Coffee Brewing Basics Guide

We have designed this brewing guide to help you achieve the best tasting coffee at home.  These brewing basics are essential no matter what method you choose to brew your coffee.

Use freshly roasted coffee. 

The key to a great cup is freshly roasted whole bean coffee.  If you are purchasing your whole bean coffee in a cafe or market look for a roast date before you purchase.  You will want to purchase coffee that has the roast date printed on the bag.  Look at the packaging, is the bag sealed, does it have a valve and a wire tie?  These things show that care went into the packaging of the coffee and will help prolong the life of the coffee.   Avoid purchasing whole bean coffee from large bins in markets and specialty stores as the coffee has been exposed to air and light and this will accelerate the staling process.  

Coffee should be consumed within 2 weeks of the roast date to achieve the best taste.  Once opened, we recommend storing your beans in their original packaging in a cupboard out of direct sunlight and away from humidity, cold and heat.  We do not recommend that you store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer as the coffee will absorb odors and moisture.

Use clean water.

Coffee is made up of 98% water.  Never use tap or distilled water when brewing coffee.  We recommend using filtered water or bottled spring water.  A more cost effective method over bottled water would be to use a Brita pitcher or other filtered alternative.

Grind right before you brew.

For the freshest tasting cup grind the beans right before you brew. You have two options a blade grinder (more economical) or a burr grinder (pricier, more consistent). For the best results we recommend using a burr grinder.  A burr grinder will give you a more consistent grind size over a blade grinder.  Most burr grinders have various settings that you can set to adjust the particle size for the type of brew method, where with a blade grinder you control the fineness by how long you let the grinder run.  You will grind Fine for Espresso, Medium for Drip/Pour-over, and Coarse for French Press. 

There are two types of burr grinders.  A wheel burr grinder is a step above a blade grinder.  A wheel burr grinder works by crushing the beans between a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The speed of the grinding wheel is slower than a blade grinder and produces a more consistent grind size.   A wheel burr is a less expensive option over a conical burr grinder but it tends to be noisier. A conical burr grinder is the best type of coffee grinder available.  The burrs spin slower than the wheel burr grinder which reduces heat, noise and static generation in the grinder. The slower speed ensures that the beans feed smoothly into the burrs.  Conical burr grinders are used in cafes and by people serious about their coffee.  If you are grinding for Espresso this is the only type of grinder you should use.

 A blade grinder is a less expensive alternative.  A blade grinder uses a metal blade to chop up the beans.  You control the grind size by how long you let the grinder run.  The coffee grounds can be uneven in size and this will definitely affect your brew quality.  Blade grinders also generate a lot of heat, if you leave the beans in the grinder too long your coffee will result in a burnt taste once its’ been brewed.

Keep your grinder clean.

Clean your grinder after every use.  Cleaning enables the burrs/blades to achieve the most consistent grind possible. Coffee oils can build up on the burrs/blades of your grinder which can cause your coffee to taste stale.  If you are using a burr grinder every day we recommend using the Grindz tablets monthly.

Brew at the correct temperature.

Coffee should be brewed at a temperature of 195° F - 205° F.  The optimal temperature for extracting coffee is 200° F.  We recommend using an electric kettle and brew once the water has come off the boil. Some kettles are equipped with temperature indicators that let you know the exact temperature of the water and they can also be programmed to keep the water at a desired temperature.  If you don’t have an electric kettle you can purchase an inexpensive thermometer to check your water temperature.

Measure your coffee.

We recommend using 2 tablespoons (14 g) of coffee per 6 ounces of water.  If you prefer a stronger cup increase the amount of coffee to your desired taste.