Brew It Right: Beans & Equipment
A perfectly brewed cup of coffee is a magical thing. Our #brewitright blog series takes the mystery out of the process with tips and tricks for making coffee magic in your own home. To kick things off, we’re talking about beans and equipment.
Be smart with your beans
Our coffee team has a few simple tips to help you get the most from your beans:
- Be choosy. Buy whole beans instead of pre-ground coffee and look for packaging like ours with a one-way degassing valve that keeps your beans fresh between the roastery and your home. If you want to get your hands on freshly roasted Salt Spring Coffee beans, pick up a bag from one of our cafés or our online shop.
- Put a lid on it. Once your bag of coffee is open, transfer the whole beans to an airtight container and store them in a cool, dark place—like a cupboard (and not your fridge or freezer!).
- Grind to order. Keep your beans whole for as long as possible. Once you grind them, they immediately begin oxidizing and losing their aroma and flavour. One sniff of freshly ground beans versus their pre-ground counterparts is all the convincing you’ll need.
- Drink up. Two weeks after you open the bag, the intensity of your beans begins to fade. After a month, there is a considerable drop in acidity and your beans will start to taste stale. Brew your beans when they’re at their best!
Get the right gear
A few key pieces of equipment can go a long way in improving the quality of coffee you brew at home. These five pieces belong in every serious home brewer’s kit:
- Brewing contraption (or two or three): This is what you’ll use to actually brew your coffee. We’ll dive into the differences between brew methods in an upcoming post, but Aeropress, Chemex, French press and pour-over are a few of our favourites.
- Burr grinder: If you invest in one piece of coffee equipment, make it an electric burr or hand mill grinder. Blade grinders chop beans imprecisely and unevenly, creating a mix of coarse and fine particles. Burr and mill grinders process each bean just once, producing a consistent grind with uniformly sized particles—just what you want.
- Kettle: Look for a long, slender spout for smooth, steady pouring. The Hario V60 Buono Kettle is a favourite among baristas but, with a little practice, most kettles can get the job done.
- Timer: A timer can help you monitor different steps in the brewing process, giving you more insight and control over the outcome. The good news is you probably have a timer in your pocket right now (hint: check your smartphone).
- Scale: The perfect cup of coffee requires the right balance between coffee and water. The quickest and easiest way to measure both is with a digital scale. Look for one that measures in grams for maximum precision.
No need to go out and buy everything at once—start with what you have and build up your kit one piece at a time. (Hint: Brewing contraptions and burr grinders are fun to give—and receive—under the tree!)
Read our blog post on water & grind
Watch our brewing video series
Get brewing instructions for your favourite brew method
Show us how you #brewitright
Snap a photo of your home brew, tag #brewitright and share it with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
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