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Manly Skills

The Gentleman’s Guide to Brewing Coffee

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! So, today’s article is going to be more or less a follow-up to this one that I put up a few weeks ago. In it, I talked about five (5) coffee companies that deserve more support, so in today’s article, as the title may suggest, I’m going to talk about different ways to get that coffee ready to drink after purchasing it. More specifically, I’ll be going over five (5) different coffee-brewing methods, how each method is performed, and the pros and cons of each method so that you young gents reading can get an idea of how you would like to make that ideal cup of coffee. So without any further delay, let’s get started!

1. Pour-over

This method is quickly rising in popularity all over the world, and if I ever need to fill my Hydro Flask before heading out to work, this is the method I’ll go with. This method works very similarly to most drip coffee makers, in that the water is poured over the coffee grounds (hence the name of the method) that are placed in a coffee filter, the water flows through the grounds, and then the fully brewed coffee drips into the container. This is a fairly simple method that can be used to prepare coffee for a wide variety of crowds. You can do pour-over if you just want to make a single cup of coffee for yourself, or you can use this method to fill an entire carafe if the coffee is being prepared for a large crowd. This is how my brother-in-law makes it if he’s preparing coffee for any family gatherings. It’s easy to clean up, too, since the filter used to brew the coffee can just be thrown away as soon as you’re done, and the equipment that the filter is placed into usually just has to be rinsed off. The only downside is that this method requires a very specific set of equipment in order to do. Thankfully, there are a lot of companies that offer either specific pour-over devices so that you can use to make the coffee for a single cup or a carafe, or Chemex-style coffee pots that allow you to make a full pot of pour-over coffee. If you’re looking for a simple method that can produce some great coffee for a wide variety of crowds, this may be the method for you!

2. Cowboy coffee

This second method is so named because this was the method of choice among cowboys on the frontier. This is another fairly simple method that, at least according to Cowboy Kent Rollins, comes with its own health benefits (I’ll link the video where he says that at the end of the article). On top of this, it doesn’t even require a a coffee pot like what’s pictured above. It can be done with a teapot, or even with just a saucepan. All that’s really required is water, coffee, and something to carry and boil said water and coffee in. In order to make this kind of coffee, all you need to do is heat up the water, add the coffee grounds to the water as it’s heating, let it boil for as long as you need to, depending on how stout you want the coffee to be, take the pot off the heat, and then add a small helping of cold water to the pot to force the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot. Now this type of coffee, while loved by many, comes with its fair share of risks. If done incorrectly, you can end up with a very weak cup of coffee with a lot of grounds in it, and since making coffee with this method requires boiling it, it can end up with your coffee tasting burnt or scorched if you let it boil too long. So while it can be a simple method that can be performed with any sort of liquid vessel you can find, it is also a very delicate method that requires a lot of careful attention.

3. French press

This is my brewing method of choice. In fact, I even put up a reel about it on my Instagram if you want to check that out. This method is sort of a mix of the first two methods, but with one very crucial step added. It involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds, like when making pour-over, and it also involves the coffee percolating in the pot for a few minutes, like with cowboy coffee. In order to do this, you need to put the ground coffee into the press, add the hot water, and then place the lid on the press and let the coffee brew for usually 3-4 minutes. After letting the coffee brew, you need to push down a special plunger attached to the lid of the press. Pushing down this plunger forces all the coffee grounds to the bottom of the press, keeping them from making their way into your cup (though some smaller grains may be able to make it through). Since the coffee grounds are able to be exposed to and percolate in the water for a while, this method can usually result in a more full-bodied cup of coffee, but this also makes a French press a big pain to clean. Cleaning it usually requires some amount of disassembly to clean the parts of the press, not to mention having to find a proper way to dispose of the grounds, since simply pouring them into the sink can result in some plumbing issues. It’s important to keep all of this in mind if you want to make French press coffee.

4. Percolator

This is a simple method that can feel just like making cowboy coffee, but without the risk of getting too many grounds in it and without the requirement of adding cold water to the pot. This is also one that, according to my dad, my uncle swore by. The way this method works is that water is poured into the pot, or reservoir as labeled in the above diagram, and as the water is heated, it gets forced up the central tube. As the heated water flows up the tube and over the top of the pot, the water will then flow through the coffee grounds being held in a basket at the top of the pot. After a few minutes and as more water is being exposed to the grounds, you’ll end up with a strong cup of coffee! Unfortunately, this comes with same risk of burning or scorching the coffee if you let it go too long, so make sure you keep an eye on that pot if you want to make coffee like this.

5. Cold brew

This last one is for those of you who are fans of iced coffee that also gives you more of that caffeine-induced kick in the pants. One of the nice things about this method is that it can be prepared in just about any liquid container. You can use a cowboy coffee pot, a French press, a percolator with the tube and basket removed, or even something like an empty Mason jar. The way it works is that you put coarse ground coffee into the container and then pour the water over it. After this, just stick the sealed container of coffee into the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. After letting it chill for this long, strain the coffee into another container using a coffee filter, or even something like an old rag that can hold the coffee grounds as you pour it into the new container (or push the plunger down if you’re using a French press). Preparing coffee this way gives it an increased caffeine concentration, which makes it quite a bit stronger than regular coffee, but with the obvious drawback that it takes a very long time to make. However, those of you who are willing to put up with the long wait that it takes to make this kind of coffee can enjoy a nice cup of iced coffee with any kind of blend you like.

So there it is! There are just five (5) ways to brew that ideal cup of coffee. Hopefully this gave you enough of an idea of how each method works, but in case it didn’t, I’ll link to some instructional videos for each method below. If you end up trying any of these methods, be sure to let us know via email or by DM on Facebook or Instagram! Also, please be sure to share the post and follow the blog. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

Instructional Videos

Pour over (video from Black Rifle Coffee Company):

Cowboy coffee (video from Cowboy Kent Rollins):

French press (video from Black Rifle Coffee Company):

Percolator (video from Big Family Homestead)

Cold brew (video from Black Rifle Coffee Company):

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