BREW IT STRONG
Make coffee the way you like it! Try different grinds, different brew methods, different coffee proportions.
There are lots of ways to make a great cup of coffee. These are just a few simple suggestions from
our personal experience making coffee at home.
You can ensure you always enjoy fresh coffee by following these simple steps:
- Buy freshly roasted beans.
- Protect beans from air, moisture, light, and heat to keep them fresh longer. Take the amount of beans you’ll use within two weeks and store them in a washable, air-tight, light-proof container. If you have more beans than you’ll use within two weeks, store them in an air-tight container in the freezer. Avoid refrigerating beans because the inside of a fridge is moist and there may be flavors (such as onions) that can seep into the coffee.
Grind beans immediately before brewing. Whole beans have a natural, cellular structure that protects the delicate oils that provide aroma and flavor.
Different grinds give you different coffee tastes. Experiment with your grinder to find the one you like best.
Brew only what you will consume within 20 minutes or so. Brewed coffee left in the pot on a burner gets funky fast. A thermos bottle or carafe is a good way to hold brewed coffee, but it shouldn’t be kept much longer than an hour or so. You'll definitely notice the difference
The Scientific Method
This method relies on measures: water temperature, grind particle size, amount of coffee and water, and time of brewing.
- Start with 'good water' — filter water that is chlorinated or use bottled water. Never use water from the hot water tap.
- Brew with water between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees F, so you have to wait until it cools a bit after boiling to avoid extracting bitter elements from the coffee.
- Use the correct grind (fineness) for your brewing method. A coarser grind for plunger pots, a medium grind for old-fashioned drip machines, a fine grind for filter drip machines. (Learn to distinguish grinds by rubbing the grounds between your fingers and noting particle size.)
- Measure the water and coffee grounds carefully. We recommend two level tablespoons for each six ounces of brew water, or four level tablespoons for a 12-ounce mug of coffee.
- Control the contact time of water on the grounds. For plunger pots, allow three minutes of brew time before plunging; good automatic drip pots are calibrated to optimize contact time.
- If using paper filters, try to find the non-chlorine bleached ones. These are white, but are made white with hydrogen peroxide. Some people who use brown, unbleached paper filters may taste the lignins from the paper pulp which may impart an undesirable flavor. Permanent, 'gold filters' work great and they don't impart any 'papery' flavors to the brew.
The Practical Method
On a groggy morning, the simple, practical method works just as well.
If you’re on a municipal water system where the water is chlorinated, filter your brew water. Don't bother with bottled water. If you’re in a place with good well water, use it straight from the tap.
- Fill your grinder halfway to the top with fresh beans (this is a standard 'measure' of sorts). If you’re making two cups, fill the beans to the top of the grinder. Grind them long enough to let others in the house know that fresh coffee is on the way. Pulse the grinder a couple of times and shake it a bit during the process.
- Drink your coffee.
- Wash your mug.
- Compost your coffee grounds.
- 2 Quarts COLD Water (preferably filtered)
- 1 1/2 cups of coarsely ground DARK roast coffee
- Put the coarse-ground coffee in the bottom of a 2 quart pitcher or jar.
- Fill the pitcher or jar with filtered COLD water and gently stir to wet the grounds.
- Leave undisturbed on your counter for 12-24 hours.
- Then, using a fine mesh strainer, pour the coffee through the strainer into a clean pitcher.
- If you wish a finer strain you can place paper towel inside the strainer. Store the iced coffee in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Many thanks to Abbey Duke of Sugarsnap for kindly sharing this wonderful recipe with us.
Caffeine is an odorless, virtually tasteless substance found in coffee and many other plant species. The amount of caffeine in coffee varies by the variety of the coffee tree, the growing location and conditions, the preparation of the green beans, the roasting, and the brewing. We roast only Arabica beans which have a fairly uniform caffeine concentration. We also roast our coffees longer, slower, and deeper; this fuller roast drives out more of the volatile caffeine from the beans, so our darker roasts can have less caffeine than a comparable ‘brown roast’ coffee.
To get decaffeinated coffee, caffeine is removed from the green coffee beans before they are shipped to roasters. The coffees we buy are decaffeinated using a water process. In the water process, the green beans are soaked in warm water which dissolves the caffeine. The water is then passed through a charcoal filter to remove the caffeine, and the beans are returned to the water to reabsorb the remaining elements. The beans are then dried and packed for shipment. Decaffeination is tough on a bean, and some of the more volatile elements of the coffee are lost in the process leaving the finished product somewhat lacking. The decaffeination process doesn’t remove all the caffeine, though may be diminished. Typically 95 to 99 percent is extracted.