Whole Latte Love Blog

Manual Coffee Brewing Methods: Make the Best Coffee at Home

by Anthony Licata Updated: March 13, 2020 6 min read

CLICK HERE to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive promotions and regular updates on everything coffee!

Coffee is so unique. In not so many words, we take the seeds of a fruit, clean them, and then roast them. The coffee industry has become overwhelmed with a lot of noise, most of it really quite good. Local coffee shops, global brands, espresso machines you can use at home, and a plethora of beans of different roasts, origins, and flavor notes to choose from are all a regular part of our coffee-loving world.

Single-Origin Coffee: How Location Affects Flavor

Single-Origin Coffee: How Location Affects Flavor

What is single-origin coffee? How does origin affect the flavor of your coffee beans? We answer all of your questions and more in this article.
Read Article 

Though, we shouldn’t forget about the connection we can have with our coffee. Some of us need a machine that can do everything for us, saving precious minutes in the morning while still providing cafe-quality espresso.

On the other hand, some might value their coffee preparation as a great use of their time. Disconnecting from the world of whirring machines and busy cafes to make a real effort into preparing coffee can be just as rewarding as making a home-cooked meal or building something on your own.

bannerimage

What is a Super-Automatic Espresso Machine?

If you’re a first time buyer, this is definitely a question worth asking before making a purchase. These high speed machines have undergone a number of changes over the years and today they sport a number of fantastic features that have taken the home brewing experience to new levels. In most cases, it will actually be these features that ultimately determine how much you’ll wind up spending on your machine.
Read Article 

A Manual Coffee Maker is for the person who is ready to put themselves into the process and make some of the best coffee they have ever had.

The Complete Guide to Coffee Makers

The Complete Guide to Coffee Makers

Need help finding the right coffee maker for you in 2020? Here's the ultimate guide to buying coffee makers for drip coffee, French press, cold brew, moka pot, and more.
Read Article 

There are many methods of making coffee manually, typically these processes are surprisingly different than what we are used to seeing. You shouldn’t be intimidated by manual processes though, as everything from vacuum-siphoning, pour-over, french press, and stovetop methods of making espresso and coffee still include the most important things: coffee grounds and hot water!

The Best Grind Sizes for Different Coffee Brewing Methods

The Best Grind Sizes for Different Coffee Brewing Methods

We go into details about how to dial in the right grind size for your coffee brewing methods whether it's Turkish espresso or cold brew.
Read Article 

Grinding and brewing coffee manually takes patience and experimentation, but it can be incredibly rewarding as an artistic endeavor that leads to incredible drinks.

The Complete Guide to Coffee Grinders

The Complete Guide to Coffee Grinders

Learn everything there is to know about coffee grinders and how grinding fresh will always result in more flavorful, aromatic coffee.
Read Article 

A quick side note: all of these methods are essentially wireless and may require you to pour hot water into the brewer itself. We recommend using a Gooseneck Kettle with some of these methods for much more control over your pour, which can be crucial to making a good cup of coffee.

Bonavita Variable Temperature 1.7-liter Digital Gooseneck Kettle

Bonavita Variable Temperature 1.7-liter Digital Gooseneck Kettle

3 Reviews
Bonavita’s 1.7 Liter Digital Gooseneck Kettle is a fully featured variable temperature kettle designed for precision control of both heating and pouring.

Pour Over Coffee

Speaking of pouring, a very popular and low-cost process for manual coffee is the pour over method. Pour-over is more about perfecting technique than buying expensive equipment, so those who want to take the time to learn this rising brewing method should consider this as a top choice.

In essence, pour-over is all about attention to detail and timing. The process consists of pouring hot water over your coffee grounds in a small, specially designed glass carafe with a unique coffee filter, which then drips a full-bodied coffee into the bottom of the carafe.

This is just a bit of shortened summation of a really intricate process that involves careful measurements, multiple pourings, stirring, and time management that rewards with a flavorful coffee.

bannerimage

How to Make Pour Over Coffee: The Complete Beginner's Guide

Learn all you need to know about pour over coffee and the various types of pour over coffee makers.
Read Article 

Vacuum Siphon Coffee

Vacuum Siphon coffee is one of the world's oldest brewing methods, said to be enjoyed since 1830. It is another process that is a relatively inexpensive way to make a unique, bold cup of coffee without having to use a lot of power.

At its core, you’ll be brewing with two glasses that stack onto one another, the top glass featuring a specially designed filter and siphon tube. To be brief, the process involves lighting a burner beneath the bottom glass to boil water, which then rises to the top container. Here you will lower the heat and stir in your coffee grounds.

After your grounds have been steeped and you’ve stirred multiple times, you’ll cut the heat completely. This causes the coffee to pour back to the bottom glass, leaving the used grounds behind thanks to the filter mentioned earlier.

bannerimage

What is Siphon Coffee: What You Need to Know About Siphon Coffee Makers

Siphon coffee is a unique method of coffee brewing that reminds us a bit of a science experiment. Learn more about the best siphon coffee makers.
Read Article 

French Press

The French Press was conceptualized in the 1800s with a fully functional model developed in the 1900s, well after the vacuum pot was made popular.

Many experts in the coffee industry consider French press coffee the best "regular" coffee you can get: the design and process for brewing French Press creates a smooth and full-bodied coffee that keeps french press lovers coming back. The brewing device uses metal and nylon filters which allows the larger flavors to carry colloids and lipids to pass through. Paper filters normally block these particles and they never make their way to the water.

These additional molecules create a very well-rounded cup of coffee and a unique mouthfeel that is fairly heavy and nearly syrupy. In addition to this, the user has control of the extraction or steeping time, which gives you endless control over the strength of the final product.

How to Use a French Press

How to Use a French Press

Learn how to use a French press and how to brew  rich and delicious French press coffee.
Read Article 

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot, also known as stovetop espresso, works similarly to Siphon brewers; it’s prepared using a heating element, in this case, a stovetop, and boiling water in the pot and creates pressure through the coffee grounds to produce a creamy pot of espresso-like coffee.

We say “espresso-like” because there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not Moka Pots can actually make espresso. More modern espresso machines are made to create a certain amount of pressure on coffee grounds in order to produce a concentrated cup of espresso unlike a typical coffee maker or traditional drip coffee.

Although Moka Pots do create pressure while brewing the coffee, we’re still unsure whether or not we would consider the final result to be a “true espresso”. Whatever the results are, however, we can’t deny how incredibly delicious the coffee is. The Moka Pot has been a staple and highlight of traditional coffee in Italy and still earns a spot among the very best coffee makers in the industry.

Making Manual Espresso with ROK

Making manual espresso is another quiet process for making exceptionally good drinks, and unlike these former methods, you will be making concentrated espresso-like you would in a high-end machine.

The ROK Manual Espresso Maker has been one of our favorites since it’s mentioning in GQ back in 2012, and with it’s paired manual grinder and some dabbling, you can make really excellent espresso. The grinder itself is quite easy to use by simply cranking it’s vertical lever to manually grind beans.

Grind size can be adjusted through an adjustable gear on the bottom and can be used as a stepped or stepless grinder, depending on your preference. In any case, you can expect to grind your coffee for course, drip-style coffee grounds all the way to a super-fine Turkish coffee consistency.

bannerimage

A Brief History of Turkish Coffee

Like many of you, I really enjoy a great espresso but I also appreciate the finer things in life. More finely ground that is. If you’re willing to take a step out of your normal range and try a finer beverage, a good place to start is with Turkish coffee.
Read Article 

ROK’s Manual Espresso Maker is just as simple. Put your freshly-ground coffee and hot water into the top chamber, and bring the arms down to watch the espresso flow. You’ll want to gently bring down the arms for the first three seconds to get a nice pre-infusion before pressing the metal handles all the way down to get the espresso moving. The ROK, in good hands, can produce a great espresso that prioritizes flavor.

Best Manual Coffee Makers

If reading about the history and art of brewing coffee manually makes you want to dabble in french press, pour-over, Moka pot, or siphon coffee. Lucky for you, we partner with the most notable brands and feature a variety of manual coffee makers across our site. Here are our best manual coffee makers:

A Handmade Pour Over Set by E&B Lab
E&B Lab Pour Over Set

E&B Lab Pour Over Set

E&B Lab Pour Over Set E&B Lab’s Pour Over Set comes with a functional, handmade borosilicate glass carafe and two uniquely-made flower paper filter holders. The carafe is thermoshock resist...
Yama’s 1830’s Style 3-Cup Siphon
Yama 3-Cup Tabletop Siphon

Yama 3-Cup Tabletop Siphon

3 Reviews
Yama's beautiful 3-Cup Tabletop Siphon makes use of vapor pressure and vacuum force to aid in the extraction process and brew a clean, almost tea-like cup of coffee.
A Stove Top Moka Pot
Bialetti 6-Cup Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

Bialetti 6-Cup Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

3 Reviews
As the world's most popular stovetop espresso maker, Bialetti Moka Express backs its reputation by providing more than 120 million cups of espresso a day worldwide.
Smooth, Full-Bodied French Press with the Bodum Chambord
Bodum Shiny Chambord 8 cup 34oz French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum Shiny Chambord 8 cup 34oz French Press Coffee Maker

0 Reviews
The Bodum Chambord 8 cup 34oz French Press Coffee Maker is the classic French press coffee maker designed in the fifties and emulates the roof line of the famed Chambord Estate.
Get Hands-on with the ROK for Richer, Hotter Espresso
ROK EspressoGC

ROK EspressoGC

33 Reviews
The ROK EspressoGC takes everything you love about the revolutionary ROK Espresso Maker and improves upon it with a higher pressure piston and better insulation for richer, hotter, espresso.

Is it for You?

If you or a loved one are the type of person who loves to experiment and spend quality time honing coffee skills, it may be time to consider making coffee manually. The process can be incredibly rewarding, it gives you new skills, and can result in some great drinks made with your own two hands!

Our New Pro Brewing Collection

Our New Pro Brewing Collection

Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen more and more accessories coming through our doors that have really impressed our coffee experts here at the office. With these new accessories, we saw fit to create a new collection to keep everything together for anyone looking to upgrade and improve their espresso even further.
Read Article 
Anthony Licata
Anthony Licata

Anthony is one of the copywriters at Whole Latte Love and is interested in the culture and history behind coffee. His favorite things to do include playing with pug puppies and bothering our web designers to make him images for his blogs.