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The Gents Guide to Slow Coffee
Most people do not associate the word “coffee” with “slow.” In fact, many people want a cup of coffee to be made as quickly as possible so they can start drinking it! There are plenty of solutions to fast coffee, from “pod” single-serving machines to buying your coffee from a coffee shop. But coffee is also a pleasure to be enjoyed, and there’s something relaxing about slow coffee: taking a bit of time with a process that is the tail end of so many hands in a global supply chain. In this article we’ll share five methods to slow down in how you prepare and enjoy your coffee.
While we’ll talk about picking and grinding beans in a future article, for now we will assume that you have some beans/ground coffee that you really enjoy.
Cone + Filter
The pour-over method is favored because it’s simple, fast, and inexpensive. It’s also easy to clean and portable.
You’re pouring hot water over coffee grounds. The gravity takes that through a filter set inside a cone which drips into a cup or a pot.
Your total time to brew is between 1-3 minutes, and your coffee will have a smooth and round taste.
You can buy any filters that fit your cone.
This flask was invented in 1941 and is considered a “fancy” pour-over. The flask doubles as a pot from which to pour your coffee.
The process is the same as with the cone + filter, except that the “cone” is built into the flask and the filters are proprietary and are 20-30% thicker than a standard coffee filter.
The total brew time, in part due to the thicker filter, is about 4 minutes. The taste of your coffee will be clean, refined, and balanced.
While a Chemex is portable, the flask is a bit more fragile, and requires a special brush to clean.
The French Press was invented in 1929 and is widely considered as the method that extracts maximum flavor from the coffee grounds. This is because the coffee is soaked in hot water and as a result the oils and caffeine are more evenly diffused, giving you a “purer” tasting coffee.
Brew time is 4 minutes, though coffee nerds will tell you to carefully watch your steeping times and temperatures during those four minutes.
A French Press is easy to clean, portable, and requires no filters.
Just as there’s a fancy pour-over, there’s also a “fancy” pressed version of coffee in the Aeropress, which was invented in 2005.
Unlike the other methods we have discussed above, this is exclusively single-serving focused.
Brew time is 1-2 minutes, and is fairly straightforward. You pour some water into your grounds and let them sit for about 30 seconds. You then stir the mixture a few times and add in the rest of your water. You then screw on the top of the Aeropress (which has a filter) and put your glass upside down on top. You then slowly turn over both and then push down on the Aeropress to extract your coffee.
This high-pressure technique will deliver an expresso-style, full-bodied flavor to your coffee.
We talked about this Italian staple, invented in 1933, a few years ago when the parent company was being acquired.
A Moka has three compartments. The lowest one contains water which is turned into steam that passes through a middle compartment filled with coffee grounds. The resulting liquid ends up in the top compartment, which contains your coffee.
Brew time is about 5 minutes, and you’ll taste espresso-style, more bitter-tasting coffee.
The Moka is easy to clean, portable, and durable. It also has no filters to buy.
For all the methods we talked about above, it’s important to start with cold, filtered water and to have recently roasted beans/grounds. Also keep in mind that used coffee grounds make for great compost!
Do you have a favorite of the methods we listed (or one we didn’t) for slow coffee? Let us know in the comments.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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