3 Easy Rules for Better Brewing

Brewing coffee at home, or at work, can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Whether it's a hobby or a habit, an interest or an indulgence, there are just a few key things to remember that will make all the difference to the coffee you drink each day.

  1. Use quality ingredients.
    No matter how new, shiny, fancy, expensive or posh your coffee brewer is, the quality of your coffee (and your water) is always the most important factor in the cup. An amazingly elaborate and precise brewer simply won’t make any pre-ground, stale, three quid, past-crop, or other inferior coffee taste any better.

  2. Make the extra effort.
    Yes, grinding fresh, using scales and sticking to a simple recipe does make a difference. We don’t say it to be difficult or unduly particular, it’s simply true. Pre-ground coffee stales very quickly. Guessing the amount of coffee or water is both inaccurate and inconsistent. You will get better, and more repeatable, results using a grinder and scales.

  3. Get involved.
    Coffee is meant to be enjoyed. Once brewed, let it cool and drink it heartily. Drink lots of different things. Make notes about what you do or don’t like. Don’t apologise for your palate or preferences. Take it seriously enough to have fun and brew well, just don’t be the boring coffee guy at dinner parties. (No-one likes that guy.)

AeroPress

The Necessities

  • 16g fresh, whole bean coffee
  • Soft, clean water
  • AeroPress and paper filter
  • Grinder
  • Stirrer
  • Scales and timer
  • Decanter

The How-To

  1. Pop your water on to boil. Assemble the AeroPress by placing a filter paper in the black cap, and screwing into place on the brew chamber. Make sure to use some of your boiling water to rinse the paper.
  2. Weigh out and grind your coffee, aiming for a caster sugar like consistency. Add your ground coffee to the brewer and tap the sides of the chamber to level the coffee bed.
  3. Place the brewer on your decanter and the whole ensemble onto your scale. Don’t forget to tare everything off before you start brewing.
  4. Your brewing water should be just off the boil, around 95C.
  5. Start your timer and quickly top up with 250g water, making sure to run the water over any rising patches of dry grounds. 
  6. Stir the coffee to ensure no grounds are left dry during your steep time, being careful not to disturb the paper filter in the bottom cap. 
  7. Quickly set the plunger into the top of the brew chamber to hold the coffee and water in place, to avoid it simply running through the filter paper. At this point take the whole brewing ensemble off of your scale. 
  8. At 1:30-2:00 or so remove the plunger and give the brew a gentle, final stir. Insert the plunger again and apply gentle pressure, pushing the brewed coffee through the filter in about 30 seconds. 
  9. Remove the AeroPress from atop your decanter, remove the cap and discard your coffee puck and filter paper.
  10. Swill your brewed coffee, savour and enjoy!

    V60

    The Necessities

    • 30g fresh, whole bean coffee
    • Soft, clean water
    • 2 cup V60 brewer and paper filter
    • Grinder
    • Stirrer
    • Scales and  timer
    • Decanter

    The How-To

    1. Pop your water on to boil, thoroughly rinse your paper filter and discard the rinsing water.
    2. Weigh out and grind your coffee, aiming for a couscous like consistency, and add to the brewer. Tap the sides of the cone to level out the coffee bed.
    3. Place the brewer on your decanter and the whole ensemble onto your scale. Don’t forget to tare everything off before you start brewing.
    4. Your brewing water should be just off the boil, around 95C. Remember to pre-warm your pouring kettle if you’re transferring hot water across from an electric kettle. 
    5. Start your timer and bloom the coffee: aim for the centre and slowly drip water to saturate the grounds, using about 60g water.
    6. After 30-45s, when the bloom stops expanding, add your water in a steady stream, pouring over dark or bubbly patches if they appear. Continue pouring, keeping the kettle’s spout low, drawing concentric circles until the scale reads 500g.
    7. Aim to keep the level of your brewing water about 2/3 up the inside wall of the brewer, and try to avoid favouring any particular section of the cone. Stir to spin the slurry once you reach your target weight to help the bed drain evenly. 
    8. Your brewing water should have completely drained through the coffee bed by 3:30. If it takes much longer you may need to grind coarser, pour faster or buy some new grinder burrs.
    9. Discard the spent paper and grounds, swill the brewed coffee and decant.
    10. Savour and enjoy!

      French Press

      The Necessities

      • 45g fresh, whole bean coffee
      • Soft, clean water
      • French press
      • Grinder
      • Stirrer
      • Scales and timer
      • Decanter

      The How-To

      1. Pop your water on to boil. Make sure to use some to pre-warm and rinse your French Press and decanter.
      2. Weigh out and grind your coffee, aiming for a couscous like consistency, and add to the brewer.
      3. Place the brewer on your scale and tare off.
      4. Your brewing water should be just off the boil, around 95C. 
      5. Start your timer and add 750g water, making sure to not leave any dry patches high and dry.
      6. Stir the coffee to make sure there are no dry patches on top, or any clumps at the bottom of the brewer.
      7. At 3-4 minutes, push down any grounds that have floated up to the top using the back of a spoon. Skim off any foam from the surface if you prefer a cleaner cup.
      8. Set the plunger in place, and very gently press until the mesh reaches just above the coffee bed at the bottom of the brewer.
      9. Wait another couple of minutes before gently pouring the entire contents into your warmed decanter. This settling time will reduce the amount of sediment in the cup. If you can resist it, wait another couple of minutes to let the coffee settle in the decanter before pouring into cups. 
      10. Savour and enjoy!