How to make Slow Coffee
The quick guide to Slow Coffee!
A good espresso is one of life’s little treats. But there are times when the thought of such a strong coffee isn’t very appealing. Whether it’s in the morning or the afternoon, sometimes it’s nice to have a milder coffee.
That’s why I often pick the Slow Coffee brewing method instead…
Over the last few years, Slow Coffee has made a big comeback. Once thought to be a weak, tasteless coffee, it is now respected as a milder, aromatic and more caffeinated coffee option than an espresso. A well-made cup of slow coffee will be bursting with flavours and help you re-discover coffee!
For any form of slow coffee, it’s always crucial to get the right ratios between water volume, amount of coffee and infusion time.
You can make slow coffee in many different ways. And each method has its own particularities, each produces different results. Some require more skills and/or equipment than others. Either way, it is a brewing method anyone can have a go at!
Let’s go through the various ways of making slow coffee, then see which one suits you best!
Espresso vs. Slow Coffee
An espresso is a caffeine-packed shot of coffee. It is made via a pump that forces water through finely ground compacted coffee. This creates a high level of pressure, resulting in a rich aromatic coffee with a creamy-like texture on top (known as “crema”).
On the other hand, no pressure is used to make slow coffee. Instead, the water slowly goess through uncompressed ground coffee. A coarser grind is required for this method. The end-result is a much milder coffee but just as rich in aromas.
Because water is in contact coffee for much, much longer as it drips through, your coffee will contain more caffeine than an espresso.
Slow coffee with a French press
The French Press coffee maker is an old-style brewing method that’s made a big come back after many cameo appearances in American TV series.
It is also known as a coffee plunger or cafetière. It is a really simple way for making a great cup of coffee.
Why a French Press?
- It delivers a full-bodied coffee with an intense aroma
- It is a simple introduction to slow coffee
- You can make 3 to 12 cups at a time (depending on the size of your cafetière)
- As well as making coffee, it is a lovely retro object to display in your home!
You will need: Coarsely-ground coffee (ideally freshly made by yourself with a basic coffee grinder), scales to weight your coffee and a basic kettle.
You can read our blog on “How to make coffee with a French Press Coffee Maker” and if you are tempted, check out our selection of gorgeous cafetières by great brands such as Bodum, Bialetti, Judge…
Slow Coffee with a small Dripper
There are many different small drippers available, ideal to make coffee directly into your cup and they take up no space at all! It is the step up in terms of Slow Coffee as a dripper requires a certain level of technical knowledge.
Why a small dripper?
- A great choice of materials (ceramic, glass plastic, porcelain, stainless steel), colours and designs
- Ideal for people who only want to brew small quantities of Slow Coffee
- Lively and very tasty coffee with a long aftertaste
- Prices to suit all budgets
You will need: medium ground coffee, a coffee grinder, scales, a kettle, filters made for your dripper (if it requires any).
Slow Coffee with a Carafe Dripper
Another method that has recently made a comeback, is the pour-over dripper in its glass carafe form. The most famous example is the stylish Chemex. It uses similar preparation techniques than the small dripper. Essentially, the filter used is different (it is thicker and thus removes more of the sediment that may be present). The resulting brew is a very aromatic coffee infusion without any bitterness.
Why a pour-over glass carafe?
- For a mild coffee bursting with flavours
- Makes 3 to 12 cups of coffee
- The best method to enjoy Specialty coffees
- The coffee ritual appeal
You will need: medium ground coffee, a good grinder, barista scales (for precision), a gooseneck/swan neck kettle, filters compatible with your carafe.
The Aeropress: Slow coffee for Globetrotters
The Vacuum Coffee Maker: Slow coffee for wizards!
Vacuum coffee makers (also known as siphon or syphoon coffee makers), are perfect for all you budding alchemists and science aficionados out there! Let me put it this way, if Walter White from Breaking Bad ever set up a coffee shop, THIS would be his coffee extraction of choice. The vacuum coffee maker is not only an elegant object, it also produces a light, infusion-like coffee with wonderful aromas.
All that remains is for you to pick the slow coffee method that suits you best.
Then, you just need to sample different coffees until you fall in love with a particular one! We have a little blog article about choosing the right coffee too!
You see, it wasn’t so complicated after all!
Over to you now: what’s your favourite way of making slow coffee?