How to Brew a Perfect Cup of Coffee at Home
Whether to sit with your favorite book or have a moment of peace, morning rituals can be our most sacred time. And, coffee in these early hours can make any day just a little bit better.
Now, imagine your ideal cup - that morning pick-me-up that you can’t go without. Is there any particular brewing method you find works for you? Or, are you hoping to crack the code to brewing the best cup of coffee at home no matter what?
Well, we’ve compiled an easy how-to guide to brewing coffee at home regardless of your preferred extraction method. From the right water temperature to the appropriate ratio of grounds to water, we walk you through the essential steps of brewing coffee.
Before you start
Here are some key pointers and basics to keep in mind before brewing your coffee:
- Coffee strength: this comes down to personal preference, and depends on the dose of coffee grounds to volume of hot water. Each brew method recipe has a recommended ratio of coffee to water, measured in grams. From there, adjust your ratios until the desired coffee strength is achieved, or try a different brew method for your coffee strength preference. It’s all about trial and error!
- Coffee grind size: arguably the most important part of coffee brewing, the coffee grind size is crucial for a consistent and flavorful brew. Remember to grind your coffee the same day to ensure freshness. Ideally, grind with an allround electric burr grinder, like the X54, as this provides an even grind size every time and stepless grind adjustment for espresso to cold brew brewing methods.
- Water quality: low mineral water or filtered water is your best bet for better tasting coffee! The right water temperature, between 90.5 to 96 degrees Celsius, is also important for the proper flavor extraction. Read more in our blog "The best water for coffee brewing".
- Get yourself a scale: though you might feel tempted to skip this, a scale (even a very simple one) will facilitate the entire brewing process and help you measure accurately. A scale allows for more control over quality and brewing consistency. If you take your coffee with cream, milk or sugar, try the first sip your coffee by itself! Enjoy it without any add-ons as this will give you an idea of what roast profiles and brewing ratios you like and can indicate how consistent your brew is. Read more in our blog "How to taste coffee like an expert".
Depending on your chosen extraction method, here are the recommended steps to brewing the perfect cup of coffee:
Espresso or Moka Pot
For your Moka Pot, you’ll want a 1:7 ratio of coffee to water.
- Grind your coffee to a fine size, like that of table salt. Add your grounds to the filter basket but do not compress.
- To avoid bitterness, we recommend boiling some water before setting your pot on the stove. This helps to keep an even enough temperature at time of percolation.
- Add the hot water to the bottom chamber of the pot, filling just below the safety valve.
- Place your Moka Pot on the stove over low to medium heat. Once you hear your coffee bubbling, remove pot from heat as the coffee color lightens.
For Espresso, weigh how many grams you need for your basket size and number of shots, typically a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water. Water pressure and flow, in addition to grind size, is the key to getting the right espresso brew. You can adjust the amount of coffee and the extraction time depending on how strong you want your espresso, and how you adjust pressure and flow. Remember to compress your grounds for this method.
- Grind your coffee beans to a fine particle size, smaller than what is used for a Moka Pot.
- Fill your espresso machine’s reservoir with water, turn on the machine to heat it up.
- Wipe clean your portafilter basket to remove any stale coffee and fill with your fresh ground coffee, weigh for the correct dose.
- Take the handle and tap it gently against the surface to spread the grounds evenly before compressing them with a tamper. Flush water from the machine before gently locking the portafilter into place.
- Place your espresso cups under the spouts. Brew for about 25 to 30 seconds for a double espresso and wait for the espresso to stop dripping before removing cups.
For your French Press, you’ll want a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water.
- Heat up water to the proper temperature while you weigh your coffee and grind it to a medium/coarse size.
- Warm up your French Press by rinsing it with hot water to help maintain temperature. Add the grounds to your French Press and place on a scale.
- From there, add the water volume and fully saturate the grounds.
- Once you start to notice a top layer or “crust” of grounds, about the one minute mark, stir the coffee. Put on the top and allow the coffee to brew for another three minutes.
- At the four minute mark, firmly push down the press plunger. Serve your French Press coffee or pour into a carafe to avoid over extraction.
For AeroPress, the standard ratio is 1:16 of coffee to water. However, the original AeroPress recipe uses a 1:6 ratio, for those who like a stronger coffee.
- Grind your coffee to a medium/fine grind size and heat up your water to the proper temperature. If the grind size is too coarse the water will drip through twice as fast, if the grind is too fine, it will be difficult to press.
- Add a filter paper to the filter cap and lock into place. Run hot water through the filter paper to rinse it.
- Add your coffee to the AeroPress’ main chamber. Do this on a scale to weigh out the amount of coffee.
- Place the AeroPress on your mug and add hot water to the chamber. Stir gently for 10 seconds, insert the plunger, wait another 30 seconds and then gently push down the plunger.
- To clean, remove the filter cap and push the plunger until the grounds pop out, give your AeroPress a rinse.
The recommended ratio for the Filter extraction method is a 1:18 ratio of coffee to water, with the ideal grind size being medium/coarse like that of caster sugar. You can pick between paper, metal or cloth filters for this method.
- While waiting for your water to heat up, rinse your filter under hot water. This helps to eliminate any flavors and preserve your coffee’s taste.
- Place your filter brewer on a mug or carafe and put on a scale, add your coffee grounds until desired ratio.
- Slowly pour the water directly on the coffee, saturating the grounds. As the coffee de-gasses it will “bloom”, leave it for 15 seconds. Continue pouring in a circle every 10-15 seconds for an even extraction, until you've reached the desired water ratio.
- Let the coffee finish dripping, until the grounds look dry and flat, about three minutes.