Regardless of which method you choose to brew coffee, you will want to keep in mind the following tips to a flavourful cup.

Clean Equipment

Make sure your coffee making equipment is thoroughly cleaned after each use by first rinsing it with hot water and then drying with with an absorbent towel. The build-up of coffee oil residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavour to future cups of coffee.

Fresh Coffee

Fresh roasted coffee is essential to a superb cup. Ideally, purchase coffee fresh every 1-2 weeks.

The Correct Dose of Freshly Ground Coffee

Always grind the beans as close to the brew time as possible. A general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons (14 to 28 grams) of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

A Quality Burr Grinder

Use a quality burr grinder, as opposed to a blade grinder, which ensures far great uniformity and extraction.

a blade grinder produces an uneven grind, resulting in weak or overly strong coffee

A blade grinder produces an uneven grind, resulting in weak or overly strong coffee.

burrs on the outer circumference of the grinder produce a more uniform grind

Burrs on the outer circumference of the grinder produce a more uniform grind.

Hot, Filtered Water

​Thoroughly filtered water, heated to 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit (91 – 96 degrees Celsius), yields the best results.

A Slow Pouring Kettle for Manual Brewing

A slow pouring kettle is essential for certain applications because it allows you to control how fast the coffee “blooms” (releases gases and puffs up) and will help you brew great coffee consistently. Some slow pouring kettles also have a temperature control for added convenience.

note the long, slender necks of these slow-pouring kettles

Note the long, slender necks of these slow-pouring kettles


Manual Brewing Methods

Manual coffee preparation methods are becoming an increasingly popular option for home enthusiasts. They allow you to control every variable throughout the brewing process and enable you to create a great cup of coffee suited to your personal preferences. Try any of the following methods to custom-brew coffee to your preferences.

The Pour-Over Method with the V60-02

Design

The V60 is a cone shaped dripper with spiral ridges along the inner wall and a single, large opening at the base (out of view in the picture). This design keeps the filter from sticking to the walls of the cone, encouraging extraction at the bottom and sides of the filter.

The Pour-Over Method with the V60-02

Tools 

  • V60-02 Dripper
  • V60-02 Filters
  • Burr Grinder
  • Electric Kettle, or other device to boil water
  • Digital Gram Scale
  • Timer

Dose

  • 20 grams (8 ounces or 2 rounded tablespoons) of fresh roasted, whole bean coffee
  • 8 liquid ounces of fresh, filtered water, plus additional for rinsing the paper filter

Grind 

Between fine and medium

Technique

  • Thoroughly rinse the filter and place it inside the spiraled V-60 dripper. After adding the ground coffee, level the bed and make a small divot in the centre. Place the v-60 dripper on top of your favourite cup or mug so that the coffee will safely drain from the hole in the bottom of the V-60.
  • Targeting the depression you made, pour just enough water to wet all of the coffee, then let it rest for 30 seconds. Continue pouring slowly, starting in the middle and moving in and out in concentric circles until the desired volume is reached.
  • Keep the flowing water about one-quarter inch away from the exposed walls of the dripper at all times. Try to maintain a constant volume throughout the brewing process.

The Chemex Method

Design

The Chemex method combines a pour over filter cone with an hourglass-shaped glass flask or decanter, with a conical neck. The defining feature of this method is an ultra thick paper filter set flush against the walls.

the chemex method

Tools 

  • Chemex Brewer
  • Chemex filter
  • Burr Grinder
  • Electric Kettle, or other device to boil water
  • Digital Gram Scale
  • Timer

Dose

  • 42 grams (6 rounded tablespoons) of fresh roasted, whole bean coffee to make 20 ounces of brewed coffee.

Grind 

Medium to medium-coarse

Technique

  • Place the folded Chemex filter inside the cone with the multiple folds of the filter facing the spout.
  • For 20 ounces of brewed coffee you will want to use quite a bit more hot water in order to rinse the filter and accommodate the following the three pours. Begin by thoroughly rinsing the filter to eliminate any residual paper-flavour taste and to preheat the serving vessel. When the filter is thoroughly rinsed, discard the water that has accumulated in the server.
  • Initial Saturating Pour: Add ground coffee to the rinsed filter and even the bed. Start the timer and then pour just enough water into the filter-cone so that it saturates the grounds and very little is dripping into the brewer (using about 10 percent of the total water volume). The key is to saturate all the grounds evenly by moving the stream as you pour. Stop when the timer reads between 30 and 45 seconds.
  • First Brewing Pour: Pour more water in a slow and controlled motion. Aim to finish pouring around the 4 minute mark. Pour at an even rate in a spiral or back-and-forth pattern in order to break down the bloom (coffee puffing up due to escaping gases) and saturate all the grounds. Raise the water level up to about one-quarter inch below the rim of the brewer.
  • Second Brewing Pour: Once you can see about an inch of unsaturated coffee, pour in the remaining water. Pour first around the rim to re-submerge the unsaturated grounds, then continue at an even rate in a spiral or back-and-forth pattern. Raise the water level up to the rim of the brewer.
  • Once you have 20 ounces of brewed coffee in the vessel, remove the filter and grounds. Give the Chemex serving vessel a few swirls and serve.

The Aeropress Method

Design

The Aeropress is easy to use, practical and functional and is an optimal tool for travelers and those on the go who want great coffee in 60 seconds, or less. The device consists of two copolyester cylinders. One cylinder has a rubber plunger and fits inside the larger cylinder to create an airtight seal. The light, nearly indestructible translucent copolyester is Bisphenol A (BPA)-free and free of phthalates.

the aeropress method

Tools 

  • Aeropress
  • Aeropress Paper Filters
  • Burr Grinder
  • Electric Kettle, or other device to boil water
  • Digital Gram Scale
  • Timer

Dose

  • 17 grams (2 rounded tablespoons) of fresh roasted, whole bean coffee.
  • 7 liquid ounces of fresh, filtered water, plus additional for rinsing the paper filter.

Grind 

Medium (between espresso and filter setting).

Technique

  • Insert and secure a paper Aeropress filter into the device, then carefully rinse the Aeropress chamber and paper filter with hot water. This preheats the brewing vessel and ensures any paper-like flavours are flushed out. Discard the water, leaving the filter in place.
  • Measure out 17 grams (2 rounded tablespoons) of just-ground coffee and Add it to the Aeropress chamber. Give it a gentle shake to settle the grounds and ensure an even bed of grounds.
  • Once the water has reached a boil, allow it to cool a few degrees, waiting 45-60 seconds. Quickly pour the water over the ground coffee until the water level reaches the number 3 on the Aeropress chamber (approximately, 7 liquid ounces).
  • A layer of grounds will form a “crust” on the surface of the brew. Give a quick, but gentle stir to evenly immerse these grounds into the rest of the brew.
  • Fully assemble the Aeropress by inserting the plunger into the brewing chamber until the black rubber piece seals the top. Carefully push down on the plunger into a preheated cup/mug, forcing the brewed coffee through the chamber using steady, gentle pressure. Stop when you hear the hiss of air escaping.

The Press Pot or French Press Method

Design

The modern Press Pot consists of a narrow cylindrical beaker, usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a metal or plastic lid and plunger that fits tightly in the cylinder and has a fine wire or nylon mesh filter.

the press pot or french press method

Tools 

  • 4 cup Press Pot (modify ratios for larger presses).
  • Aeropress Paper Filters
  • Burr Grinder
  • Electric Kettle, or other device to boil water
  • Digital Gram Scale
  • Timer

Dose

  • 42 grams (6 rounded tablespoons) of fresh roasted, whole bean coffee.
  • 20 liquid ounces of fresh, filtered water, plus additional for rinsing.

Grind 

Coarse.

Technique

  • Prewarm the glass beaker by rinsing it with hot water. Place the freshly ground coffee into the beaker. Add the slightly cooled (approximately, 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 96 degrees Celsius), boiled water to the coffee grounds. The key is to saturate all of the grounds evenly. With fresh coffee you will see expansion of the coffee. This is known as “bloom” and is the result of off-gassing of carbon dioxide from the coffee.
  • Start the timer. It is important to use a timer to ensure a high quality coffee. Count down from 4 minutes.
  • After 1 minute, stir the grounds in the beaker. If more water is required to top off the pot, make sure it is just below boiling before adding it. Stirring the beaker guarantees an even and optimal extraction of all the coffee.
  • Place the Press-Top on the beaker. Ensure that the spout is lined up with the corresponding opening in the lid.
  • At 4 minutes, push the press slowly into the pot to force all the grounds to the bottom. This step may need to be repeated.
  • Immediately pour the coffee once you have completed pressing the pot. 

Moka Pot Method

Design

The Moka Pot brewing system is stove-top and steam-based. Typically, Moka Pots have 3 chambers: The base (where the water goes); a drop-in filter (for the ground coffee); and a top piece with a pour spout (for the brewed coffee).

moka pot method

Tools 

  • 4 cup Moka Pot (modify ratios for larger presses).
  • Burr Grinder
  • Heat Source (electric or gas stove)

Dose

  • Fresh roasted, whole-bean coffee
  • Fresh, filtered water.

Grind 

One setting coarser than expresso

Technique

  • Unscrew the Moka Pot and fill the bottom chamber with water just below the pressure release valve or at the indicator line inside the brewer.
  • Seat the filter screen into the base and fill with the ground coffee, slightly mounding it in the basket. Make sure to brush away any lose grounds on the top edge of the filter basket. Assemble the pot by tightly screwing the top half of the pot onto the base.
  • Place the assembled Moka Pot over medium-high heat on the stove. You’ll begin to hear the water being forced up through the ground coffee at the top of the tube and into the reservoir. When you hear the final gurgle, remove the pot from the heat source/stove and wait for the noise to stop. After the last sputter, lift the lid and stir the coffee before serving.

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Coffee Brew Guide