Most serious coffee drinkers are usually wedded to a specific brewing method. Some swear by Nespresso machines while others revel in the steps involved in properly packing a French press. Other common ways to brew coffee include pour-overs, the AeroPress and instant coffee powders.
Several brewing methods, however, don’t get the attention they deserve. From the aptly dubbed contraption the Pure Over to frozen pods that instantly turn into a steaming cup of coffee, we tried our hand at some nontraditional brewing styles.
Here are our thoughts:
Steeped coffee bags are becoming a more common, easy way to prepare a quick cup of joe without making a mess in the kitchen. They work exactly as tea bags do: boil water, pour it in a mug, let the coffee bag steep for two to three minutes ― depending on how strong you prefer your coffee ― and perhaps add some milk to the concoction.
A number of companies are now offering the product, but we recommend Steeped Coffee — tastes like a typical cup of coffee and the products come in modern, “nitro-sealed” packaging.
Fair warning: Though it sounds like a great way to quickly prepare your morning coffee, the steeped bags may fall short in flavor and potency. It might be their similarity to tea bags or the way the beans are packed, but steeped coffees never feel as strong as ones made via, say, Nespresso or a French press.
We wouldn’t be surprised, however, if those who swear by instant coffee decide to indulge in a steeped version of coffee instead.
Cometeer frozen pods
Cometeer is at the top of our list. They offer frozen pods of coffee that quickly melt to create a variety of coffee beverages.
The company prompts you to select how you take your coffee and then suggests a flavor of Cometeer pods they think you’ll like.
The process is straight-forward: Combine the frozen puck with approximately 8 ounces of hot water and enjoy.
You can even make iced coffee using the pucks. Melt the coffee capsule, and pour into cold water and ice.
Fun fact: Cometeer is actually brewed about 10 times stronger than regular coffee because the company uses a tenth of the water that more traditional processes involve. Their coffee is sealed in an oxygen-free, nitrogen-flushed, fully recyclable aluminum capsule as soon as it is brewed so the product does not lose any flavor.
If it’s really good, high-quality coffee that you’re looking to make at home without the use of high-end gadgets, this is your best option.
Let’s be honest. Moka pots don’t really fall in the “nontraditional” category when it comes to making coffee — but they certainly don’t get as much attention as they deserve, especially if you prefer espresso.
With a proper batch of coffee using the moka pot, because it is a pretty strong brew, you’re likely only going to need a single cup. Fill the moka pot with beans, preferably a coarse grind, add water to the bottom chamber and put it on the stove. The steam creates pressure that will push the brewed coffee grounds to the top chamber of the pot.
Full disclosure: We do not suggest you ever resort to this type of brewing process unless you’re in the wilderness with very few ingredients and products at your disposal. Cowboy coffee is generally made over an open flame, out on the trail or at a campsite.
To brew it, heat coarse grounds with water and then pour into a cup after the grounds have settled. Is it likely to taste good? No. Should you try it at home before a big meeting? Absolutely not. But does it give you the kick that coffee is known for? Yes. Cowboy coffee is better than no coffee.
The Pure Over straddles the line between a pour-over and a French press. No paper filters are needed, and the flavor that results from the brewing process is more akin to what a French press may produce.
The preparation is a bit more intricate than the other options on this list, but reviews on their website describe the Pure Over as a “wild experience that’s fun, eco-friendly, and produces some great cups of coffee.”
With this all-glass pour-over set, you’ll brew the coffee right into a mug that the dripper fits perfectly over. The coffee grounds are added directly in the glass dripper, then hot water is poured through the diffuser lid. It’s only a matter of minutes until the coffee is finished dripping through the dripper and into the mug set beneath it.
The result is certainly an above-average cup of coffee.
Bonus points: The Pure Over is one of the nicest coffee-related products we’ve seen in quite some time — makes sense, given that it was created by a contemporary glass artist, named Etai Rahmil.
Alongside Cometeer, Jot is one of the most promising, relatively new coffee companies out there ― selling concentrated coffee with zero additional ingredients that come in small but potent bottles. (It’s brewed “20x stronger than regular coffee.”)
All you need is a tablespoon of Jot (spoon is included with your subscription) and hot (or cold) water. Prefer a latte? Swap the water with your choice of milk.
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