French Press

November 19, 2014

How to Brew Coffee using a French Press

A french press (sometimes called a press pot) used to be a very popular brewing method that has seemed to fallen out of fashion the last few years.  The major disadvantage of this brewing method is that it does not use a paper filter so there will be some "silt" that ends up at the bottom of your mug. There are a few methods you can use to reduce this, some involve skimming the coffee of the top before plunging or plunging much slower. The French presses disadvantage also happens to be its advantage. The fact that it does not use a paper filter so the oils of the coffee end up in your mug and not in a paper filter. This gives the coffee more weight and less flavor transparency.

What you will need to brew a French Press

  1. A french press
  2. A scale capable of displaying 1 gram increments and have a maximum capacity of at least 1000 grams
  3. Coarse ground coffee

 Steps to Brewing a Great Cup of Coffee with a French Press

Since there are many different sizes of french press pots on the market you will need to know how much water yours holds before you make your first pot 

  1. Place your french press on the scale and tare the scale so that the weight shows zero
  2. With the plunger all the way down there will be some space between the bottom of the pot and the plunger. Take note of approximately how much space this is. Add water to the french press until you have as much space left in the french press as the plunger is from the bottom (this will be the space that the coffee occupies and allow some space for the coffee to "bloom").  Take note of how much water you've added
  3. Divide the weight of the water to added by 16, this is how much weight of coffee to add to your french press
  4. Empty the water out of the french press and boil fresh water
  5. Add the weighed out, freshly ground coffee to your french press.
  6. Add the water and weight 3:30-4 minutes
  7. Plunge down and drink up!

The biggest mistake people make when brewing coffee with the French press method is that they leave the coffee in contact with the water. The issue with this is that consequently the coffee continues to brew. You don’t want that! So we suggest to decant immediately, or if you use two spoons to skim the coffee off of the top of the French press (much like you do in a cupping) and plunge the rest, you would reduce the amount of over extraction on the coffee left over in the French press vessel.

One Cup Pour Over

November 16, 2014

How to Brew with a One Cup Pour Over

The beauty about this brewing method is that you can get these single cup pour over devices in a variety of materials and costs.  The cheapest is probably the Melita single cup coffee maker which is made of plastic to the Bee House coffee dripper made of porcelain.  The actual brew method is very similar to the Chemex

The two most important things about brewing coffee with a one cup pour over are:

  1. The 1:16 ratio - for every gram of coffee you use you add 16 grams of hot water.  In our example below we are using 20 grams of coffee so we need to add 20x16=320 grams of water.
  2. Water levels - when brewing make sure you keep the coffee fully submerged in water but don't add excessive water 

What will you need to brew with a one cup pour over device?

  1. A pour over device with filters
  2. A kettle
  3. 20 grams of coffee freshly ground to a medium grind
  4. A scale that is capable of 1 gram increments and at a minimum can do 1000 grams

Steps to brewing a great cup of coffee with a one cup pour over

  1. Place the paper filter inside the one cup pour over device
  2. Boil your water.
  3. Wet your paper filter with some hot water to get rid of the paper taste
  4. Add 20 grams of coffee to the filter
  5. Put the pour over device with the filter and the coffee on the scale and tare it so the weight shows zero
  6. Slowly add enough water to wet all the coffee.  Wait 20 seconds
  7. Keep adding water slowly and pour the water in a circular motion around the bed of coffee.  The idea here is to keep the coffee floating in the water but not add too much water.  Stop when the scale reads 320 grams.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Chemex

November 16, 2014

How to brew with a Chemex

The Chemex is probably one of the most beautiful coffee brewing devices.  In its beauty is also a simplicity of use that yields fantastic tasting coffee with little effort.

The two most important things about brewing coffee with a Chemex are:

  1. The 1:16 ratio - for every gram of coffee you use you add 16 grams of hot water. In our example below we are using 20 grams of coffee so we need to add 20x16=320 grams of water.
  2. Water levels - when brewing make sure you keep the coffee fully submerged in water but don't add excessive water 

What will you need to brew with a Chemex?

  1. A Chemex with filters
  2. A kettle
  3. 20 grams of coffee freshly ground to a medium grind
  4. A scale that is capable of 1 gram increments and at a minimum can do 1000 grams

Steps to brewing a great cup of coffee with a Chemex

  1. Open the paper filter.  There will be one side that is 3 layers thick.  This side goes on the side with the spout
  2. Boil your water.
  3. Wet your paper filter with some hot water to get rid of the paper taste
  4. Add 20 grams of coffee to the filter
  5. Put the Chemex with the filter and the coffee on the scale and tare the scale so the weight shows zero.
  6. Slowly add enough water to wet all the coffee.  Wait 20 seconds
  7. Keep adding water slowly and pour the water in a circular motion around the bed of coffee.  The idea here is to keep the coffee floating in the water but not add too much water.  Keep adding water until the scale shows 320 grams.
  8. Enjoy!