Back to the Basics: An easy guide to Brewing that perfect cup of coffee at home:
How many times have you woken up on a lazy Sunday morning in desperate need of caffeine (amongst other things) but unwilling to leave the house, unwilling to get out of your pyjamas and unwilling to get out of bed (ok, you might have to get out of bed for this). Damn those amazing Artisan baristas for raising your coffee standards so high that you can no longer accept badly brewed coffee. Well, I am here to help! Whilst I cannot come to your house on Sunday morning to bring your coffee in bed, I can give you all the info you need to make that dreamy cup of joe in the comfort of your own home.
No espresso machine? No problem! It’s time for you to level up in your coffee knowledge and discover the amazing world of manual brewing! If you are looking for a short syrupy espresso shot, you may have to drag yourself out of bed after all – manual brewing is going to give a much lighter, delicate and almost tea-like texture to your cup and the flavours you can discover in your coffee (remember, key to a good cup of coffee is good coffee beans) will blow your socks off!
While there are many different methods to choose from, once you master the art of manual brewing on one method, it will be quite easy for you to play and apply all the knowledge from one method to another. I’m going to run us through the basic steps of brewing a V60 drip coffee.
Things you will need/things to add to your Christmas wish list:
– Hario V60 dripper
– Hario V60 filter papers
– Decanter (or just your favourite large sized mug)
– Filtered water (and yes it does make a massive difference. Use a brita filter jug or a soft bottled water)
– Good quality coffee beans
– Freshly ground good quality coffee
– Coffee grinder (I use a hand grinder – nothing better than pairing your morning coffee ritual with an arm workout)
- Weigh out your coffee beans! We use a brew ratio of 60g coffee to 1L of water. For one cup this means we use 15g coffee and 250g of water. Boil the kettle and let it cool to 95 degrees Celsius.
- Grind those beans up. We want a medium grind size, a bit finer than you would use for your French press.
- Rinse your filter paper! Place the filter paper in the V60 dripper over your mug/decanter and get it nice and wet. Not only does this rinse your paper but it also heats up your mug. Don’t forget to throw away the water once it’s dripped through
- Place the whole contraption onto your scales, set it to zero and weigh in 15g of freshly ground coffee into the V60.
- Set your scale to zero again and start brewing! The first step is the ‘bloom’. The bloom is the first stage of the brewing where we let all of the gases out of the coffee and enable the extraction. Start the timer and pour 40g of water over the coffee. The coffee should bubble and kind of ‘come alive’. At this stage, you may want to agitate the coffee by stirring ever so gently with the end of a spoon.
- When the timer says 30 seconds, slowly pour over the rest of the water (250g in total) in a nice gentle circular motion
- Tap dat! Take the whole contraption off the scale (V60 decanter and mug) and tap it very lightly on the table surface. This makes sure the coffee settles very evenly and flat meaning that the extraction of the coffee will also be even and balanced.
- Slip some bread in the toaster, smash some avocado ready to be spread liberally.
- Take a look at your extraction time (the time when all the water has dripped through into your mug). We are aiming for about 2:30-3:00mins.
- Grab your toast and perfectly brewed cup of coffee and jump straight back into bed – well done, you deserve this!
If your coffee tastes overly bitter or maybe a bit burnt it means you may have over extracted it. Next time, try and grind a little coarser to extract less flavour.
If your coffee tastes weak and watery, perhaps you have under-extracted. Grinding finer will allow you to extract more flavour from those beans.
The process of manual brewing really is very mindful and is an important part of my everyday ritual. Once you get into the swing of things, it really doesn’t take that much time from your day and hey isn’t Sunday supposed to be a little bit slower than all the other days?!
If all of this seems too much, don’t worry, we have a class for that. Swing by our coffee school and take part in the Homebrew Master Class and discover in two hours how to master coffee in your own home!