Brewing : Introduction

No matter what we call them, all ways of brewing coffee are basically the same: The ground coffee is soaked in the water until the water tastes good. Nobody, to my knowledge, has figured out a different way to make coffee. The only equipment you really need to make great coffee is an open pot, a flame, and, possibly, a strainer.

It is a tribute to human imagination and lust for perfection, however, that the simple act of combining hot water and ground coffee has produced so many ingenious variations and occupied so many brilliant people for uncounted hours over the past three centuries. Thousands of coffee makers have been patented in the United States and Europe, but of this multitude only a handful have had any lasting impact or embodied any genuine innovation. The few ideas to achieve greatness can be divided according to three variables: how hot you make the water; how you get the water to the coffee; and how you separate the spent grounds from the brewed coffee.