Brewing Quality Coffee at Home
Congratulations! You’ve purchased specialty coffee that’s fresh and craft roasted. You’ve made the leap from the average store-bought, stale, one-roast-fits-all, old crop that you find on the shelves! Well it’s not over yet! Brewing is as much of an art and science as roasting is. We take incredible pride in the quality of our coffee pre-roast. The beans are grown at an ideal altitude in great soil; they’re hand-picked, processed well, shipped fast, and they arrive fresh. The first part of our job is to source quality coffee. Check. In addition, the second part of our job is to roast them well and get them to you fast, and, with what we believe to be a healthy amount of confidence, we do.
Finally, it’s up to you to brew it, and if you brew our beans well, then you will easily notice what makes our coffee so different than the other options available to you at the moment.
First of all, what is your current brew method? Some of our favorites are the Aeropress®, the Pour-Over, and the French Press. All 3 of these methods provide excellent cups of coffee due to the extraction process during brewing. In contrast, your average coffee pot will not produce the finest cup of coffee for several reasons (uneven extraction, cooking and burning the brew, inaccurate water temperature, etc.).
How are you grinding your beans? A blade grinder chops the bean and produces a terribly inconsistent grind, some chunks are present alongside powder, while a burr grinder, on the other hand, crushes the bean and is far more consistent. Furthermore, each brew method calls for a different grind level. While a French Press calls for a coarse grind, the Aeropress needs a fine grind. In the end, you’ll need to practice a bit to get each grind level right for the particular method you’re using.
The brewing ratio is crucial to get right according to your particular brewing method because too few grounds lends to a weak cup, and it’ll taste thin and soft like tea. If you use too many grounds, your cup will be too thick, and you’ll have to add water to taste. Personal preference plays a huge role in determining your favorite brew ratio, so use a guide at first and then adjust according to your taste.
While the other five of these aspects of brewing are very important, having good water for brewing is the most essential of all because the coffee beverage is mostly water, so it stands to reason that the quality of water you use will greatly affect the quality of the cup you produce. Start with filtered water, and ensure that it’s the right temperature. The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees F – just under boiling.
Each brew method requires a specific amount of time that you let the grounds sit in the water. For the Aeropress, it can be as little as 10 seconds. You let the coffee sit in the French press for 4 minutes. If the brew sits too long before being filtered, it will result in a sharp or bitter taste. If it doesn’t sit long enough, then a sour and thin taste will result.
Coffee doesn’t linger well after it’s brewed. It can’t sit on a warmer or else it’ll cook and taste like cigarettes. It can’t be warmed in a microwave or else it’ll taste like whatever you microwave (popcorn, pulled-pork, potatoes, prime-rib). The best thing to do is to enjoy it immediately (with caution, of course, it is hot!). The next best thing to do is to pour it into a high-quality tumbler or mug that will keep it warm for a while.
So let’s get started! The French press is probably the easiest to get right, and it can produce a great amount of coffee. So get yourself a good French Press, and check out our French press guide, and start enjoying your coffee! Thanks for reading!