How to Choose the Best Brewer

How to Choose the Best Brewer

Coffee can be simultaneously easy and complicated, specialised and scientific, or straightforward and simplistic. It's all a matter of preference. However, when you make a cup of coffee in the morning (mostly), you may be bound by certain mitigating factors—lack of sleep, lack of time and caffeine, or all of the above. These may influence your choice of brewing. So, how do you choose the best brewing method for your lifestyle?


Read on to find out more.


How Do You Choose the Best Coffee Brewing Method for Your Lifestyle?

If you're reading this, I'm sure you know there are multiple ways to brew your favourite FiXX. And each brings something unique to the final cup of coffee. But how you decide which best suits your lifestyle will depend on, well, your lifestyle. I will break this down brewer by brewer and point out the pros and cons of each, and at the end of reading this, you might have a new favourite (or your opinions strengthened). 



Factors Influencing Your Choice

Before diving into the topic, there are a few points to remember. Some coffee makers require additional elements, such as filter papers. However, one worthwhile tool for any coffee enthusiast is a digital scale (you can also use a measuring spoon like you would for baking if you already have one). Using one of these can help you follow a good basic recipe, regardless of your preferred brewing method, and following a basic recipe will help you get consistently good coffee. They will also help prevent unnecessary waste. Therefore, I won't list it as an optional requirement because it's a must-have for all coffee lovers.

Also, every coffee brewer can be placed into one of two categories: immersion or percolation.


  • Immersion: Immersion brewing in coffee involves steeping coffee grounds in water for a set period. This method produces a full-bodied cup with robust flavours as the grounds remain in contact with water throughout the brewing process. The result is often a rich and intense coffee experience popularised by methods like French Press and AeroPress.
  • Percolation: Percolation brewing involves passing water through coffee grounds, and it includes various brewers like Espresso, stovetop and pour-over. This process extracts flavours more selectively, yielding a cleaner cup with distinct acidity and clarity. Percolation brewing is favoured for its ability to highlight the nuanced flavours of each coffee.


Other things to consider...

  • Time: How much time do you have to brew? 
  • Coffee: What type of roast coffee do you like? And what would you like the final cup to taste like? 
  • Size: Are you brewing for more than one person? Or do you need a lot of coffee for yourself? 
  • Money: How much do you want to spend on your coffee set-up? Some of these brewers require additional tools.
  • Ease: How much effort do you want to put into brewing and cleaning?
  • Space: How much space do you have in your kitchen?


It's worth pointing out there is no best brewer out there. People have their preferences, of course, but as the title of this blog suggests, this is about finding what works best for you. So, let's get going.




Orange outline of a French Press

French Press/ Cafetiere

The French Press is instantly recognisable and arguably the most popular brewer on this list. Why? Well, it's simple to use and extremely easy to explain to people. A French Press consists of a glass vessel and a plunger, topped with a metal mesh plate to filter the coffee grinds. A French Press brews coffee by immersion, meaning the final cup is full-bodied and well-suited for medium to darker roasted coffee. So, if you like dark roasts with big flavours and a full mouthfeel, you're off to a good start here.




  • They're so simple to use. Put in your ground coffee, fill it with boiling water, wait, plunge, and serve.
  • They are excellent value. They don't need any filter papers, so it is ready to use straight out of the box.
  • They come in various sizes and are great for individual brewing or for friends/family.
  • Take up very little space in your kitchen.



  • Brew times aren't quick, starting at four minutes and going up to ten on preference. So, if you're in a rush, this might not be for you.
  • Cups of coffee can be silty or muddy and, as a result, lack some clarity. This is because the filter plate doesn't catch all the sediment.
  • Some people find the cleaning a bit finicky. You can find a cleaning guide in this blog here.
  • The glass and plastic can make a French Press fragile and easy to break.




Orange outline of a AeroPress 


The AeroPress is a fantastic coffee brewer. I love it so much that I wrote an entire blog about why I love it. But if you're unfamiliar with it, it is a manual coffee brewer that makes coffee using the immersion method, pressure filtered using your hand. It comprises three parts: a cap for your filter paper, a chamber for your coffee and water, and a silicone-capped plunger. Coffees brewed with an AeroPress can be full-bodied and well-filtered with good clarity. They also lend themselves well to any roast profile. 




  • They are great value, extraordinarily hard to break and portable, meaning you can take them on your holidays!
  • You have complete control over brewing metrics, such as brew time, grind size, ratios, etc. This gives them the ability to brew coffee in a number of different ways.
  • You can have a delicious cup of coffee in one minute.
  • The AeroPress is so easy to clean that many people call it self-cleaning.
  • They're tiny and take up very little space in a kitchen.
  • You can buy loads of attachments to upgrade it to different brewing methods like this Puck Puck cold brewer.



  • Their small size makes it challenging to upsize your brew if you've got guests.
  • The almost limitless ways it can brew coffee initially make it slightly intimidating (you can check out some good recipes here, though).
  • To brew, you'll need AeroPress filter papers. An AeroPress comes with 100, which will keep you going for a while, but you'll need to purchase more afterward. Alternatively, you can buy this reusable metal filter.




Orange outline of a Hario V60 

Hario V60

The Hario V60 pour-over brewer is a gem. Made by the Japanese company Hario, the V60 is an outstanding entry-point pour-over brewer. Available in various colours, sizes, and materials, it is the daily driver for millions worldwide. Because it is a pour-over, the brewing method is percolation. This gives coffees brewed this way excellent clarity of flavour, and as such, they lend themselves very well to light roast coffees.




  • The plastic option is exceptionally affordable, practically indestructible, and takes up very little space in your kitchen.
  • The final cup of coffee can be delicious with remarkable clarity of flavour, especially when using lighter roasts. 
  • Super easy to clean, and most of the options are dishwasher-safe.
  • They're quick at brewing a good cup, which can be done in two minutes.



  • Brewing a cup can be a bit hands-on and requires some technique.
  • Requires filter papers. They usually come with 60 in the box, but you'll have to purchase more afterwards. 
  • Unsurprisingly, the size of your V60 determines how much you can brew. An 01 is perfect if you want one cup for yourself, while an 02 will make two cups or a lot. But if you brew for a crowd, this might not be the brewer for you.
  • Some people claim to get the best brew from a Hario V60, you need a gooseneck kettle. In my opinion, you can still get great coffee with a standard kettle.




Orange outline of a Chemex 


The Chemex is another pour-over brewer, and I love it so much that I wrote a blog about it (you can read that here, by the way). The Chemex is a single piece of glassware that works as both the brewer and the carafe. The glass is adorned with a wooden collar, held in place with a leather strap. Brewing requires using Chemex's double-bonded filter papers, and the resulting cup is incredibly clean and delicious. 




  • It can make fantastic coffee and works particularly well with lighter-roasted coffees. 
  • It's straightforward to use and doesn't require additional tools.
  • It looks amazing! But they are on the bulkier side of small.
  • The 8-cup Chemex can brew up to 1Lt, which is excellent for entertaining.



  • It's not a quick brewer, taking up to eight minutes for a full brew.
  • It's made almost entirely of glass, so it won't bounce very well if you drop it.
  • They're not the cheapest of brewers, and you need to use Chemex filter papers, which are sold separately. 
  • Some people find them annoying to clean (check out our cleaning guide here), but once you remove the wooden collar, they are dishwasher-safe. 




Orange outline of a Moka Pot 

Moka Pot (Stovetop)

The Moka Pot is another stone-wall classic and one that can undoubtedly challenge the French Press for the title of most popular coffee brewer worldwide. If, for some reason, you're not sure, a Moka Pot consists of three parts: a water chamber at the bottom, a basket for coffee in the middle, and a top chamber for the brewed coffee. Coffee is brewed by percolation using steam to push the water up and through finely ground coffee. This gives stovetop coffees a full-bodied, intense flavour, some likening it to Espresso. As a result, these brewers work best with medium to dark roast coffees.




  • They are reasonably priced and are very hard to break.
  • They are simple to brew with and don't need any additional tools or filter papers.
  • If you're the camping type, this is the brewer for you. 
  • If you like intense, full-bodied coffee, this is for you. They're also great at making coffees to pair with milk.
  • They come in all sorts of sizes. So if you want one just for yourself, no problem. Brewing for a crowd? No problem.
  • They only take up a little room and look great.



  • Although they are easy to brew with, they are hard to master. It's easy to over-extract your coffee.
  • Cleaning can be annoying to the point that many people don't do it properly. You can check our guide here.  
  • If you're in a hurry, it may not be for you. 
  • This isn't a great match if you're into lighter-roasted coffees.




Orange outline of a Clever Dripper 

Clever Dripper

The Clever Dripper is one of those brewers you hear mentioned a lot, but you don't see it very often. I can't give you a good reason why because I think they're great. If you're not sure what they are, think of them as a love child of a Hario V60 and a French Press. It's an immersion brewer, but it gets filtered like a pour-over. So, the final cup is full-bodied with excellent clarity. This makes them great for every type of roast coffee.




  • They are simple to use. Put your coffee in the filter paper and immerse it like a French Press. Then you wait, put it on your cup, and it will drain in, ready to drink. 
  • You can play around with grind size to get the best out of your coffee.
  • They're good value and offer a unique brewing experience.
  • They're easy enough to clean. Dispose of the filter paper and ground coffee in your food compost bin, and rinse with hot, clean water.



  • They're not the fastest brewers and are similar to French Press in this regard.
  • You need filter papers (available here), which're not included.
  • They are not the strongest of brewers. You might get away with one bounce, but I wouldn't drop it a second time.
  • You can brew using up to 500ml of water. So it's not ideal if you're brewing for a crowd.




Orange outline of an Electric Filter Brewer 

Electric Filter Brewer

These batch brewers vary hugely in style, size, and quality; the final cup will reflect a combination of those. But they are great for many reasons and suit lots of scenarios. This Bonavita brewer is an excellent choice and is recognised by the Specialty Coffee Association as a part of Certified Home Brewer Program. They all work as pour-over percolation brewers and can brew any roast well.




  • They're simple to use. Load your coffee and water, press a button, and wait. 
  • If you're brewing for a lot of people, this is definitely the brewer for you.
  • If you have one with a timer setting, you can load it the night before and wake up to freshly brewed coffee!
  • You don't need any extra tools, although some do require filter papers.



  • They're not the cheapest option here, and consistency can be an issue. Obviously, the better you want the final cup to be, the more you'll have to pay.
  • They can take up a good chunk of your counter space.
  • The glass carafes tend to be very fragile.
  • They're not ideal if you only want a cup of coffee.
  • Cleaning can be annoying, and special de-scaler cleaning detergents can cost extra (check out our cleaning guide here). 




Orange outline of a Coffee Capsule machine  


Few ways to brew coffee have attracted more snobbery than coffee capsules. And for a long time, that snobbery could be justified. But now, thanks to our award-winning, biodegradable, and compostable FiXX Capsules, the quality of the coffee and the waste problems associated with capsules need not be a concern (I also wrote a blog about this you can read here). But if for some reason you're not sure, coffee capsules are pre-ground, individually dosed capsules of coffee that are inserted into specially designed machines to create rich lungo-style or short espresso-style coffees. 




  • It is hands down the simplest way to brew coffee on this list. Load your capsule, press a button, and 30 seconds later, you've got your coffee.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain your machine.
  • You can brew a variety of coffees for people in quick time.
  • The machines tend to be relatively small, and some look great.
  • George Clooney may pop around for coffee.



  • You need a machine to brew, which can be expensive, depending on your choice. But once you have one, you don't need anything else.
  • Although our FiXX Capsules can go straight into the compost bin, many people are opposed to each coffee being individually packaged.
  • Per gram of coffee, it's the most expensive way to brew a cup of coffee.
  • George Clooney may pop around for coffee.




Orange outline of an Espresso Machine 


Espresso is not the pinnacle of coffee. It's just another brewing method. And yes, while a good espresso is a beautiful thing, so are many other types of brewed coffee. And if you're at the point where you think an Espresso machine will suit your lifestyle, then good on ya. Just bear in mind that Espresso machines aren't magic and require a bit of a labour of love. Espresso brews by percolation and is best suited for medium to darker roasts.


There are three main options for home espresso machines: a hand-operated lever machine, an automatic machine with a built-in pump, or a fully automated machine with a built-in grinder that'll do all the brewing at the touch of a button. All of these options are way more expensive than anything else mentioned today, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. So, the following pros and cons will be about Espresso in general. 




  • The taste of a well-extracted Espresso is outstanding.
  • It's a speedy way to brew coffee when everything is set up.
  • Espresso is the base for good milky drinks like Cappuccinos and Lattes.
  • Some Espresso machines look amazing!
  • You can brew a lot of coffee for a lot of people in a short time. 



  • They're costly, and any cheap options will either break quickly or not extract the coffee properly. In addition, you need a good grinder and tamper to get started.
  • They can take up a lot of space in your kitchen.
  • It can be frustrating to dial in a new coffee. If you get a nice new bag of 250g coffee beans, you could go through 100g, sometimes more, trying to get the perfect extraction. 
  • Espresso machines need proper maintenance and cleaning.




In Conclusion

Well, there you have it. I hope you found something useful in there, even if that was only strengthening your own opinions! What's good to know, though, is that no matter what type of brewer you use, we've got a FiXX for you. And if you're still unsure which brewer is for you, why not take a leaf out of my book and begin a slow descent into coffee nerdiness by getting one of each?


Thanks for reading





  • Kevin Acheson

Kevin has worked in and around the coffee industry for over 20 years in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia.