Coffee Tips : How to Brew Coffee - Part I
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Coffee Tips : How to Brew Coffee - Part I

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Just like in our coffee grinding blog, there are some basics we have to go over first. So, before we get into how to brew your own “just cup”, let’s go over those basics. I’d also like to thank the many Thanksgiving employees who contributed info from past articles so that we could have this educational piece on brewing delicious coffee: Jacob Long, Marchelo Bresciani and Paul Katzeff.  

1. Coffee to Water Ratio

“What? I’ve just been pouring copious amounts of grounds into a filter and adding a few cups of water.” I’d like to think we’ve all been there. At least I have, before I started working at Thanksgiving Coffee Company. But hopefully we caught you early enough to steer you in the right direction. 😉

Using the correct amount of coffee will ensure that your coffee is brewed to strength, without over-extracting or under-extracting the coffee to compensate for an inappropriate dose. While we do recommend weighing 2 grams of coffee for every fluid ounce of water, we understand that not everyone has a scale at home. And if you don’t, just estimate about 2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee for every 5 ounces of water used to brew.


2. Grind Size (yes, this again)

This is one of the most important steps in coffee brewing. In general, a finer grind will produce a more intense brew and a coarser grind will produce a less intense brew. At the same time, a grind that is too fine will produce an over-extracted, astringent brew, and a grind that is too coarse will produce a weak, under-extracted brew lacking flavor. In pour-over methods, grind size also affects the rate of extraction, as water will pass more slowly through a finer grind, and more quickly through a coarser grind. We strongly recommend burr grinders over blade grinders. For more information on this, see our last blog “How to Grind Coffee“.


3. Water Temperature + Quality

This one is a little bit more straight-forward. Water temperature dramatically affects the extraction of coffee’s flavor during brewing. We recommend brewing with water at 200° Fahrenheit for best results. Using fresh, clean, chlorine-free water is essential.


4. Coffee Freshness and Storage

Coffee is very sensitive to heat, moisture, and oxygen. It should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. For best results, grind coffee fresh, just before brewing.

Staling is caused, in order of most harmful to least harmful

  1. Exposure to air (Oxidization)
  2. Exposure to heat
  3. Exposure to moisture
  4. Exposure to light

…and, if you address the problems of Air, Heat, and Moisture correctly, then Light will have little effect on your coffee. Read more about storing your coffee here


5. Cleaning

This is the last one – of the basics – and it’s pretty easy. Because coffee contains numerous oils that build up over time, we recommend thoroughly cleaning your brewing and grinding equipment after each use. This guarantees the best, freshest cup of coffee every time.


So… we covered all the basics. I know it’s a lot, but we still have all of the brewing methods to cover from stovetop espresso to cold brewing. Stay tuned for part two, and we’ll help you discover which method is best for you and why.