Have you ever wished your morning coffee at home was as good as the coffee shop, but you looked at the prices for an espresso machine and ran to the nearest CostaBucks?
Well, grab your coffee beans, as today we will go through the most cost-effective methods for making an excellent, and most importantly delicious, coffee at home. Also, as this is just to give you an idea of the options available for brewing coffee at home, we won’t be going through detailed methods of making coffees with them.
Disclaimer: While these will all make a great cup of coffee, they won’t, however, make a ‘grande caramel macchiato with extra vanilla’, though you can add any flavourings you like to them.
Before we start, let’s cover some things that you will need for all of these options:
Coffee Beans — For the beans themselves, there are too many variations to go into here. For now, get a bag of something you’ve liked in the past, or something you like the look of, and start exploring the world of coffee. Just check if they are ground or whole beans because…
Grind — You will need ‘ground’ coffee beans for all of the following brew styles. Now, you can buy pre-ground coffee, or whole beans and grind them yourself. Also, many specialty coffee shops and cafes will be able to grind a fresh bag of coffee for you, giving you much fresher beans than the ones you’d find in the supermarket.
That said, I definitely recommend picking up a home grinder if you can, even start with a lower-cost hand grinder, and upgrade when you can. The ability to grind the beans ‘fresh’ makes the flavours pop so much better, and you will notice the difference immediately.
That’s all you need to get started with any of the following options. There are other accessories that can help boost your brewing game, such as water filters and goose-neck kettles, but we are all about just started here, and those can come later.
So, now let’s jump into the brew methods!
1. Hario V60
The Hario V60 is the cheapest and probably the easiest to use of all the brewing methods and also makes a fantastic cup of coffee.
These funnels are available in a range of materials from ceramic and glass, but the plastic funnel is perfectly fine for making great-tasting coffee and is relatively low cost.
To make a coffee, you place the filter paper into the funnel, wash it with some water, then add your ground coffee, and finally, hot water. The V60 can be placed directly on top of a brew pot, or straight over your cup (but watch the measurements so it doesn’t overflow).
Also, for a more eco-friendly option, you can get reusable filter options to reduce the waste of paper filters.
Hario V60 – £9.00 (for Size 2)
Pack of 100 Filters – £4.50 (Eco-friendly reusable filters are available).
Effort – Medium
Coffee Taste – Clean and crisp with the flavours of the coffee standing out.
2. French Press
The French Press is a classic, and probably the most recognizable of the brewing styles on this list. Chances are you will have seen a French Press or Cafetiere as it’s also called, before.
Developed to filter larger grinds and sediment out of the water, this style creates a ‘thicker’ coffee than the ‘pour-over’ methods that use paper filters such as the V60 and Chemex options.
Using an immersion method of brewing coffee the French Press takes a little longer to make, but also requires less work as the coffee and water are placed into the main compartment and left to brew for a few minutes. This method creates a richer and bolder drink that takes on more of the coffee oils and roasting flavours of the coffee being used. It also has the advantage of not needing additional filters as it has a metal filter built into the plunger.
Approximate Costs – 4-Cup French Press £15.00
Effort – Low
Taste – A heavy, bold, and rich from a more intense extraction of all the bean’s flavours.
3. Clever Dripper
The Clever Dripper can be seen as a hybrid of the pour-over Hario V60 style and the immersion French Press style.
It consists of a V-Shape top for paper filters but has a stopper system in its base which allows it to hold the coffee inside it for longer immersion brewing. By combining these styles, you get the clean filtering effect of a V60, along with the heavier and richer latest that immersion brewing creates.
Despite being a very practical and easy brewing method that makes great-tasting coffee, it is possibly the least well-known of the brewing methods on this list.
Clever Dripper Brewer – £20.00
A Pack of 100 filters – £3.55
Effort – Low-Medium
Taste – A clean taste with a strong and rich flavour.
The Aeropress is a little different from all the other options on this list. This curious device uses a
piston and human power to force water through the coffee grinds to create a smaller, more intense espresso-like coffee. Once done, you can add some hot water to create a coffee that is more customized to your preference.
This method is a great way of getting a small, strong coffee, and also could be used to recreate a latte or cappuccino if you have a milk frother.
Approximate Costs – An Aeropress comes with everything, including filters, for £25.00. Additional filters – £8.00 for 350
Effort – Medium-High due to the extra human effort.
Taste – The initial brew is a stronger, more intense flavour, which you can dilute to your preference.
A Chemex may sound like a chemistry experiment, and as it was developed by Chemist, Peter Schlumbohm, you could be excused for thinking it is.
The Chemex is a large glass beaker into which a paper filter is placed, similar to that of a V60, with the coffee being filtered down into the main body. However, one of the biggest differences is the filter paper used in this method. As the papers are thicker, the resulting coffee is extremely clean and pure, making a crisp and light brew that emphasizes the original taste profile of your coffee beans.
A 6-Cup Chemex – £40.00
A Pack of 100 Filters – £10.00
Taste Extremely clean and light.
So there you have it, the top 5 most cost-effective methods of making freshly brewed coffee at home. I hope you found this helpful, and that you start exploring the world of brewing coffees at home!