A Flowchart to Help You Choose the Right Coffee Brewing Method

(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

There are a lot of brew methods out there, so how do you know which one’s right for you? It all depends on what you’re looking for, which is why we put together this flowchart. Choosing a brew method has never been easier.


Remember playing with an Aerobie when you were a kid? That crazy round disc that looked kind of like a UFO? Well that same company makes a coffee brewing device that has become the wunderkind of the coffee world. It gets an entire championship devoted to it. Aeropress-lovers will cite its flexibility; the fact that you can get creative with recipes. In fact, you can try any of the World Championship recipes at home.


The Bialetti is an iconic piece of Italian design — an aluminum stovetop espresso maker that’s been in use since 1933.


In my personal opinion, the Chemex is one of the most beautiful brew methods, which makes it a nice kitchen display when it’s not in use. It’s also a classic; it was invented all the way back in 1941. For Chemex you can use paper filters, or even invest in a stainless steel one.

French Press

It doesn’t get much simpler than a French press: grounds, water, go. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Make sure you avoid these three common mistakes people make when brewing French press and you’ll be good to go.


The siphon brew system, also called the vacuum coffee maker, is certainly the most dramatic, so if you’re looking to wow your dinner guests, this one is for you. Probably not your best option for your regular morning cup, however.

Clever Dripper

The Clever Dripper is one of several pour-over methods. Similar to a Melitta or other ceramic drippers, what makes the Clever Dripper different is that it combines the principles of a pour-over filter and a French press. The best of both worlds, so to say.

Espresso Drinks

Espresso is a hard thing to master, but for those who have espresso machines at home, a variety of drink options are available; which one you make mostly depends on how much milk you want. (And you can also sort of cheat with strong coffee and foamed milk from the microwave!)

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