The Coffee Break with Alex // Each occasion has its own type of extraction

- By Alex Lafrenière
For each occasion its type of extraction
There are mornings when I'm just looking for a cup of comfort. So an espresso topped with a generous layer of frothed milk tickles me in exactly the right places. Other mornings (let's admit the ones where the dial has really rung too early), it's more of an intravenous dose of caffeine that I need and for that, a V60 is the perfect solution. Otherwise, for vacation mornings when you are lucky enough to wake up in a tent lost in the forest, there is nothing like the ritual of infusion by Italian coffee maker over a campfire.

In the end… each occasion has its own type of extraction!
For this second edition of the Coffee Break, I invite you to explore with me some of the most popular types of extractions and compare their characteristics.

The express
One of the most polarizing debates after thechicken or egg is definitely the one between the words All espresso brewing methods et express. It is said that the word espresso with an S comes from the Italian word to express which means Express. But the word express with an X comes rather from Anglicism Express, which refers to the speed of preparation of this recipe. In fact, there is no wrong answer and in case you order an eSpresso or an eXpresso from Faux Mouvement, you will receive a drink extracted using pressurized hot water.
Espresso is the result of extracting a very finely ground coffee patty through a machine that brings the water to a precise temperature and puts it under high pressure. Espresso is a type of extraction where the coffee's body, sweetness and bitterness are amplified.
DID YOU KNOW?  In my eyes, there is no greater satisfaction than pouring yourself an espresso with a nice dense layer of crema on top. By the way, what exactly is this little foam huh? Crema refers to the emulsion that settles on the surface of the coffee and it is an integral part of the espresso. Its density depends on the variety of coffee and its freshness.
The manual filter
Ahhh the manual filter. My favorite extraction method! This technique features the Chemex or any type of flower dripper, i.e. a portafilter containing a V60 type filter affixed to the cup. The Chemex is the famous glass coffee pot that looks like a chemist's flask. Not for nothing does this coffee maker seem to come straight out of a laboratory: it was invented in the 40s by a doctor of chemistry.
Concoct a for over is very simple: it is a matter of placing a previously wet and warmed filter in its mouth, depositing the coarsely ground coffee beans and slowly pouring the water in a circular fashion.
COUNCIL OF (almost) PRO: Using a gooseneck kettle helps regulate the flow of water being poured.
Use the technique for over to brew your coffee is my go-to method for so many reasons: 
  • The result in the cup is pure and faithful to the authentic character of the bean 
  • The equipment is more than affordable compared to an espresso machine
  • Because the beans steep longer, there is more caffeine present in the cup. A manual filter wakes you up like a cold shower!   

French press
The French press, better known as the french press, is the nomadic coffee maker par excellence. You are invited to dinner and you know that your hosts' coffee tastes like sock juice? Hide a French press in the glove compartment of your car and take the opportunity to make yourself a real good cup when you are asked to take out the trash. 
This French invention from the 20s is simple to use: simply drop the very coarsely ground grains into the contents, pour hot water, wait 4 minutes, press with the plunger and you're done! The result in the cup is uniform, full-bodied and strong in aromas.
Ehh no… the Aeropress is not a kind of machine that goes into space, but rather a very compact and unbreakable tool that allows you to pour coffee under pressure thanks to its piston. In other words, it's a very affordable way to make espresso, both at home and on the road. It is also possible to modify the extraction parameters of the Aeropress, as one would do on an espresso machine.
In the cup, an Aeropress offers us a very slightly acid and slightly bitter result, but with a lot of body. This is explained by the very short extraction time, but an efficient infusion by the fact that the coffee beans are steeped directly in the water.
So… Did I convince you to come and try a new method of coffee extraction at Faux Mouvement?
Good coffee :)
- Alex