Columbus Coffee Guide: Coffee Preparations

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Cold Brew is the "silent servant" of cold coffee, says Evans of One Line. This is coffee made by immersing grounds in cold or room temperature water for 24 hours. Sometimes called toddy coffee, cold brew is the most reliable and easy-to-execute cold coffee, Evans says, making it the standard cold preparation for most shops.

Also called a vacuum coffee maker, the siphon is a two-chambered pot in which water vapor is forced into coffee grounds. It's not often used in coffee service, Fenstermacher says, because it's complicated and time-consuming.

Japanese Ice Coffee is coffee brewed hot like a pour-over, but then poured over ice. It benefits from the heat of brewing, which extracts more flavors through oils and fatty acids in the coffee, says Brandon Bir of Crimson Cup.

Chemex is similar to a pour-over but uses a thick, bonded-paper filter that seals against the walls of the brewer, slowing the process down. The benefit: Thicker paper filters out more oils for a clean, pure flavor.

French press is a preparation in which grounds are steeped in a small pot and then plunged to the bottom before the coffee is poured. This method offers less filtration but imbues coffee with richness similar to espresso. This is the easiest method for brewing at home, Fenstermacher says.

Similar to French press, the Aeropress steeps coffee, and then forces it through a filter with a plunger. The result is coffee that drinks much like espresso.

With a similar shape to the pour-over funnel, the clever coffee dripper has a valve at the bottom that holds the water. The additional contact between water and grounds develops coffee with a richer, fuller flavor.

In Kyoto-Style (not pictured) brewing, ice-cold water is dripped over a bed of coffee for six to 12 hours. "It produces heavy flavors," says Brandon Bir of Crimson Cup, "because of the repetition of extraction-the water is hitting and hitting the coffee, opening it up more and more." This produces a concentrated coffee like a liqueur, so it's usually served in smaller quantities over ice. Many Columbus shops feature the tall glass Kyoto towers. Andy Luck purchased a tower specifically made in Kyoto; his is the only shop in Ohio with a true Japanese-made tower.