Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz

Brewing coffee is an essential part of almost everyone’s daily routine. When it comes to getting started, it’s important to know the basics: Good ingredients and good tools will improve your brew right off the bat. Grinding high-quality coffee beans every morning with a decent burr grinder and using one of our recommended brewers will get you well on your way to making a better cup of coffee. Sourcing beans and equipment, however, is only half of the equation. These variables enable success, but employing the right techniques is just as important.

Below, find primers on the most common brewing methods, along with coffee recipes for a slew of delicious beverages for when you have more time to craft something than a bleary-eyed weekday morning usually allows. We also included some coffee-centric cocktails for those in need of a boozier pick-me-up on a festive evening.

How to Make Pourover Coffee

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

The pourover brewing method may seem pretty straightforward, but attention to a few details (like blooming the coffee grounds) can make the difference between adequate and truly exceptional coffee. Here’s our step-by-step overview of this ubiquitous brewing method.

How to Make French Press Coffee

Serious Eats / Nick Cho

This piece gives a primer and step-by-step overview of making coffee with a French press, plus the science behind why this brewing method is a bit different from the rest.

Japanese-Style Iced Coffee

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

If we had to choose our favorite method for making iced coffee, we greatly prefer brewing hot drip coffee directly onto ice, which extracts bright acidity from the grounds to balance their darker roasted flavor. Here, Daniel outlines his process and ratios for making the perfect cup.

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Cold brew coffee is simply a concentrated coffee that’s brewed for many hours at room temperature. Since hot water is best at extracting the bitter and acidic elements from ground coffee, the cold-brewing method results in a smoother iced coffee that’s perfect for those who like adding cream, milk, or a milk substitute.

Dalgona Coffee

Serious Eats / Lorena Masso

This internet-famous coffee drink is easy to make with the help of a stand mixer. As Genevieve explains in great detail, the drink takes advantage of a naturally occurring surfactant in brewed instant coffee that acts as a foaming agent. When concentrated instant coffee is whipped with sugar, the result is a rich foam flavored with the burnt caramel notes of dark-roast coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (With Real Squash)

Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Butternut or red kuri squash adds a real earthy-sweet pumpkin flavor to this take on the classic espresso beverage. Flavor aside, the squash’s fiber thickens the milk, helping it trap more tiny air bubbles once blended. The result is a foamy latte made with no espresso gear.

Barbajada (Milanese Hot Chocolate-Coffee Drink)

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

This mixture of hot chocolate and coffee is as simple as it is delicious: whisk some cocoa powder and sugar into hot milk until frothy, then add coffee. (Any strong coffee will do, whether that’s a couple of espresso shots or a concentrated brew made with your preferred method.) Of course, after extensive testing, we’ve dialed in our preferred proportions and wrote up this recipe.

Jus Alpukat (Indonesian Avocado-Coffee Shake)

Serious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

Equally perfect as your morning beverage or after-dinner dessert, this rich and creamy avocado shake—spiked with coffee and served in a chocolate-drizzled glass—is an absolutely delicious way to get your daily dose of caffeine.

Coffee Cabinets (Rhode Island-Style Coffee Milkshakes)

Serious Eats / Alexandra Penfold

This Ocean State specialty is made by blending up chilled coffee and homemade coffee syrup with coffee-flavored ice cream, resulting in a milkshake with layers of coffee flavor.

Frappé (Foamy Iced Coffee)

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Instant coffee is made instantly refreshing in this foamy Greek iced coffee.

Everything Nice (Spiced-Rum Coffee With Butterscotch Whipped Cream)

Serious Eats / Mariel De La Cruz

In Daniel’s deluxe variation on a classic Irish coffee, spiced rum takes the place of whiskey. For other Irish coffee-adjacent possibilities, see our recipe for Frangelico-flavored coffee with chocolate whipped cream. If you’re a fan of amari, try adding Fernet and topping with lemon whipped cream, or spike the coffee with a combination of bourbon, creme de cacao, Averna, and Gran Classico.

Anthora Pilsner

Serious Eats / Lizz Schumer

In Italy, an espresso is often served with a lemon twist. Here, cold brew coffee is combined with lemon juice and several bitter, aromatic spirits. For another boozy, on-the-rocks concoction, try this “improved” iced coffee, which features Old Grandad, Maraschino liqueur, and a hint of absinthe.

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