Great coffee starts but doesn’t end with great beans (er, seeds) --- the way you brew has a major impact on the final result as well. We get asked all the time how we brew our coffee, so here it is: our favorite brew recipes. Step by step, starting with the simplest, everyday methods and working through to the more complex. None of them are that hard, we promise. Here are a few things to think about before you get started:
Measurements: You can’t make a delicious and consistent cup of coffee without accurate measurements. Like flour, salt, and other dry ingredients, coffee can vary greatly in density. For this reason great bakers use scales instead of measuring cups, and so do great coffee brewers. You can get a digital scale that’s more than up to the task for about $10. It’s worth every penny. (Handy-high-school-science-class-flashback-tip-alert: one milliliter of water weighs one gram).
Ratios: The ratio of coffee and water has a major impact on the strength and flavor of your brew. You should find one that you enjoy and stick with it for most brew methods. We recommend starting with a 60g/L ratio (this is where that grams to milliliters trick comes in handy). We find that for most coffees, when properly brewed, this ratio produces a cup with a pleasing combination of flavor balance and intensity (strength). For example, for a single cup of coffee you would use 15 grams of coffee and 250 grams of water. From there, change the amount of coffee you use to change your ratio to either stronger or weaker depending on your preference.
Grind: A good grinder is a coffee brewer’s second best friend (after great coffee, of course). If you have a burr grinder of your own you will have the most flexibility. The size of the grind tends to be the one variable you will want to change from time to time, and only a burr grinder can give you a reliable grind size. If you’re finding that the coffee is watery, weak, or sour, grind finer. If it is too strong, dry, or bitter, grind coarser. If you don’t have a burr grinder then your next best option is to have your coffee ground at a store or coffee shop, but you will lose some flexibility, and the coffee will stale faster.
Water: Tap water is fine, filtered water is better. Since brewed coffee is about 98% water, the quality of the water has a big impact on the cup. If spring water comes out of your tap, you’re likely all set. If what comes out of your tap has chlorine or other additives, you will notice a difference in taste when you use filtered water.
Milk + Sugar: We’ll never chastise you for putting half and half, creamer, milk or sugar in your coffee… we even make a mean strawberry milk cappuccino in our shop (try it if you don’t believe us). A carefully brewed coffee made with fresh, quality beans will only make your milky beverage that much better. However, we do encourage you to taste it black first. Our coffee tends to be sweeter, less bitter, and more flavorful than most store bought coffee, and you may find you need to add less for a tasty cup. Hey, you might even like it better black.
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