Change Your Coffee Brewer, Not Your Coffee Beans!

If you are tired of your coffee, one way to change the flavor is to change your brewer. At the Hula Daddy Coffee Tasting Room we brew coffee for our guests usindifferent methods to demonstrate the flavor changes. Our guests are amazed at the difference in flavor using the same coffee in different kinds of coffee brewers.Hula Daddy Visitor Center

The taste of coffee is a combination of coffee quality, grind, water quality, temperature and extraction time. Given the same coffee quality, the brewing method will change the taste of your coffee. Every brewing method emphasizes some coffee attributes and hides others.

There are many ways to brew coffee ranging from espresso brewing to cowboy coffee. The most popular brewing method in the world is espresso. The second most popular is instant coffee. In the United States, the most popular is the automatic drip brewer but automatic single serve brewers are catching up quickly. For gourmet specialty coffee, the premier brewers are the french press, the siphon or the pour over. Some of the other common coffee brewing methods are percolator, moca pot, ibrik, AeroPress, siphon and flip pot. Here are some of the differences in flavor from each brewing method:

Espresso – Outstanding espresso coffees are sweet, complex and have a heavy mouth feel. Espressos are best made with strong heavy bodied coffees. Light bodied coffees and light roasted espressos are often bitter and uninteresting. Coffee drinkers who like a small cup of thick bodied coffee like espressos.

Percolator, Cowboy, Ibrix – Percolator, Cowboy and Turkish (Ibrix) coffees are similar in that the coffee is boiled. Boiled coffee is bitter and acidic. These coffees need additives to make them drinkable like sugar and cream. Drinkers who like coffee with additives like sugar and milk products enjoy these brewers.

Automatic Drip – Coffees made with traditional automatic drip machines can be good. However, many brewers suffer from short extraction times and low brewing temperatures (thermocouple failure). Some new machines extend the extraction time, keep a constant 200°F water temperature and make very good coffee. Coffee brewed with these machines tends to be sweet and full flavored. Drinkers who are used to a typical cup of coffee enjoy automatic drip particularly if the water is the right temperature and there is an extended extraction time.

Vacuum Pot, Siphon – Coffee made in siphons is aromatic and full-flavored. It is an excellent way to bring out all of the flavors of a gourmet coffee. The amount of dissolved solids in the brew is controlled by using either a metal, paper or cloth filter. Drinkers who indulge in specialty coffees enjoy siphons. More at

Pour Over Cones, Chemex – Pour over coffee made by pulsing the water to increase the extraction time is bright, aromatic, rich tasting with low dissolved solids. Drinkers who enjoy the taste of fruity or light roasted coffee enjoy brewing with a cone. More at

AeroPress – AeroPress brewed coffee is clean with low dissolved solids. If brewed using the recommended 165° F water and short brew time it creates a flat, low acid coffee. If brewed using 200° F water and a longer extraction time, it creates a better tasting coffee. Drinkers who want a fast brew, easy cleanup and a clean, bright coffee with good aroma and flavor like Aeropress coffee. More at

French Press, Clever Dripper – French press and clever dripper coffee is an excellent way to obtain uniform extraction from the coffee grounds. They both produce a rich, aromatic coffee that enhances any flavors and sweetness in the beans. Gourmet coffee drinkers who have invested in high end coffee enjoy the results of these brewers. More at

Neapolitan Flip Pot – Flip pot coffee has a strong taste with a lot of mouth feel. Drinkers who like heavy bodied coffees with a lot of rich flavor like flip pots.

Moca Pot – Moca pots create a small shot of a light- to medium-bodied coffee with a clean aftertaste. Drinkers who like small shots of rich coffee that have a syrupy mouth feel like Moca pot coffee.

Automatic One Cup Brewer – Automatic one cup brewers using capsules or pods are becoming very popular. Their main attribute is convenience and speed. Their main detriment is expensive, poor quality coffee. They can make better coffee than an automatic drip brewer. Coffee drinkers who want a good cup of coffee quickly like automatic one cup brewers. More at

Karen Jue Paterson is the owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, a 33 acre coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. She is a member of the Hawaii Coffee Association, the Kona Coffee Council, the Kona Coffee Farmers Association, the Holualoa Village Association and the Specialty Coffee Association of America. She is also the author of a number of articles on Kona Coffee including: Kona Coffee Farmers at a Crossroad ;How Typica is Your Kona Coffee? ; Are Roasters Eroding the Kona Coffee Brand?; Coffee Cupping Competitions – Real or Random Chance? ; Seven Easy Steps to Become a Gourmet Coffee Taster ; How to Brew Coffee Using a Pour Over Filter; Before You Buy an Automatic Single Serve Coffee Brewer; Siphon Coffee Brewers Suck! You can email her at

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