Brewing Guide

How to make a great cup of coffee

Grinding

Start with high quality, fresh roasted coffee beans.

It is important to use a good burr grinder. Burr grinders achieve a more even particle. It does not matter if the burr grinder is manually operated or motor-driven.

The most effective brew funnels and filters are cone-shaped. Use unbleached filters whenever possible. For best results, grind the coffee just before brewing.

Water quality and coffee

Good water quality is essential to making a good cup of coffee.

Avoid water that is filtered. Most filtered water brands extract the helpful mineral compounds from the water, which can result in flat, tasteless coffee. Additionally, water that contains sulfur compounds or iron should be avoided.

Extraction

It is essential to find a coffee source that offers fresh roasted Arabica coffee beans, preferable roasted on the premises.

When brewing, the hot water acts as a solvent, putting essential flavor compounds of coffee, known as café oil, into part solution and part emulsion.

Proper extraction produces a flavor-rich cup while over-extraction (too little coffee) produces a thin watery cup. Since not everyone likes the same taste in coffee, we encourage experimentation by increasing or decreasing the water-to-coffee ratio.

Keep it clean

A clean brewer or thermal insulated decanter is essential to good tasting coffee. A rounded sponge mop with handle is helpful in reaching all the interior surfaces in the carafe.

The brewer itself should be periodically cleaned according to manufacturer recommendations. In lieu of manufacturer’s recommendations, a mild saline solution (20:1) can be helpful, provided it is repeatedly flushed with plenty of water. A product called Urnex can also be helpful in keeping your coffee brewer clean.

The best brewers

The best brewers produce consistently hot water at 195 to 205 degrees F.

For best results, the brewed coffee should be kept in an insulated vessel, not on a heat source.

The brewing process can be pump-driven or gravity-fed drip method. Vacuum pot brewing (Chemex) or French press is also recommended. (The French press requires a course grind.)

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