In our last Summer Series this year, we wanted to share our insights on how to brew a perfect cup. Here are 5 key elements that would enable you to Brew Greatness in any method!
There’s good reason behind our obsession with freshness - ALL great cups start with fresh beans (weeks old, not months old!) that are freshly ground right before brewing. See our previous posts for insights on why it matters, and how to keep beans fresh!
Water quality matters - remember your final brewed cup is ~98.7% water! Spring or properly filtered water is simply a necessity when brewing a great cup. The ideal brewing temperature is between 195 and 205℉, which is this slightly cooler than boiling (i.e. boil and wait a minute before pouring).
A ‘ratio’ is simply the amount of coffee you use in relation to the amount of water, or cups you’d like to brew. Using a 1:16 coffee-to-water ratio is considered ideal - i.e., an ounce of coffee for every 16 fl oz of water, for example (or half an ounce of coffee for an 8-oz cup). While weighing your beans and your water will always give you the best results, you can also use a consistent measure (i.e. a coffee spoon and a cup for which you know the weights or amounts of coffee and water they ‘hold’).
We should note, it’s ok to deviate from this ratio slightly, i.e. 1:15 for a stronger cup, or 1:17 for a milder cup - when it comes to coffee strength and taste - ‘perfection’ is in the eyes of the beholder.
Size really matters when it comes to the perfect grind! If your grind is too coarse (or large) for the method you’re using, you’ll get a weak cup that lacks body and may be acidic. If your grind is too fine (or small), you’ll get a cup that is harsh, sharp, even bitter. Remember one grind size does NOT fit all methods, and small changes to grind size can make a big difference (in terms of the total ‘surface area’ of coffee exposed to the water) - so when it comes to grind adjustments - small changes are big!
Time is of the essence when it comes to brewing! A great cup of coffee typically takes ~4-6 min to brew.
Remember brewing time is extraction time - i.e. the time necessary for your delicious coffee compounds to ‘transfer’ from the grounds into your cup. If too short, you’ll get a weak, acidic cup; if too long, you’ll get a harsh, bitter cup… yes, just like with grind size! They two are very closely related - coarser grinds need longer steeping times (e.g. French Press and Cold Brew), while finer grinds need shorter steeping times (i.e. Espresso is the ultimate example - as it extracts in 25-30 seconds).
Get these right, and you’ll be able to make a great tasting cup in ANY method! Let’s keep Brewing Greatness in the world!
Jolian & Lisbeth
PS. ‘Charley’s World’ - a local TV show - did a generous segment on us to help us tell our story and most importantly - spread the idea that we can make a difference. Thank YOU for making all of it possible!
There’s pics on FB, behind-the-scenes on IG, and here’s also a video.