If you want to brew better coffee at home, there are only four steps you need to know about. We’ve boiled these down to what we like to call our four coffee brewing basics. Here’s a quick overview. If you're an over-achiever and want to jump ahead, here's step 1, step 2, step 3 and step 4.
Great coffee starts with great beans. Obviously, we know a good source. However, if you find yourself looking for beans elsewhere, there’s one very important thing to look for.
When you buy coffee beans, they should have the roast date right on the bag. Find the local coffee roaster and get coffee that’s been roasted fresh. Ideally, within two weeks of when you’re going to consume it. Coffee starts to degrade very quickly after it’s roasted. Get beans fresh and only buy as much as you can use in about a 2 week period.
The second step in our four coffee brewing basics is grinding your coffee. It’s always better to grind your coffee right before you brew it. Coffee that’s pre-ground starts to lose its flavor very, very quickly, within 15 minutes. If all you have at home is the little blade grinder, we like to call it the whirly blade grinder that goes around, using that grinder is still better than buying pre-ground coffee.
If you can, it’s great to get a hold of a burr grinder. We’ve covered the differences between the two before. A burr grinder is much more accurate and will work really well for some of the pour over methods like a V60 or a Chemex.
Step three in our four coffee brewing basics, you need to have good water. Coffee is 98% water, so good water is important. You need to make sure that the water that you’re using doesn’t have any additional flavors or aromas when its being brewed and you need to also make sure that the water temperature is right. The water needs to be between 195 and 205 degrees while you’re brewing. We’ll get into how easy it is to do that during our post on water in step three of our brewing basics.
The final step in our coffee brewing basics is that you get good gear. Manual coffee brewing is so simple and satisfying and a lot of people are turned off because they’re intimidated by all the gear that’s on the market today. In our last step, we’ll talk about some of the manual brewing methods that are on the market today and help you decide which one would work best for you. Really, when you try one and get used to brewing with it, not only will you love the coffee, but after a very, very short period of time, it will become so automatic and easy for you to do, you’ll wonder how you brewed it any other way.
That’s our four brewing basics. Hope you’ll stick around and read more about them over the upcoming weeks. Keep your eyes right here on our blog as you look forward to the four coffee brewing basics.
Want to learn more? Take our free "All About Coffee" class! It's completely free and online.