Home brewing is a cheaper alternative to buying coffee at a coffee shop, but it never seems to turn out quite as good. While the traditional drip coffee maker is generally easy to use and requires less craft, it also limits the control you have over each cup.  

Finding an alternative home brewing method can be a daunting task, so I met with Raechel Hurd, barista at Epoch Coffee and expert on the matter, to help break it down. If you're looking to up your coffee game but aren't sure where to start, this is for you.

Hanna Jones

Essential Items

Regardless of the method, Raechel recommends investing in a couple essential items. Most of these items can be purchased fairly cheaply, and they make all the difference.

1. Scale (grams) - allows you to experiment with different grinds-to-water ratios.

2. Timer (or your phone) - for managing the bloom and preventing over-extraction.

3. Goose Neck Kettle - for a controlled, less harsh pour.

4. Grinder - keep your beans at the correct coarseness for your device.

Aeropress

Hanna Jones

The Aeropress is a full-emersion brewing method. This means that the beans are soaked in water for around a minute and a half, then plunged through the filter for more concentrated coffee with fuller body.

Aeropress is good for people who prefer a quick method that they can walk away from while their coffee brews. Raechel swears by the Aeropress for its convenience. It is small, portable, and super affordable at around $30.

French Press

Ryan Terhune

The French press is a simple device that creates bold, rich, oily coffee. The coffee beans saturate the water similar to an Aeropress, and then are pressed down to the bottom of the device, leaving you with a more textured coffee drink that's ready to drink.

Hario V60

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Epoch's pour over of choice is the Hario V60. This is a simple, cone-shaped device that makes one serving of delicious coffee. A pour over device is more labor-intensive than other coffee brewers due to the fact that you can't walk away from it while it brews. The resulting coffee is lighter and more drinkable than drip coffee, without any of the harsher oils that you may find in an Aeropress.

Chemex

Hanna Jones

Another pour over method is using the Chemex. Chemex filters are thicker, which results in more drinkable coffee with an even lighter body than the V60. It is a bit more pricey than most methods, but it makes more than one cup and its sexy design is great for that kitchen #aesthetic.

Moka Pot

Coffee made in a Moka Pot, or any other Italian Stovetop espresso maker, lacks crema that you would find in regular espresso, but it will be strong and highly caffeinated. The design and usability of a Moka Pot is a bit more complex than other brewers, but it is nonetheless an attractive addition to any kitchen.

Hanna Jones

These different methods bring out the more complex, delicate flavors that drip coffee at home cannot replicate. Regardless of which home brewer you use, the key to finding that "perfect cup" for you is experimenting with roasts, grinds, and methods. If you get stuck, there are a number of great YouTube tutorials for all of these methods, and Raechel or anyone at Epoch would be happy to answer any questions you have. Happy brewing!