How to make great coffee

How to make the perfect cup of coffee:

If you’ve been with Bean Hoppers for a while, you have received brewing tips like “What is a roast type”, “Grind Like a Boss”, and “The proper water to coffee ratio”. These elements all come together to make the perfect cup of coffee. We've put together this comprehensive guide to help you brew, troubleshoot and perfect your coffee recipe. 

 

What you’ll need:

Filtered water or bottled spring water.

Do not use distilled water or your coffee will taste flat and lack flavor and gusto. We like gusto. Tap water can contain minerals and unwanted flavors in your coffee. Remember water is 90% of your cup, so it should taste good.

Fresh coffee is paramount.

Since Bean Hoppers always ships within a day of roasting, you never have to worry about that!

Coffee Brewer of your preference.

When picking a brewing method, there are many things to consider and everyone has different preferences. If you like a very full bodied rich cup of coffee, you may enjoy a French Press or the Aero Press. They tend to make smaller batches. If you like to make a larger batch of coffee you may enjoy an automatic drip coffee maker or a pour over coffee maker like the Chemex, the Hario V60  or, our favorite, the Bodum  pour over with mesh filter. 

 

Grinder: Grinding your coffee fresh makes a huge difference. But please invest in an inexpensive burr grinder if you have not already done so. A blade grinder pummels your beans into small and large bits and will over extract and under extract your coffee all at the same time.


For the most convenient grinder, we would recommend the OXO Burr Grinder with integrated scale. It grinds and measures your coffee by weight so you no longer need to count scoops. 

 

 

Measure 11 grams of coffee grounds to 6 ounces of water.

You can use a 2 TBSP scoop and it’s usually pretty close to 11 grams. For darker roasts, make your scoop a bit heaping since dark coffee weighs less and you can under extract your coffee if you don’t use enough grounds, and it may taste bitter.

Measure you water before brewing. You can use your coffee pot carafe it if has lines on it, a scale, an eclectic kettle that has measurements, or a large measuring cup.

Example: You are making a 10 cup pot of coffee in a coffee maker. Standard coffee industry measure is 6 ounces per cup. (we know a cup in the cooking world is really 8 ounces, but this is not that). A 10 cup coffee maker will hold 60 ounces of water. Since we use 11 grams per cup, you would use 106 grams of coffee (or 10, 2 TBSP scoops). I like to count one scoop per cup to make it easy.

If you want to be precise, you would measure out 106 grams on a kitchen scale and dump it in the filter. It’s quicker than scooping but it also requires another piece of equipment and extra costs. Measuring coffee by weight always give you the most consistent cup of coffee.

To make your measuring super easy we’ve created a Water to Coffee Ratio chart so you never have to do math. If you have not received one, please contact us at beanmaster@beanhoppers.com and we’d be happy to send you one.

 

Now you have all of the elements to make great coffee, fresh water, fresh coffee, proper grinder and proper way to measure. Pretty simple, pour hot water over ground coffee and woalah, you have great coffee! Right?

 
Here are some tips that will help you troubleshoot things that could go wrong

  • Water too hot – Too hot of water will pull out extra solids from the coffee and it could taste bitter. This is called over extracting. It happens more in manual brewing methods.
    • Typically drip brewers do not provide water that is too hot.
    • The water temp should be off boil (about 195 - 205 degrees). To accomplish this, boil the water and let it stand for about 30 seconds. Electric kettles are the best tools to use when making pour over coffee. Gooseneck kettles are generally preferred for slow pouring purposes, but they don't have water level indicator lines, so you have to pre-measure your water, or use a kitchen scale when brewing with them to measure how much water you're pouring over your coffee grounds. For this reason, I typically use a standard electric hot water kettle that has lines for ounces and let it stand 30 seconds off boil.
    • Option: Many kettles like this gooseneck electric water kettle have settings that heat the water to the temperature you desire, so it's perfect every time.

 

  • Water too cool – the solids in the ground coffee will not dissolve properly making your coffee weak and potentially sour tasting.

  • Wrong grind for your brewing method – This could take some practice if you have a new grinder or a new brewing method. If it’s too weak (and your water temperature is correct) then is likely too coarse of a grind. If it tastes too bold, thick, heavy or bitter your grind is likely too fine for your brewing method.
  • Too short or long of an extraction time – Generally speaking this is not a big issue with most good quality drip coffee makers. The optimal extraction time should be around 4 when brewing medium ground coffee between 2-10 cups. If you are trying to master pour over coffee, get a timer and time your pour to be about 4 minutes from beginning to end. A large batch could take longer. If extraction takes too long, your coffee can be bitter. Too short it can be weak. 
  • Pro tip – smaller batches of coffee are generally more consistent and taste better because it takes longer to brew more coffee and the grounds can get over extracted in longer brewing times. When possible, brew in smaller batches.

Brewing tips for specific brewing methods will be coming soon. If you have any questions or need help troubleshooting your methods, please feel free to reach out to us!

Cheers

 

 

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