Best for a café-caliber cup at home
Our staff was overwhelmingly team pour-over for a slew of reasons. “A pour-over makes a really clean, non-sludgy cup of coffee in like, three minutes,” says our food editor Katherine Gillen. “Also, you have a lot more control over the final outcome.”
Fashion editor Dena Silver also has strong feelings about why pour-overs are superior, end of story. “I'm a staunch pour-over fan, because it’s so easy to make a single cup of strong coffee that's never watery or weak—I'm looking at you, basic AF coffee machines and pod machines,” she says.
Luckily, it’s not tough to pull off at all. The most time-consuming part is waiting for the water to boil. You could use pre-ground coffee but grinding it yourself right before brewing will make a world of difference in terms of flavor (as with any brewing method)—plus, the grinding only takes a few seconds. Silver recommends investing in a burr grinder, because it grinds the beans in one shot, as opposed to whirring them around in circles, which helps them maintain their robust flavor.
In terms of equipment, all you need is a brewing cone and filters. (P.S., reusable coffee filters also exist, in case sustainability is your thing.) While you boil the water (ideally in some kind of kettle with a spout for easy pouring), grind the beans to a medium-fine grind. Fetch your mug, put the brewing cone on top with a filter in it and add the grounds. Once the water is hot, wet all the grounds slowly, allowing them to bloom and release all their flavor—don’t drown them. Once the water goes down, continue pouring evenly over the grounds (and stopping whenever the water needs to filter through) until your cup is full. The whole process should only take you about 10 minutes from start to finish.
The main cons are that (1) it takes longer than most methods and (2) you can only make one cup at a time, but boy is it worth the wait.