Which home brewing coffee system is better?

We pitted four brewing systems against one another, asking four of Chatelaine‘s most opinionated caffeine drinkers to weigh in.

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Best home brew
Photo, iStockphoto.

How much does a brewing method affect flavour? Using four techniques (from a system that made us feel like we were in a laboratory, to a tried and true French favourite) we held a blind taste test to find out. Here’s what our tasting panel thought:

What we used: Planet Bean Morning Glory coffee and Toronto tap water.

1. Siphon: Water is heated and pulled upward through ground coffee, then filtered back into a carafe.
Panel opinion: Although we found the brewer fussy to use, it was the unanimous winner of the taste test!

2. Pour-over: Boiling water is poured into a ceramic cone lined with a coffee-filled paper filter that sits on top of a mug.
Panel opinion:: Easy to use but still a bit awkward as it’s easily knocked over. In terms of flavour, it was close to the siphon-brew.

3. French press: Boiling water is poured into a carafe filled with ground coffee. After four minutes of brewing, the plunger filters the coffee.
Panel opinion: The easiest of all the methods. (And surprisingly to us, only our third favourite.)

4. Chemex: Similar to the pour-over, but the glass cone and carafe are all one. It’s paper filter is slightly thicker than the pour-over’s allowing water to flow more slowly.
Panel opinion: It ranked lowest in flavour for our testers, but it was beautiful and easy to use.

Tell us, how do you like to make your coffee?

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