Maddie & Bella the way it was meant to be Enjoyed
Let us just say this first: there is no right or wrong way to brew your coffee. To each his own when it comes to how you like your coffee. We're not trying to change how you make your coffee, but do yourself a favor and at least begin with fresh roasted beans, ground the day you intend to use them.
We'll touch on just a few of the most popular and our favorite brewing techniques. From French Press to Pourover, there are so many different ways people brew. And with all the new technology out there and convenience of single serve makers, there is something for everyone.
Let's start with quantities. A good baseline is to use one rounded tablespoon of ground coffee for every four (4) fluid ounces of cold, filtered water. Start with that, and adjust accordingly to your taste. Again, everyone is different and likes their coffee a certain way. But that's a good starting point. That goes for pretty much any brewing method too - you shouldn't have to change your coffee/water ratio just because you are using a different technique.
#1. The Classic Drip Coffee Maker
Obviously the most common, the drip coffee maker has been a staple in kitchens all over for quite some time. Many make a great cup of coffee - and we have no reason to stick our noses up at them. Drip coffee makers these days have so many bells and whistles - the major ones being automatic timers, insulated carafes and warming trays to keep the coffee warm (which we're not a huge fan of, we think it affects the taste). The prices on these are all over the board, depending on how many features you are looking for. The biggest key, if you are in the market for a new one, is how hot they can get the water. Look for one with a brewing temperature between 198°F-205°F. One disadvantage that we've found with drip coffee makers is that if you aren't going to drink a full put, sometimes it is tough to adjust your calculations and still get the great taste you're used to.
#2. The Pour over Method
Although pour over coffee is all the rage lately, it's actually been around for quite some time. Definitely our favorite method of brewing, it allows you to make exactly the amount of coffee you are going to drink.
Essentially you are recreating what a drip coffee maker does - but doing it more effectively. The pour over method requires only a couple items: a pour over dripper, a filter to fit, and a vessel to catch the coffee. Many people just make pour over directly into the coffee mug they'll be drinking out of. It is also optional, but not required, to have a goose neck water kettle. You get a much more contolled pour to saturate the grounds with, but your normal tea kettle will work too if you are just getting started.
Most drippers will come with a scoop to measure the grounds - which we recommend are ground to a medium grind, similar to drip coffee.
The steps are simple. First, begin to heat your water. It needs to be just "off boil", which means you can bring it to a boil and then let it sit for about thirty seconds.
While the water is boiling, set your dripper on top of your mug and place the filer inside. Don't put the grounds in yet - we like to wet the filter with the hot water first. Plus that heats up a cold mug.
After you've wet the filter, pour the used water out of your mug and put a scoop of grounds into the dripper.Begin slowly pouring the water over the grounds - first in the middle and then in a methodical circular motion to wet all the grounds evenly. As you pour, the most important thing is to not let the grounds dry out, so don't let the water go all the way down before you pour more.
Once the coffee cup is filled, you are all done! Dispose of the grounds - they won't be good twice, and enjoy!
#3. The French Press
Another great old school process that has made a comeback lately, the french press is a very popular choice for coffee lovers everywhere. If you want some of the richest coffee you can get, a french press can deliver. What may surprise most is that you can also get a relatively clean brew from it as well, if you have the right tools and prep everything correctly.
One major difference in french press coffee is how you grind the beans. You'll want a more course grind to eliminate grounds in your brew. It is very important to have larger UNIFORM grounds here. This is an instance where a good burr grinder makes a huge difference.
If you have a french press, you probably know the basics, but here's a couple tips that some people overlook. Your water should be boiled before you grind; by the time you add it, it should be near perfect temperature to start.
Use something (chopsticks work great!) to do your best Bob Marley impression and Stir It Up just after you pour in the water. It doesn't take much, but you should see a bloom atop the coffee.
Steep time varies depending on the size of your pot. Anywhere from two to four minutes is usually good. Once it's done, press down slowly and evenly.
Again, no matter how you brew, get your process down to your liking. And keep in mind this is by no means a complete list - just a few of the most popular. Always use FRESHLY ground coffee (preferably Maddie & Bella!) and cold, filtered water. A little care at first can go a long way to enjoying a great cup of coffee. Happy Brewing!