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The perfect cup of coffee: Three simple brewing options

Though not for everyone, many triathletes incorporate coffee into their daily routine, either for a jolt in the morning and afternoon or for a bit of energy before heading out on a workout.

To those that are already coffee consumers, here are three alternative options (making the perfect cup of coffee will largely depend on personal preference) beyond the more traditional means (drip coffee machines) of brewing:


What’s good? This brewing device, invented in 2005, has become increasingly popular over the past few years for its simplicity and convenience. Coffee is steeped for 10 to 50 seconds and then squeezed through a filter with a plunger. Excluding the time it would take to boil water, the average brew time is only 30 seconds and clean-up is minimal.

If you find your stomach sensitive to different types of coffee, having a small and portable device is also useful for travelling to races since you can brew a cup of coffee identical to home.

Downfall? It only makes a limited amount of coffee on each brew so if you’re looking for a few cups of coffee in a single sitting, the Aeropress may not be the best option (there are different size ones, however). It also requires specialized filters unlike ones used for traditional coffee makers.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:


French press

What’s good? The French press is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to brew coffee because it doesn’t require a filter and really only has two or three main parts. Most French press apparatuses also make upwards of six to eight cups, good if you’re brewing for more than one person.

This technique requires little pouring skill and allows one to adjust the amount of brew time depending on preference.

Downfall? Clean up can be very messy and occasionally grinds can make their way into the coffee resulting in a rather unpleasant taste.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:


Chemex Pour-Over

What’s good? Because it’s glass, the product doesn’t corrode over time and can be washed easily since there’s no moving parts like the French press or Aeropress. The thicker filter also prevents grinds from making its way into the final product.

The Chemex comes in as large as an eight-cup glass meaning you don’t need to brew each time you want a single cup (like the Aeropress).

Downfall? Easily breakable (glass), requires brand-specific filter and it’s less portable than a French press. The method is also more advanced than the previous two listed, though not prohibitively difficult.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

As with many things, the way you brew the coffee is the ultimate factor in determining the quality of the product (water quality, size and freshness of the grind, and experience). There are also plenty of other brew options beyond the three listed.

There is also mixed research on the effects of caffeine including some that state 400 mg of caffeine may be beneficial to one’s health while others specify how much is too much.

H/t: Washington Post and Brew Methods.