Soft brew coffee

A soft brew is a coffee made without pressurised water. We trialled several methods to see which gave the best cuppa.

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We have a coffee culture borrowed from the Italian communities. New Zealanders are used to long blacks and flat whites; espresso-based coffee with a lot of perceived acidic and bitter flavours. Dark coffee, drunk hot.

But coffee doesn’t have to be hard and fast. Our Consumer staffer trialled several soft brew methods, assessing how easy the different processes were to use and, just as importantly, clean up afterwards.

New Zealanders have grown averse to filter (soft brew) coffee. But as coffee specialist John Cole, from Mojo Coffee, points out, “there’s nothing wrong with filter”.

“It’s like fried chicken and baked chicken. They’re both chicken but with different flavours.”

While espresso is a “wake-you-up” coffee with intense flavours, soft brew is subtle and allows different flavours to come to the fore. While there is a fine line between good and bad espresso, soft brews offer more leeway.

“It’s hard to make a good espresso at home, but easy to make a good soft brew.”

Our trial

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General coffee tips

Brew methods

Maggie’s assessment

The right heat

Filters

First Look: Aeropress & Minipresso

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