So you thought you were avoiding all the complexity by staying away from all the modern fancy espresso drinks and sticking with your simple cup o’ joe? Think again! Regular brewed coffee is much more complicated than you might think when you consider all the different ways of brewing it. These include filter drip, French press, percolator, vacuum, and the cold water method. Read on if you’re ready to leave your protective bubble of coffee simplicity and learn about these different coffee brewing methods.

That basic coffee machine you bought at Walmart for $25 uses what is known as the filter drip, the most common method of brewing. The water in the coffee reservoir heats up to near boiling temperature, then it pours through the ground coffee in the filter. Restaurants use these machines as well as plain ol’ folk at home in their kitchens.

The French press, or plunger pot method is a tad more complicated than the filter drip. This technique requires prepping the coffee ahead of time, but you end up with some really good tasting coffee with good aroma and density. This way mixes the coffee and water together in a glass receptacle, and then steeped for a while. A plunger then pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container where they are trapped.

Percolator machines were quite popular back in the 50’s but have since lost popularity in favor to drip machines. Percolators also use a filter, however they run the coffee through the filter multiple times while mixing it with heated water. This method has the problem of over heating the water and over extracting the beans.