Ditch The Keurig: 3 Ways To Make Coffee Just For You

The popularity of single-serve coffee makers shows that people don’t often want to bother with making a full pot of joe. However, single-serve is hardly the way to get a great cup of coffee, not to mention the waste that comes from using all of those little plastic cups of grounds. Instead, try alternative coffee-brewing methods that can be used to make great coffee for one. These ideas can also be used in your online culinary courses when the recipe calls for small amounts of coffee:

French press
One of the simplest ways to make small batches of coffee is to use a French press. The beauty of a French press is that it doesn’t need any specific amount of water: As long as you don’t over fill it, you can make however much coffee you’d like.

A French press works by letting coffee grounds steep in the water for about five minutes. After this steeping period, you filter the grounds by pressing (thus the name) down on a plunger attached to a mesh filter. To use the press, simply put ground coffee and hot water into the press, then put on the lid. Wait, and then press down on the plunger and pour. This method is relatively hands-off, and lets you do other things while the coffee is steeping. It also produces coffee with a kick, since the longer the steeping time, the higher caffeine content the coffee will have.

Cold brew
If you like iced coffee, this make-ahead method is the perfect way to have a single serving of coffee at a time. Cold brew works using the same steeping function as a French press, but it’s done with cold water and over a very long period of time. Although it’s a big time commitment, it doesn’t take a lot of active effort: Simply set it up to steep and then come back 12 hours later.

Coffee brewed through the cold brew method will yield iced coffee that doesn’t taste watered-down. It’s also lower in caffeine, and some people find it easier on their stomachs than coffee brewed other ways.

Moka pot
If you like espresso but don’t have an at-home espresso machine, a moka pot can be an inexpensive and quick alternative. The coffee from a moka pot is not true espresso, since the coffee is brewed at much lower pressure than espresso is. However, its strength and simplicity will impress many espresso enthusiasts all the same.

There are three parts to a moka pot: the lower chamber, the filter and the upper chamber. The filter has a tube that is placed into the lower chamber, and the upper chamber that has a tube that opens up from the bottom and goes up into the upper chamber. The lower chamber is filled with water, the filter is filled with coffee grounds, and it’s all screwed together and placed over heat. As the water boils, the steam forces the water through the two tubes, passing through the filter and grounds and up into the upper chamber.

When you use a moka pot, keep an eye on the coffee coming out of the top. As soon as coffee begins to appear, reduce your heat by half. When the coffee approaches the top of the spout, turn the heat off entirely.

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