How To Make Coffee
This is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis, but simply an over view of different coffee methods answering the question, how to make coffee, and some quick tips.
1. Fresh cool water. the more water it is rather than additives like chlorine and fluoride, the better. No, you're almost certainly not going to get hold of completely pure water however reverse osmosis water is a fine choice. Usually though city water is okay, but it will flavor your water. Think about it, the main ingredient is water!
2. Grind your own beans just prior to making that delicious brew, if you have a grinder that is. If you buy pre-ground coffee buy it is the smallest containers you can!
Unless you use an extraordinary amount of coffee, like restaurant quantities, the coffee in large containers will grow noticeably "un-fresh" in the giant ground bucket, so that by the end you cannot wait to open that new one you just bought! Another exception is cost. If that big old Folgers or Yuban tub saves you a few cents and you're willing to sacrifice flavor towards the end of it, by all means partake. We've all been there. Keep your beans or ground coffee is a cool (not refrigerated) area and out of sunlight, and keep them sealed as best you can!
By the way, there are myriad tutorials on how to even roast your own beans fresh, and a whole cottage industry devoted to this. thank you YouTube in particular and Internet in general for this great gift!
3. Prepare your coffee maker (whatever it is) just before you brew rather than the night before if you can. It does make a taste difference.
4. If using a drip maker with a hot plate beneath the pot, like a standard Mr. coffee, GET THAT COFFEE OF THE HOT PLATE! The loss via evaporation and constant heat beneath slowly turn your delicious delightful coffee to a devilishly bitter slop. As long as you don't mind the bitter stale taste, use that hot plate, but a btetter solution is to pour it into a thermos, or use a heat preserving decanter style brewer.
5. Simply drive to your local coffee joint.
6. Simply pop a K-Cup pod into your Keurig, however do still follow #1 above, and be sure to regularly clean your Keurig.
Other methods of brewing coffee.
Percolators. You may have seen your parents or your grandparents use this method. Heck, the sound of percolating was even used as part of early Yuban ads. I remember that add. God I'm Old. I have also used this method while camping, percolating over a camp fire. No, it's not great, but it's still coffee, so it's still good. Last 2 times camping I used a camp stove powered Mr. Coffee style maker, WAY better!
The downside to percolators is that the already brewed coffee is sent over and over again through the same grounds, so the coffee tends to get over done and bitter.
Boiling. This was the main method of making coffee for, like, ever. One way is called making "mud coffee", where you simply put your grounds in the bottom of a cup, pour near boiling (not NOT boiling) water into the cup then wit for the grounds to settle to the bottom of the cup. The mud comes from the goo at the bottom, the now depleted grounds. A guy I used to work with was a former Marine who was assigned as a cook. I used to tease him that he wasn't a rear soldier, what, would he chase the enemy with a spatula? He didn't like that much. anyway, their field method of coffee bring was a boiling water in a giant pot, like 70 gallons, throw in a can of coffee, stir, then at a certain time tossing ice into the water, forcing the grounds to settle quickly to the bottom. Simply ladle it into soldiers cups as they passed through the mess line. Cowboy Coffee is basically the same thing, just on a smaller scale.
French Press. This is also called Steeping. I do not, and will not ever use this method. I'm lazy and refuse to wait around until I can push the plunger after boiling water. From wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_preparation:
"A cafetière, or French press, is a tall, narrow cylinder with a plunger that includes a metal or nylon fine mesh filter. The grounds are placed in the cylinder, and off-the-boil water is then poured into it. The coffee and hot water are left in the cylinder for a few minutes (typically 4–7 minutes) and then the plunger is gently pushed down, leaving the filter immediately above the grounds, allowing the coffee to be poured out while the filter retains the grounds. Depending on the type of filter, it is important to pay attention to the grind of the coffee beans, though a rather coarse grind is almost always called for."
Others, such as Espresso I don't consider so much coffee as I do Green Acres Abominations, but a lot of people like this. I have an espresso maker (It's not EXPRESSO, ninny!) that I have used once, maybe twice. I don't use it because it makes these itty bitty cups of thick brew, and you have to use a very fine grind for the full effect. That grind really can't be used in the regular coffee maker. My thoughts on home espresso machines is they pretty much are similar to bread machines. you have one, it sits there, but yeah, no, it gets no use. So much easier to NOT use it. The only difference between an espresso machine and a tread mill is you don't drape clothing on the espresso machine.
Drip Method. Okay, if I have to describe this to anyone, have them write me direct so I can welcome them to planet Earth, or alternately, back from being 40 years dead.
Last words. The ratio of coffee to water is important, so experiment! that is something you cannot do with a Keurig, you get whatever is in the cup. Or Starbucks, short of making the barista insane with goofy overly complex orders. The beauty of home brewing is so multi faceted. you can roast your own beans, you can change the grind, you can change the radios, and you can do this all with a huge variety of different kinds of coffee beans!
For me, i prefer to push a button and let the coffee maker do the rest. Today it's all about the convenience rather than the crafting, but there are options.
So get out there and enjoy something delightful, like a cup of fresh brewed deliciousness!