We’ve all heard that this particular brew method or that certain brew method makes the best cup of coffee but the coffee flavor is subjective to who’s consuming it. From diner coffee which I enjoy if the atmosphere is right to the pour-over cup, I purchase from my local specialty coffee shop. Coffees from both locations can be good and offer there own experience but they will definitely have a different mouthfeel and flavor highlights. This is not only because of the coffee used by the restaurant or cafe but the type of brew method they’re using to extract their coffee. Brew methods also lend a hand in highlighting certain characteristics about a coffee’s profile and we are here to discuss the mouthfeel or flavor profiles offered by some of the more popular brew methods.
Full immersion (french press)
It is only fair that we start with the French Press. The French press is a great minimal, zero waste coffee brewer and probably the first manual coffee brewer you’ve seen. The French press is a classic, and is categorized as a full immersion brewer- This means that the coffee will be immersed in the water during it’s overall brewing time. The grind particle size of the French press is coarser and the filter on a french press is made of a metal mesh. The coarser grind and metal filter will allow more oils to pass through in the final cup. This will result in a full-bodied, rich and velvety mouthfeel.
When using a coffee brew method like a french press it helps to select a coffee that is heavy in chocolate, nutty and offers a hint of brown sugar.
Pour over brewer (Chemex, V60)
The HairoV60 and Chemex have been around for some time but have gained some major popularity over the years. The Hario V60 is a common brew method used at specialty coffee shops that have a pour-over option on their menu. The pour-over method requires some discipline when brewing but when done right they really bring out some unique flavors and complexity. The Chemex and V60 are best known for their flavor clarity, brightness over a thick mouthfeel. The clarity is due to the paper filter which will restrict oils from being present in your final brew. The brightness will come from the grind particle size which is finer exposing more coffee surface area to your brew water.
Flow restricted (pour-over brewer)
The Kalita wave and Melita coffee brewer is another type of pour-over method that offers some added body with their flow restriction. Rather than having water drip through a singular hole like the V60 or Chemex, these brewers have three or two tiny holes at the bottom, offering some restriction. This restriction limits water from channeling and controls the flow into your decanter or mug. The overall brew profile from a flow restricted brewer will be clean, crisp due to the paper filter but with some added body. Since these brewers provide flow restriction the grind particle size is a little coarser than a Hario V60 or Chemex, with this restriction we will have a juicer mouthfeel than the counterpart pour-over brewers.
You can make a great cup of coffee with any of the brewers mentioned above and now knowing some of their characteristics this should help you narrow down which one is right for your coffee experience. Some other key factors that will help you when brewing is; using a proper coffee to water ratio, right grind particle size for the brewer selected and maintaining the proper water temperature. We have all this information listed on our brew guides section with recommended coffees. Enjoy!