December 29, 2017

The Brewing Methods You’ll Find in Today’s Coffee Shops

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  • Just when you thought you already know so much about coffee after reading about the three waves of coffee, surprise! Here we are again with another list of coffee jargon. There is just so much to learn about coffee!

    If you’re a true coffee lover who frequents coffee shops like us, then this blog will be helpful for you. The next time you walk into a coffee shop and look at the menu, you won’t ever have to give your barista that clueless look and then choose a random brewing method hoping that it would suit your coffee palate. You can even save your barista the time explaining each brewing method for you!

    There are about 20 ways to brew coffee, the most familiar of which is through an espresso machine that we see in most coffee shops in the metro. Apart from that, here’s a list of other brewing methods that you’ll see on the menu of specialty coffee shops here in Metro Manila:

    Cold Brew

    Let’s start with the one that has recently been getting a lot of hype: the cold brew. Not to be confused with iced coffee, which is basically a hot brewed coffee with ice, cold brew is prepared by slowly steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for up to 24 hours.

    Cold brewing coffee is said to bring out greater natural flavors and results in a smoother and less acidic taste. If you need a stronger caffeine fix without the acidity, then a cup of cold brew would be a better choice than plain iced coffee on a hot day.


    IMAGE Hario Brewers Club Philippines Facebook page

    V60, or Hario V60 as it’s better known, got its name from the Japanese company that designed the V60 dripper. The V60 features a 60-degree-angle cone with a big hole at the bottom that lets water and air flow smoothly. If brewed with the right timing, a V60 can produce a rich and full-bodied coffee with less bitterness.


    The siphon method uses a combination of immersion-brewing and vacuum action that, if you are skilled enough, produces clean, pure-tasting, and aromatic coffee.

    It uses constant heat to boil water in the lower container and force the vapor upward through the siphon tube and to the upper chamber where the coffee grounds sit. The water that reaches the upper vessel then brews the grounds gently until, once the heater is removed, the crafted coffee drains back down the lower container.

    The vacuum pot itself is a product of novelty that looks as if it was taken out of a chemist’s lab. It makes for a very entertaining coffee-making spectacle.


    Chemex is another elegant and timeless coffee brewing medium but quite simpler than the siphon. It is often compared with the V60 because of their similarities in design and coffee produced.

    Chemex, while using the same cone-sized filter, uses a special Chemex paper filter that’s 20-30% thicker than usual. It also has a smaller exit hole than a V60. It produces a consistently smooth and certified sediment-free brew that tastes lighter compared to a V60 due to the use of a thicker filter.


    The Aeropress is a quick and less complicated way to brew coffee. Using a light and handy cylindrical device, Aeropress can produce a cup or two of good coffee in less than a minute.

    The plunger at the top, when pressed, causes air to push water through the coffee grounds. The brew then drains through the filter and down to the cup below. Because of the short filtering time, Aeropress produces a smooth and clean brew with lower acidity and a bitter taste.

    French Press

    The French Press is perhaps one of the more familiar brewing methods. It’s been used in many coffee shops even before cold brew or Aeropress came to light.

    A French Press uses a metallic or nylon mesh filter, which allows more of the natural oils of coffee to pass through, creating coffee that is flavorful, robust, and aromatic but also quite grainy.

    Nitro coffee

    IMAGE Gourmand & Gourmet

    You may or may not have heard of nitro coffee, but, like the cold brew, it has also been recently gaining traction in Manila’s coffee scene.

    As the name suggests, this brewing method uses nitrogen to basically make your cold brew more exciting. Your cup of joe becomes crisply cold, bubbly, and creamier than usual. It also has a greater caffeine kick because of how nitrogen works. It allows caffeine to be absorbed more easily into your system.

    Have you tried any other amazing brewing methods recently? Share with us your experience in the comments!

    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño
    Images from: Hario Brewers Club Philippines Facebook page, 1912 PikeJosh Burke on Perfect Daily GrindGourmand & Gourmet

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