Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's The Best Way to Drink Coffee?

Let's face it most of us love coffee. We love the way it smells. We love the way it tastes. And most importantly we love the way it sparks our day. Hardworking blue collars tend to prefer their coffee in drip form. Lawyers and businessmen favor a latte or a cappuccino. Hipsters will drink nothing but French Press or Americanos. And fashionable executives tend to drink exotic Caramel Macchiatos. With so many options out there it can become overwhelming trying to choose. So let's break down the coffee basics and figure out truly the best way to drink coffee.

Drip Coffee:

Ahh, good ol' fashion drip coffee. The way your grandpa used to like it. Take almost boiling water, soak it in coffee grounds and strain through a filter. Think Mr. Coffee meets Folgers. Bingo! Let's be fair though, techniques have drastically improved since the old days and we're seeing some fine cups of coffee made through the drip process. With specialty brewing devices that are custom set to pulse brew on finely ground coffee; you can tell the difference between a Mr. Coffee drip style and a Cafe quality cup of coffee.


- Easy to make

- Consistent

- Large Batches at once

- Highly Caffeinated


- Extraction process leaves out some of the complexity of premium coffees

- Difficult to customize

- Multiple cups can become wasteful.

Final Verdict:

Drip coffee is great for serving a large number of people. Its uniform taste won't be too shocking or not shocking enough to depress the coffee consumer. It's typically consistent and can be counted on for the regular daily habit. For the person who isn't too particular about the taste and flavor, but more with the caffeine will find this to be the best way to drink coffee. This is an okay to good way to drink coffee

French Press (and other similar methods):

It sounds fancy doesn't it? Don't let that intimidate you. French press is perhaps one of the oldest ways to make coffee. There is nothing overly complex about it, yet it serves its purpose very well. Grind whole bean coffee into a course consistency; add almost boiling water to the coffee grounds and let sit for 4 minutes, then press! Because the coffee isn't strained through a fine paper filter your drink will be saturated slightly with minute coffee grounds that make it through the press. This unlocks all the flavors of the coffee bean and allows you to experience every note and element of the taste of your coffee.


- Easy to make

- Great Flavor

- Small batches for personal use

- Less caffeine


- Time consuming

- Not good for large parties

- Clean up

- Not very customizable

- Coffee is brewed at a lower temperature and doesn't stay as hot

Final Verdict:

Even with the cons being mentioned this is a great way to drink a cup of coffee. The notes and flavors that are released as the water extracts them from the coffee bean are amazing. Having the grounds be strained by less precision leaves more of the body intact and is very pleasant. This is a great way to drink coffee.


Italy's best kept secret has been unleashed upon the world and is now in every corner that you look. Espresso is a highly concentrated extract of coffee with a minimal amount of water used. People spend years perfecting the art of 'pulling' the perfect espresso shot. A barista can change the entire complexity of the coffee. It is highly customizable. It can be added to steamed milk or soy to create a latte. Flavors can be added for a unique taste. Roasters spend a vast amount of time researching and testing different coffee blends to get the best espresso shot available. It's a truly unique and adventurous way to enjoy coffee.


- Unique flavor

- Highly Customizable

- Personal consumption

- Highly caffeinated

- Great taste


- Difficult to make

- Expensive equipment required

- Overpowering to sensitive palates

- Expensive

Final Verdict:

It's hard to beat the complex flavors of a fine espresso shot. Whether you enjoy it Americano style or as a latte or simply by itself; espresso is a great way to drink coffee. Considering it's highly customizable to match everybody's palates there is no reason this shouldn't be at the top of your list for how to drink your coffee. Because it is expensive and it's difficult to reproduce at home, espresso is sometimes limited to a treat as opposed to a daily habit. Overall this is a great way to drink coffee!

To sum up, coffee can be consumed in a multitude of ways. And while there is certainly some methods that are better at extracting the full flavor of the coffee it comes down to personal preference on what you consider the best. This coffee drinker, however, prefers a fine French pressed coffee or a beautifully pulled espresso with just a little bit of hot water.

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