Brewing Methods

Conundrum Coffee can be enjoyed in many different ways. We have outlined some of our favorite brewing methods below and invite you to discover your own unique ways to enjoy Conundrum.

Espresso Machine

Espresso is the most iconic extraction method of the coffee world. It is an essential component of lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more. Whole books could be, and have been, written about it, so we’ll just summarize. It is quick extraction under pressure. The basic elements of espresso machines are boilers, pumps/levers, brewing groups, and portafilters.

At Conundrum Coffee, we like to put all of our coffees to the test in our espresso machine. We have had great results with a wide variety of single origins, with the best shots coming from well balanced coffees roasted to Full City levels. Some highly acidic single origin coffees turned out a bit too acidic for espresso and some washed coffees seemed to lack enough sweetness to really make to espresso dynamic. We have yet to meet an espresso that is too sweet.

Coffee blends are pretty much the norm for most people and yield really nice results. By taking a heavy bodied Brazilian coffee and an unwashed Sidamo and mixing them together, you’ll end up with a nice balance of sweet, acidic, and bitter flavors along with a decadent, syrupy mouthfeel. We tend to steer clear of overly dark roasted beans or really light ones in the espresso machine since it will amplify the more extreme qualities of a coffee.

French Press

The French Press, or press pot, involves a cylindrical glass carafe and a plunger with an attached wire mesh screen. This is a full immersion method of coffee extraction using hot water. They come in many different colors and designs made from a variety of different materials, but all work in nearly the same fashion.

The French press is probably the most frequent brewing method at Conundrum Coffee. It is easy to use, makes enough for everyone to have a fresh cup and cleans up quickly, ready to start another pot. And you never run out of filters. Most importantly it makes a full bodied, solid cup of joe. While we tend to brew everything in the French press, more fruity, bright coffees tend to get a bit muddled and lose some of those high notes that make them extra special. We particularly enjoy washed coffees in the press.

Toddy Cold Brew System

The Toddy is a cold brew coffee system that uses time instead of heat to extract the coffee goodness. This cold brew method produces a smoother, less acidic flavor that is good for up to two weeks.

Cold extraction is our go-to for iced coffee. The coffee is particularly creamy, which blends wonderfully with milk. Cold brewing produces a much tastier iced solution than stale coffee and is more clear and less astringent than a double strength coffee served over ice. Plus, once it’s made, it makes for a quick, refreshing pick me up whenever you want without going through a whole brewing process. Simply pour over ice, add milk, stir and enjoy.

Toddy concentrate should keep for up to two weeks if properly stored in your refrigerator, but we hope that you love it so much that it is only in there for a few short days before you need to make your next batch.

The cold brewing process works with any type of coffee or roast level, but we often find ourselves gravitating to either bright African coffees or the earthier, chocolatey Guatemalans. The concentrate is also a great choice for cocktails and culinary applications where you want a surplus of flavor without a lot of extra liquid volume.


The siphon brewer, also known as a vacuum brewer or "vacpot", is quite possibly the most involved and theatrical way to prepare coffee.  The body of the brewer consists of two glass pieces wedded by a rubber O-ring. The filter is a piece of cloth wrapped around a metal disc with a beaded chain dangling from it.  The whole assemblage is suspended over a small controlled flame, finishing off that ever-entertaining "mad scientist" aesthetic.

Water is added to the bottom chamber, and fresh Conundrum coffee grounds to the top.  Placing brewer over the flame causes vapor pressure buildup as the water heats and evaporates.  The vapor eventually escapes upward, taking the water with it.  The coffee is now brewing.  As the bottom container cools, the pressure drops, pulling the brewed coffee back down through the filter and leaving the grounds up top.  Cheers!  You've earned it!