Brewing great coffee at home doesn’t have to be intimidating, but you do need the right techniques and great coffee beans for starters. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be taking the first steps to enjoying café quality coffee right at home.
Tip 1: Use fresh, whole bean coffee
The aromatic compound in roasted coffee is what makes coffee smell and taste so complex and delicious. After roasting, these compounds begin to escape from the bean taking a lot of the flavor with it. That’s why it is important to purchase the freshest roasted beans possible. In other words, the fresher the coffee beans, the more flavor that is remaining in the compound. When you purchase whole bean coffee, the flavor remains in-tact longer than when you buy already ground coffee. Using fresh whole beans and grinding your beans just before you brew will help ensure you get the most flavorful cup every time.
Tip 2: Use a scale
Using a scale to accurately measure the bean to water ratio is important to getting the optimum flavor from your coffee. Single origin coffee beans that make up the majority of Blue’s Coffee & Tea offerings all have unique flavor profiles. Some will resemble flavors of chocolate or have a more smokey flavor profile. It is important that you use the proper amount of coffee (weight) and the right amount of water (volume) to bring out those flavors. Remember, the more coffee you use, the stronger the cup. We recommend a ratio of 35 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water for our coffee blends. If you’re brewing our single origin coffee, we recommend about 70 grams more water.
Tip 3: Use a burr grinder to grind to the right coarseness
The size of the ground coffee determines how quickly flavors are extracted from the coffee bean. Using a burr grinder allows for all of your beans to grind to roughly the same size so that the particles brew at the same pace. Blue’s coffees are best enjoyed using pour-over brewing methods. If the beans are ground too coarse, it could result in a sour or acidic taste and if they are grounds too fine your coffee could taste too bitter. If that’s too confusing, just remember that pour-over brewing generally requires a medium grind. If you’re using a French Press to brew your coffee, use a more coarse grind. The good news is that you can adjust your grinder settings to fit your taste and once you’ve got it you can lock it in.
Tip 4: Use filtered water and the right temperature
Using purified water to brew great coffee will make a huge difference in your coffee flavor. Nowhere is the saying “what goes in must come out” more true than in making coffee. Bad water in, bad coffee out. Filtered water from your home refrigerator will do just fine.
The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195- and 205-degrees F. To extract the coffee’s flavors, the water temperature must be right. Water that is too hot (more than 205 F) will bring out a more bitter flavor and using water that is too cold (below 195 F) prevents the true coffee flavors from being released into your brew.
Tip 5: Wet your coffee filter before brewing
While this might sound simple, wetting your coffee filter with hot water and allowing it to drain on a plain white paper towel washing away a lot of the natural paper smell and taste that could end up in your coffee.
Tip 6: Find the bloom and pour slowly
Hopefully, you’ve noticed that when hot water is poured over fresh coffee beans it creates a bloom like a flower. We say hopefully because the bloom means that your coffee is fresh. To begin, add a small amount of water to your ground beans using a circular motion. Wait for about 30 seconds and continue slowing pouring hot water over the ground beans making sure that all of the ground beans come in contact with the water. Using the Fellow Stagg X Pour Over kettle that can be found on our website is a great kettle for providing and intuitive steady pour. Its precision pour spout and built-in thermometer helps ensures a more precise even with its counter balanced handle that moves the center of mass back towards your hand.
Tip 7: Enjoy the art and science
Brewing the perfect cup of coffee consistently is both an art and a science that should be enjoyed by coffee lovers. It’s okay to experiment with different techniques without, however, straying away from the fundamentals. That’s the science part that can’t be ignored but do have fun with the art side of coffee making. Find your sweet spot. Remember, this is a moment. Drink it in.