The Essentials of Coffee Brewing

How do I make great filter coffee at home?

You don’t need to worry about the dos and don’ts of brewing your coffee at work because if you’ve got one of our coffee machines, you’re going to get a perfect brew every time. However, with many of us choosing to WFH more often, you’ll want to make sure your coffee is as good at home as it is in the office.

Our resident Speciality Coffee Association trainer, Scott Barnes, shares his top tips and tricks to get a perfect, fully-rounded filter coffee at home.

 

Key essentials

The main essentials to get right are the brewing ratio, water quality, grind and coffee quality, plus the 3  ‘Ts’ which we’ll expand on later. Once you’ve nailed these, you can expect to get a tasty cup of coffee every time.

The first thing you’ll want to decide is what brewing method to use. There are so many different great options at home such as cafetiere (or French press), V60, Aeropress, Chemex or moka pot. Or if you prefer a quick and super simple espresso coffee at home without worrying about the brew, you can always pick up one of our Artisio machines.

 

Coffee to water ratio

Secondly, you need to think about the ratio of coffee to water. This is incredibly important and can make or break your coffee. For filter coffee, a good guide would be to use about 55 – 60g of coffee per litre of water. If you don’t have scales to hand, 10g is around 2 tablespoons.

A tip for measuring your water is to use scales to measure the weight while you’re pouring it in. 1 ml of water is equal to 1g, making it so much easier to get your water quantity just right!

 

Water

Next up is water quality. Remember water makes up over 98% of your coffee so you’ll want good quality water. You’re aiming for around 50 to 100ppm (parts per million). Office coffee machines automatically filter the water to manage this level, but at home, over 60% of us have hard water in the UK. If you can, it’s best to use bottled water, ideally one that falls within this range (we find that Volvic is the best brand for this, but there are plenty of other water brands that will be perfect). You can read more about the importance of water quality in your coffee here.

 

The grind

Getting the right grind depends on your brewing method. Too fine a grind and the water will take too long to pass through, leaving you with a bitter over-extracted coffee. Whilst too coarse (like sand), the water will just flood through it and it’ll be under-extracted or even completely tasteless. The best option is to buy filter-grind, or you can always grind your own beans and play around with different coarseness of grinds to see what works best for you.

 

The 3 ‘Ts’ of brewing

Now you’ve got everything ready to start brewing. These T’s are your keys to getting the extraction just right.

Time

Be mindful of your timings so you don’t brew your coffee for either too long (over-extracted) or too short a time (under extracted). Around four minutes should be about right for a cafetiere before plunging, but this will depend on other variables such as the grind and temperature of water. You can play around with the timings a little to get the coffee just how you like it.

Temperature

The temperature of your water is essential to get right – too hot and you’ll burn or scald the coffee; too cold and the extraction will be too slow. The ideal temperature for coffee is around 92-96 degrees Celsius. Never pour boiling water straight from the kettle. A good tip is to wait 2 – 3 minutes after your kettle has boiled and then pour.

Turbulence

This is simply agitating your coffee while it’s brewing, to get an even, consistent extraction. If you’re using a cafetiere this can be by stirring the coffee while it’s brewing, or for a V60 by pouring the water in circular motions over the grounds.

 

Your coffee, your way

The art of coffee making is meant to be fun and enjoyable so the bottom line is just doing what makes you happy. There are so many variables in brewing coffee, and every blend you try will have a different flavour profile, so what works for one coffee, may need tweaking for another. So our top top tip is to just play around with the ratios, grind coarseness and those three ‘Ts’ to find what’s right for you!

 

If you have any queries on coffee brewing at home, you can always drop Scott a line, or if you need coffee for the office, give our team a call and we can talk you through our range of office coffee machines.

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