Pet peeve of mine is people referring to brewed coffee thinking it's synonymous with drip brewed only. Guess what, if the coffee is hit by water by any brewing method it's brewed coffee. I don't care if it's espresso (yes, espresso extraction is a brewing method), auto-drip, manual pour over, press pot, Aeropress, ibrik, vacuum brewer, vacuum balance brewer, Clover, moka pot, toddy, choreador (Costa Rica peasant coffee sock:-) it's all brewed coffee. Now if the beans are still dry and you just chew it that's another matter, unless you count saliva brewed which I don't count considering brewing methods to be prior to hitting my mouth...

If you wanna be considered a coffee professional, don't use layman misinformed misquided terminology.

Don't get me going on espresso not being coffee... Granted and agreed when someone walks up asks for a cup of coffee they're not (usually) referring to espresso extracted coffee, at least not in the US. Does not negate espresso being coffee.

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James-

When I read your post I was under the impression that you are living in the UK and are a native English speaker. I realize that, on an international forum such as this, that may not be the case. I apologize for any offense I may have caused regarding your writing.

That said, I agree with Mike when he writes, "if the coffee is hit by water by any brewing method it's brewed coffee." I see that you are making a distinction between brewing methods using pressure ("anything not percolated under pressure") and all the other methods. I think that's a false dichotomy. If you have a cup of water with microscopic floating coffee particles in it then whatever you're drinking out of that cup is, strictly speaking, brewed coffee. Infusing coffee with water by any means is brewing. Typically, the only coffees you could enjoy that aren't brewed are chocolate covered espresso beans. I have also been known to crunch on interesting looking beans I pull out of the house blends where I work...
Damion A said:
James-

When I read your post I was under the impression that you are living in the UK and are a native English speaker. I realize that, on an international forum such as this, that may not be the case. I apologize for any offense I may have caused regarding your writing.

That said, I agree with Mike when he writes, "if the coffee is hit by water by any brewing method it's brewed coffee." I see that you are making a distinction between brewing methods using pressure ("anything not percolated under pressure") and all the other methods. I think that's a false dichotomy. If you have a cup of water with microscopic floating coffee particles in it then whatever you're drinking out of that cup is, strictly speaking, brewed coffee. Infusing coffee with water by any means is brewing. Typically, the only coffees you could enjoy that aren't brewed are chocolate covered espresso beans. I have also been known to crunch on interesting looking beans I pull out of the house blends where I work...

The reason I separate espresso out is based on the fact that it is its own culture, with specific equipment and its own menu. It has been, in Europe, Australasia and more recently the US, the main vehicle behind the speciality coffee push. Prices have been comparatively higher for espresso based drinks, despite being - by and large - deeply underwhelming.

The post was about the advantage of pushing other brewing methods as a way to delivery quality, as a better way to show off the raw ingredient we all love. For a long time other brewing methods (mainly drip - if we are looking at the quantities brewed and sold) hadn't been used to brew better coffee. Hence my dichotomy which I don't believe to be particularly false. It wasn't really about the semantics of the word 'brewed', and while I take your point that when taken absolutely literally it doesn't make sense - I think I am hardly alone in using the word brewed to distinguish prep methods other than espresso.

English is my first language and up until now elucidation had never really been an issue.
OK, I've stayed out of this, but now feel I must ask - what do we call, collectively, coffee that has been brewed by french press, drip, vac pot, chemex, clover, etc? I agree with James that it is useful to have a blanket term to refer to the liquid results of these methods that, for the most part, are more similar than they are different.

I know we like having the awareness of the subtle differences in these brews, and are interested in demonstrating this knowledge by making sure that others know that WE KNOW... but are we really interested in banning a very useful term? For what reason?

For the record, I happen to appreciate both perspective that James has on "his craft" and the way that he writes and speaks of it. There is no reason to insult a community member just because you disagree with him, Damion... especially one that has made the sort of contributions that James has to the community.
I agree and disagree at the same time! While some might consider Press vs Vac vs Clover vs auto-drop vs chemex vs etc. more similar than dissimilar others would vehemently disagree believing each brewing method produces a distinctly different cup from the same coffee. And of course then there's an Americano which would/could also be lumped into this more similar than different in the cup category. Kind of relates (by way of example) to some shops strictly brewing decaf as an Americano when someone orders a decaf "coffee".

My original post was very specific in my "Pet Peeve" though. That being the term "brewed coffee" being used too often by some coffee professionals to mean "auto-drip brewed" only. Not vac, not Press etc.

Threads been interesting!

Brady said:
OK, I've stayed out of this, but now feel I must ask - what do we call, collectively, coffee that has been brewed by french press, drip, vac pot, chemex, clover, etc? I agree with James that it is useful to have a blanket term to refer to the liquid results of these methods that, for the most part, are more similar than they are different.

I know we like having the awareness of the subtle differences in these brews, and are interested in demonstrating this knowledge by making sure that others know that WE KNOW... but are we really interested in banning a very useful term? For what reason?

For the record, I happen to appreciate both perspective that James has on "his craft" and the way that he writes and speaks of it. There is no reason to insult a community member just because you disagree with him, Damion... especially one that has made the sort of contributions that James has to the community.
ahhh... ok. Understand now.

I'm sure not going to argue that its indiscriminate usage shouldn't bug you... that is entirely your option. Careful reading of your original post reveals this. Guess I need to do more of that?

To continue along the slightly derailed path... I'm beginning to think that the radical differences in the coffee brewed by various means is to some degree due to different techniques using these methods. If you are skilled using a brew method AND have dialed that method in to get as "true" of a cup as you can from a specific coffee, that cup will taste and smell remarkably like a similarly well-made and dialed-in cup made using a different means.

That speaks to the point that James made about "method-fetish"... There are clearly some unavoidable and serious differences in the filter media used (metal vs paper, etc)... but a nice extraction is a nice extraction, and will represent the coffee very well. I guess I'm saying that the ideal would be if the method didn't color the finished brew very much, but was more transparent. I guess I want to taste the coffee, not the brew method.

Wow, how's that for a tangent?
Since we're derailed anyway might as well continue in the gravel! While I wouldn't say a Press Pot versus Vacuum produces a radical difference in the cup, I would say that it's highly improbable to brew two identical cups Press vs Vac. Both could be equally nice in their own rights yet still distinctly different especially in body and mouthfeel. And in my mind differences in the cup, be they minute or major, because of different brewing method is a part of what makes coffee culinary. Not necessarily one method being better or truer to the bean just different representations of the bean. Cook a ribeye different ways and by golly it'll still be a ribeye steak and still have different end result too!
Brady, you included in your comments........

If you are skilled using a brew method AND have dialed that method in to get as "true" of a cup as you can from a specific coffee, that cup will taste and smell remarkably like a similarly well-made and dialed-in cup made using a different means.

While I think I understood your point, it immediately reminded me of something we've learned about traditional Brasilian cafe'. Domestic retail branded Brasilian coffee really does have a very distinctive aroma and flavor, if brewed typically Brasilian. Before we could easily get imported Brasilian coffee, we use to go to a local Middle-Eastern store and buy the their dark roast beans, get it ground fine, and would go home and brew it. It was close, but of course, never the same because of the coffee itself. When we're on the road, we always take a ziploc bag of our Brasilian along with our Melitta one-cup filter setup, along with plenty of sugar paks. Over the years, we've brewed that same coffee in drip machines, like our Capresso MT500. BTW, and as good as the Capresso is supposed to be, we actually got better results from "Mr.Coffee" units. But the point is, brewing any other way than traditional never seems to yield the same results. Our taste opinion is that for that specific coffee, best consistently predictable results happen when you stick to the same brewing method "and" the same basic equipment. I'd say that's one exception to the rule.
"Pet peeve of mine is people referring to brewed coffee thinking it's synonymous with drip brewed only. "

Language changes all the time. English teachers used to correct your paper if you wrote "he or she." Now it's standard. People will invariably prefer a one-syllable shorthand over a multi-syllabic "coffee other than espresso." I see nothing wrong with it, as long as the speaker (or writer) is understood. Today most coffee people understand "brewed" to mean non-espresso, and that's fine with me.

By the way, Donald Schoenholt once reminded people on alt.coffee that espresso machines are technically "percolators," since the water percolates through the grounds (likewise in drip machines). But, I'm happy to use that word just for my mother's old Cory machine.
miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness said:
Since we're derailed anyway might as well continue in the gravel! While I wouldn't say a Press Pot versus Vacuum produces a radical difference in the cup, I would say that it's highly improbable to brew two identical cups Press vs Vac. Both could be equally nice in their own rights yet still distinctly different especially in body and mouthfeel. And in my mind differences in the cup, be they minute or major, because of different brewing method is a part of what makes coffee culinary. Not necessarily one method being better or truer to the bean just different representations of the bean. Cook a ribeye different ways and by golly it'll still be a ribeye steak and still have different end result too!

Agreed.

I guess I could have said that more clearly - if you are seeing radical differences maybe its because you need to practice... There are differences, to be sure, and those differences are good.

I like the cooking analogy. You can cut up and stir fry a ribeye... do it right and it still tastes like a good ribeye. Do it wrong and you won't be able to tell that its even beef.

Now I'm hungry for ribeye... charcoal grilled medium with a little salt and pepper, thank you.

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