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. This time, we’re talking about brewing and brew methods.
There are lots of different ways to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home, but here are a few of our favourites. Each works best with a different coffee-to-water ratio and a different size grind, which you can find in our brewing guidelines.
With many different sizes to choose from, French presses are a popular choice when brewing for groups. After steeping, the coffee is plunged to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom, resulting in a full-bodied coffee with bold flavour. Fun fact: In the mid 20th century, French presses were manufactured at a French clarinet factory.
A favourite of third-wave cafés around the world, this single-serving device works well with delicate coffees. Key features, including the angle of the cone, the ribbing on the sides and the large hole at the bottom, come together to produce a clean, complex brew. Fun fact: A crowd favourite, the Japanese-made Hario V60 coffee dripper gets its name from the 60-degree angle of its cone.
This highly photogenic device works well when you’re brewing for groups. Part pour-over, part French press, it produces a coffee that’s clean and intensely flavoured. Fun fact: The Chemex was invented by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm in 1941 and is on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.
This single-serving device is for people who enjoy experimenting with coffee to bring out different flavours. With this method, ground coffee is steeped and then forced through a paper or metal filter using a plunger. It’s a bit like a French press, except the grounds are left behind. Fun fact: The Aeropress was invented by Alan Adler, the same man behind the Aerobie flying ring.
You can brew any coffee using any brew method you like, but different methods will highlight different aspects of your beans. There are many reasons why, but contact time and turbulence both play important roles:
- Contact time measures how long your water is extracting flavour from your coffee grounds. If your contact time is too short, your coffee will be weak; if it’s too long, your coffee will be bitter and strong. Finer grinds require less contact time than coarser grinds, so the ideal contact time will vary depending on the brew method you choose.
- Turbulence refers to how much you agitate your coffee grounds during the brewing process. You might stir them with a spoon if you’re brewing with a French press, or use a kettle to move them around with water if you’re brewing with a Chemex or pour-over.
Fun fact: Coffee tastes best when just 15% to 20% of coffee solubles are dissolved in the water.
Matching Beans & Brew Methods
Our coffee team taste-tested Salt Spring Coffee’s full line of beans on different brew methods and we’ve got the results. In general, they found that the pour-over method does a great job of highlighting the delicate notes in our medium roast coffees, while the Chemex and French press draw out the richness and sweetness in our medium-dark and dark roast coffees. So, if you like to experiment, give the following match-ups a try.
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