Amidst all of this chaos, it’s possible that visiting your favourite coffee shop isn’t possible (unless they’re open for take-away, in which case #supportyourlocal!). Brewing coffee at home is what you’ll have to revert to, using the beans you love from your favourite coffee shop. We thought we’d equip you with a few coffee brewing tips and tricks to make sure you can brew better coffee at home!
Brew Tip 1: Check your grind size
After having purchased your coffee beans, make sure to grind them according to what brew method you’ll be using! If you’re asking a barista to do this for you, just let them know if you’re planning to brew the beans in a Chemex, French press, v60, Aeropress, Siphon, Moka pot, or espresso machine – and they’ll know what grind size you need. But if you’re grinding the beans yourself at home, make sure you’re using a grind size that corresponds to the brew method as it impacts the extraction rate which has a huge impact on the taste in your cup! Below is a diagram to help you decide on the grind size you need:
Brew Tip 2: Think Through the Water
TYPE: So, we know that not everyone has access to filtered water, but it is preferable to not use water from the tap as this is loaded with minerals such as chlorine which impact the taste of your coffee. Use bottled water instead! If you are using tap water, let it run for a few seconds before filling your water boiler, and despite common rumours: avoid distilled or softened water!
RATIO: The “Golden Ratio” when it comes to coffee brewing is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t play around with it depending on how strong you like your coffee. Many of your coffee brewing equipment (such as French Press, V60, or Chemex) will have measurement marks on them to help you out.
TEMPERATURE: For optimal extraction, the temperature of your water should range between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, or 90.5 to 96 degrees Celsius. Temperature matters because colder water will result in under-extraction, meaning the coffee has a flatter, more sour and unpleasant taste. Hot coffee will equally result in the decrease in the quality of the different flavour notes in your cup. If you’re simply using a water boiler or cooking water on the stove, allow the water to come to a boil, at which point you can turn the heat off and let the water rest for a minute before pouring it over your grounds. Once you’re finished brewing your coffee as well as added any cream, milk, or flavouring (cold elements), your cup will cool down to around 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, or 82 to 85 degrees Celsius. With regards to drinking it, wait until the temperature has reached a comfortable 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or 60 degrees Celsius, at which point some research indicates it tastes the best. But you know…we’ll probably just let you decide when you’d like to take your first sip.
Brew Tip 3: Keep an Eye on the Time
When it comes to brewing your coffee, the amount of time the water is in contact with the grounds is crucial. Timing is different for every brewing method. You don’t want to under-extract, meaning your brew time was too short, nor do you want to over-extract, meaning your brew time was too long.
Some general rules are that with drip systems, extraction usually takes around 5 minutes. With a French Press, contact-time should take 2-4 minutes. The shortest extraction time is for an espresso (for which you do need an espresso machine at home), coming in at a max of 30 seconds. Cold-brew coffee, however, takes 12 hours to steep, so really plan that one ahead.
Brew Tip 4: Heat Your Cups!
Heating your cup by pouring in some left-over hot water and letting it sit for a few seconds creates the perfect receptacle for the delicious coffee you just brewed. For any kind of drip or filter coffee, this isn’t massively important for the taste, but it is just comforting to be holding a warm cup in the early morning!
If you’re one of the lucky ones with an espresso machine at home however, a perfect, warm shot of espresso hitting a cold cup has a direct impact on its body and sweetness. So make sure your cups are pre-heated.
Brew Tip 5: Adding Milk or Any Other Flavouring
Is your go-to coffee a lavender vanilla latte, or a caramel-maple cappuccino, extra foamy? Fear not, even without an espresso machine, these flavours can be (sort of) recreated in your cup. Make sure you have your favourite coffee syrup at home (Monin has a seemingly infinite amount of flavours, you’ll find yours). And make sure you have a milk frother. It won’t taste exactly the same as when your barista makes it for you, especially if you don’t have an espresso machine, but in this way, you can try to recreate the comforting flavours of your usual morning coffee.
Brew Tip 6: Store Your Beans Well
Coffee is a product with a short expiration date, especially once it’s been ground. Oxygen is therefore extremely undesirable, as oxidation will easily cause degradation in flavour and the coffee will be rendered stale. Your beans will likely come in airtight, re-sealable packaging, but once you’ve opened it you might want to consider storing the beans in an airtight container to decrease the risk of stale beans.
That’s All Folks
We hope these at home brewing tips will help you make beautiful coffees at home to help you get through these strange times! And remember, every time you buy beans from us we will give 15% of all of our coffee subscriptions back to the cafe of your choice until they can re-open their doors. Just leave the name of the cafe in the note section and for as long as they are closed we will send them the money. This means that for each bag of coffee we sell, the cafe gets € 2.99! Check out our previous blog post for more info on how you can help coffee shops survive this health crisis!
A new month means new roasters, and amazing new specialty coffees we’d love you to try! The coffees that we have on offer go through rigorous testing and tasting, as we really want to make sure they are the best coffees in all of Europe.
Only recently has the AeroPress gone from obscure coffee contraption that only dedicated coffee lovers knew about, to a device many people now have in their homes to make their favourite brews. There are even international and national AeroPress championships. Why?...
We all want our favourite independent coffee shops to stay around, and together we can help them overcome this awful crisis. Here are our best tips for how you can help.