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Brewing at home

2012 April 10
by Ryan

So this weekend, while rocking a pourover bar at the Denver Urban Homesteading Indoor Farmers Market  (you know we’re up in Denver on the weekends? Right? Right?), I heard multiple people say that they really love the coffee but…

I don’t like to make it at home because it never tastes the same as when you make it!

“Hmmm,” I thought, “This sounds like a blog post in the making!”

Simply put, every coffee we carry here can–and does– taste just as good at home as when you get it in our store or at the market. The trick? A little more patience and tools on your part. Not break-the-bank, I’m-not-gonna-do-all-this-for-a-damn-cuppa tools, just a little tweak to your morning ritual…

  1. Run by your favorite retailer of choice and pick up a small gram scale. They’re usually found in the kitchen trinket aisle. WHY? Every coffee we have has various weights. Just eyeballing the amount used or judging by tablespoonful will not give you an accurate weight of the coffee–and knowing the weight of the coffee is half the battle. You’re already scooping the coffee out of the shiny red bag, right? This is not that big of an extra step. I promise.
  2. Next up, get yourself a good burr grinder. I’ve beaten this topic to death in other blog posts. Just remember: we only grind our coffee right before we brew it. WHY? Ground coffee stales very, very quickly.
  3. Next up: the weights of what you need to brew a good cuppa: For each ounce in your cup (typical coffee mugs you find in your kitchen are about 10 ounces), you want double that in grams of coffee. Example: 10 oz mug = 20 g coffee. Yes, this means that your Mr. Coffee machine really can’t handle anything over the 10 “cup” level or you’ll have a mess on your hands. For water, the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends 17 grams water to 1 gram coffee. I think that number leads to a watery cup, however. I recommend a 16:1 ratio. Example: 10 oz mug = 20 g coffee = 320 g water. (Remember: 1 mL water=1g water!) WHY? Coffee is a soluble organic. It takes just the right amount of water to extract the solids necessary to bring out the best in your cup. Too much water: a watery cup. Too little water: a bitter, sour cup. Like your coffee weak? Follow these steps then add more hot water after the brew process to keep the correct flavors happy!
  4. Now you have to brew it. Here’s where the fun begins. Photo courtesy http://photokatje.com. Thanks again, Kat!Your Mr. Coffee, Keurig, or whatnot will brew fine. You just have to make sure the water is hot enough. If you want to get snazzy, which we recommend for best flavor, you can pick up various   sundry  pourover  devices from many places. WHY? Individual attention to your coffee will lead to a happier cup. Simple as that.
  5. Oh, and the most important part? Good coffee, roasted fresh. Nothing over 14 days off roast. Only buy what you can drink in a week.

Is it a lot of steps? Yes.

Will you get a great tasting coffee at home? Absolutely.

Is it still easier to wander up to the Forest (or Denver on Saturdays) and have us make it for you? Depends if you believe in what this webcomic is saying…

Stay caffeinated everybody!

Ryan says:

A drip coffee maker will work fine for you, Greg, provided you follow the steps I’m talking about. Otherwise, you can kick out a killer cuppa by any of the single-cup pourover options out there. Our weapon of choice is the Hario V60, which is what we use primarily at the shop. You can also use the Clever Coffee Dripper, a French Press, or the Beehouse brewer. You can find all of these for sale in the Artisan Coffee Brewers section of espressopart.com’s website. As for brewing an excellent cuppa with the individual brews, the best recommendation I have is to swing by the shop and we’ll give you one-on-one help!

Greg Howard says:

Good blog…but how do we mix the coffee and water….to ultimatly capture the fine drink? Do I have to use a drip coffee maker or is there an alternative? thanks for the help!