Brewing better coffee at home….
Its becoming more and more popular to make your daily brew in the comfort and confines of your own home and the standard expected for that brew that you make yourself is getting higher. This doesn’t mean that visits to coffee shops are on the wane rather that more coffee is being drunk.
So here are a few tips if you’re one of the many at home coffee drinkers.
Beans, Beans, Beans
Invest in a grinder – there is no substitute for grinding your own beans fresh. The Eureka Mignon range or Commondante hand grinders are great options.
Fresh isn’t always best!
Depending on your brewing method, picking the freshest coffee won’t always taste the best! For filter coffees such as V60, Aeropress or Kalita Wave go as fresh as you can get even a day or two after roasting can produce a great cup of coffee. If you have an espresso machine, coffee will be at it’s optimum at between 7-10 days after roasting. This time frame gives the coffee the opportunity to degas which is really important for espresso based coffees. Super fresh coffee releases CO2 and can be a little erratic,. Definitely go with whole beans where possible!
Make sure you store your beans correctly!
It’s important to store your coffee correctly in order to preserve the flavours for as long as possible. Oxygen and light are the arch enemies of coffee; they speed up the staling process rapidly so with this in mind it’s important to store your coffee properly. Also ensure that the coffee is kept clear of any food items that have pungent smells as coffee absorbs the flavours of things around it.
The grind itself matters.
Grind your coffee right before brewing to get the best flavour possible. Your coffee will begin to lose its flavour immediately after being ground. Ensuring you are grinding to the correct grind size is important. If your grind is too course then you will have an under-extracted brew, if you grind your coffee too fine then your coffee will be over extracted and taste bitter. Most filter coffee makers i.e. V60, Aeropress, call for a medium-fine grind.
Measure your Coffee.
Making better coffee at home is all about ensuring you can get the same great tasting coffee again and again. Use the same amount of coffee per unit of water each time you brew, use digital scales to do this, it takes just a second but doing so helps to eliminate variables in order to replicate the brew we enjoyed so much.
Bloom and drain fro drip brew – distribute for espresso
Chances are, your drip coffee maker misses a crucial step. Most automatic coffee makes don’t properly prepare the coffee grounds for full extraction. Manual pour over cones call for a preinfusion or bloom. To do this, you simply prepare the coffee by pouring a little hot water over the grounds. This helps release any remaining carbon dioxide gas left over from the roasting process. Skipping this step allows the carbon dioxide to repel water during part of the brewing process, effectively making the brew weaker. Also let the whole bed drain each time to maximise extraction.
With espresso once you’ve ground into your basket, use a distribution tool to spread it evenly and break down any clumps. This helps even extraction and delivers a better tasting cup for sure.
Brew at the right temperature.
Optimal brewing temperature for extraction is between 93-95 degrees celsius. New models of speciality brewing kettles have a manual temperature adjustment feature so this is worth looking out for although this is where is starts to get a tad expensive. Failing that a regular kettle and a thermometer will suffice. Always be mindful of the fact that you do not want the temperature of the water to go above 96 degrees as it will ‘burn’ the coffee. If you are using a domestic kettle, simply boil it and allow a few minutes for the water to cool slightly.
And there you have it!!
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