Coffee is a language in itself. ― Jackie Chan
Coffee comes in many different forms, and expectations... When you imagine drip coffee, you think about last minute cramming or tired mornings. When you hear the word macchiato, you think about Starbucks. But what about other types of coffee? Is it time to change your assumptions or your coffee routine? Well, there are many ways to make coffee, and here are a couple of my favorite different and delicious ways to do it!
If you want to put the milk aside
Milk makes most coffee taste great, but sometimes coffee is best enjoyed in its 'natural' form. There are so many ways to make it, and over time I have become a big fan of black coffee! Here are a few ways to make it at home or from the café.
Moka Pot Espresso
When it comes to making coffee, you don't usually think about the words "stovetop" or "percolator" (especially if you live in America). Little did you know, it could be your new favorite way to make coffee!
Biatelli first introduced me to this method as is the iconic brand for stovetop (or Moka Pot) espresso, and they are probably the best at it! They are super easy to use, but you will need a little bit of time in the morning to make it. Essentially, you put water in the lower part of the percolator, and your ground coffee in a cup filter in the center of the container. All you have to do is turn on the stove and let it sit until it starts steaming out of the top! You will see the coffee flow out of the percolator, and once it stops, simply poor it fresh from the stove. It will be relatively hot, and make sure to not let it sit too long or have the stove set too high; you will burn the coffee. It has an amazing taste and you can add anything to it when you are done! Here's a great video to see it in action:
Note: This is espresso, NOT drip coffee. When I was young, I made the mistake of thinking this made drip coffee and experienced an undesirable caffeine high... Dilute it with water to make an americano, or drink as an espresso (in normal amounts)!
Another great way to make coffee at home is to make cold brew coffee. You will need around 24 hours to make it, but the quantity you make is plentiful; it can last you all week! You do not need a machine, and it is probably the cheapest way to make coffee. It is called cold brew because there is no heat used to make it, not because it is served cold (although it often is). Hot cold brew is actually great, especially for Irish Coffee! Instead of explaining it, I will show you my favorite video on how to make it:
The americano has been an all-time favorite in the mornings when I don't want dairy. It is relatively quick to make and only requires espresso and hot water! You can add whatever you like to the drink, but sometimes it is best to just serve as nature intended. Also, don't forget it can be served cold over ice, which makes a refreshing drink during the summer!
This is likely the most well-known and trendy drip coffee method in recent years. I personally use the Fellow Stagg EKG Kettle and Chemex Coffeemaker (like many others) and I have become fond of pour over's quality. You can use any bean and it takes only 10-15 minutes to make. The process itself can actually be pretty relaxing in the morning, and is a great way to start the day. Here is a great video to get an idea of how to use it:
For the Milk Fans
I must confess, cappuccinos, have been a life-long favorite. They can be harder to make than a latte, in terms of frothing to milk correctly, but they have variety and great taste. You can have them hot, cold, wet, or dry, and the amount of milk is always up to you! Here is a good article going over the cappuccino.
The term macchiato has been drastically morphed by Starbuck's latte macchiato, but it is becoming more and more popular in America. Instead of large portions of milk and espresso on top, a macchiato is espresso with a small portion of milk and/or froth on top. It is nice for people who love the taste of espresso, but want to lower the acidity. You can use both cold and hot milk (they do both in Italy). The word in Italian actually means 'stained', which makes sense if you think about it since you are 'staining' the espresso with milk.
An antoccino is also a good drink for macchiato fans. It is essentially the same as a macchiato, but is a 1:1 ratio, while macchiatos usually have more espresso than milk/frothed milk.
For those who want a tad more milk, the cortado is the one for you. Often called a less foamy cappuccino, it is espresso with a larger amount of steamed milk. Here's a quick video to get a visual of these espresso drinks:
What About Milk?
Milk alternatives can get pretty controversial in regards to their actual health benefits and taste. I've found whole milk to be the best for frothing and flavor, followed up by oat milk (almond milk sounds awful when frothing). In reality, it is really up to your taste preferences, diet, and how your body reacts to different milks. Experiment which works best for you, that's really the only way to know!
If you have an questions or doubts about milk, well I would refer to this video (that would require a whole other blog post):
Hopefully you found something that interests you! You can now go out and try them for yourself (with some confidence). For additional info, here's a Wikipedia Article on all types of coffee if you would like to see the proper proportions, or see all the other kinds I didn't get to. Feel free to comment your thoughts or maybe your favorite drink I didn't have time to cover? Cheers!