The Other Methods of Making Coffee

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Image retrieved from on September 19th, 2014.

Some additional coffee makers and methods worth noting include the plunger pot, cold-water methods, espresso, and older traditional methods, such as camp coffee and Turkish coffee.
The plunger pot, a French invention, consists of a tall cylindrical glass (or plastic) pot into which fine-Grind coffee is measured and covered with boiling water. After three to five minutes, a mechanism with a close-fitting metal filter is pushed down to the bottom of the pot, trapping the grounds. The brew can then be poured off. A certain amount of sediment remains in the coffee, but many coffee drinkers like this character in their cup. Unless poured out at once, the brew sits on the grounds; removing the grounds in cleaning the pot is a messy proposition. It makes excellent coffee, however, and does not require the use of filters. Whether it is an advantage over the ordinary drip pot is a moot point. The models we have seen are the French Melior and the American Insta-Brewer.
Cold-water methods involve steeping a pound of ground coffee in a small amount (one quart) of cold water for about half a day to produce a coffee concentrate, which can be kept refrigerated for weeks. To make hot coffee, one adds about an ounce of the concentrate to a cup and fills it up with hot water. Unfortunately, the coffee lacks the flavor oils, acids, and other slightly bitter nuances that are characteristic, in small amounts, of fine coffee, because the cold water fails to extract these. This is an advantage, however, for diet-restricted patients who can tolerate caffeine but are not able to drink normal coffee. The two cold-water coffee makers we are aware of are the Filtron Instant Coffeemaker and the Toddy Coffee maker.
The simplest method of making coffee is simply to bring water to a boil in a pot or saucepan, remove from heat, dump in an appropriate amount of coarse ground coffee, stir and return to heat to simmer lightly, say, three to five minutes, and strain into cups. This is often known as “camp” coffee, and its quality varies with the grind used, timing, and care taken in measuring. One interesting variation of camp coffee is “sock method,” used by both Scandinavians and Brazilians. Simply bring a measured amount of water to a boil in a pan, and then lower a sock filled with a measured amount of course ground coffee into it, letting the pan sit off the heat (or at a minimal simmer) until a good-colored brew is achieved. This method produces a good cup, though experimentation with grind, timing and type of sock is necessary.
Turkish coffee (or Armenian or Greek or Egyptian) is traditionally prepared by boiling, a method long abandoned elsewhere. It calls for twice the normal amount of coffee per serving. Basically,, cold water is added to extremely fine-grind dark-roast coffee (fifty seconds in an electric grinder) along with one teaspoon sugar or honey per three-ounce serving, and brought to a foaming boil in an ibrik (a tall tapered copper pot with a long handle), then allowed to subside then brought to a boil twice more and served in tiny cups. Prepared this way, the coffee, good as it can be, is a different kind of beverage altogether from the coffee prepared in the West. A reasonable facsimile can be made using a saucepan.

pp. 117, 118 of Coffee and Tea by Elin McCoy & John Frederick Walker (1991)