This instruct-able is intended to be used as a guide and is by no means to be taken as an absolute. Every coffee is different, every roast is different, and everyone’s personal preferences are different. Coffee can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it, and every parameter is optional, and up for being challenged in an effort to match your personal taste preference.
That having been said, there are three basic variables to consider when brewing coffee.
The Three Basic Variables
- Grind Particle Size
- Water Temperature
- Dwell Time
Grind particle size is how fine or coarse your grind setting is. The particle size and dwell time correlate: the finer the grind, the shorter the dwell time; the coarser the grind, the longer the dwell time.
Water temperature is how hot the water used to brew your coffee should be. Too hot, and the result will taste bitter. Too cool, and the result will taste sour. While we do give a temperature range, please keep this in mind, and adjust to fit your personal tastes.
Dwell time is the term for brew time (or “steep” time, if you will). As discussed, this should correlate to the grind particle size, and is dictated by the brew method. Similar to water temperature, too long of a dwell time will result in bitter tasting coffee; too short of a dwell time will result in sour tasting coffee. It should be noted that “temperature” bitter/sour and “dwell time” bitter/sour taste distinctly different. Once again, while the brew method you choose will give you a starting point, we recommend tweaking this variable to match your own taste preferences.
Brewing in 4 Steps
First, consider how you plan to brew your coffee. For a brew method that takes between 4-5 minutes, use a coarse grind setting. For a quick brew method like Turkish coffee, use a fine grind setting. We recommend using a high quality burr grinder. If you do not own one, you can use whatever you have on hand.(see Whole Bean Only)
Start by weighing out 60g (by weight) per 1 liter of water. [that's 2.12oz per 31.8oz] You can be lazy with 1oz of coffee per 1lb(16oz) of water. Use more or less to fit your personal preferences. Start heating your water, and grind. Add a small portion of hot (not boiling) ~200F water to the ground coffee in your brewing vessel. Allow it to bubble and expand (we call this “bloom”). When it settles down, add the rest of the water, careful to saturate all of the coffee evenly. Time the brew (known as dwell time) to match the brew method.
Start with fresh filtered, bottled, or spring water (if you’re curious, ~200ppm TDS is best). Your water should be clean and great tasting, but do NOT use distilled water. Use a stove or electric kettle. The target temperature is between 195F and 205F, and most of our coffees prefer 200F-205F.
No thermometer? Let it cool for about 30 seconds.
Pick a favorite ceramic cup or mug. Pour yourself a cup of your delicious fresh coffee. WAIT! Don’t add anything to it! We’ll get to that part. First, stick your nose into your cup, and inhale through your nose. Keep your throat open, and try to guess what flavors are awaiting as the aromatics tickle your olfaction and land on the back of your tongue. Then, sip, being sure to incorporate a lot of air into this first sip. Enjoy the warmth of the liquid, its feel on your tongue, and savor the combined experience of taste and aroma. Notice how the flavors evolve as your coffee cools down over time. When finished, pour another cup.
If you must add condiments to your coffee, you should. While we don’t do it ourselves, coffee exists primarily to be enjoyed, and if that’s how you enjoy yours, then bring it on. Enjoy!