How to Make One Cup of Coffee

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Getting one cup of coffee is easy if you're willing to shell out a fortune at your local coffee store or settle for subpar instant crystals and hot water. A drip coffee maker, French press or pour-over style can all yield one delicious cup at home that tastes perfect. You can make this one cup even without a special pod coffee maker.

Drip Coffee

Pull out your plain drip coffee maker and measure 1 level tablespoon of finely ground coffee into the coffee filter. Add 6 ounces of water to the reservoir and press on -- the coffee will percolate into the carafe and provide just one cup.

Tip

  • Most coffee shop coffees serve 12 ounces as a small. If that's your idea of a "cup," simply double the coffee and water amounts.

French Press

A French press sounds formal and intimidating, but it's one of the simplest ways to make a cup of coffee. You'll need to obtain this contraption, first, though. A French press is a glass carafe with a silver lid attached to a filter. Almost all cooking supply stores carry them. Once you have the press, the process of making coffee is easy.

Step 1: Boil Water

Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil on the stovetop and then turn off the heat. Let it sit for a minute or two to allow the heat to dissipate slightly. Using water that's too hot makes for a bitter cup of joe.

Step 2: Prepare the Beans

Grind 2 tablespoons of beans. Freshly ground beans from a burr grinder are optimal as they come out evenly textured and not so fine that they flush through the filter.

Step 3: Pour In

Put the grounds into the French press. Add the water till it reaches the top.

Step 4: Stir

Stir the mixture by placing the lid of the French press and vigorously pumping the filter up and down, using the knob on top of the lid.

Step 5: Steep and Serve

Walk away from the pot and let the beans steep in the water for about 4 minutes. When the time has elapsed, press the plunger to the bottom of the carafe and pour the coffee into a cup. Drink it immediately.

Tip

  • If you like a weaker brew, let the grounds steep for only 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

Pour Over

Hip coffee pubs brew one cup of coffee at a time using a pour-over technique. This process yields a rich cup of coffee at the right temperature. This method makes a generous 12-ounce cup and requires a pour-over system with a funnel-shaped cup at top and a brewer below.

Step 1: Rinse the Filter

Use a small coffee filter that fits into the cup base. Rinse the filter with hot water and leave it damp, but not dripping. Place it into the cup base, which features a hole in the bottom, and set the brewer, or carafe, below.

Step 2: Grind the Beans

Use approximately 4 tablespoons of beans and grind them into a sand-like consistency.

Step 3: Blooming

Add the grounds to the filter and level out the grounds. Pour over about 1/4 cup of hot water that's at a temperature of approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The grounds should be fully saturated, but not floating out of the filter into the cup. Let sit, or bloom, for 30 seconds.

Step 4: More Water

Add the rest of the water -- another 1 1/4 cups -- pouring it in a circular motion to fully wet the grounds. Pour at a steady pace so you don't flood the cup and send grounds flying out of the filter. The coffee brewing in the filter should have an even color with no pale or overly dark spots.

Step 5: Complete the Brewing

Give the coffee about 2 minutes and 30 seconds to drip to the carafe below. Once the water has dripped out of the cup and into the brewer -- it's ready to drink.

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