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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)
s 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
- Exposure to air (Oxidization)
- Exposure to heat
- Exposure to moisture
- 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.
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.
Coffee Tips : How to Brew Coffee - Part I
Part I: First, we're going back to the basics. Learn some of the crucial preparation steps before you choose which brewing method is best for you.read more
Learn how to make perfect drip coffee.
By Roastmaster, Jacob Long
Some things to keep in mind before brewing:
- Different roast colors brew best at different grinds. The best way to ensure your grind is correct is to have us grind it for you. We calibrate our grinds regularly to bring the best out of each roast color. If you are fresh-grinding your own drip coffee, talk to us about how to get the best results from your grinder.
- We recommend using 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee grounds per 8 oz. of water.
- For best taste, pre-ground coffee should not sit for longer than one week. Purchase whole beans and grind fresh at home.
- If you are storing your coffee in the refrigerator, be sure to take out enough for each pot and let it warm to room temperature before brewing. Avoid repeatedly taking the coffee package out of the fridge for brewing, as this allows water to condense on the coffee, which will make it go stale more quickly. In addition, using cold grounds to brew coffee will affect brew temperature and not allow the water to make the correct extraction.
- Before starting the brew cycle, ensure the spray head (underside of brew basket) and surrounding areas are clean by wiping them with a clean rag. (Tip: dirty spray heads are a common reason for poor-tasting coffee, and accumulated coffee will eventually affect how the spray head functions)
- Although it's tempting to "sneak a cup" before brew cycle is finished, doing so will result in unbalanced flavors. Not what you want in your morning cup.
- Place filter with the correct dose of room-temperature ground coffee into the brew basket.
- Use our recommendation of 2 heaping tbsp per 8 oz. water.
- Gently shake brew basket to ensure coffee is well-distributed, and return brew basket to brewer.
Brewing the coffee:
- If using a pour-over brewer, pour desired amount of, ideally cold, filtered tap water into the top of brewer to initiate brew cycle.
- If using a plumbed-in brewer, hit the button to start the brew cycle.
- After the brew cycle has finished, for ideal taste, pour coffee into a preheated insulated container.
- Do not keep coffee on burner.
- Rinse and return the carafe.
- Empty used coffee out of brew basket, rinse brew basket of any extra grounds, and wipe spray head and surrounding areas with a clean rag.
- Finally, enjoy your coffee! :)
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5 Steps to Perfectly-Brewed Drip Coffee