If you ever make it to one of our weekly public tastings, you’ll probably hear us harp on the principles of coffee brewing. It's because we believe a fundamental, yet evolving understanding of extraction theory is imperative to making incredible coffee and we’re passionate about demystifying those ideas for our customers and partners. Here are a few tips:
Drink It Fresh
Once you open your coffee (if stored properly) it’ll taste great for about a month - but it's at its most brilliant between 10-15 days. So drink it down and grab some more.
Not Too Fresh
Coffee just out of the roaster is filled with carbon dioxide and the flavor will be a bit volatile for the first few days. As the coffee degasses the acidity will mellow a bit, and the sweetness and body will round off nicely. We recommend resting 4 days for filter and 6 days for espresso.
Keep your beans in an airtight container in a cool, dark place like a kitchen cupboard to avoid temperature changes and direct sunlight. Don’t store your beans in the fridge or freezer – it’ll absorb weird flavors. Air, moisture, heat, and light are the enemy of freshness and you’re too fresh to drink old coffee.
A consistent grind particle size is crucial to making outstanding coffee. Burr grinders are more expensive than whirly-blades, but well worth it. Investing in a good burr grinder is the easiest, fastest way to dramatically improve your coffee experience.
Use a digital gram scale and weigh your water and coffee. We usually use a 16:1 water-to-coffee ratio. Divide your target yield by 16 to get your dose. Example: 320g of water to 20g of coffee. If you don’t have a gram scale, try using two tablespoons of coffee for every six fluid ounces of water.
Brewed coffee is almost 99% water, so just like cooking with wine, use water you enjoy drinking. If you wouldn't drink the water out of the tap, don't use it to make coffee.
Brew your coffee with water that’s between 195°F-205°F to achieve the proper extraction. Any cooler and the coffee may be flat, lifeless, and sour. Any hotter and the coffee may be bitter, harsh, and caustic. You’ll lose about 7°F every time the water changes vessels, so factor that into your process.
Thoroughly rinse your filters with hot water and discard the rinse water. This also serves to preheat your brew device as well as your mug or decanter.
Pour a small amount of water onto the grinds to allow the coffee to bloom. Fresh coffee is full of carbon dioxide, so the coffee bed will expand as it degasses. Wait about 30 seconds for the grinds to settle. This will provide an even brew bed.
Pour in small spirals from inside out. Start just off-center being careful not to pour all the way to the filter. Try to maintain a consistent brew level, focusing on wetting the bed evenly. Because nobody is too cool to fully wet the bed.
For most brew methods, water should contact the grounds for three to four minutes. If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, you may be over extracting or under extracting your coffee. Experiment with the contact time by adjusting your grind until you get a perfect cup.