If you are entertaining at home, there are a few key things to consider when selecting a method to make a coffee for your guests.
Is it a formal or informal gathering? How many guests will be attending? How much time are you willing to devote to the coffee making process?
For ease and speed of brewing and dispensing along with being the most sociable, you can’t really get better than a plunger.
Additionally if you need a refill, as long as you have hot water ready, you can give the plunger a quick rinse out, add coffee and water and you can be back with your guests within a couple of minutes.
If you don’t have the counter-top space for an espresso machine, then a Bialetti stovetop is as close as you can get to producing an espresso style drink.
The great advantage of the stovetop method is that you can set it up and place on the heat within a minute or two and return to your guests while it starts to brew – you just need to ensure that you are back in the kitchen to turn the heat off at the right moment!
While both of these methods require your full attention during the brewing stage, it is possible to make your coffee at the table, right in front of your guests using either of these processes, creating a great conversation point.
Finally, of course, there is the espresso machine. Again, this requires you to be at the machine while making the coffees, but at the same time it allows for the most flexibility.
Just think about impressing your guests with not only a selection of blends and origins but the choice of single shot, double shot, latte, cappuccino etc.
If you feel that you are lacking a little bit of confidence in your abilities with your machine, you could always book a training session with Merlo to help elevate your skills!
Of course, all the above supposes that you are wanting to make your coffee hot and fresh. Well, there is another option to consider – cold press!
This removes the dilemma of having to leave your guests while you make their coffees and the stress of ensuring that you do everything correctly.
It can also easily be made a day or two ahead and sit in the fridge till you are ready to enjoy it.
Also if the coffee service is staggered for any reason, you can easily put the coffee back in the fridge until it is required again.
Check out my Cold Press/Cold Drip blog for more information on this process.
As with any method of coffee making, it is definitely recommended that any water used is freshly poured and filtered.