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Brewing methods: Immersion vs Percolation

Are you a coffee lover looking to enjoy the freshest coffee, but not in a position to spend too much on an espresso machine yet? Don’t worry, you can always go with the simplest brewing method: using hot water poured over ground coffee. Essentially, there are two ways to do this, immersion or percolation.

In simple terms, immersion means soaking the coffee grounds in water for a certain duration of time. Examples of immersion are French press, AeroPress and siphon.

Percolation brewing method, also known as drip or pour-over method, is when hot water is passed through a bed of coffee grounds filtered by a porous material such as a filter paper. Examples of this method include V60, Chemex, Kalita and the Clever Dripper.

(Immersion method: Photo by Rachel Brenner on Unsplash)

(Percolation method: Photo by Emma Smith on Unsplash)

Which method is better?

Generally, immersion method is a more forgiving way to brew coffee because the main principle is to mix ground coffee with hot water and leave them in contact for a specific amount of time. This allows for an even extraction since coffee particles are uniformly infused in water. The final result of the brew depends on the contact time between coffee and water, instead of the skills of the brewer. 

Immersion brewing results in a cup of coffee that is bolder and has heavier body, in other words, it can taste more “kaw” in comparison with drip coffee. 

On the other hand, because drip brewing allows water to extract coffee at its own pace (under the effect of gravity), this method brings out the complexity of coffee, as well as accentuates its delicate flavours and aroma. Additionally, since coffee oils get filtered out of the brew, you will get a lighter and cleaner cup of coffee.  

However, it is important to note that drip brewing may take some practice before getting to the perfect cup because pouring techniques will essentially affect coffee extraction and the final taste.

With that being said, there is no right answer to define the “best method”. There may be a recommended brewing way by your roaster, but ultimately, it all depends on how you best enjoy your coffee.

At First Crack Coffee Roastery, our coffee beans are suited for all brewing methods. Whether you're using a french press, V60 or an espresso machine, you will be able to brew an amazing cup of coffee. If you are unsure of which method to use, just drop us a message here or chat with us on our Facebook page.

 

Resources:

Burgess-Yeo, S. (2021, March 06). Drip vs immersion: The battle of the coffee brew methods. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/03/drip-pour-over-vs-immersion-the-battle-of-the-coffee-brew-methods/

Racineux, S., Tran, C., & Varoutsikos, Y. (2019). Coffee: It's not rocket science: A quick and easy guide to buying, brewing, serving, roasting, and tasting coffee. London: Hamlyn.

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