, there was a little cafe that served café con leche. The flavor was incredibly strong, perfect mixed with the creamy milk and sugar: and it was the best I’d ever tasted. Café con leche was my gateway to trying espresso: that astringent dark bitter liquid in a tiny cup. On our honeymoon to Rome and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Alex and I drank espresso with breakfast in bed, and at a little Roman cafes with a pastry.
Alex and I brought back our new European coffee habit to the US, mainly drinking dark roast coffee like the Italian espresso that we loved. After a few years, our coffee tastes changed when we met our neighbors, Sarah and Andy of Blue Mind Roasting. They taught us about the nuanced flavor of craft medium roast and light roast coffee. At first, light roast tasted oddly floral and almost like tea! But after starting to drink their light roast and medium roast coffees, we began to appreciate the unique flavors of single origin beans. We’ve been making this coffee in our Chemex every morning ever since. Keep reading for how we learned to make the best cup of coffee.
And now…how to make coffee!
After years of cultivating a passionate love for brewing, we’ve perfected all our favorite methods. Here are our top 4 ways of how to make coffee: pourover, cold brew, Aeropress, and iced coffee. Ready to get started?
Related: All Our Coffee Resources
The coffee that we make every single day is pourover coffee, made in a Chemex. The Chemex has a beautiful, curvy beaker shape and makes for what we think is the perfect cup. Making the perfect pot of pourover takes about 10 minutes and results in 2 to 3 cups of coffee. (We typically make 2 pots per day...sometimes three!) We've found the best coffee for the pourover method is medium roast or light roast.
If you want to nerd out on making pourover coffee, you can get all the gear like we have. An electric gooseneck kettle is helpful for heating the water to a specific temperature and pouring it in a circular motion into the grounds. There's of course the Chemex and its special filters. You'll also need a kitchen scale to weigh out your coffee. Scroll down to the recipe below to watch a video of how to make pourover coffee. Once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature!
So, we’ve covered hot: but how about cold coffee? We’re big fans of cold brew coffee over here, and the great thing about cold brew is that it barely requires any special equipment at all! All you need is time: 24 hours in fact. We’ve found the best type of coffee to use for cold brew is dark roast coffee.
To make cold brew coffee, you grind a boatload of coffee and place it in a pitcher with cold water overnight. Letting the coffee stand in the refrigerator “brews” it by letting it seep into the water. We love keeping a pitcher of cold brew around for afternoon coffee with no brewing required! It’s also our base for making iced coffee.
What’s this space age-y looking plastic cylinder? It’s the Aeropress! It may look a little funky, but the Aeropress makes one very good cup of coffee. Our preferred method is the Chemex (above), but the Aeropress has its place. It makes a single cup at a time, and it’s quick! It’s also great for travel: we recently took it on a trip to Arizona and it worked fabulously.
The Aeropress has its own filters as well, and the method is not as exacting as the Chemex. Overall, it’s cheaper and quicker! You can use any roast of coffee with the Aeropress.
And finally: iced coffee! It could not be simpler to make, and ends up being cheaper than visiting your local coffee franchise. To make amazing iced coffee, all you have to do is combine our Cold Brew coffee (above) with a little milk and maple syrup. Head over to our recipe to get the exact quantities: add a little ice, and you’ll be drinking it all summer long!
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.