When it comes to brewing coffee, there are a lot of factors that affect the taste and even more opinions on the right way to combine those factors for the perfect cup. If you are looking to go on to the world barista championships, this is not the right resource for you. My goal here is to give you the core best practice principals for coffee preparation that will hold true across most methods you are likely to use. Additionally, we will throw in some practical alternatives that can give you a great cup of coffee and require minimal gear. So, without further ado…
# 1. Grind fresh and match the grind to your method. Remember, the longer the water contacts the coffee, the coarser the grind should be. As for ratio, you're looking for 1gram of coffee to 15-17 grams of water or 1.63 grams of coffee to 1 oz of water (roughly 3 tablespoons of whole bean coffee per 12 oz cup of coffee prepared). If you want pre-determined dosing check out detailed brew ratios.
#2. Water temp: you want between 195-205 degrees F, or about 1 minute off of boil.
#3. Pre-heat the brew vessel by pouring a little of the boiling water through the brewer and filter (if applicable). This keeps the coffee hot and helps the heat transfer to stay between the water and your coffee, instead of the water and your mug/brewer. Be sure to empty the water used before starting to brew.
#4. Add ground coffee to brewer.
#5. Pour in just enough water to saturate the grounds and let it sit for 30 sec (60 for a French press) to breathe/off gas. Fresh coffee has carbon dioxide trapped in it. The hot water releases this gas.
#6. After the 30 seconds has passed, add the remaining water trying to pour specifically to dissipate any clumps or dark spots. If you have a narrow neck kettle this is much easier. If you are finding this difficult with your kettle, no sweat. Just go grab a chopstick and stir to break up clumps (this is best done early on).
#7. Hit your target brew time. This can be tough your first time with any brew method but after a few rounds it becomes natural, even in your zombie-esque morning state of mind. If you are brewing via pour-over the goal is to hit your target volume in around 3-4 minutes, so try to pour for that target. For a French press shoot for 4-5 minutes. But just remember, it is important to pour the coffee just around the 4-5 minute mark. Letting the coffee sit in the grinds too long can cause over extraction and lead to overly bitter flavors entering the coffee. The same goes for a pour-over. When the coffee out of the filter turns from a solid stream to a drip its time to remove the filter from your brewer.
So there you have it, seven easy steps to a great cup of coffee, and 3 of them are just prep. Happy brewing and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We're here to help.