Coffee will always be one of life’s little pleasures. It’s a simple way to start each day with both a pause—and a bang. And while making or taking it certainly reflects the simple joys of living the Lems life, coffee has indeed become both an art and science.
If you’re a coffee snob you may already know about the latest ways like pouring over or adding butter to make your daily brew the best it can be. If not, you might be a little overwhelmed by the seemingly endless methods on the market today, whether they’re for crafting a cup at home or giving baristas one more manipulation to memorize.
Either way, coffee continues to evolve—and maybe that’s just part of the fun. To help, here are your cliff notes to understanding how to make or order a cuppa the way that will really make your day:
By now you’ve probably heard of Bulletproof Coffee. The brand was started by a biohacker who wanted his coffee to follow his energy- and brain-boosting ketogenic diet. But the trend caught on and now there’s a cult following of this brew with serious benefits.
This foamy latte-looking thing requires three ingredients: coffee made with freshly ground beans; “smart fat” pure coconut oil; and grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee. You throw it all in a blender and it comes out like a super-creamy cup of coffee, if you like that kind of thing.
Well, the point is it’s not really on ice anymore, because that was the problem. The ice watered down the coffee on a summer day. Not good. The new true cold brew or “toddy” of today—made through an extended process (up to 24 hours) of steeping grounds in cold- or room-temperature water—is both stronger than traditionally brewed coffee and far less acidic, which is better for your belly and teeth.
It can also be prepared in bulk, which makes it easier on coffee shops—and people on the move who want something smooth. Of course, you can also craft a cold concentrate yourself and sip on it throughout an especially toasty week.
Open any hip home or food catalog today and you’ll find at least a few seducing pages of crafty-looking stove- or -countertop coffee makers. It’s all about experimentation to find the right fit and taste, but if you haven’t heard of or tried these methods, get to work. There’s an adventure ahead.
Moka Pot: A cool three-chambered brew process boils water that sends pressurized steam straight up through coffee grounds into a top chamber ready to taste. If you like espresso-bold brews, this is a cheaper way to achieve it, like the Italians do.
AeroPress: Much loved by road-tripping coffee drinkers, this portable method is all about speed. Once you get the coffee grind right, this is one quick way to brew a full-bodied cup on the go. Plus it was invented by the engineer of the original Aerobie Frisbee—and that’s just cool. The Chemex is another easy drip option.
French press: This home-brewing classic has made a comeback, especially among baristas who want a good DIY cup at home. The carafe is simple, cheap and comes in a variety of sizes.
The key to getting it right is using course grounds, adding just-under-boiling distilled water (two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water), steep for four minutes, strain and enjoy.