Coffee at Home - The Brewing Guide

Coffee at Home - The Brewing Guide
Your coffee gear is out and your new speciality African coffee has arrived, that must mean it's coffee time. Let’s delve into brewing coffee at home.
 
There are 2 primary styles of coffee brewing:

Infusion - this is when water moves through ground coffee by using gravity to draw it through. Percolators, Aeropress, pour overs, and espresso are the common types of brewing by infusion however espresso forces pressurised water through finely ground coffee.

Immersion - brewed by immersion is when ground coffee is submerged in water for a period of time. During brewing, there is no movement or pressure other than the infrequent stirring.These methods allow water to work through the coffee. French press, clever dripper, cold brew, Turkish coffee, and siphon are a few types of brewing by immersion.
 
Start with a three step process:

1.  Probably the most important thing to do first (without getting too technical) is to choose great quality beans and equally important, fresh or recently roasted beans.
2.  We recommend choosing whole bean rather than ground as coffee begins to go stale shortly after grinding hence best to grind only what you need to use.
3.  To grind your coffee you can use a blade or burr grinder. They will both do a good job however the burr grinder is usually the preferred option as it grinds more evenly ensuring a better coffee consistency.  Our coffee grind chart can be found here. 

Other things to consider before choosing a brewing method is whether you wish to use scales to measure and weigh the amount of coffee to use per cup. A scale will ensure accuracy and a consistent coffee experience each time. It's also advisable to use a water filter to eliminate chemicals and impurities when using tap water for your coffee.
 
The amount of coffee and water varies depending on the type of coffee you are brewing and your preferred strength. Coffee strength is a personal preference and only you know how strong you want your coffee to be. We have provided coffee measures below as a guide to get you started.
 
 

Cafetière / French Press

A popular option and also one of the most convenient ways of brewing coffee. The equipment is easily accessible and sold in many supermarkets and department stores. When brewing your coffee with a Cafetière the oils are extracted well as the water and coffee grounds are in contact the entire time ensuring you get a thicker, richer flavour.
 
You will need:
  • Cafeti√®re
  • Cup
  • Coffee spoon/scoop
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • Freshly boiled water (using filtered water)
  • Grinder (optional)
  • Timer
Brew time - 4 minutes
Water temp - 94 deg (off the boil)
Grind size - Coarse
Coffee/Water ratio -  7g coffee per 100ml of water  (adjust to your taste preference).
 
Method:
  1. Preheat your cafetière by swirling with hot water, then discard the water
  2. Add your ground coffee to the cafetière
  3. Pour the hot water into the cafetière. Saturate the coffee completely
  4. Without pressing down on the plunger, place the lid on to prevent heat from escaping. Leave to brew
  5. After 4 minutes, remove the plunger then gently stir 3 times, insert the plunger and slowly press down consistently until it is at the bottom of the pot
  6. Decant and enjoy!

 

V60 (Drip Brew)

The V60 is a cone dripper used to filter coffee into a cup or jug. It is V shaped with the cone sloped at a 60-degree angle. It produces a delicate and sophisticated cup that doesn’t require a barista to perfect.

You will need:
  • V60 Dripper
  • V60 filter paper
  • Cup or jug
  • Coffee scoop/spoon
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • Grinder (optional)
  • Kettle (long neck kettle helps to extract evenly)
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee scales
Note: When making coffee for two, double the amount of coffee and water. You’d also need to repeat the pouring process and use a coffee jug instead of the mug.

Brew time - 2-3 mins
Water temp - 94 deg (off the boil)
Grind size - Medium 
Coffee/Water ratio -  7g coffee per 100ml of water (adjust to your taste preference).
 
Method:
  1. Place your V60 on top of a cup or jug and add the paper filter
  2. Rinse the filter by pouring hot water through it and into the cup then tip out the excess
  3. Place your coffee in the cone and gently shake flat
  4. Put your V60 and cup (or jug) on the scales
  5. Start the timer. Pour in enough water to cover the coffee, pouring in a circular motion
  6. After 30 seconds and over the next 2 minutes gradually add in enough water to fill the cup
  7. Leave to brew for 2-3 mins, then serve and enjoy.

 

Aeropress
 

The AeroPress is a clever device that short brews coffee in a short amount of time. There are many recipes and techniques available for this method. It can brew by either immersion or infusion. Its an effective way of making a great espresso-like coffee without needing a coffee machine.
 
You will need:
  • Aeropress
  • Aeropress filter paper
  • Kettle
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee scoop/spoon
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • Timer
  • Grinder (optional)
 
Brew time - 1.5-2 mins
Water temp - 94 deg (off the boil)
Grind size - Medium 
Coffee/Water ratio - 15g of coffee per 240ml water ( adjust to your taste preference).
 
Method:
  1. Boil the water and leave it to rest off the boil for a minute
  2. Add the paper filter to the cap and fix. Now put your Aeropress on top of your cup
  3. Pour a little hot water through the Aeropress to rinse the filter, then tip away the excess water
  4. Add your coffee to the Aeropress body. We recommend 15g for 240ml of water
  5. Pour in water, saturating all the grounds, fill the tube leaving a small gap at the top
  6. Stir it 3 times and set your timer to 1.5 minutes
  7. Place the plunger onto the Aeropress tube and leave to brew for 1-1.5 mins
  8. Once the timer has finished, carefully and evenly press down on the plunger. Watch out not to slip away from the cup below
  9. Serve and enjoy.

 


Chemex
 

The Chemex brews by infusion and was invented by American chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941. Its elegant design made it a part of the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 

You will need:

  • Chemex
  • Chemex filter paper
  • Coffee scoop/spoon
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • Long neck kettle (optional, helps to extract evenly)
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee scales
  • Timer
  • Grinder (optional)

Brew time - 4 minutes

Water temp - 94 deg (off the boil)

Grind size - Coarse

Coffee/Water ration - 1:15 coffee to water ratio.

 

Method:

  1. Place the filter paper on the Chemex ensuring the triple layer fold is facing the spout side of the glass jar
  2. Rinse through with hot water, Pour over some hot water to wash away the paper taste and tip away the excess
  3. Place the ground coffee onto the filter paper and gently shake to level it out
  4. Place the Chemex on the scale and zero out the scales
  5. Set the timer to 4 mins, then pour 50 ml of water into the grounds, until saturated. The coffee will swell and bloom
  6. Pour in 200 ml of water after 30 seconds
  7. At 90 seconds, add another 200 ml of water
  8. For the remainder of the time allow it to finish dripping
  9. Your drink should be ready to enjoy after 4 minutes. Cheers.


Cold Brew

This is a simple method for brewing immersion method iced coffee. It produces a naturally sweeter cup just add ground coffee, water and let it sit for eight to twelve hours in the fridge, it can keep for over a week.

You will need:

  • Cold brew bottle
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee beans/grounds
  • Coffee scales
  • Grinder (optional)

 

Brew time - 8-12 hours

Water temp - Cold

Grind size - Coarse

Coffee/Water ratio - 1:10 coffee to water ratio.

 

Method:

  1. Add ground coffee to your cold brew bottle
  2. Add cold filtered water ensuring the coffee is fully immersed
  3. Place in the fridge and leave for 8-12 hours (dependent on taste preference)
  4. Pour and enjoy with ice (dilute further with cold filtered water if required).
Note: Can be used as a mixer for your drink of choice.

 

Moka Pot/Stovetop

Moka pots were invented in 1930s Italy. The name refers to the city of Mocha in Yemen which was a centre of coffee excellence. It was designed to enable Italians to make their own espresso at home.

A moka pot consists of a bottom chamber, a filter funnel, a top chamber with a second removable filter, held in place by a rubber gasket. It works by pushing hot water through ground coffee under steam pressure.

You will need:

  • Moka pot (Stovetop)
  • Ground coffee
  • Heat source (cooker hob)
  • Kettle
  • Tea towel
 

Brew time - 2 Mins

Water temp - 94 deg

Grind size - Medium

Coffee/Water ratio - 1:12 coffee to water ratio.

 

Method:

  1. Boil your kettle, and leave it to rest for a minute
  2. Remove the top of the Moka pot (filter too) and fill the bottom chamber with hot water, to just below the valve
  3. Next, place your ground coffee into the coffee chamber and level it out without patting it down
  4. Drop the coffee chamber back into the Moka pot, with the spout down
  5. Using the tea towel to protect your hands, carefully screw the top of the Moka pot onto the bottom (handle with care as it will be hot)
  6. Put the stovetop on the hob, on a medium heat
  7. When the pot starts gurgling turn the hob off. You can run the base under cold water to avoid over extraction
  8. Your coffee is ready to serve and enjoy.

 

 


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