If you are a coffee enthusiast eager to experiment with new preparation methods, Drip methods are for you. These coffee extraction techniques offer a unique way to enjoy an aromatic, well-balanced cup of coffee. From classic Pour Over methods like the V60 and Chemex, to surprising brewing and pressure approaches like the Cuccumella, Aeropress and Siphon, to brewing techniques like the French Press, exploring the world of coffee through Drip methods offers a fascinating sensory experience. In this article, we will take you on an exciting journey into the world of coffee brewing, get ready to savor new aromas and discover a whole new way to appreciate your favorite coffee.
"Drip" methods refer to a specific way of brewing coffee, commonly known as "brewing method" or "infusion method", often used in drip coffee machines or drip filters.
The drip method involves the use of a paper filter or permanent filter placed inside a filter holder. A dose of ground coffee is placed inside the filter, and hot water is poured over the coffee gradually and evenly. The water percolates through the ground coffee and filter, picking up the oils and flavors during the extraction process.
This method of brewing coffee is known to produce a clean, light drink, with a moderate body and good clarity of flavors. It may be suitable for those who prefer a more delicate and less intense coffee than other methods such as espresso.
The coffee extraction drip tools can be of different types:
Pour over: the coffee is extracted using a technique called “Pour Over”, literally translated percolation or dripping. It is one of the oldest brewing systems, introduced at the end of the 19th century and optimized in 1908 by Melita Bentz who introduced paper filters, giving rise to manual filter coffee extraction. Extraction via percolation or dripping involves the water passing through the ground coffee to slide into the cup or carafe. It is the category that best identifies filter coffee, which takes its name from the component of the same name, made of paper, fabric or metal mesh, present in all percolation coffee makers. This method allows us to bring a very aromatic coffee with a medium body to the cup.
The Pour Over extraction methods are: V60, Chemex and Cold Drip.
By infusion and pressure: These methods combine both infusion and the application of pressure to extract the coffee from the ground beans. Initially, hot water is immersed in the ground coffee, allowing for a brewing phase. Next, pressure is applied to speed up the extraction of the ground coffee. This type of extraction method tends to produce a more intense and concentrated drink than traditional brewing methods.
Common examples of infusion and pressure extraction methods include Syphon, Aeropress, and Cuccumella.
By infusion: are techniques used to prepare coffee through the process of infusing water with ground coffee. These methods involve soaking ground coffee in hot water for a set period of time, allowing the coffee's flavors and compounds to dissolve into the water, thus creating the final drink.
Among the infusion extraction methods we find the French Press.
Pour Over extraction tools
The first v60 was born in 1980 by Hario (a company founded in 1921 with the name Shibata work's) without achieving success, a success that instead arrived in 2004 after making changes to the cone and inserting the internal reliefs. Since then it began to obtain its first recognitions, in 2007 it obtained Japan's Good Design Award and in 2010 it was used by the winner of the World Brewers Cup, increasing its popularity among coffee lovers.
The V60, also called Dripper is a manual coffee extraction tool . It is produced by the Japanese company Hario and its name derives precisely from its shape, from the 60° angle of the upper part. This angle allows the hot water to flow towards the center and remain in contact with the ground coffee for longer, for a more precise extraction. It has spiral ridges inside this cone that prevent the paper filter from sticking to the dripper while allowing air to pass which allows the ground coffee to expand better. It has a hole in the final part of the cone which allows the water to remain in contact with the coffee for less time, helping to regulate extraction.
The extraction occurs by percolation, the water is poured slowly and circularly onto the ground coffee and the extracted coffee percolates inside a carafe placed under the cone called server.
The V60 can be made of many materials, mainly glass, ceramic, plastic and metal.
How to use it?
You heat the water with the kettle, insert the paper filter into the cone and pour it with hot water to eliminate the hints of paper and heat the carafe that will contain the coffee. You weigh the coffee according to your recipe, grind it and put it inside the filter. At this point we pour 2 grams of water for every gram of coffee and let it rest for 30 seconds. This phase called “blooming” is very important to eliminate the gases contained in the coffee.
At this point we start the extraction and pour the remaining water over the ground coffee with circular movements towards the center starting from the external circumference of the dripper.We will have extracted a very clean cup of coffee rich in aromatic notes.
This jug has the shape of a glass hourglass and a very particular handle made up of two rings tied by a leather cord that prevent you from getting burned while pouring the coffee.
It was invented in 1941 by the German chemist Peter J.Schlumbohm. In 1958, designers at the Illinois Institute of Technology considered the Chemex to be one of the best design projects of modern times and it was exhibited and included in the permanent collection of the MoMa in New York.
To prepare excellent coffee with the Chemex, as with other drip preparations, in addition to the filter and a kettle we need a scale and a stopwatch. Time is essential to perform a perfect extraction, which must take place from 3 to 5 minutes depending on the cups we are going to prepare. In this case, if they are exceeded or if we extract our coffee in less time we will have an over-extracted or under-extracted cup.
The brew ratio (i.e. the proportion between the quantity of ground coffee and the extraction water) is 60 g /1l of water.
Let's see all the steps:
- Once the filter has been inserted, we wet it with hot water to make it adhere to the carafe, eliminate hints of paper and heat our Chemex
- We grind the coffee at the moment so as not to lose the aromatic properties
- Let's insert the coffee inside our filter
- We level and pour 2 grams of water for every gram of coffee, leaving it pre-infused for 30 seconds (this practice is called blooming, the carbon dioxide escapes and we retain the positive aromas of our coffee)
- We pour in the remaining water with circular movements to touch all the coffee and extract all the flavours.
- Once the extraction is complete, we remove the filter, decant slightly and serve. This type of extraction gives us aromatic cups for an intense sensorial journey.
The cold drip is a cold coffee extraction tool, it has a unique appearance reminiscent of distillation stills and is capable of creating cups of coffee with low acidity and with a unique sweetness due to the temperature of the water which does not extract the bitter parts of the coffee.
It is often called Kyoto style cold drip, after the Japanese city where it is widespread. Unlike a hot extraction, cold extraction requires 8 to 10 hours to obtain the final product.
Let's see its structure. It is made up of three parts:
- The tank for the extraction water
- The extraction chamber which contains the ground coffee
- The jug that will contain the extracted coffee
The brew ratio for this preparation is 80 gr/l, the tap located under the tank must dispense 6 drops every 10 seconds. Once the extraction is finished we can serve it on the rock, with vegetable drinks, an excellent ingredient for your summer drinks.
Attention! Cold drip is often confused with cold brew:
The Cold Drip is a percolation coffee extraction tool. The cold water falls drop by drop onto the ground coffee for about 10 hours, and it is already filtered. Also in this case we will obtain a balanced cup, with slightly less body but equally aromatic.
The Cold Brew is a process of extracting coffee in infusion with water and ice.To obtain it, the mixture must be left to "macerate" for 7/8 hours before it is ready. It is filtered before being served and we will obtain a balanced drink with low acidity.
Infusion and pressure extraction instruments
The Neapolitan coffee maker or Cuccumella is a typically Italian extraction tool, even though it was invented and patented in 1819 by a Frenchman named Morize. His idea was to make an economical coffee maker made from simple materials such as tin, ceramic, copper and other metals. The name “cuccumella” derives from cuccuma, or small copper container.
How to use it?
Fill the tank with approximately 250 ml of water for a three-cup coffee maker, fill the filter holder container with ground coffee with coarser grinding than the moka, screw the upper part of the filter tightly to the filter holder and place the coffee maker on the stove. Once the temperature has been reached, steam will come out of the small hole, the fire is turned off and the coffee pot is turned upside down to begin extraction.
The siphon is a very spectacular coffee extraction tool, complex and fascinating, which immediately attracts anyone's attention. It almost resembles an ancestor of the moka because it extracts our favorite coffee by exploiting the steam pressure created by boiling water.
The siphon called Vacuum coffee pot was invented in Berlin by Mr Leoff. In 1940 James Naper announced the construction of the first Vacuum coffee pot without patenting it because glass did not guarantee heat resistance and might not be safe.
In 1925 the German Otto Schott invented barosincate, a glass resistant to pressure and heat, bringing useful changes to the correct use, patenting this tool which immediately became popular to this day.
The siphon is made up of a ampoule underneath which will contain the water (better if pre-heated), an ampoule above (where we will put the coffee) with a tube that is immersed in the one below, a filter (usually made of metal and covered with fabric), a gasket and a gas or alcohol oven.
How to use it?
- We pour the pre-heated water inside the ampoule below
- We insert the filter at the base of the tube of the ampoule above
- We assemble the entire instrument
- We turn on the stove
- While we wait for the water to boil, we weigh the coffee (brew ratio 60/lt)
- As soon as the water reaches boiling and it will rise into the ampoule above due to the pressure caused by the steam, pour in the coffee and mix in such a way that all the coffee comes into contact with the water.
- We cap the ampoule above and leave to infuse for 1 minute.
- Once the infusion is finished, turn off the stove. In this way the pressure will no longer be maintained and our coffee will fall into the ampoule below passing through the filter.
With this preparation we can obtain well-defined, clean cups of coffee, with intense aroma and good body.
For this preparation we recommend washed specialty coffees which give body and softness in the cup.
The Aeropress is one of the most popular coffee makers in the world due to its ease of use and ability to produce high quality coffee.
The idea of creating the Aeropress was born when Alan Adler, an American inventor and engineer, known for his passion for coffee, but disappointed by the coffees he could prepare with other filter coffee makers, decided to experiment with a new extraction method that could offer a cleaner and more intense flavour. After many tests and experiments, in 2005, he introduced the Aeropress to the world.
Unlike other extraction methods, infusion/pressure extraction with Aeropress has a little more body than Pour Over extractions .
It is made up of three essential elements that work in synergy:
- a cylindrical infusion chamber that houses the ground coffee and hot water, creating the ideal environment for extraction,
- a plunger with a rubber seal that slides inside the chamber, allowing you to control the pressure during the extraction process,
- a cap equipped with a filter that screws onto the opposite side of the plunger, creating an airtight seal and ensuring that the extracted coffee passes through the filter while retaining ground coffee residue.
Preparing the Aeropress is relatively simple:
- Heats the water to a temperature of around 90-95°C (195-205°F), which is the ideal temperature for extraction some coffee.
- Insert the paper filter into the Aeropress filter holder and secure it firmly.
- Place the Aeropress on your serving cup or jug.
- Pour the hot water to eliminate the papery smell and remove it from the jug.
- Add medium ground coffee into the main cylinder funnel. The brew ratio is 60 g per 1 l of water. The amount of coffee may vary based on personal preference, but it is usually recommended to use around 15-18g of coffee per 250-280ml of water.
- Gradually pour the hot water over the ground coffee. You can start with a small amount of water and use circular motions to evenly wet the coffee. This process is called "blooming".
- Gently stir the coffee and water for a few seconds using the plunger.
- After about 30-40 seconds of blooming, continue pouring the rest of the water into the Aeropress funnel.
- Place the piston on the funnel and leave the coffee to brew for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Start applying light downward pressure. The pressure should be constant but not too strong. The water and coffee mixture will pass through the paper filter at the bottom of the Aeropress and into your serving cup or pitcher.
- Continue pushing the piston until all the coffee has been extracted.
- Remove the Aeropress from the cup and enjoy your freshly brewed coffee.
The Aeropress is a very fast coffee preparation tool that allows us to extract in less than 2 minutes. It has surprising durability, is light, easy to handle and very practical, allowing us to obtain cups of coffee with a decent body.
In the world brewers' championships, we had the opportunity to see the aeropress being used in an "inverted" way: proceed by turning the aeropress upside down, the plunger is already inserted into the infusion chamber and leave the filter and cap aside. You insert the water and coffee, screw the cap with the filter, turn the aeropress upside down again and proceed with extraction.
Infusion extraction instruments
The French Press is a coffee filtering system born in France in 1852 by a goldsmith and a merchant, Mayer and Delforge.
Despite it being an invention born in the transalpine territory, it was the Italians who modified it and proposed new modifications.
Attilio Calimani made changes by inventing a more advanced version, a version which was in turn modified by Bruno Cassol who added a metal mesh filter to retain the ground coffee.
In 1958 Faliero Bonandini (clarinet manufacturer) reached the final version which is the one we still know today. He began large-scale production in his French factory and was spread throughout Europe.
The French Press is nothing more than a glass container with a cylindrical metal piston that slides inside. It has a plunger on the lid with a filter to trap coffee residue.
Preparing coffee is very simple, it is the simplest extraction method ever, you only need the coffee maker, hot water and our favorite coffee.
The brew ratio is 60 gr/lt and the water temperature must be 95 degrees, the grind must be medium coarse (600-800 microns).
Let's see the steps for extraction with the French Press:
- Heat the water up to 95 degrees (You can try in the range of 92-94 degrees as desired).
- Pour our coffee and level with side taps.
- Pour water with constant turbulence in a circular manner for 30 seconds.
- Mix with a spoon to eliminate lumps and to bring all the water into contact with the coffee.
- Put the filter on the surface.
- Leave to infuse for 4 minutes
- Press the plunger without insisting too much on the ground coffee and serve.
The cup of coffee extracted with the French Press will be very similar to mocha, full-bodied, cloudy and enveloping. Unlike mocha, it is a more delicate extraction, has a reduced bitterness and more aromatic notes.