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The Changing World Of Coffee Brewing Methods.

We all know only too well time and history change most things - even the way we brew coffee in our own homes. Do you remember back to when the only piece of equipment we had to brew espresso was a percolator? My Mum had one that she used to put on the top of the stove. As a child I found it fascinating to watch the water heat until the pressure forced it up a small tube and over a metal basket full of freshly ground beans. Here in Australia, the Bushells brand of coffee was popular then and came in a glass vacuum sealed jar with the brand name inscribed onto the glass. The quality of the cup of coffee it made was fairly ordinary by today’s standards. I can tell you from past experience that boiling water and then running the liquid over grounds more than once produces a brew that is far from perfect.

But fortunately for us….home coffee brewing methods and appliances have certainly improved over the years. By the 1970s the drip method turned up on the market and changed our coffee drinking habits forever. This was brewing simplicity at its best and soon took the domestic market by storm. Its main features were that it was inexpensive, quick to use and provided a marked improvement in flavour against anything the stove top percolator could produce.

Basically this model comprised a plastic container that was lined with coffee filter paper which was then filled with ground beans. This was then set on top of a glass container in which water, that was almost boiling, was poured over the beans and left to drip through to the glass pot on the bottom. Still today I have a china single cup version of this model and find it very quick and handy to use with very little mess to clean up afterwards. A bit later on coffee bags turned up on the shelves of supermarkets here in Australia under brands like ‘The House of Robert Timms’ variety. Basically they are coffee bags and are made and used in exactly the same manner as tea bags. In the US and other countries they have coffee pods. A similar idea to the coffee bag and come in different shapes and sizes – you can have the choice of either single or double cup sizes of your favourite blend of ground beans. The Coffee Pod was also designed to be used in coffee making machines where water temperature is always near 200F (93C). With varying sorts of controls the brew and internal spouts can be adjusted to spread the water evenly over the grounds. Coffee pods are either cone or flat in design and made of porous type paper which holds a measure of ground beans.

They certainly are convenient and save a lot of mess and fuss in making a quick cup of coffee that tastes ok. So why not step outside your usual routine and be a little adventurous. In this day and age there are literally dozens of different methods of brewing coffee just waiting for you to try.


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