How did the hipster burn his tongue? He sipped his coffee before it was cool.
I’m not a coffee aficionado. For the longest time, I just let Michael, my favorite barista, do the work. But trends pull me in. Who doesn’t love the hip Portland coffee culture of thick-framed glasses and skinny jeans? Can’t pull off that look? Me either. I am proof that anyone can learn to make a good cup of coffee at home.
There are more ways to make coffee than I would have ever thought. To keep things short and sweet (maybe a little bitter) here are four brewing methods I’ve learned in my time as a hipster apprentice: cold brew, pour over, French press and the ol’ single serve (like a Keurig).
This is super easy and creates a sweeter, smoother cup of coffee than other brewing methods. Microwave if you prefer your coffee hot. Otherwise, iced coffee can be the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
To make: After dinner, mix coarse-ground coffee (finer grinds make for gritty coffee) with room temperature water at a 1-to-4 ratio of beans to water. Steep for at least 12 hours. Steeping is the key to sweeter flavor, so it can’t really be rushed. In the morning, pour it through a filter (you can also use a French press). If too strong, dilute with water or milk. Flavor to taste, and it’s good to go. Cold brew can be stored it in the fridge for as long as a week.
This easy method requires a French press, coffee grounds and hot water.
To make: Use about two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per four to five ounces of water. Adjust strength to taste. Place the grounds in the press. Let boiling water cool for 30 to 40 seconds. Slowly add a third of water to carafe and let grounds “bloom” for 20-30 seconds. Give a quick stir and add remaining hot water. Cover carafe with the press lid, leaving the plunger in the up position. Let coffee steep for about four minutes, then slowly push the plunger down, pressing the grounds to the bottom of the carafe and pour coffee. Done.
This is a bit more time consuming but looks super cool so, obviously, worth it. This method creates a delicious, slightly more bitter cup of joe than the first two methods.
To make: Again, the amount of coffee can be varied according to personal taste. I usually grind about two tablespoons of coffee beans. Set a pour-over dripper on mug and line it with a filter. Place the coffee grounds in the filter while water heats. When the water reaches a boil, remove from heat and cool about a minute for ideal temperature. (Some kettles are fitted with thermometers and indicate when to pour the water over the grounds.) Add a bit of water to wet the grounds. After 30 seconds or so, slowly add remaining water in a circular motion, moving from the center of the grounds to the outside. Repeat until mug is filled.
Single Serve Pod Coffee
…referring to the machines (like Keurig) where you put in a pod of pre-measured coffee grounds, add a mug of water to the lid that pops up (and says, “Add water here”) and press a button. It takes maybe a minute or two. It’s quick and foolproof, but the coffee usually isn’t that great. And… definitely not hipster.