Whether brewing a single cup at home to start the day, batch brewing litres of filter in a café, or producing three perfect cups in 10 minutes at the world brewers cup competition, filter coffee is a simple process. It’s a cost effective and accessible way to make world-class coffee without taking out a mortgage on the equipment.
There are only two ingredients; coffee and water. There’s an endless world of choice when it comes to equipment and tools to help achieve that perfect cup, so have fun experimenting. Here are five simple tips you can follow to ensure the best cup possible each and every time.
1. USE FILTER ROASTED COFFEE
Filter coffee is roasted to a lighter degree than espresso. This allows for the desirable flavour compounds to be extracted over a longer extraction time than espresso.
2. EXPERIMENT WITH WATER
Filter brewed coffee contains between 1 – 2 % of coffee solids, which means the remainder of the beverage is water. Brewing with the correct water, will allow the coffee flavour to shine. For some coffees this may be tap water, but try sourcing different bottled or filtered waters to experiment with.
3. CHOOSE A BREWING APPARATUS
As I mentioned earlier, there’s many brewing devices to choose from but I’d suggest choosing something that suits the coffee style you like to drink. If you’re a fan of a full and rich body, maybe with a splash of milk, try a plunger. If you prefer something light, delicate, aromatic and bright I’d suggest the Chemex. For something versatile and balanced give the good ol’ Aeropress a go.
4. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT
Once you have an apparatus to brew with you’ll need some extra gear.
A grinder: Freshly ground coffee is best for all brewing methods. High end deli grinders (eg: EK43, Ditting) achieve an even particle size for the best brew. But a hand grinder at home can achieve a delicious and satisfying cup. The Porlex Hand Grinder is a really great portable and cost-effective one.
A kettle: A ‘gooseneck’ spouted kettle will assist in control of flow rate when pouring drip based apparatus such as Chemex. The Hario Buono Drip Kettle is a great option. A temperature setting kettle gives even more control.
Scales: The most accurate way to measure your coffee dose and brew water is with a set of digital scales. This will help you set and follow a recipe perfectly each time. We swear by the Acaia Pearl Scales.
5. CREATE & PERFECT A BREW RECIPE
This can be fun, frustrating and satisfying all at once. Do your research, there’s heaps of information online and your coffee supplier will be a wealth of information. So start with a base recipe. I like to start with 1g coffee for every 16g of water (12.5/200 for smaller Brewers, 25/400 for chemex and 62.5/1litre for Moccamaster). Then manipulate the variables to adjust the cup to achieve your desired taste. For a stronger, fuller cup increase the coffee and grind finer for a slower brew, use less coffee or a coarser grind for a lighter, delicate cup. A set recipe will help replicate your delicious coffee time after time
Hopefully these tips help you create and enjoy better coffee. But always remember, coffee is pleasurable and tasty, so have fun making it and enjoy drinking it.