Friday, December 24, 2010

How to brew coffee at home

Most of us enjoy your daily joe fix at our local coffee shop,  the questionable quality of the plastic cup in the office or the just-across-the-street Starbucks. But what does it take to make good coffee at home?

Here are the tips that the Blue Bottle Coffee gave us during their one hour presentation a couple of weeks ago during the Amsterdam market seminar series.

General rules:

 There are various ways to brew coffee at home. You could pick the Ceramic Dripper, the Chemex or the French press. Each way of brewing coffee (of the above) will require different techniques, coffee beans, grinder etc

The Chemex

a. Invest in a hand/manual or blade grinder. The first gives an evenly grounded bean although the second, due to the blades and the heat, doesn't offer an evenly grounded outcome.

b. Buy good, freshly roasted coffee. In general, do not keep coffee more than two weeks in your kitchen. The darker the roast, the more perishable the coffee is; on the other hand, the lighter roasted, the more coffee quantity it contains and the less perishable it is.

For the single dripper (pour over), you will need ideally, a ceramic dripper, paper filter, kettle, coffee beans, hand grinder and water. 1. Put double the amount of good quality water than you intend to drink in a kettle (for each 8 oz of water use three to four level tablespoons of ground coffee). 2. While the water is heating, grind the coffee. The grind should be soft but also gritty. 3. Warm the ceramic dripper and cup with 10ml warm water. 4. Let the hot water combine with the coffee, it will expand outwards. 5. After 30-45 seconds of blooming, pour again. 6. Continue the same slow pour in the middle of the filter.

                                                The Ceramic Dripper

A Press pot coffee (or French press), requires an even grind so having a hand grinder is recommended.  1. For each 8 oz of water use three to four level tablespoons of ground coffee or otherwise the analogy should be 1 to 10. 2. Bring hot water not quite to the boil. 3. Place the kettle on the counter for 30 seconds. 4. Pour water into the empty press pot to warm it. 5. Add ground coffee to the empty press pot and pour water into the thin stream over the grounds. 6. Stir the coffee with a small wooden spoon and place the stem on the pot with the filter about half inch from the grounds. 7. Wait three minutes for the coffee to steep. 8. Remove the stem briefly and stir gently in a wooden spoon. 9. Push the grounds down to the bottom of the pot. If the stem thunks to the bottom with almost no resistance, then your grind is too coarse. If you have to strain to get the stem to the bottom of the pot, then your grin is too fine. It should take 12-20 seconds to push the stem to the bottom depending on the size of your press pot. 10. When you have pushed the plunger as far down as it will go, serve entire contents immediately. 11. Do not let it sit. 12. Do no reheat please, drink your coffee now.

French Press