From the farmer to the roaster, those along the coffee chain of custody made many decisions that impacted the quality of taste of the coffee. Now the coffee is in your hands, and you get to make the choices on how to prepare your coffee. Grab a grinder and scale, and you’ll be brewing a great cup in no time!
- Grind your coffee within 15 minutes of brewing.
- Match the coffee grind particle size to your brewing method – longer brewing times use coarser grinds (like a French Press), while shorter brewing methods use finer grinds (like espresso).
- Try using 1 ounce of coffee for 16 ounces of water (a “1:16” ratio) as a starting point.
- Use purified water (clean, free of chlorine, odor-free, etc.) between 195-205ºF, i.e. just below boiling temperature.
- Keep your equipment clean and dry when not in use.
- Adjust to taste: Try first adjusting your grind size. Then try adjusting the amount of coffee you use.
Try adjusting either the grind or the amount of coffee you use. It’s important to only change one variable at a time; otherwise, you won’t know which change led to your desired taste profile.
Changing the size of the grind can largely influence the taste of your coffee. For all brewing methods, if the coffee tastes bitter, use a coarser grind; if the coffee tastes sour, use a finer grind.
When it comes to brewing that perfect cup of coffee, there are many options available, and which method produces the best coffee is entirely up to you to decide. Whether you prefer simple or fancy, here’s a guide that covers the more popular brewing methods.
Home Drip Brewer
To brew your coffee with a home brewer, start out with one that is clean and happily functioning. For every 16 ounces of water, try 1 oz of “drip” ground coffee (or 60 grams of coffee per liter of water)
- Place a clean and dry filter into the brew basket.
- Add ground coffee to the filter and start the brewing cycle.
- Swirl the thermos before you pour a cup, and enjoy!
- Do not allow the coffee to continue to cook on a heated plate.
Commercial Batch Brewer
To brew your coffee with a commercial batch brewer, you will need medium-coarse ground coffee and a clean brewer.
- Place a clean, dry filter into the brew basket.
- Add ground coffee and ensure the ground bed is level – begin brewing.
- Compost the used grounds and rinse the brew basket as soon as the coffee is finished brewing.
- Use the center insert of the thermal flask to stir the coffee.
To brew your coffee with a French Press you will need 60 grams of coarsely ground coffee, to 1 liter of nearly-boiling water, a scale (to measure out what you need), and a timer. The entire brewing process takes about 4 minutes, give or take 30 seconds or so. Preheat your French Press by rinsing it with hot water, and be sure to have a separate serving device (or a large mug!) ready to transfer the coffee to as soon as it’s finished brewing.
- Add the ground coffee and start your timer – add all the water from beginning to the 30-second mark.
- Stir with a spoon to saturate all of the grounds, place the plunger on top, and let it sit for 3 minutes.
- At 3:30, slowly start to sink the plunger down your cup.
- At 4:00 minutes, pour the brewed coffee into a separate service vessel, swirl and enjoy!
- Once the coffee has cooled, clean the flask, plunger and screen filter gently, but very well. Let air dry.
To brew your coffee with an aeropress, you will need 15 grams of finely ground coffee, 250 grams of nearly-boiling water, a timer and a scale. The brewing process will take about 2:15, give or take 15 seconds. Prepare your aeropress by adding a filter and rinsing it with hot water to preheat.
- Place the Aeropress on top of a sturdy mug, then place everything on top of a scale.
- Tare the scale to zero and add the coffee grounds.
- Quickly add 60g of water and stir to saturate all the grounds. Start your timer and let the coffee “bloom” for 30 seconds.
- Add the remaining water, remove the mug and press it from the scale.
- At 1:45, slowly press down with medium pressure for 00:30 until you hear a light hissing sound. Remove the press, swirl your coffee and enjoy!
- Once finished, clean each part of the Aeropress well and let air dry.
To brew your coffee using a Kalita 185, you will need 27 grams of medium- or coarse-ground coffee, 400 grams of nearly-boiling water, a scale, and a timer. You will want to rinse the filter with hot water prior to brewing to preheat the equipment and tare the scale to 0g.
- Place the Kalita on the scale, add the ground coffee, and re-tare the scale to 0g.
- Start the timer and begin adding 50g of water over 0:30 seconds, saturating all of the grounds.
- Allow the coffee to bloom until 0:45 to 1:00 (or until the coffee has stopped bubbling).
- Starting in the center, pour in a clockwise spiral motion, working towards the outer edge of the filter.
- Add water until the level reaches 3/4th the height of the dripper; it should be around 220g by 1:15.
- Let it drain to 1/4 of the dripper level.
- Starting at the edge of the filter, pour in a clockwise spiral motion towards the center of the filter – Pour to 340g by 1:50.
- Let it drain to 1/4 of the dripper level.
- Starting in the center of the filter, pour in a clockwise spiral motion towards the edge of the filter – Pour to 400g by 2:05 to 2:10.
- Finish @ 3:00 (+/- 0:30) Swirl and Serve
To brew your coffee in a Moka Pot, you will need 20 grams of finely ground coffee and 320 grams of boiling water. Start by pouring the boiling water into the bottom half of the pot, adding your coffee to the basket, giving it a shake to settle the grounds, and placing the basket on top of the bottom portion.
- Carefully screw on the Moka pot’s spouted top. *Use caution; the bottom chamber will be hot.
- Place the pot on a stove and apply medium heat with the top open.
- When the water in the bottom chamber approaches a boil, the pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly up through the upper chamber.
- *If it explodes upward, your water’s too hot; if it burbles slowly, turn up your flame.
- Your coffee is finished when you hear a bubbling or hissing sound; enjoy it within an hour of brewing!
To brew your coffee with a siphon, you will need 35 grams of medium- or fine-ground coffee, 590 grams of nearly-boiling water, and a timer.
- Fill the bottom globe with already-heated water (to save time) and place it over a flame.
- Insert the hopper, filter and all into the bulb. Place the entire assembly above your heat source. Let top globe rest on the bottom globe, but do not fit them together too tightly.
- When water in bottom globe begins to boil, tightly fit top globe onto the bottom globe
- As water transfers to the top globe, stir to cool the water. Turn down the burner as well. Aim for 195°–200°F (94°C) without letting water transfer back to the bottom of the globe. A bit of water will remain at the bottom—this is fine.
- Pour the freshly ground coffee into the top globe and stir gently to saturate all the grounds. Avoid a metal stirrer—use bamboo or plastic. Let steep for 1-2 minutes.
- After steeping time has passed, stir the grounds again and remove the flame to start vacuum filtering.
- Filtering is complete when coffee in the bottom globe bubbles (about 1 minute).
- Pour into a pre-heated ceramic cup and serve immediately.
Tips for Storing Coffee
Coffee beans are like little, hard sponges that absorb odors into their little cells, which also contain the aromatic oils we love. The basic principles of keeping roasted coffee fresh are to keep your coffee away from:
- Direct Sunlight
- Oxygen (as much as possible)
A well-sealed, opaque container of coffee on your pantry shelf is the best way to store your coffee once it has been opened.
We don't recommend storing it in the refrigerator. This exposes the coffee beans to the moisture of condensation, which is then sealed into the bag and can make your brew taste like cardboard pretty quickly. Odors also abound in fridges and freezers.
It is alright, though, to freeze well-protected, unopened packs of whole beans for up to a month. When you remove the frozen beans, let them warm to room temperature in your pantry first, then grind and brew within two weeks, as you do with fresh coffee.