Coffee 101: Brew Methods- Immersion vs. Percolation
How do you brew your coffee? Do you use a French Press, an automatic drip coffee machine, a Keurig, or perhaps an espresso machine? There are many different ways to brew coffee, but did you know each type of brewer can produce different tasting coffees?

Coffee brewers and brew methods can be separated into categories. These include immersion, percolation, espresso, capsule or pod, and instant. So what’s the difference? Which should you use to make your morning brew? For now, we’ll explore two common home brewing methods: immersion and percolation.

As the name suggests, immersion brewing involves “immersing” coffee in water, meaning steeping coffee in water for a desired length of time. The most common, well-known immersion brewer is the French Press. Coffee and hot water are added to the press. After a few minutes, the plunger is depressed to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee then poured into a vessel. Immersion brews often have fuller body, heavier texture, and bolder taste because the ground coffee is in constant contact with the water. It's also generally favored for medium to dark roasted coffees.

Percolation involves allowing water to pass through a bed of ground coffee. Common examples of percolation brewers would be drip coffee machines and manual pourover devices, such as the V60 or Chemex. As water is poured over the grounds, the water makes its way through the coffee bed extracting what it can before being filtered into a vessel. Since the water has less contact time with the coffee and passes through a filter, percolation brews tend to feel lighter than immersion brews. They can also accentuate any brighter flavors such as fruity, floral, or citrusy notes. Percolation brewers are favored for light to medium roasted coffees.

It's also worth noting that while each brewing method may work better with certain kinds of coffee or roast levels, the best tasting coffee is your favorite coffee. Brew your coffee how you like it, and it will always taste great!

Do you use either of these brewing methods at home? Let us know what you use and why you love it! Next time, we’ll explore more brew methods like espresso and capsule/pod brewers.

by Mark Gorres

9th Sep 2021


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