What is Immersion Brewing?
Immersion refers to the action of immersing something. Simply put, in the world of coffee Immersion brewing is when you are saturating coffee grounds in water and then usually filtering out the grounds. this method is commonly used in brewing tea as well as coffee.
Types of Immersion brew devices:
Cupping is one of the most universally recognised coffee brewing methods and is a form of immersion brewing.
French Press, The french press is a common example of immersion brewing when you soak your coffee grounds and leave it to brew you are brewing the coffee as an immersion.
AeroPress®, The AeroPress® can be used with many third party adaptors & attachments but a traditional recipe calls for an immersion style brew.
Cold Brew, Cold brew itself relies on immersion but not all cold brewed coffee is brewed the same. Cold drip coffee is a cold brew method but is not an immersion type brew.
Teapot, Most Teapot's are immersion brewing devices, yes immersion brewing is not just for coffee.
What is Percolation?
To percolate means to pass through a filter, this method is used in a vast array of brew methods and has some benefits. Brewing using a percolation method has the advantage of water being in contact with coffee for a lesser amount of time while passing through the coffee bed, this can overall result in a more clearer tasting coffee and accentuate the more delicate tasting notes.
Types of Percolation brewing devices:
Percolator, 'Bialetti®'/'Moka Pot'/'Stove Top', whatever you call it a percolator is probably the first thing that popped into your head when we started discussing percolation. Usually a Percolator works by building up pressure caused by heat from a stove, The water boils at the base and is forced through a puck of coffee. While the coffee brews pressure continues to build and the brewed coffee is forced up to the top and contained in the top section.
Espresso, While there is a lot of different ways of making espresso and coffee that claims to be espresso that is actually only somewhat resemblant, true espresso refers to the Italian word that translates to 'Pressed out'. Usually Espresso is made by grinding coffee beans, compressing the beans into a puck and forcing water through that puck, the coffee is served with out milk.
Dripper, There are many different types of drippers, some popular drippers are V60, Kalita, Origami, Chemex, While there are lots of variations between each dripper they work on the same premise that water passes through a bed of coffee and falls through a filter to be collected at the bottom.
Which Is more beginner friendly, Immersion or Percolation?
Immersion brewing is easy and does not need expensive equipment to make, Percolation brewing can get expensive up front especially when you are looking at espresso machines and usually requires more skill and more equipment.
In saying this there are some exceptions, if you are looking for a percolation brewer that is user friendly and inexpensive a 'Moka Pot' is probably your best bet. If you are looking for a percolation brewing device that produces a better tasting cup and has more variables to play around with I would suggest you look at a V60.
If you are looking for an Immersion brewer that makes great tasting coffee, is easy to use, is forgiving with grind size and is inexpensive we have a couple different brewers available but check out the AeroPress and the Hario Switch.
The AeroPress can be a great beginner friendly coffee brewer as it can make many different types of coffee and is portable enough to take along with you when you travel, it does not need to be paired with any other equipment but can be to make for a better experience and more control over variables. The 'Hario Switch' is a V60 dripper that connects to a lever, you brew with all your water in the V60 and when its time to finish your brew you flick a switch and watch the draw down.
Like the AeroPress, the Switch does not really need any more equipment to brew with although a set of scales is recommended to make sure you are using the right amount it is not essential.