how to make coffee, the complete guide

How To Make Coffee

The only guide you'll need to brew the best coffee in 2021

#1

Before you start...

Learn The Basics

Coffee Basics
chapter 2 drip coffee maker


Drip Coffee Maker

Read the chapter

#2
chapter 3 espresso machine


Espresso Machine

Read the chapter

 #3
chapter 4 pour-over
 #4
chapter 5 Cold Brew Coffee
 #5
chapter 6 AeroPress
 #6
chapter 7 French Press


French Press

Read the chapter

 #7
chapter 8 Turkish Coffee


Turkish Coffee

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 #8
chapter 9 Moka Pot
 #9
chapter 10 Siphon Coffee
 #10

There are so many ways to brew coffee. As a result, it's difficult to choose which method should be your main one. Cold brew? Pour-over? AeroPress? The list goes on. But what are the differences, and what can you discover along the way?

This article will walk you through brewing method, from the simplest to the most complex. We guarantee you'lll be inspired. So get ready to experiment—we'll help you find the perfect cup.

Chapter 1 

Coffee Basics

Before we dive into the specifics of brewing, let's go over some basic terms and concepts. They are associated with brewing coffee in different coffee makers and in different ways.

chapter 1 coffee basics

Coffee Terms

Before we dive into the specifics of brewing, let's go over some basic terms and concepts. They are associated with brewing coffee in different coffee makers and in different ways.

The most common coffee terms

The Best Way to Make Coffee (It Depends on Your Personality)

If you want to know what each of the existing methods is, study the cards below. If you need more information about each method, scroll down to the chapter you want.

Coffee Brewing Methods

Which Method Is Better for Home Brewing: Immersion or Drip?

There are two main methods of brewing coffee manually: immersion and drip. Once you decide on a brewing method, it will be easier to choose a coffee maker.

The method you choose will affect your costs, how much energy and time you spend making coffee, and whether you need to purchase additional equipment.

Immersion vs Drip or pour-over methods

How to Choose Coffee Beans

Great coffee starts with great beans. The quality and aroma of your coffee is determined not only by the brewing method but also by the type of beans you choose.

These are some variables that affect your coffee's flavor:

  • Country and region of origin
  • Variety of beans: Arabica, Robusta, or a blend
  • Roasting
  • Grind size

While there are many options, remember that there is no right or wrong way to combine beans and brewing methods. For example, you can opt for aromatic dark roast-coffee beans that would usually be used for espresso and grind it for drip preparation instead.

Single-Origin Coffee or Blend?

When you consider a bag of coffee beans, first pay attention to whether the beans are all from the same region or whether they're from a variety of regions.

In the first case, you have a monosort (single origin); in the second, you have a blend.

Now let's take a closer look at the difference.

Single-Origin Coffee

This coffee consists of a single variety grown in a specific area. It does not contain any other varieties. At first glance, the term seems simple, but in reality it has no precise definition, and there are several variations:

  • Single country/single region — This is coffee from one country or a specific region within that country.
  • Single farm — This is coffee from a single farm. Typically, this is a high-quality, more expensive coffee with a distinctive flavor profile.
  • Single cooperative — Cooperatives create a single lot from the crops of different farmers. Some cooperatives have strict quality requirements and regulate processing methods.

Coffee Blends

Blends are mixtures of different varieties of coffee beans. Each blend is formulated to obtain a balanced taste and a stable result.

What's the difference between single-origin coffee and blends?

Single-origin coffee beans are fickle. They're subject to seasonality and can be different every time. Blends give consistency in flavor. Despite this main advantage, blends also have a number of disadvantages:

  • Difficulties in tracing the beans. There is little we can learn about the origin of all the beans in the blend.
  • Possible loss of the taste and aroma properties of individual bean varieties.
  • Inability to accurately control the proportions of different varieties of coffee beans when they enter the grinder. For example, your first ground serving may contain more beans from Ethiopia, while the next may contain more from Kenya. As a result, your coffee may taste different with each new cup.

Companies create blends because it works well with the size of their business, because they can save money by scaling up production, and because blends allow them to deliver more consistent coffee.

Specialty Coffee

When choosing a pack of coffee, it's worth remembering that there are practically no standards for indicating the roast on the package. For coffee beans, the roasting method is most often designated according to the color of the beans: light, medium, medium-dark, dark, etc.

Just because two batches of beans are the same color doesn't mean their roast profiles coincide. Two coffee beans of exactly the same color can have completely different roasts and flavors.

To understand how a particular coffee might taste, you can always pay attention to the flavor notes. These are often listed on the packaging.

Coffee Roasts and their characteristics

Coffee Roast Date

High-quality coffee will have a roast date on its package. This is the only way to find out if the coffee is fresh or if it has been waiting around on the store shelf. Coffee is an extremely delicate product; its aroma is short-lived, even when the beans are not ground.

On the other hand, you shouldn't consume coffee immediately after roasting. It takes time for the beans to release carbon dioxide, and this compound can impart a bitter taste.

The time required for degassing is specific to each type of bean. The optimal time to consume whole roasted beans is between the seventh and tenth days after roasting. After the 20th day, taste and aroma noticeably deteriorate. It's best to buy exactly as much coffee as you need for a week.

The freshness of a coffee can be determined by its "bloom," which occurs when carbon dioxide is released from the beans. If there are few or no bubbles at all when you bloom your coffee, it means the coffee is not as fresh.

Coffee Taste

Many roasters point out flavor notes on their packaging, and this is very useful. This will tell you what taste to expect from your drink. Some companies use intuitive graphics that help the customer understand what degrees of richness, sweetness, and acidity to expect from the coffee.

Coffee Taste

How to Grind Coffee Beans

Grind size is very important to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it might be ground too fine and thus over-extracted. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be ground too coarse and thus not sufficiently extracted.

Coffee Grinders

This is a device that grinds coffee beans. The purpose of grinding the beans is to ensure that the surface area of the grounds are optimal for proper extraction. And the optimal grind size is different for each brewing method. This is why there are multiple types of grinders.

There are two main types of grinders: blade and burr.

Blade vs Burr coffee grinder

Grinding

The purpose of grinding coffee beans is to ensure that the surface area of the bean is optimal for proper extraction. The optimal grind size for each brewing method is different.

When coffee is finely ground, the coffee particles are closer to each other. This makes water pass through the ground coffee more slowly and thus extract more soluble substances from the grounds. However, an espresso uses a fine grind and a short brewing time of 20-30 seconds because water passes through the layer of ground coffee under pressure.

When coffee is coarsely ground, the water passes through more quickly and has less chance to penetrate the grounds and extract soluble substances. When coffee is brewed in a French press, a coarse grind and a sufficiently long immersion time are used to ensure that enough extraction takes place.

Grinding uniformity

Any coffee grinder will give a certain spread of particle sizes. How wide the spread is depends on the quality of the burrs, how sharp they are, their rotation speed, and the cleanliness of the grinder. Good grinders give minimal spread—that is, they produce a very even, uniform grind in which all the particles are of a similar size.

If your ground coffee has different sizes of particles, they will be extracted differently. Typically, larger particles will be under-extracted while smaller ones will be over-extracted. This will cause an unbalanced drink.

There is only one way to solve this problem—don't try to save money on a coffee grinder. There are many semi-professional coffee grinders on the market at an affordable price for home use. Look for these rather than for a super-cheap option. And definitely don't buy a blade grinder!

Water 

Coffee is 98% water, so water has a significant impact on its taste and quality. ⠀

Water composition varies by city. It can even vary across different areas of the same city. It's important to understand what kind of water you are dealing with because if your water is fickle, your coffee will be fickle too.

Various minerals affect not only the taste of coffee, but also the extraction process. For example, magnesium and calcium help extract more essential oils from coffee.

At the same time, excessively mineralized hard water can make your coffee taste bitter and flat, and also lead to the formation of various deposits in your coffee maker.

If water's mineralization is too low, the drink will have unstable extraction, insufficient body, and too much acidity.

The water must also be at the correct pH level. pH is the balance between acidity and alkalinity. Water that's too basic—too high in alkalinity—will ruin coffee's acidity. The taste will be flat and earthy. But coffee that is too acidic—too low in alkalinity—will taste vinegary and sour.

As a general guideline, here are the Specialty Coffee Association standards for water:

  • Total mineralization (carbonate hardness + total hardness) of 50-175 ppm
  • Carbonate hardness (bicarbonate + magnesium + calcium) of 40-75 ppm
  • pH of 6.5-8
  • Odorless; chlorine free

Experiment! Use test kits to discover the characteristics of your water. Experiment with your water for a more balanced cup. Use a variety of filters, including reverse osmosis filters. Try coffee brewed with bottled water—this type of water is usually the most balanced.

Water Temperature

This important factor influences the extraction process. It's important to remember that boiling water is too hot for brewing coffee. The optimum water temperature for making coffee is between 194 and 205°F (90 and 96°C).

The lowest temperature limit is 185°F (85°C). In colder water, many of the components will have difficulty dissolving. It will take a long time for these components to give the coffee the appropriate taste and aroma. Of course, cold water is okay when making cold brew—but it's also why cold brew takes so long to extract.

Water that is too hot—over 212°F (100°C)—will instantly dissolve many components. This will result in a bitter, astringent taste.

Use an induction kettle whenever possible. These kettles are able to maintain a certain water temperature. Or get a digital thermometer to check the temperature. Finally, you can boil water and then wait 30-60 seconds. This will allow the water to cool down to the optimum temperature.

Also, the water continues to cool while being poured over the grounds. For this reason, many baristas pre-heat cups and all brewing equipment. This reduces heat loss during brewing.

Brewing Time

Brewing time—the time during which water is in contact with ground coffee—is also an important factor in determining coffee flavor.

When using a drip system, contact time should be approximately five minutes. If you are preparing coffee using a French press, the contact time should be two to four minutes. Espresso has a very short brewing time—only 20 to 30 seconds. On the other hand, cold brew coffee should be brewed overnight (about 12 hours).

Experiment with contact times until you get the right balanced taste.

Brew Ratio

This is the ratio of ground coffee to water.

Many baristas remember a common phrase: 60 grams of ground coffee per 1 liter of water. Others talk about a ratio like 1:14, for example - that is, 1 gram of coffee for every 14 ml of water.

Different brewing methods require different brew ratios. For example, espresso uses a fine grind, short brewing time, and a brew ratio ranging from 1:1.8 to 1:2.3.

For filter methods, the ratio is usually between 1:15 and 1:18.

If immersion methods are used, you will need a coarser grind and a longer brewing time. If you're using pour-over methods, there is more variation in terms of grind size and brewing time. In general, immersion methods require less ground coffee than pour-over methods.

How to find the right brew ratio

Knowing the right brew ratio will enable you to make consistently great coffee. This is why using a scale and timer is an integral part of a professional barista's job.

For filter methods, a brew ratio of 1:20 will produce weak, diluted coffee. 1:10, on the other hand, will produce very intense coffee.

Your goal is to find a pleasant balance for each cup so you can enjoy the aromas, the body of the drink, and all the flavor characteristics. ⠀

Simply put, to really know which ratio is best, you have to experiment.

Some baristas use the bypass method. They brew their coffee with relatively little water to obtain an intense drink. Then, to get rid of excessive bitterness, they dilute the drink with water.

Milk in Coffee

Many people love lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk-and-espresso drinks.

Each component of milk is very important to these drinks:

  • Lactose (a carbohydrate) adds sweetness to the drink
  • Protein is responsible for milk foam's stability and texture
  • Fats affect the elasticity of the foam.

For a milk-and-espresso drink, choose milk with a fat content of 3.2 to 4% and a protein content of 3 to 3.5%. If the milk contains less fat or protein, it will produce an unstable, watery foam.

The lactose content is not as important. The more lactose there is, the sweeter the drink will be. Therefore, you can opt for milk with a high lactose content if you like sweeter drinks.

When you steam milk, you should heat it to a maximum of 149-158°F (65-70°C). At this temperature, it takes on a natural sweetness. If you overheat it, the milk will become bland and tart.

The milk foam shouldn't be too wet or too dry. A homogeneous foam with a creamy, glossy structure is ideal.

Every year, more and more people are replacing cow's milk with plant milk. This is due to lactose intolerance, ethical veganism, and health concerns. Nowadays, cappuccinos and lattes made with alternative milk can be purchased at almost any coffee shop.

The most popular types of plant-based milk are soy, almond, and oat milk. Soy milk and almond milk form a fairly weak foam, so it's best to froth them together with the espresso. Oat milk is easier to froth, making it great for latte art.

Equipment

Buying a reliable grinder is one of the best decisions a coffee lover can make. However, there is also other equipment that can contribute to a pleasant brewing routine and consistent results. A barista's arsenal usually includes scales, kettles, thermometers, and more.

There are many nuances in coffee preparation: different varieties of coffee, different processing methods, different roasting times, different grind sizes, different brew methods, and different proportions of coffee and water. Even half a gram of beans can change the taste of a cup of coffee either positively or negatively.

However you brew your coffee, in most cases you will need:

  • Scales so you can follow the recipe exactly and brew consistent coffee every time. You need scales to weigh not only ground coffee but also water. Electronic coffee scales are very accurate and have a margin of error of just 0.1 grams. The main thing to look for when choosing scales is accuracy, a good response, and tare and timer functions. Any other functions just make brewing more controlled and enjoyable.
  • A kettle helps you be accurate when pouring water. This helps to saturate the coffee grounds evenly so you won't have “channels” that can cause uneven brewing.
  • Filters help to remove oils and insoluble coffee solids from your beverage. Different filters are designed for different brewing devices and have varying degrees of efficiency.
  • A timer makes brewing easier. When you use a timer, you can control extraction time and you can repeat the recipe every time with the same quality.
  • A milk frother, also called a steam wand or a cappuccinatore, is required for preparing espresso-based drinks: cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, and more. Some use steam and others are mechanical. You can learn more in Chapter 3, the espresso machine chapter.

Chapter 2 

Drip Coffee Brewing Guide

Drip coffee makers, also known as filter coffee makers, are the cheapest coffee machines on the market. Their price speaks not of low quality but of their simplicity. Let's learn what a drip coffee maker is, how to use it, and what to look for when buying one.

how to make coffee chapter 2

What Is a Drip Coffee Maker?

A drip coffee maker consists of a boiler, a water tank, a filter basket that holds ground coffee, and a carafe. Under the carafe is a heating plate that maintains the temperature of the finished coffee. Using a drip coffee maker is very simple: Put ground coffee in the filter, close the lid, add water, and press the start button.

This kind of coffee maker is suitable for those who don't have barista skills or who just want a quick, easy way to get their morning drink.

Here's how a drip coffee maker works:

  1. The cold water heats up and creates steam, which rises through the tube into the ground coffee compartment.
  2. The steam condenses and turns into hot water (194°F/90 °C) that seeps through the ground coffee in the filter.
  3. The water absorbs the taste and aroma of the coffee grounds and flows into the decanter as freshly brewed coffee.
  4. When all the water has been heated and poured through the filter, the coffee is ready.

What kind of coffee does drip coffee maker make?

A drip coffee maker can only brew one type of coffee: black coffee that's similar to an Americano. If you love espresso, you may be disappointed with the taste of the finished drink, because it's not very strong.

The taste of the finished coffee primarily depends on the quality of the beans, the size of the grind, and the grounds-to-water ratio. If you want something stronger, use less water and a finer grind. Keep in mind that drip coffee makers use all the water from the tank, so only fill the tank with as much water as you want to brew with.

What about the purity of the coffee?

A drip coffee maker is usually equipped with a reusable filter made of regular nylon or of nylon with a thin layer of titanium nitride. A disposable paper filter can be used instead.

A disposable filter paper lets the smallest amount of particles into the finished drink. It can be used to brew finely ground coffee. Remember, the finer the beans, the more aromatic the coffee. After use, the filter is thrown away with the coffee grounds, which greatly simplifies maintenance.

Reusable filters must be cleaned after each use. On average, a nylon filter lasts 60 brew cycles.

What are the advantages of a drip coffee maker?

  • Easy to use—no barista skills needed
  • Inexpensive
  • Compact; takes up little space
  • Quieter than other coffee makers
  • Can brew coffee for several people
  • Stable drink quality

When choosing a drip coffee maker, pay attention to the following factors:

Volume. Simple models make 2 servings of coffee per cycle, while more expensive ones can brew enough for 12 people. The most delicious coffee is brewed when preparing an average volume, so choose a model with a volume of 30-50% more than what you'll need.

Filter. If you want to save on consumables, choose a coffee maker with a reusable filter. But remember that the best filtration comes from a disposable paper filter. Filter size is indicated by numbers, from 1 to 10. The most common are 2 and 4, and these sizes are suitable for most coffee makers with volumes up to 1 liter. Look for the exact filter size in the device instructions.

Extra features. Delayed start is a useful feature for those who want to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. The heating plate will maintain the temperature of the finished beverage until you switch off the coffee maker. Some expensive models include a built-in coffee grinder. Others have anti-drip systems that make sure brewing stops when you remove the carafe.

Drip Coffee Maker Brewing Process

Here's what you'll need:

  • Drip coffee maker
  • Clean water
  • Burr grinder
  • Freshly roasted coffee
  • Filter

If using a paper filter, pour a small amount of hot water through the filter to remove any papery taste. The smaller the volume you're brewing, the more important this step is, because you're more likely to notice a papery taste when brewing less coffee.

Next, pour the ground coffee into the filter and distribute it evenly so extraction will proceed correctly.

Some drip coffee makers have a built-in nylon filter that does not need to be moistened with hot water, but these should be washed thoroughly after each brew cycle.

Follow these instructions for brewing:

How to Use a Drip Coffee Maker

Chapter 3 

Espresso Brewing Guide

Ready to learn how to brew espresso like a pro?

Let's get down to business.

Americano, cappuccino, latte, mocha—you're probably familiar with these coffee drinks. They're all prepared with an espresso base because espresso is considered the ideal coffee. However, espresso is very finicky and brewing it requires special skills.

how to make coffee chapter 3

 What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a classic coffee drink prepared in an espresso machine that uses a continuous flow of water at a pressure of 8.5-9.5 bar. The volume of espresso varies from 25 to 35 ml when using 7 to 10 grams of ground coffee. Extraction takes 20-30 seconds. The consistency of espresso is reminiscent of syrup—it's a concentrated beverage with a very intense flavor.

There is a lot of discussion in the coffee community about what a delicious espresso is. Many parameters should be taken into account: tamping, water pressure, freshness of the beans, dosages of coffee and water, size of the portafilter basket, water composition, etc.

Any recipe must match the coffee it's used with in order to maximize the espresso's flavor and aroma.

Brew ratio, finished beverage yield (weight), and brewing time are three important aspects of an espresso recipe.

Let's analyze them:

  • The brew ratio is the heart of every espresso recipe. The brew ratio for espresso ranges from 1:1.8 to 1:2.3.
  • The weight of the espresso indicates the total amount of substances extracted from the coffee tablet. Today, espresso is not measured in milliliters but in grams, so you need a scale. The weight of the finished beverage is approximately equal to twice the weight of the ground coffee. That is, 10 grams of ground coffee will give a 20-gram finished drink.
  • The time it takes for an espresso to brew is usually 20-30 seconds, but this is not the law. Espresso can taste just as good with other extraction times. For example, with a lever espresso machine, you can prepare a delicious espresso in 40 seconds or more because the machine uses a different level of pressure.

What Is an Espresso Machine?

An espresso machine is a sophisticated machine that brews strong coffee under pressure. It has a complex design that usually includes a boiler, a water pump, pressure regulators, a group head, a steam wand, a thermal electric heater for heating water to 248°F (120°C), and many useful sensors.

The first espresso machine was created about a century and a half ago. But an improved design was patented at the beginning of the 20th century, in Italy.

In the beginning, these machines fell short of expectations. They were bulky and noisy. Due to technical flaws, the machines could burn the coffee beans. And low pressure did not allow for a full-fledged drink.

Modern espresso machines come in two categories: professional and non-professional. The machines in these two categories differ significantly.

Professional espresso machines are most often used in places like coffee shops and restaurants, where it's necessary to serve a large flow of customers.

The specificity of professional equipment lies in its characteristics:

  • High power
  • Large array of functions
  • Quality design
  • High performance

Non-professional espresso machines are intended for home use and have limited functionality.

Types of Espresso Machines

There are several types of espresso machines. Each has its own peculiarities. But before you buy one, find out if the espresso machine really suits your needs.

Steam espresso machines

These machines have quite a basic structure. They are compact, easy to use, and easy to control.

They work as follows: In a closed container, water boils and steam is generated. As the volume of steam increases, pressure builds up and pushes the water through the ground coffee.

A significant disadvantage is steam espresso machines' low pressure—1 to 1.5 bar instead of 9 bar.

Lever espresso machines

Lever espresso machines require physical strength to brew an espresso. By pressing the lever, you can control the pressure, the flow rate, and the duration of blooming. Such machines don't always require electricity, and they're suitable for home use.

Pump espresso machines

These machines were first used in 1960. Their built-in electronics speed up the brewing process and minimize the need human participation.

Modern pump-action espresso machines are divided into 3 types:

  • Semi-automatic — These have an automated system that supplies water to groups, but the user controls all other variables, such as grinding, tamping, and extraction time.
  • Automatic — Unlike semi-automatic espresso machines, automatic machines automatically stop the water supply. This ensures that every espresso shot is a consistent volume. The user doesn't need to monitor the coffee machine to prevent the drink from overflowing.
  • Super-automatic — These espresso machines make coffee completely on their own. The machine grinds and weighs the beans, fills the portafilter and tamps the coffee, and controls the brewing cycle. Some models do allow you to adjust the grind size or grinding time. The great advantage is that super-automatic machines always brews consistent coffee. They're not the most suitable option for coffee shops, but will do quite well in a home or office.

How to Use an Espresso Machine

To prepare espresso, place ground coffee in the metal basket of the portafilter. Small holes in the portafilter allow water, but not grounds, to pass through. Slightly tamp the ground coffee in the portafilter so its surface is flat.

Then insert the portafilter into the espresso machine and turn on the pump. The machine will run hot water from the boiler through the ground coffee and espresso will flow into your cup.

Necessary brewing equipment:

  • Espresso machine
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee beans
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Tamper
  • Scale
  • Timer
How to Make Espresso

Grind Size and Flow Rate

An espresso machine's task is to brew a specified amount of coffee within a specified period of time. For example, one recipe states that when using 18 grams of ground coffee, you should get 36 grams of finished drink with an extraction time of 27-29 seconds. To do so, you need to control the rate at which the water passes through the coffee grounds.

Extraction quality depends on the water flow rate. If the water flows too slowly, too many substances will be extracted. The coffee will be bitter and heavy with an ashy taste. If the water flows too quickly, the coffee will be under-extracted and will taste sour, acidic, and unsaturated.

The water flow rate can be influenced by changing two parameters: the amount of ground coffee and the grind size.

The finer the grind, the more tightly the coffee grounds adhere to each other. It will be more difficult for water to pass between them.

It can be difficult to understand why your coffee doesn't taste good—is it because you used the wrong grind size or because you used the wrong amount of ground coffee? When brewing at home, you should always use a scale. This way you will make fewer mistakes. By ensuring you use the correct amount of ground coffee, you will know to vary the grind size if your coffee tastes bad.

No exaggeration: Espresso is one of the most difficult coffee-brewing methods. It requires concentration and strict adherence to a recipe. The taste will change if there's a deviation of even a few seconds or a few grams of water or ground coffee.

We recommend that you change only one variable at a time. If you aren't satisfied with the taste of your espresso, try a different grind size first. If this experimenting with grind size doesn't fix the problem, try changing other parameters like ratio or flow rate.

How to Choose Coffee Beans for Espresso

The main advantage of espresso is its full-bodied taste and rich aroma. Arabica has a wonderful aroma, so these beans are the most common in espresso blends.

Beans that are ground just before brewing give the best flavor to the espresso.

Flavored ground coffee is not suitable for espresso because it's impossible to predict how artificial flavors will behave in an espresso machine.

Which roast is best for espresso?

A darker roast is recommended for espresso. The darker the roast, the easier extraction will be.

If you value the body and texture of your coffee, brew dark-roasted beans in a 1:1.5 ratio. If you prefer sweetness and purity, use light roasted beans and a 1:2 ratio.

Many roasters are confused about which roast is best for espresso. You can find relatively light and fairly dark beans on the market. A medium roast allows you to reveal the characteristics of green coffee, while dark roasts can sometimes give an expressionless, burnt taste and unpleasant bitterness. In general, each coffee lover has his or her own taste preferences, and you may need to experiment with roasts before you find one you enjoy.

Which grind settings are best for espresso?

To prepare espresso, you need to grind the coffee yourself. It is best to use a burr grinder that lets you easily select the grind size. But keep in mind that you will have to reconfigure the grinder for each new variety of beans.

There is a special fine espresso grind; however, you can also use medium-ground coffee. Experienced baristas recommend using a medium grind to achieve a new flavor.

Espresso Brewing Ratio

There are tons of recipes for brewing espresso because there's a lack of agreement on how much coffee should be result and what strength it should be. One recipe may say extraction should take 20 seconds, but this might make coffee that's too strong for you.

The recommended starting point is two parts water to one part ground coffee. With this ratio, you'd get 36 grams of finished espresso when using 18 grams of ground coffee.

If you want to make a stronger espresso, you should change the brew ratio. Instead of 1:2, try 1:1.5. Using this ratio, you'd get 27 grams of finished espresso per 18 grams of ground coffee.

Tamping Espresso

It's important to tamp the ground coffee in the portafilter before making espresso. This is one of the most important steps, and it requires practice.

A tamper is a tool used for tamping. It consists of a circular metal surface connected to a handle. The surface has a diameter that's 1-1.5 millimeters less than the diameter of the portafilter.

Tamping ensures that the coffee is evenly distributed in the portafilter and that the coffee tablet has an even density all the way across. This helps water pass through the drink correctly, leading to optimal extraction and a stable taste.

Why is this important?

Water always takes the easiest path. If there is an area of lower density, the pressurized water will pass through it faster. The coffee in this area will be over-extracted, and in the rest of the areas it will be under-extracted. The result? Spoiled espresso?

Tamping force is also important. Tamping squeezes air out of the space between the grounds. When using a certain pressure to tamp, you reach the maximum density of the coffee tablet.

You shouldn't rely on the force of pressing, because it will vary every time. But it's important not to press too lightly, because the coffee tablet won't be even.

The main thing is not the force with which you tamp, but the stability of that force. ⠀

How to tamp correctly

To achieve a uniform density, you need to tamp on a perfectly flat, horizontal surface. It is important to tamp in one clean, steady motion, using stable pressure.

During tamping, your elbow should be directly over the tamper and you wrist should be straight. Imagine you have a screwdriver in your hand and the screw is sticking out perpendicularly. To protect your wrist, you need to place your hand in the same position as you would twist the screw.

Do not knock the portafilter to shake off coffee grounds after tamping, because channels will appear in the coffee tablet and ruin extraction. Instead, lightly wipe any grounds off the edges of the portafilter.

Espresso Brewing Temperature

The optimum temperature for brewing espresso is around 201-207°F (94-97°C). The hotter the water, the better it reveals the flavors of the beans. Therefore, we recommended that you set a high brewing temperature for light-roasted beans and a slightly lower temperature for dark-roasted beans, as the latter give off flavor more easily.

If your espresso is too acidic, set the temperature higher, but don't go above 209°F (98°C).

If your coffee is too bitter, lower the temperature, but don't go below 194°F (90°C). And make sure your equipment is absolutely clean, because this can affect taste.

What Is the Correct Boiler Pressure for an Espresso Machine?

A pressure of 9 bar gives the best water flow rate. At pressures below 9 bar, the water has trouble getting through the coffee tablet, so the water flow rate decreases.

Above 9 bar of pressure, the ground coffee becomes so compressed that the flow rate also slows down.

If the pressure is too low, your espresso will lack body and a creamy texture. High pressure can give the drink a strange woody bitterness, which is also not very pleasant. But as long as the pressure in your espresso machine is close to ideal, there's nothing to worry about.

Espresso Crema

Crema is Italian for "cream," and it's the foam on top of espresso. It forms naturally on the surface of an espresso, just as foam forms on the surface of a draft beer.

For a long time, the crema was considered a very important element of espresso, but in fact, it testifies only to two details:

  • First, whether fresh beans were used. Stale beans contain less carbon dioxide, which means less crema.
  • Second, how strong the espresso is. The darker the crema, the stronger the drink. This is because crema is just the foam from the liquid—the color of the coffee determines the color of the crema, which is lighter than the beverage only because the bubbles reflect the light. For this reason, dark roasted beans will produce a darker foam.

Crema doesn't allow you to judge the quality of the beans (besides their age), whether they were roasted correctly, or whether the espresso was brewed in a clean machine.

How to Make Cappuccinos and Lattes with an Espresso Machine

Want to add milk to your espresso? We recommended that you start with full-fat cow's milk.

However, there are many alternatives to cow's milk: oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. These are also great for steaming.

For cappuccinos and lattes, only fresh, natural milk with a fat content of 3.5 to 4% and a protein content of 2.8 to 3.5% is suitable. Fats are responsible for the formation of an elastic, homogeneous foam, and proteins give the drink a unique, milky sweetness.

Milk should not be heated above 158°F (70°C). Otherwise, the proteins will denature and you drink will be bitter. The optimum temperature is 140°F (60°C).

The Specialty Coffee Association recommends heating milk to 130-150°F (55-65°C), with a maximum temperature of 158°F (70°C) and a minimum temperature of 122°F (50°C).

Correctly frothed milk foam will have a thick, uniform consistency. The surface will be glossy and there will be no large bubbles. The foam should taste sweet and creamy.

Cappuccino

This is a classic espresso-based milk drink with a volume of 150-220 ml.

Typically, the foam volume accounts for 50% of the total milk volume, so the finished cappuccino is made of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam. The milk foam can be poured using latte art techniques to make designs like flowers, but the classic version—with just a plain layer of foam on top—is also great.

How to Make a Cappuccino

In a cappuccino, the balance of milk and espresso and the overall feel of these ingredients are important.

Balance — This is how well the milk and espresso complement each other in the drink. It's entirely up to individual preference, but ideally you should notice both ingredients and one shouldn't overpower the other. You should be able to feel and recognize the espresso through the milk.

Compatibility — This is when several ingredients combined are better than they were separately. It's the compatibility of the milk and espresso, in other words.

For a standard 185-180ml cappuccino, use a single shot of espresso. For a double cappuccino, use a doppio.

Latte

Lattes are popular among people of all ages because of their beautiful presentation and mild taste.

A latte consists of 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a small amount of foam on top. You can add any syrup to taste. The ideal milk temperature for a latte is 149°F (65°C). At this temperature, the foam will be stable.

How to Make a Latte

How to Clean and Descale Your Espresso Machine

In many cases, commercial coffee machines are not well maintained. This is one reason customers are served bitter or tasteless coffee. A clean machine, on the other hand, will prepare a tasty drink.

Some people think a very clean machine can give the coffee a metallic taste, so after cleaning you should brew one or two espresso shots to get the espresso machine ready for use. Preheat the machine well (add 10 to 15 minutes to the time recommended by the manufacturer) and it will immediately brew great coffee.

To keep your espresso machine in good working order, choose the right water. Hard water forms scale, which can interfere with operation. Don't let the machine build up too much scale. It will be impossible to get rid of without the help of a professional.

Once in a while, the rubber gasket in the group will have to be changed. When you insert the portafilter, it should enter at a right angle. If it is loose or spinning, the rubber gasket is worn out.

Wash your espresso machine every night, because coffee oils will quickly settle on your machine. Over time, they will oxidize and add bitterness to your drinks.

How to Descale an Espresso Machine

Chapter 4 

Pour-Over Brewing Guide

Walk into any specialty coffee shop and you'll see at least one pour-over coffee maker. The Chemex and Hario V60 have been around for decades and are now symbols of third-wave coffee shops. Because the possibilities for improving the taste of coffee in a pour-over are endless, the method has a huge army of fans among both professional baristas and among home brewers.

how to make coffee chapter 4

 What Is Pour-Over Coffee?

The essence of the pour-over method is the flow of water through a layer of coffee in a filter. The filter allows water and the soluble components of coffee to pass through. It also prevents small coffee particles from getting into the drink. Filters can be made of anything from paper to cloth to metal mesh.

The pour-over method has been around for a relatively long time, but some innovations arose relatively recently.

You can find a huge number of pour-over coffee makers on the market. Each has its own advantages and features.

How To Make Pour-Over Coffee

In order to prepare coffee using the pour-over method, you will need:

  • Pour-over device
  • Gooseneck kettle
  • Filter
  • Carafe, cup, or mug if not included as part of pour-over device
  • Timer
  • Scale
  • Filtered water
  • Whole coffee beans
  • Burr coffee grinder
How to Make Pour-Over Coffee

As with any brewing method, there are some nuances that are important to consider in order to achieve a quality result.

Pour-over kettle

When brewing coffee in a pour-over, the rate at which the water is poured plays a big role. Because it's difficult to pour water slowly and accurately from a regular kettle, a gooseneck kettle with a long, thin spout is often used for pour-over brewing. It allows you to create an even, controlled stream. In addition, water enters the spout from the bottom of the kettle, where the temperature is most stable.

Gooseneck kettles are available in two variations: electric and stovetop.

Pour-over filters

Three types of filters can be used to brew pour-over coffee. Each affects the taste of the final drink differently because certain substances pass through one type of filter but not another.

  • Metal filters only retain large coffee grounds. The brewed coffee will contain a sludge-like sediment and appear slightly cloudy due to coffee oils and small grounds that make their way into the drink and add density.
  • Fabric filters allow you to brew a delicious coffee. They trap coffee grounds but allows some oils to pass through. As a result, the coffee will be pure and rich with a bright aftertaste.
  • Paper filters give you the purest coffee. They trap all ground coffee particles, as well as any oils. As a result, the coffee is quite transparent and often has a reddish hue. We recommend that you choose bleached paper rather than natural brown paper, as the latter gives coffee an unpleasant papery flavor.

Pour-over coffee beans

Experienced baristas recommend single-origin beans, though Arabica blends are also suitable. Mixtures with even a low Robusta content of are not suitable because the drink will taste bitter. It's also ideal to use whole beans instead of store-bought pre-ground coffee.

Roasting and grinding

For pour-over brewing, the roast should be no darker than medium. It's best to use a light roast.

The optimum grind for pour-over is coarse or medium. The finer the grind, the fuller the drink will be, but too small of grounds will clog the filter.

Acidity is more pronounced in a drink made from coarse-roasted beans, but the extraction time will be too fast with a very coarse roast. This will lead to an empty, watery taste.

Brew ratio

A 1:17 ratio is standard for pour-over brewing. To prepare a regular 250ml cup of coffee, you will need 283.22 ml of water and 16.66 grams of ground beans.

If you want to calculate your own ratios, you can use this site.

Ratios can significantly affect the taste of the finished drink, so you should not measure by eye.

Water mineralization

Use water with a mineralization of 70-200 mg/L. The optimal mineralization is 150 mg/L. Don't use chlorinated tap water—it will significantly impair the taste of your drink.

Water temperature

For pour-over coffee brewing, the optimum water temperature is 200 to 205°F (93 to 96°C). To achieve this temperature, boil water in a kettle and let it cool for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, use a kettle with a thermometer.

Water infusion

Pour-over methods are susceptible to poor infusion techniques. For example, the water can channel when it finds an easy path through the ground coffee. Different water-infusion techniques will affect extraction—and the resulting drink—in different ways. You can experiment with the volume of water and the number of infusions to find the perfect drink.

Blooming

It's common practice to add a little water to the ground coffee at the beginning of the brewing process.

When you add hot water, the grounds start giving off carbon dioxide and the coffee begins to swell. Typically, you will need to wait half a minute before adding the remaining water. The release of carbon dioxide during blooming helps the coffee brew better.

Pulse pouring

This is a popular water-pouring technique that involves multiple infusions of water. Once a barista knows how much water they need for the amount of ground coffee they're using, they divide this total volume into several portions. Then they pour each portion over the grounds, following a specific time sequence. During this process, infusion time and beverage volume are carefully controlled.

Pulse pouring prevents the ground coffee from rising and settling on the sides of the filter. In addition, it prevents channeling and excessive mixing of coffee grounds and also slows down the rate of water flowing through the ground coffee and filter.

The technique also creates mild turbulence, which has a positive effect on the brewing process. The turbulence provides more even contact between the coffee grounds and the water molecules, for more uniform extraction.

Uniformity of extraction is also achieved because each time the barista pours new water over the grounds, the grounds come into contact with pure water that isn't yet saturated with coffee substances.

Nest pouring

To ensure that the ground coffee is evenly saturated with water, a bird's-nest hole should be made in the center of the coffee.

The shape of the hole should match the tapered design of a V60 or Chemex funnel. Start by pouring into the hole, then move from the center to the outer edges.

Hario V60

The Hario V60 is one of the most popular pour-over devices. It's available in two sizes: 01 (small) and 02 (large). Both models require special filters. The device is available in plastic, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel.

The V60 is not designed to control the water flow rate. This means that everything is up to you. Along with the Chemex, this device is the most difficult to master. The V60 does not require the impossible, but you will have to master certain skills.

How the Hario V60 works

The funnel is essentially a variation on the classic drip coffee maker.

It's a V-shaped funnel that tapers downward to form a 60° angle, and it has a round base with a large opening.

This shape, combined with the convex spiral pattern on the inner walls of the funnel, allows coffee to drip from both the bottom and the edges of the device. As a result, the brewing process is more even.

Due to the large diameter of the funnel's opening, a slow, continuous pour is required. This will prevent the water from pouring through the funnel too quickly. It is imperative to purchase a gooseneck kettle if you want to brew in a Hario V60.

The finished drink made with a Hario V60 is rich and has the finest flavors. Many coffee lovers believe the V60 produces coffee that no other coffee maker can match.

Hario V60 filters

Filters for the Hario V60 are made of fine, high-quality paper. They are very similar in shape to Melitta filters, but they taper downward like Chemex filters. To use, fold up the seam and place the filter in the funnel.

Standard Hario V60 recipe for home brewing

Parameters

Grind size: Medium, Medium-fine

Brew ratio: 1:15

Water temperature: 205°F/96°C (or immediately after boiling)

Total brewing time: 3 minutes or less

Ingredients

26.5 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

400 grams of water, or a little more if necessary

Brewing process

  1. Assemble the device: funnel, filter, and container for the finished drink.
  2. Boil water in a kettle.
  3. Grind the coffee beans.
  4. Moisten the filter using 50-60 grams of water, then drain this water.
  5. Place the device on the scale. Add ground coffee and smooth out the coffee layer. Zero the scale.
  6. To bloom the coffee, start the timer and slowly pour 60 grams of water in concentric circles for 20 seconds. The coffee grounds must be soaked with water.
  7. Wait 10 seconds. When the timer shows 00:30, start pouring water from the center of the coffee layer and work your way to the edges of the funnel. Then, in converging circles, move to the center. Continue until the scale reads 400 g. The timer should show around 01:30.
  8. Wait for all the coffee to drain into your cup or other container. If you've done everything correctly, the timer should show 03:00 or a little less.
  9. Remove and discard the filter and used coffee grounds. Pour coffee into cups and enjoy!

Kalita Wave

Kalita funnels have been in production since 1959 and were initially similar in design to the Melitta funnel. However, the Kalita has three holes, while the Melitta has one. Later, the Kalita Wave model was developed, and its characteristic feature is a wide, flat bottom.

The device is available in two sizes: 155 (small) and 185 (large), and each requires the appropriate filter size.

Kalita Waves can be made from ceramic, glass, or stainless steel.

Many baristas consider the Kalita to be a one-stop-shop for beginners. The funnel design allows you to adjust the water flow rate, which makes the device easier to handle. But continuous pouring is difficult while brewing in a Kalita, especially if you are using its full volume.

The Kalita is good for pulse pouring, though, which makes it an excellent choice for beginner pour-over brewers. 

How the Kalita Wave works

The Kalita Wave works on the same principle as all pour-over devices. However, three holes and a flat bottom set it apart from its competitors.

With this design, the layer of ground coffee is thin and flat, so it's more difficult for water to make channels. This results in a more even extraction.

The grind used with a Kalita Wave is typically coarser than the grind used with most drip devices.

The shape of the funnel allows the water to flow straight through the ground coffee layer from top to bottom. In addition, a small Y-shaped lip on the bottom of the coffee maker prevents the filter from sticking and allows air to circulate.

The brewing time when using a Kalita Wave is relatively long. This allows you to extract flavor nuances and reveal the character of your beans. Coffee can be brewed into a carafe or cup.

Kalita Wave filters

At first glance, Kalita filters appear to be the same as standard pleated flat-bottom filters, but this is not the case—the filters are specially designed for the Kalita funnel.

The filter does not touch the bottom of the funnel, and it was designed this way on purpose. The filter is of paramount importance for the Kalita to function properly. The pleated filter walls keep the filter suspended inside the funnel for better heat retention and extraction. In other devices, the filter fits snugly against the walls of the funnel, thus letting heat escape and messing with extraction.

Standard Kalita Wave recipe for home brewing

This recipe uses pulse pouring.

If you are using very fresh beans, the coffee may require more water to bloom, in which case you'll have to slightly change the pouring "schedule"—the time and amount of water per pour.

Kalita filters are very thin. Don't pour water directly on the filters or they might tear.

Parameters

Grind size: Medium

Brew ratio: 1:17

Water temperature: 205°F (96°C)

Total brewing time: 3 min 45 sec

Ingredients

23.5 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

400 grams of water, or a little more if necessary

Brewing process

  1. Assemble the device: funnel, filter and container for the finished drink.
  2. Boil water in a kettle.
  3. Grind the coffee beans.
  4. Moisten the filter using 50-60 g of water, then drain this water.
  5. Place the device on the scale. Add ground coffee and smooth out the coffee layer. Zero the scale.
  6. To bloom the coffee, start the timer and slowly pour 50 grams of water in concentric circles for 20 seconds. The coffee grounds must be soaked in water.
  7. Wait 15 seconds. When the timer shows 00:35, start the first pour. Slowly pour 100 grams of water in even, concentric circles for 15 seconds. The scale should show 150 grams and the timer should show 00:50.
  8. Wait 10 seconds. Then add five more servings of water, 50 grams each. The scale should show 400 grams and the timer should show 03:00.
  9. Wait for all the coffee to drain into the cup. This should take about 45 seconds.
  10. Remove and discard the filter and used coffee grounds. Your coffee is ready!

Tips

Want to keep time while pulse-pouring?

Here's a guideline. After each of the times, your scale should show the following measurements:

00:35-00:50 — 150 grams

01:00 - 01:15 — 200 grams

01:25 - 01:40 — 250 grams

01:50 - 02:05 — 300 grams

02:15 - 02:30 — 350 grams

02:45 - 03:00 — 400 grams

Chemex

The Chemex is an hourglass-shaped glass vessel for brewing pour-over coffee. It's a combination of a glass funnel and a glass flask, and it has a handle made of wood and a leather cord.

The Chemex was invented in 1941 by scientist Peter Schlumbohm. The first Chemex advertising slogan was "Brew coffee like a chemist."

Today, the Chemex is available in several sizes: three cups, six cups, eight cups, and ten cups. Each size is available in two models: a classic one with a wooden handle and a more elegant one with a glass handle. Both models are made of glass and require special filters.

It's currently one of the most popular pour-over coffee makers. A Chemex will require more skill from you than other pour-over devices, and you have to practice more to get a good result.

Unlike many other varieties of drip devices, a Chemex allows you to make many coffees in one go.

Coffee brewed in a Chemex has a uniquely pure taste—the drink doesn't contain any sediment or oils.

How the Chemex works

The Chemex is an amazing combination of aesthetics and functionality, but a beginner will need to practice.

The upper funnel holds the filter and coffee grounds, and the lower flask serves as a carafe. The shape and special paper filter allow you to achieve your desired extraction rate.

If you grind your beans too finely, water won't flow through the beans and will become stuck. The thick filter tapers downward, which makes it extremely likely to become clogged by fine grounds.

A Chemex can brew a drink that's extremely rich in flavor nuances compared to coffee brewed in other devices. Because the device gives you absolute control over parameters such as flow rate, your ability to handle a Chemex affects the taste of the drink more than its design does.

Chemex filters

Unlike filters for the Melitta and other pour-over devices, Chemex filters are pointed at the bottom. They are available in both bleached and unbleached paper. They can be round or square. And they are significantly thicker than other filters. This means they capture more oils and particles. As a result, the resulting coffee tastes extremely clean. It is thanks to this filter that coffee made in a Chemex is different from all other coffee.

In addition to being thicker, Chemex filters are also larger than most other filters. And unlike Melitta filters, the Chemex filters have no seam. They need to be folded.

The shape of the filter is of particular importance. When the filter is well moistened, it fits snugly against the glass everywhere except for the pouring chute and the wall opposite it. This allows air to enter and thereby controls the extraction rate.

A properly folded Chemex filter has one layer of paper on one side and three on the other. The filter must be inserted with the denser side facing the spout so the groove-air outlet has additional protection. If the filter is turned the other way, it can "fall" into the groove in the middle of the brewing process, stopping air flow and increasing extraction time. Then your coffee will be over-extracted.

Chemex filters, like the device itself, come in a variety of sizes.

Standard Chemex recipe for home brewing

Pre-wetting your Chemex filter is more important than wetting the filter of any other device. Chemex filters are thicker than all others, which means there is a greater risk that your coffee will have a papery taste. Pre-wetting the filter helps to avoid this and helps the filter stick to the funnel walls. This helps regulate air flow. If you moisten the filter properly, you can safely drain the used water through the spout.

Parameters

Grind size: Medium-fine

Brew ratio: 1:16

Water temperature: 205°F (96°C)

Total brewing time: 3 min 45 sec

Ingredients

31 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

500 grams of pure water

Brewing process

  1. Insert filter into the Chemex.
  2. Boil water in a kettle.
  3. Grind the coffee beans.
  4. Moisten the filter using 50-60 grams of water, then drain this water.
  5. Place the device on the scale. Add ground coffee and smooth out the coffee layer. Zero the scale.
  6. To bloom the coffee, start the timer and slowly pour 70 grams of water in concentric circles for 25 seconds. The coffee grounds must be soaked in water.
  7. Wait 20 seconds. When the timer shows 00:45, start pouring water into the center of the coffee layer. Pour in circles the size of a coin. The scale will show 200 grams.
  8. Pour a couple of quick circles over the whole ground coffee layer. Then continue pouring water into the center until the scale shows 400 grams. The timer should read 02:00.
  9. Pour water over the entire area again. Stop in the center until the scales reaches 500 grams and the timer reads 02:30.
  10. Let the coffee drain. This should take about 75 seconds.
  11. Remove and discard the filter and used coffee grounds. Pour coffee into cups and enjoy!

Tips

No matter what shape your filter is, it should always be positioned with its multi-layered side where the groove extending from the spout is. Layering makes the filter stronger, prevents it from getting wet, falling through and blocking the air flow through the groove.

Melitta

The Melitta is perhaps not as spectacular or fashionable as other pour-over devices, but it does its job perfectly and has a very convenient design.

Melitta products are inexpensive and widely available, so they're great for beginners.

How the Melitta works

The Melitta is the first wedge-shaped pour-over funnel. To use it, you need a filter, which is sold separately.

The Melitta funnel is tapered, has a flat bottom, and can be used with filters of the same shape. The ribbed inner walls of the funnel ensure air circulation. There is one small hole at the bottom of the device. This design slows down the flow of water through the layer of ground beans, which makes it easy for a beginner to use the device.

Melitta filters

Melitta filters are conical in shape, are sold at grocery stores, and can fit many devices. The Melitta conical filter is round and wide at the top and tapers to a flat edge at the bottom. The bottom and one side of the filter are corrugated.

To use a Melitta filter, fold over the bottom edge and then the side edge. Unfold the filter, place it in the device, and you're done!

Melitta conical filters are available in several sizes. The most popular are 2 and 4. Make sure the size you choose matches the size of your pour-over device.

Standard Melitta recipe for home brewing

Parameters

Grind size: Medium

Brew ratio: 1:17

Water temperature: 205°F (96°C)

Total brewing time: 3 min 30 sec

Ingredients

23.5 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

400 grams of water

Brewing process

  1. Assemble the device: funnel, filter, and container for the finished drink.
  2. Boil water in a kettle.
  3. Grind the coffee beans.
  4. Moisten the filter using 50-60 grams of water, then drain this water.
  5. Place the device on the scale. Add ground coffee and smooth out the coffee layer. Zero the scale.
  6. To bloom the coffee, start the timer and slowly pour 50 grams of water in concentric circles for 30 seconds. The coffee grounds must be soaked in water.
  7. Wait 15 seconds. When the timer shows 00:45, start pouring from the middle of the coffee layer. Add 50 grams of water in even circles. This will take 10 seconds. The scale will show 100 grams and the timer will show 00:55.
  8. Wait 15 seconds, then pour three more portions of water, 100 grams each. Continue until the scale shows 400 grams and the timer shows 02:40.
  9. Wait for all the coffee to drain into the cup. This will take about 50 seconds. The timer should read 03:30.
  10. Remove and discard the filter and used coffee grounds. Pour coffee into cups and enjoy!

Tips

Want to keep time while pulse-pouring?

Here's a guideline. After each of the times, your scale should show the following measurements:

00:45-00:55 — 100 grams

01:10-01:30 — 200 grams

01:45-02:05 — 300 grams

02:20-02:40 — 400 grams

Bee House

The Bee House pour-over coffee maker is an improved design based on the Melitta funnel. Where the Melitta has one hole, the Bee House has two. In addition, the grooves on the side wall have a different pattern, and the funnel is only available in ceramic.

If you prefer to brew coffee straight into a cup, the Bee House is a great option for you. It's compatible with most coffee cups and has a window at its base so you can see how much coffee you're making.

The Bee House is one of the easiest pour-over devices to use. For example, it's much easier to handle than the Hario V60.

The Bee House is also good because it doesn't require special filters. Melitta filters are quite suitable for it. No. 2 filters work with both the large and small size of Bee House funnel, while No. 4 filters work only with the larger size. The filters are easy to find at any grocery store and the Bee House itself is relatively cheap, so it's a great option for beginners.

The only drawback of the Bee House is that you cannot find it at large retail chains.

How the Bee House works

The Bee House acts just like any other pour-over device. And because it only has two drain holes, beginners will have an easier time controlling the water flow rate. The device is designed to be less time-consuming than its competitors.

The key factor that determines the rate of water flow in a Bee House funnel is grind size, so feel free to experiment. Pay attention to how the grind affects the taste of your coffee. The coffee will always taste clean, and when brewed for longer, sweeter notes will appear.

Some professional baristas think this device is very primitive and doesn't allow for the perfection that is possible with the V60. However, it allows you to achieve consistent results at home, no matter what beans you use.

Brewing

The design of the Bee House funnel significantly slows down the outflow of water, making it easy to practice pulse-pouring.

How you pour is not particularly important. The main thing is that you pour evenly. We recommend that you make concentric circles while pouring. If you notice any bean particles sticking to the sides of the filter, simply rinse the perimeter of the filter.

Parameters

Grind size: Medium

Brew ratio: 1:16

Water temperature: 203°F (95°C)

Total brewing time: 3 min 30 sec

Components

25 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

400 grams of water

Brewing process

  1. Assemble the device: funnel, filter, and container for the finished drink.
  2. Boil water in a kettle.
  3. Grind the coffee beans.
  4. Moisten the filter using 50-60 grams of water, then drain this water.
  5. Place the device on the scale. Add ground coffee and smooth out the coffee layer. Zero the scale.
  6. To bloom make the coffee, start the timer and slowly pour 50 grams of water in concentric circles for 30 seconds. The coffee grounds must be soaked in water.
  7. Wait 15 seconds. When the timer shows 00:45, start the first pour from the middle. Add 50 grams of water in even circles. This will take 10 seconds. The scale will show 100 grams and the timer will show 00:55.
  8. Wait 15 seconds, then pour three more portions of water, 100 grams each. Continue until the scale shows 400 grams and the timer shows 02:40.
  9. Wait for all the coffee to drain into the cup. This will take about 50 seconds. The timer should show 03:30.
  10. Remove and discard the filter and used grounds. Pour coffee into cups and enjoy!

Tips

Want to keep time while pulse-pouring?

Here's a guideline. After each of the times, your scale should show the following measurements:

00:45-00:55 — 100 grams

01:10-01:30 — 200 grams

01:45-02:05 — 300 grams

02:20-02:40 — 400 grams

Chapter 5 

Cold Brew Coffee Brewing Guide

Let's take a break from hot coffee and move on to cold brew. Cold-water infusion has been practiced since the discovery of coffee itself. In warmer months, this method is a huge hit. It's even become popular at large coffee chains.

how to make coffee chapter 5

Why is this method interesting?

First, it brews refreshing coffee. Second, it's easy—you don't need any brewing skills or special equipment. Third, it will help you discover new facets of taste.

Ready for a new experience? Let's get started!

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew is made by soaking ground coffee in cold water for a long time—typically 8 to 24 hours. The method is quite simple: you pour filtered water and ground beans into a large container, then wait. Cold brew is most often prepared as a concentrate.

Cold brew has a number of advantages:

  • The beans' useful components are preserved as much as possible, and tastes and aromas are fully disclosed.
  • Cold brew isn't bitter, and its acidity is more balanced and tender than that of hot coffee. The natural sweetness of the beans is fully revealed, so you don't need to add sugar.
  • It contains less caffeine than hot coffee when diluted.
  • The brewing method is environmentally friendly, as it doesn't require electricity or gas.

Since cold brew is infused for a long time at low temperatures, it has a soft, slightly sweet taste with an unobtrusive aroma.

How Much Caffeine Is in Cold Brew?

Cold brew concentrate contains a very high dose of caffeine, but because the concentrate is diluted with water, the amount of caffeine in the final drink can vary.

On average, a diluted cold brew has a caffeine content of 26 mg/fl oz (30 ml), which is about the same as hot coffee. For example, the famous 10.5 fl oz (311 ml) Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee contains 279 mg of caffeine. Starbucks Cold Brew is less potent—it has just 200 mg of caffeine in 16 fl oz (473 ml).

Therefore, it is not recommended to consume more than three cups of cold brew per day.

How Should You Drink Cold Brew?

You are unlikely to want to drink cold brew concentrate, so you should dilute it with ice water or cold milk. Add syrup or even juice to taste. Mango, peach, and citrus juices will be the most harmonious additions.

Cold brew also goes well with almond or coconut milk.

Cold brew even works well as a base for alcoholic cocktails. For example, you can add rum or sweet liqueurs. And ice is always a nice addition.

How Long Can Cold Brew Be Stored?

Keeping cold brew in the refrigerator is a must. Many people say it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but in reality, it can absorb food smells during this time and its flavor properties can fade. We suggest that you don't keep your cold brew concentrate for more than 2 to 3 days after it's finished brewing. If you've diluted the concentrate with juice or milk, its shelf life is only 8 to 12 hours.

Cold Brew Methods

At home, you can prepare a cold brew in one of two ways: soaking or dripping.

Soaking

This is a simple, common brewing method in which freshly ground coffee is mixed with cold water, infused for several hours, and filtered through a regular paper filter. ⠀

Dripping

For this method, you need a special device that consists of several compartments connected to each other. The upper compartment is filled with cold water. The water slowly passes through a filter holding freshly ground coffee, which is in the middle compartment. Then the finished drink drips into the bottom compartment.

You can make this type of device from ordinary plastic bottles, or you can use one of the devices below.

Cold Brew Devices

Since cold brew has become popular, many different devices have been created to help you brew it. If you want to brew cold brew like a professional, take a look at the following devices:

  • Toddy Cold Brew System — This is the original cold brew coffee maker. It's a plastic bucket fixed to a glass jar. It includes a reusable filter. Due to its simplicity of design and ability to brew large volumes of coffee (1650/6600 ml), the Toddy gained a foothold in the market and is in high demand.
  • Hario Cold Brew Bottle — This bottle has a volume of only 750 ml (not even 1 liter), so it's ideal for making small portions of cold brew. Just pour water into the bottle, add ground coffee to the built-in filter, and put the bottle in a refrigerator or a cool place. After 8 hours you can enjoy a refreshing drink. The device attracts customers with its compact size and ease of use.
  • Brewista Cold Pro Brewing Systems — These work in a similar way to the Toddy, but they're intended for use in coffee shops. Their key advantages are high-quality filtration and production of up to 23 liters of cold brew.

As you can see, cold brew coffee makers are designed for different occasions. But if you prefer the fill-and-forget method or don't want to buy new equipment, here's a classic recipe that only requires a French press.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home Using a French Press

The most effective way to make cold brew at home is to take a regular French press, pour freshly ground coffee into it, then add cold water and filter after a few hours.

How to Make Cold Brew in a French Press

To make your coffee delicious, you should pay attention to the following details:

Cold Brew Beans

For cold brew, you don't super-fresh beans. Ideally, the beans should have been roasted 2-5 weeks before you use them. The main thing is that they must be freshly ground.

Beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda will give your cold brew pleasant fruity, berry, caramel, and floral notes.

Cold brew coffee is aromatic and not too acidic, so even inexpensive blends can be turned into a great drink.

Coffee grinding

For cold brew, a coarse grind is best. Because the coffee takes a long time to brew, all the necessary substances will have time to be extracted, even in cold water.

A medium grind will work too, but it will be stronger and less aromatic. A fine grind is not recommended, because such a drink will leave only a dry aftertaste.

Cold Brew Ratio

Cold brew's ratios leave a lot of room for experimentation. What ratio you choose depends on whether you are going to drink the cold brew in a concentrated form or dilute it.

The basic ratio for all coffee brewing methods is 1:15 or 1:17, that is, 65-75 grams of grounds per liter of water. When creating your own cold brew recipe, you should build on these ratios. A drink with those ratios won't need to be diluted.

If you are going to dilute your cold brew concentrate with water, milk, or another liquid, use a 1: 8 or 1:12 ratio—between 80 and 120 grams of ground coffee per liter of water.

Another recommended ratio for concentrate is 1:6. The concentrate can be diluted with water to taste.

Cold Brew Water

Make sure the water is filtered and cool, around 68°F (20°C). Bottled water is preferable.

Or if you want to make your coffee sweeter, try pre-soaking with hot water. Pour hot water (203°F/95°C) into the ground coffee at a ratio of 1:3. Stir and wait about 50 seconds, then add cold water to the desired volume.

In general, water at any temperature—even ice-cold—can extract flavors from a coffee bean. The colder the water, the longer you need to let the coffee brew. 24 hours will always be enough.

Extraction Time

A long infusion time emphasizes the rich, sweet notes of the drink and almost eliminates acidity. The optimal brewing time for cold brew is 12 to 16 hours.

Let your taste guide you. If the drink seems undersaturated and lacks sweetness, you can leave it to infuse for two or three more hours.

It might take a long time to find your perfect recipe. And, of course, not everyone has the patience to wait. In order to quickly find your favorite recipe, you should brew several drinks at once. Experiment with devices, beans, dosage, timing, etc. You can compare different options and choose the one that suits your taste.

How to Make Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is a cold coffee variety that's as simple as its name suggests. The method has been known for more than four centuries and is used practically all over the world.

Brewing it at home is not difficult. The recipes are simple, ingredients are widely available, and no special equipment is required.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is made by freezing coffee or by adding ice to hot coffee.

There are no clear rules on how to properly prepare iced coffee, so each coffee lover can have their own favorite recipe. Iced coffee is popular not only during the summer, but also all year round.

How Is Iced Coffee Different from Cold Brew?

The key advantage of iced coffee, as compared to cold brew, is that it's faster to make. While cold brew takes at least 8 hours, iced coffee can be ready in a few seconds.

Most of the essential oils that give coffee its light, fruity notes are extracted at high temperatures. Thus, iced coffee tastes brighter than cold brew.

However, iced coffee is problematic to prepare in large quantities because the ice can dilute the drink. In addition, iced coffee should be consumed immediately after it's brewed. You can't store it in the fridge; it will go bad in a couple of hours.

What Does Iced Coffee Taste Like?

When hot coffee cools naturally, it tastes empty and musty. If the coffee is cooled instantly, then its flavors and aromas are retained, and the drink is just as good as if it was still hot. When chilled, coffee feels very soft in the mouth. And if you add dairy products, it becomes tender, without perceptible bitterness or acidity.

The taste of iced coffee can be changed in various ways—the only limit is your imagination. Add syrup, condensed milk, whipped cream, or other ingredients. Each new ingredient will change the saturation, flavor, and aroma of the coffee. Just make sure you observe the optimal proportions. Read about this and other brewing recommendations below.

How to Make Iced Coffee in a Chemex

You can also use any other pour-over device to make iced coffee.

You need only three ingredients:

  • 30 grams of coffee beans
  • 120 grams of ice cubes
  • 300 grams of hot water (never boiling, the temperature should be 196-205°F/91-96°C).

Of course, you can vary the amounts to make more or less coffee and to experiment with ratios.

In addition, you will need:

  • Chemex (or Kalita Wave, Melitta, Hario V60, etc.)
  • Simple syrup for sweetness, if desired
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Scale
How to Make Iced Coffee in a Chemex

Iced Coffee Beans

Use medium- or light-roasted beans if you wish to drink iced coffee without sugar or dairy. You'll get a smooth beverage with a moderate acidity and no noticeable bitterness. Iced coffee will open well with beans from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

For recipes using other ingredients, choose dark-roasted beans. You'll get rich coffee with chocolate notes.

Use a medium grind.

Iced Coffee Brew Ratio

As you may have noticed, ice replaces ⅓  of the water in the recipe. Ultimately, the ice will melt and turn into water.

Because the brewing method is pour-over, the optimal pour-over ratio of coffee to water is applied—1:14. If desired, you can add more coffee to increase the strength of the coffee. In this case, a 1:10 ratio should be used.

What kind of ice is suitable for iced coffee?

To ensure your coffee does not turn out too diluted or too cold, you should use high-quality ice. Ice cubes can be of the following types:

Medium ice cubes — These are the types of ice cubes made in freezer containers. Pour filtered water into an ice cube tray and leave to freeze for about 2-3 hours. This ice melts slowly enough for you to enjoy your full drink.

Crushed ice — This type melts quickly, but cools a drink just as quickly. It's suitable for drinks with small volumes, like iced espressos.

Large ice cubes — These melt slowly and are suitable for larger volumes of iced coffee because the taste and aroma of the coffee will last longer.

What Is Nitro Cold Brew?

Nitro coffee is a natural, cold-extracted coffee that contains nitrogen. Freshly ground coffee is mixed with specially prepared drinking water and infused for several hours. Then it is filtered and saturated with nitrogen, which also serves to cool the drink.

Nitro cold brew is an innovative approach to cold brew, and it's gained incredible success in coffee shops. It's normal to drink nitro cold brew in its pure form, but it is also used in cold brew cocktails. Combined with milk or creamy chocolate, you get a nitro latte or a nitro mocha that taste like melted ice cream with a dense foam.

How to Make Nitro Cold Brew Using a Whipped Cream Dispenser

Nitro Station for Cold Brew

A nitro station is a more complex way to make nitro cold brew, and it resembles a beer keg. It's a valve keg that already contains cold-extracted coffee. But unlike a beer keg, the station has some improvements in the form of an additional nitrogen cylinder.

Thus, the coffee is saturated with pressurized nitrogen via a nitro cooling station with a valve system. The output is ready-made nitro coffee dispensed directly into a glass.

Here's what you'll need to make classic nitro cold brew:

  1. Cold brew concentrate
  2. Keg and nitrogen bottle
  3. Filtered water up to a temperature of 97°F (36°C). The nitro station will cool the drink before serving.

Is nitro coffee harmful?

Nitrogen is absolutely safe for humans and the environment. This gas is resistant to high temperatures and is not explosive. It is even used in brewing.

When nitrogen is added to coffee, the beverage is saturated with tiny bubbles. The coffee begins to resemble a soda and develops a frothy texture and sweet, creamy taste.

The drink is pleasant to drink without sugar, and the coffee is neither acidic nor bitter.

Does nitro coffee contain alcohol?

No. While nitro coffee is served from a keg like beer and has a similar texture to beer, it is completely alcohol-free.

Chapter 6 

AeroPress Brewing Guide

This is the first manual coffee maker that combines simplicity, affordability, and the ability to brew top-quality coffee in just 2 minutes.

how to make coffee chapter 6

What Is an AeroPress?

The AeroPress was invented in 2005 by inventor Alan Adler. In an AeroPress, the coffee is soaked for 10 to 50 seconds and then strained through the filter by applying pressure to the piston.

Although the AeroPress is a newcomer to the coffee maker market, it has already become very popular due to its simplicity and speed. It's made of special BPA-free plastic, so it's very light and durable. You can take it with you on trips.

The AeroPress is versatile; its recipes are endless. Unlike many other coffee makers, it gives a good result with any grind, regardless of brewing time or water temperature. The coffee community even devised a way to use it upside down—this is called the inverted method.

The manufacturer claims that it can be used to make coffee that tastes like espresso. Plus, you can add milk to create different recipes.

The AeroPress is designed so the coffee pours directly into your cup. No carafe is needed. The only drawback of the device is that you can only brew 2 cups at a time.

The coffee will taste less acidic because most recipes use a fine grind and a low ratio of coffee to water. However, the coffee is still rich.

How does the AeroPress work?

The device looks like a giant syringe. You pour ground beans into the brewing chamber, add water, and insert and press down on the piston. The coffee goes through a paper filter and then through a perforated nozzle straight into your cup.

In the classic brewing method, the water is pushed through the coffee grounds by an air cushion in front of the piston rather than by the piston itself. This creates more pressure.

AeroPress filters

AeroPress filters are small round paper discs specially designed for the narrow AeroPress brewing chamber. The paper is similar to that used in Melitta filters.

Genuine AeroPress filters are available exclusively as bleached paper. Round metal filters from third-party manufacturers are also available.

Here's what you need to brew coffee with an AeroPress:

  • Freshly roasted coffee
  • Filtered water
  • AeroPress
  • AeroPress filter
  • Kettle
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Scale
  • Timer
  • Stirring spoon
  • Cup

So let's get brewing.

How to Brew Coffee in an AeroPress

Classic AeroPress Brewing Method

Many professionals are not very fond of this method, as water begins to flow from the device into the cup even before you lower the piston. This method uses low-temperature water. If you are using medium- to dark-roasted beans, a water temperature of 174-176°F (79-80°C) is suitable for optimal extraction.

  • The World AeroPress Championship website contains the championship winners' recipes. Check it out for good recipes that are updated frequently.

Parameters

Grind size: Fine

Brew ratio: 1:12

Water temperature: 185°F (85°C)

Total brewing time: 50-90 sec

Ingredients

11.5 grams of freshly roasted whole beans

138 grams of water, or a little more if necessary

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1.  Bring water to a boil in a kettle and leave to cool.

2.  While the water is cooling, place the filter in the AeroPress lid. Cover the brewing chamber with it and tighten.

3.  Place the brewing chamber over a mug or other container that will hold the finished drink.

4.  Thoroughly moisten the filter with 50-60 grams of hot water, then pour the water out.

5.  Place the beverage container and AeroPress on the scale.

6.  Grind the beans. Using a funnel, carefully pour the ground coffee into the brewing chamber and shake gently to level the layer.

7.  Remove the funnel and zero the scale.

8.  Once the water has cooled to the desired temperature, turn on the timer and quickly pour water into the AeroPress until the scale shows 138 grams or the water reaches the middle of the circle marked "2" on the scale of the brewing chamber. This should take no longer than 20 seconds; otherwise water will seep through the grounds into the mug, making it difficult to determine the correct amount of water.

9.  Use a spoon to stir the water and grounds for 10 seconds until the beans are evenly saturated with water. When you're done, the timer should show 00:30.

10.  Remove the AeroPress and beverage container from the scale, insert the piston, and carefully lower it within 20-60 seconds.

11.  When the piston is fully lowered (you will hear a characteristic hissing sound), the stopwatch should show a time between 00:50 and 01:30.

12.  Discard the coffee grounds, rinse the device, and enjoy your aromatic coffee!

Brewing Tips

The manufacturer's website states that one AeroPress-branded measuring spoon holds 11.5 grams of coffee, but in reality, one spoonful holds 15-16 grams of whole beans and 12-13 grams of ground coffee. So if you're brewing without using a scale and want to follow the given recipe, it is best to measure the ground coffee with the spoon so it will be closer to the indicated measurement of 11.5 grams.

Some professionals claim that an AeroPress must be completely dry in order to function properly. But lowering the piston in a completely dry device is difficult and might take too long, so it's okay if your device isn't fully dry.

Inverted AeroPress Brewing Method

The classic and inverted brewing methods are similar when using an AeroPress. In the latter, however, you place the ingredients in the AeroPress while it's turned upside-down. This prevents water from seeping into the cup before you finish pouring the rest into the brewing chamber. This gives you more control and accuracy.

Parameters

Grind size: Fine

Brew ratio: 1:14

Water temperature: 207°F (97°C)

Total brewing time: 1 min 50 sec

Ingredients

16 grams (1 AeroPress-branded scoop) of freshly roasted whole beans

220 grams of water

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1.  Bring water to a boil in a kettle.

2.  While the water is heating, place the AeroPress lid on a mug and a filter in the lid.

3.  Prepare the AeroPress: Insert the piston into the brewing chamber to exactly the depth of the rubberized bottom and set it aside.

4.  Grind coffee and set it aside, too.

5.  As soon as the water boils, turn off the kettle. Moisten the filter thoroughly using 50-60 grams of hot water. Pour this water out and set the mug aside.

6.  Turn the prepared AeroPress upside down and place it on the scale.

7.  Carefully pour the ground coffee into the brewing chamber and shake gently to level the layer. Remove the funnel and zero the scale.

8.  To bloom the coffee, start the timer and pour water into the AeroPress until the scale shows 50 grams or until the water reaches the middle of the circle marked "3" on the side of the brewing chamber.

9.  Use a spoon to stir the coffee. Try to immerse the spoon as deep as possible.

10.  Immediately after mixing, add water until the scale reads 220 grams.

11.  Screw on the cover, remove the device from the scale, and remove the air pocket. To do this, gently lower the brewing chamber on the piston until liquid begins to bubble through the lid.

12.  Quickly but gently flip the AeroPress onto the mug. At this point, the timer should show 00:50.

13.  Let the coffee brew until the timer shows 01:20. Then slowly and carefully lower the piston for about 30 seconds until the timer shows 01:50. Remember to support the mug with one hand to prevent the device from slipping.

14.  Throw away the coffee grounds and rinse the AeroPress. Your coffee is ready!

Brewing Tips

You'll have to practice to learn how to accurately time this method.

Steps 4-6 need to be done quickly, which will probably be hard at first. With a little practice, you'll brew AeroPress coffee like a pro.

Chapter 7 

French Press Brewing Guide

The French press is one of the most underrated home brewing gadgets. Coffee connoisseurs love it for its self-sufficiency and ease of use. It doesn't require a stove or electricity.

Professionals believe that the French press perfectly reveals the taste of good beans.

how to make coffee chapter 7

What Is a French Press?

The French press is a brewing device that uses immersion (infusion) and filtration. To brew coffee in a French press, add ground coffee and water to the press, let the mixture infuse for several minutes, then filter the coffee by pushing down on the plunger.

This method is suitable for beginners and for anyone who likes simple solutions. The French press doesn't require any professional skills or special kettles. You can just go about your morning routine while your coffee is brewing.

Coffee brewed in a French press has several features:

  • It's uniformly extracted because the coffee grounds and water are steeped together, unlike in most other brewing methods.
  • It's very rich and dense due to the prolonged infusion time.
  • It can contain small coffee particles that will continue to be extracted after you've poured the coffee into your cup. This sediment remains because French presses use metal filters rather than paper filters. The particles can cause some discomfort while you're drinking your coffee.

Today, you can buy a French press from almost any home goods store. They come in a variety of sizes and can be made from a variety of materials, including glass and plastic. The French press is a versatile device that can brew hot coffee, cold brew, and tea, and even froth milk for a latte. It's a great choice if you prefer multifunctional kitchen appliances.

The only drawback is that it's difficult to clean. When choosing a French press, you should give preference to metal models that are dishwasher-safe.

How to Make French Press Coffee

To prepare coffee in a French press, you need to choose the right infusion time so the water has enough time to fully penetrate the coarsely ground beans and extract their flavor components. The optimal brewing time is 5-8 minutes.

Which coffee to use

When using a French press, the coffee beans are in contact with water for a relatively long period of time. Therefore, it's important to use a coarse grind. This will slow down extraction and ensure that your coffee isn't too bitter.

Instead of choosing beans based on roast, choose beans that emphasize the properties of the coffee. In a French press, darker notes—chocolate, earthy, or floral—can be revealed. This is because the beans' essential oils are not captured by the metal filter and thus end up in your cup.

Other recommendations

We recommend a brew ratio of 1:16—for example, 25 grams of beans per 400 grams of clean water. You should not add freshly boiled water (212°F/100°C)—instead, let it cool slightly for a few seconds. The optimum water temperature is 205°F (96°C)

How to Make French Press Coffee

One of the main advantages of the French press is that it can be used to prepare coffee for several people. But remember: there is sediment in the drink, and most of it sinks to the bottom of the French press. The closer to the bottom, the denser the coffee, so alternate cups while you pour. This will make sure every cup has a balanced flavor.

Chapter 8 

Turkish Coffee Brewing Guide

Turkish coffee is very different from all the other brewing methods on this list. It's a total immersion method with one key difference: the coffee grounds aren't filtered out of the finished coffee. None of the other coffees on this list are as bold and rich as Turkish coffee.

Intrigued? Then let's get brewing!

how to make coffee chapter 8

What Is Turkish Coffee?

A cezve, or ibrik, is a small metal vessel with a specific shape: it's large at the bottom and tapers upward. Turkish coffee is made by grinding beans and mixing them with water in a cezve before placing the cezve over medium heat or on hot sand. The coffee is ready when the foam rises to the cezve's throat. All the contents of the cezve are poured into a cup—even the grounds.

It is customary in Turkey to brew coffee in a forged copper cezve. These cezves are coated with silver or special food-grade tin on the inside because these metals don't emit harmful substances when heated. In addition, these metals help water heat up evenly and cool down more slowly.

How to drink Turkish coffee

In Turkey, this drink is served in small cups (no more than 75 ml). It's served very hot, alongside a glass of cool water. Water relieves the drink's bitterness and lets you enjoy a pleasant aftertaste. Usually, no milk or cream is added. It is also customary to serve Turkish coffee with a traditional Turkish delicacy—lokum, also called Turkish delight.

At home, you can drink Turkish coffee from a large mug or dilute it with milk. And because coffee grounds can ruin your teeth, you can filter the finished drink.

How to brew coffee in a cezve

Traditional Turkish coffee should be brewed over hot sand. You need a special stove with a pot into which sand is poured and warmed up to 200-210°F. The essence of this method is that the cezve is completely immersed in the sand. It heats up quickly from all sides, and the coffee takes on a rich taste. The whole secret is in the even distribution of heat.

At home, you can brew Turkish coffee on a gas stove, as the flame will evenly heat the device from all sides. But an electric stove won't work well.

Also, the most delicious coffee is obtained by brewing over coals. The smoke will add a sophisticated aroma to the drink. This is a great idea to try while camping.

How to Make Turkish Coffee

To make coffee in cezve, you will need the following:

  • Cezve
  • Filtered water
  • Coffee beans
  • Grinder
  • Open flame, hot sand, or coals
  • Spices and herbs (optional)
How to Make Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee beans

For Turkish coffee, we recommend that you use Arabica from Colombia, Kenya, or Costa Rica. These coffees have a balanced taste and a tart, fresh aroma.

As for roasts, the darkest one will do. Dark roasts allow the flavor and aroma of the beans to fully unfold.

Dark roasting also has a beneficial effect on the foam, giving it a delicious caramel shade.

You can also choose a medium roast, but you will need to brew the coffee longer to get a pronounced aroma and chocolate aftertaste.

Grind size is of great importance—it should always be extra fine. According to Turkish Coffee World, a good Turkish grind is 15 times finer than an espresso grind. A blade coffee grinder does a good job of this, but doesn't provide a uniform grind, so you'll need to grind the beans in several steps and shake the grinder between pulses.

Water level and temperature

Water should reach a level 3-4 centimeters below the neck of the cezve. This will allow the foam to rise slightly over the edge of the cezve as it boils. Don't fill the cezve to the brim; otherwise, the foam will overflow before the drink is ready.

Just remember this rule: the narrower the neck of the cezve, the more distance you need to leave for the foam to rise.

Turkish coffee is brewed only over low heat, and the heating process lasts until foam appears. After the cap of foam settles, the drink is heated again until the foam reappears. In general, the coffee is considered ready after the first time the foam rises, but people usually make Turkish coffee stronger by re-boiling it a few times.

To brew a soft, delicate drink, you should boil it for 3-5 minutes. To add extra strength and bitterness, increase the brewing time to 8-10 minutes and let the foam rise 3-4 times.

How to make coffee with milk in a cezve

Milk delicately softens the taste of a strong drink and adds pleasant, creamy notes.

Milk is an excellent substitute for water. To brew Turkish coffee with milk, first mix ground coffee and sugar in the cezve. Sugar softens the drink further. Then add the milk and place the cezve over low heat.

After the drink forms dense foam, remove the coffee from the burner for 1 minute, then bring it to a boil 2 more times. For an even more delicate, caramelly taste, you can pre-heat the sugar in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes before brewing.

Chapter 9 

Moka Pot Brewing Guide

It's hard to say why the Moka pot, also known as a stovetop coffee maker, has become so popular since the mid-20th century. After all, it's not the simplest device, and it produces a very strong and bitter drink that only espresso lovers may like. Let's learn what a Moka pot is and how to use it correctly.

how to make coffee chapter 9

What Is a Moka Pot?

A Moka pot is a simple-looking octagonal coffee maker that consists of three parts: a lower water tank, a filter funnel for ground coffee, and an upper tank for brewed coffee.

In a Moka pot, steam creates pressure and causes hot water to rise from the bottom of the coffee maker to the top, passing through a layer of ground coffee on the way.

The water heats up to a very high temperature, so very bitter substances are extracted from the coffee. Some people appreciate this bitterness; others can't stand it.

It is difficult to achieve a pleasant taste with a Moka pot because it uses a large amount of ground coffee compared to water. Plus, the brewing process itself is quite fast.

This type of coffee maker was invented in 1833 by Englishman Samuel Parker, but Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti patented a specific geyser coffee maker called the Moka Express in 1933. Bialetti Industries continues to produce Moka pots to this day.

Can I make espresso in a Moka Pot?

Although the Moka pot brews small doses of strong coffee, it cannot brew real espresso.

Espresso requires hot—but not boiling—water to pass through ground coffee at a pressure of 9 bar. Only a modern espresso machine can handle this.

A Moka pot usually creates a pressure of 1-2 bar and uses boiling water to brew coffee. Thus, no crema is formed. Still, Moka pot coffee almost tastes like espresso, so you can experiment with espresso-like drinks.

Moka pot varieties

Moka Pot coffee makers can be traditional or electric.

Traditional Moka pots are heated on a gas stove or other external heat source. They are usually made completely of steel or aluminum. These coffee makers are affordable, heat up quickly, last a long time, and are even suitable for camping—you can heat them over a fire instead of over a gas stove.

Electric Moka pots are a more recent invention, but are already popular. They cost more, and because they require electricity, they aren't portable. But they have a number of advantages: they come in different designs to match any decor, they can be made of ceramic or heat-resistant glass, they keep coffee hot for a long time, and they include automatic brewing control and auto shut-off functions. You can even pre-program electric Moka pots so your coffee is ready when you wake up in the morning.

How to Brew Coffee in a Moka Pot

At first glance, it seems that there is nothing easier than making coffee in a Moka Pot. But it is also easy to spoil coffee if you make the simplest mistakes. The following tips may come in handy:

  • Use warm water to prevent bitterness.
  • Don't tamp the coffee in the filter because water will have difficulty passing through and this will cause a weak, unsaturated drink. Instead, slightly smooth the ground coffee layer.
  • Don't add spices to the coffee during brewing. Add them only to the finished drink.
  • Watch the extraction time. Try not to overheat the coffee—immediately remove it from the heating element as soon as the coffee is brewed.

Moka pot beans

For this coffee maker, you can choose any type of coffee, although experts don't recommend buying expensive, elite Arabica varieties with delicate floral or fruity notes.

Which roast is best?

The Moka pot works well with inexpensive beans of a medium or medium-dark roast. For example, Brazilian Arabica is a good choice.

Also, blends of Arabica with Robusta that are intended for espresso will work well. So will any beans grown at low elevations.

It is best not to use dark-roasted coffee because a Moka pot will make it very bitter.

Which grind is best?

A medium grind, which looks like grains of finely ground salt, is ideal for the Moka pot. Never use a fine grind like you would for espresso, because this will make the drink unnecessarily bitter and small coffee grounds will clog the seals and filter.

Moka pot brew ratio

The convenience of a Moka pot coffee maker is that you don't need to constantly calculate the ratio of coffee to water. The lower container is designed for a certain volume of water (from 2 to 12 cups), and the filter holds a strictly defined amount of ground coffee. You can still make some ratio changes—for example, a 10-cup coffee maker can be used to make 8 cups of coffee.

For the most pleasant-tasting coffee, we recommend that you use a 1:5 ratio—or 200 grams of coffee per 1 liter of water.

How to Use a Moka Pot

Percolator Coffee Maker

The percolator is similar to the Moka pot in both appearance and brewing method. It was invented at the end of the 19th century and acted as a prototype of the modern Moka pot. The only difference is that the brewed coffee continues to circulate through all tanks until you stop the brewing process. This means that coffee made in a percolator is always over-extracted and has a burnt taste.

It's almost impossible to predict when your coffee will be ready. For this reason, percolators are no longer in demand and have been discontinued.

Percolators can still be found on Amazon or eBay. They are mainly sold as souvenirs.

How to Use a Percolator

Chapter 10 

Siphon Coffee Brewing Guide

One look at a siphon coffee maker evokes chemical glassware and laboratory supplies. Siphon coffee makers are experiencing a rebirth in the specialty coffee industry because they let you notice all the subtle nuances of coffee.

how to make coffee chapter 10

What Is a Siphon Coffee Maker?

A siphon coffee maker consists of two glass flasks connected by a tube. The lower flask holds first water and later finished coffee, and the top one—the hopper—holds ground coffee and is where extraction takes place. A special burner is used to heat the water. Due to the brewing process, the device is also called a vacuum coffee maker.

This type of coffee maker has existed for over 2 centuries and has undergone various improvements, and since the mid-20th century. It has also been adapted for brewing tea. The Japanese company Hario is a major siphon manufacturer.

Today, the siphon is becoming less and less common in coffee shops. This is because the brewing process is laborious and lengthy. Plus, a siphon coffee maker costs a lot, is fragile, and must be handled with care.

How does a siphon coffee maker work?

The siphon uses an immersion brewing method that's slightly different than the immersion method used by other coffee makers. The water in the lower flask of the siphon is heated by the burner. Due to the pressure difference between the upper and lower flasks, the water is forced through the glass tube into the upper flask. When the temperature in the hopper has stabilized (around 202°F/94.5°C), the brewed coffee pours back into the lower flask.

The water will appear to be boiling, but it is not. The water will bubble because of the air that passes through the tube along with the water. When extraction is over, the heating source is removed, which causes the temperature and pressure to decrease and the finished coffee to flow into the lower flask.

The hopper is equipped with a filter, so the drink will be pure and rich.

How to choose a siphon burner

Siphon coffee makers come in various sizes: three cups, five cups, and eight cups. If you're purchasing a non-stovetop model, keep in mind that the siphon requires a heating source—a burner—which is sometimes sold separately.

The most budget-friendly ones are butane burners. Flameless siphon burners are also available, but they cost over $200.

We recommend that you purchase separate diffuser panels for the siphon for use on a gas stove. This will make it easier to work with the device.

Siphon filters

Japanese siphon manufacturers Hario and Yama use round fabric filters in their devices. Bodum models have a built-in plastic filter.

The fabric filters are reusable, but they must be handled with care to ensure long-term performance.

A new filter must be kept in boiling water for a few minutes before use. Rinse thoroughly after each use and store in refrigerator. Boil the filters regularly to keep them fresh.

How to Brew Coffee in a Siphon Coffee Maker

Siphon coffee will surprise even the most sophisticated coffee connoisseurs with its variety of flavors and aromas. We recommend that you brew only the finest coffees in a siphon coffee maker in order to fully enjoy a delicious drink.

Siphon coffee beans

With this method of brewing, the exquisite taste of elite monosorts is well manifested. However, inexpensive blends made from 100% Arabica are also fine.

An exotic drink with an unusual taste can be obtained from a blend of Arabica and 20-25% Excelsa.

Robusta adds bitterness to coffee, so only use it in a siphon if you love strong coffee. And it's best never to use blends that contain more than 20% Robusta.

You can use any roast, but make sure the grind is medium or fine (but not too fine). If the beans are ground too coarsely, the drink will be unsaturated.

Siphon coffee brew ratio

To brew coffee in a siphon, you need soft bottled water with a mineralization of 75-250 mg/L. It's also important to monitor the temperature of the water, which should be around 201°F (94°C).

To brew medium-strength coffee, use a ratio of 1:14, which is 360 mL of water and 26 grams of freshly ground beans.

Necessary equipment:

  • Siphon coffee maker
  • Heating element
  • Filtered water
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Burr coffee grinder
How to Use a Siphon Coffee Maker

Wrapping Up

Our most comprehensive coffee brewing guide has come to a close.

It was a really big job, and we enjoyed helping you find out what coffee is and how to use different brewing methods.

We shared as much knowledge as we could, and we hope now you can have even more fun with your cup of joe.

If you think the guide is missing something, we would be grateful if you could leave a comment in the comments section below and let us know what else you’d like to see.

We’d also be glad if you could leave a comment about how this guide helped you.

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