Chatelaine Kitchen

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.

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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