Popular Coffee Brewing Methods and History of Coffee Brewing

There are numerous coffee brewing methods around the world including siphon, cold drip, cold brew, espresso, boiling, and pour over methods. The methods have varying effects on the coffee flavor and aroma and are favored by different countries as detailed below.

1. Siphon method

2. Boiling method

3. Espresso

4. Pour Over method

5. Drip method

6. Cold brewing method

7. Cold Drip method

History of Coffee Brewing

Coffee brewing has a rich history that spans centuries. From seeping ground coffee in hot water during the 13th century in the Arab Peninsula to the invention of the espresso machine in 1884 in Turin, coffee brewing has undoubtedly come a long way.

The History of Coffee

  • To this day, no one knows for sure how coffee was first discovered, but there are many legends that explain its discovery. One of the most popular theories is that the cultivation of coffee first started centuries ago in the Ethiopian plateaus.
  • According to the legend, an Ethiopian goat herder by the name Kaldi discovered the coffee beans when his goats ate berries from a certain tree, become energetic, and they could not sleep at night.
  • Kaldi then informed the abbot of the local monastery about the energizing beans, and the abbot used them to make a drink. He found that the resulting drink helped him stay awake during long prayers.
  • The abbot presented his findings to his colleagues at the monastery, and the knowledge about the beans kept spreading to the East, and the coffee beans finally reached the Arab Peninsula. It’s in the Arab Peninsula that the cultivation of coffee as a globally-traded commodity started in the 13th century.
  • Over the next centuries, coffee cultivation was adopted across the globe in Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Europe, and finally to the Americas.

The History of Coffee Brewing

Ibrik Method

Biggin Pots and Metal Filters

  • In this coffee shops, coffee was brewed using coffee pots with spouts. Ground coffee was put inside, and the water heated to the verge of boiling.
  • The pots had sharp spouts that filtered out the coffee grinds and flat bottoms for sufficient heat absorption. The coffee pots evolved, and so did the methods of filtration.
  • According to historians, the first coffee filtering method was a sock. Hot water would be poured through a sock filled with coffee grounds to filter the coffee. The cloth filters are believed to have been more expensive and less efficient than paper filters, which arrived 200 years later.
  • The first commercial coffee maker was called the “Mr. Biggin,” and it was released in 1780. The biggin pot wanted to improve on the drawbacks of cloth filtering, especially poor drainage.
  • Biggin pots consisted of three to four parts with a tin filter or a cloth bag under the lid. While the biggin pots were an improvement over the initial pots, if the coffee grounds were too fine or too coarse, the water would run right through them.
  • In 1820, the Biggin pots arrived in England, and they are still in use today around the world, but they are significant improvements of the original ones.
  • During the early years of the Biggin pots, metal filters and improved filter-pot systems were introduced. One such design was patented in 1802 in France.
  • The filter consisted of a metal tin with spreaders to distribute water evenly into the coffee. In 1804, another filter design was patented by the French in the form of a drip pot that filtered coffee without boiling it.

Siphon Pots

  • Siphon pots, also known as vacuum brewers, were first invented in the early 19th century. While the initial patent is from the 1830s, the first siphon pot to be commercially available was designed by Marie Fanny Amelne Massot, and it was introduced to the market in the 1840s.
  • The siphon pot arrived in America in 1910 and was patented by Bridges and Sutton, two Massachusetts sisters. They named their pyrex brewer the “Silex.”
  • The siphon pot looks like an hourglass with two glass domes. The heat is applied from the bottom dome building up pressure that pushes water through the siphon so that it mixes with the ground coffee. The coffee is ready for consumption once the grinds have been filtered out.
  • The siphon pot is still used in some homes today by true coffee aficionados. The Italian Moka, invented in 1933, uses a similar brewing method to the siphon pot.

Coffee Percolators

Espresso Machines

The French Press

Instant Coffee

Commercial Coffee Filter

  • The first coffee filter was a sock or a cheesecloth. The modern paper coffee filter was invented in 1908 by Melitta Bentz.
  • After being frustrated by having to clean the coffee residue in her brass coffee pot, she decided to use a page from her son’s notebook and placed it at the bottom of her coffee pot.
  • She then poured the filled it with coffee grinds and poured water over them, marking the birth of the paper filter.

History of Coffee Brewing – Evolution

Coffee has a storied past and a big tale to tell! The beverage has been around since the 15th century, with the first account of drinking coffee originating in Yemen in the 1400s. Several centuries would pass before Europeans became drinkers, and even several more centuries before European coffee culture became a thing. The first Europeans to start drinking coffee regularly were the Parisians and the Dutch (which was home to the first known coffee houses), and by 1699, the East India Trading Company started growing coffee beans for commercial trade in an area of Indonesia familiarly known as Java.
We have curated fourteen pieces of information, data, and statistics surrounding the evolution of coffee and presented these below.

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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