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The Ultimate Brew Method Guide

So, you want to begin brewing coffee at home. Brewing coffee at home is an excellent way to discover new coffee brewing methods and explore your specific likes and dislikes.

You know that feeling you experience when you visit a new coffee shop, restaurant, or bakery and taste an amazing dish? It’s the kind of feeling that makes you want to tell all your friends about the experience. You can create that experience when you brew coffee in your kitchen.

 

Brew Amazing Coffee at Home

Creating a fantastic cup of coffee in your home requires a combination of the right supplies, experimentation, and trusting your taste buds. Many of our coffee preferences are based on our first experience with coffee. Often, we don't realize that we are ordering medium roast or using a single-serve coffee brewing method because that is all we know.

However, suppose you are willing to expand your coffee brewing methods from a drip coffee to a cold brew or a cold brew to a pour-over coffee brewing method. In that case, you can experience an entirely new world of coffee flavors and sensations.

For example, if you love coffee but need a reprieve from some acidity, the cold brew coffee brewing method can be life-changing. Using cold water instead of quick shots of hot water changes the chemical makeup of the coffee grounds, providing a completely different experience.

 

Must Haves for Brewing Coffee at Home:

  • Filtered water
  • High-quality coffee beans
  • Burr grinder
  • Measuring scale

 

Why Is Filtered Water Important for Brewing Coffee?

At Stone Street, we always try to stress the importance of your coffee beans and your water. Coffee is over 98% water, so if your water doesn't taste great, neither will your coffee.

This filtered water policy is for all coffee brewing methods. Whether you’re hand brewing a pour-over coffee or using a drip coffee machine, your water has to be top-notch. Many homes have a refrigerator with a water output. You can also invest in a water purification system directly on your faucet or a filtered water pitcher to keep in your fridge.

 

High-Quality Coffee Beans Make a Difference

Your coffee brewing method is nothing without high-quality coffee beans. Not only do you need great coffee beans, but selecting the proper roast and coffee grind is instrumental in creating a delicious cup of coffee.

While there are preferred roasts for different coffee brewing methods, the proper coffee roast is subjective. While you may prefer a dark roast full of chocolatey boldness, your partner might thrive off the brightness of a light roast. There's no wrong answer to which coffee roast to choose because it all comes down to your taste buds. 

Unlike the roast, the coffee beans' grind level depends on the coffee brewing method you choose. Using a grind that is too fine or too coarse will alter the flavor, consistency, and your overall enjoyment of the coffee.

Whether you use a drip coffee maker or a pour-over coffee brewing method, you need the flavors of the coffee beans to shine. Not to mention, using a too fine coffee grind can lead to chunks of coffee grounds in your coffee.

 

5 Levels of Coffee Grounds:

  • Extra-finely ground
  • Finely ground
  • Medium ground
  • Medium-coarsely ground
  • Coarsely ground

 

Finely ground coffee beans are synonymous with espresso. The espresso coffee brewing method requires finely ground coffee so the hot water can thoroughly saturate the coffee grounds in the few seconds involved in brewing the coffee.

 

Make Espresso Like A Pro

For a pour-over brewing method, medium to medium-coarse grounds are the best option. Since you are manually pouring the hot water over the coffee grounds, you can control the speed and coverage area of the coffee grounds. While the drip coffee brewing method is automatic, it works great with medium-ground coffee beans.

When making cold brew, the process is significantly slower than any other method of brewing coffee. Both cold brew and French press coffee brewing methods required coarsely ground beans to fully accentuate the flavor of the coffee. Too fine of a roast would cause coffee particles to end up in your drink.

 

Burr Grinder for an Even Grind

Burr grinders are hands down the best coffee grinders on the market for brewing coffee. Instead of chopping the coffee beans, the mechanism involves two rotating pieces of metal crushing the coffee into grounds. This creates a nice, even grind.

The more equal and balanced your coffee grounds, the better opportunity the water has to coat the coffee grounds evenly. Evenly coated coffee grounds produce a more balanced and consistent flavor. A balanced saturation will produce the best flavor and aroma notes possible from your coffee beans.

 

Measure With a Gram Scale for a Consistent Cup of Coffee

Using a scale to measure your coffee is the most reliable and accurate method. Coffee beans all have a different density due to their origin and the chemical reactions that occur during the roasting process. Measuring coffee beans on a scale instead of using a scoop or measuring cup ensures you will have a consistent cup of coffee each time.

 

Should You Weight Your Coffee Beans Before or After Grinding?

Coffee beans should be weighed before grinding. While the weight of a product is the same before and after it is ground up, there are several advantages to weighing before grinding, including:

  • The coffee beans are easier to handle
  • The coffee stays fresher longer

 

The first point is that handling coffee beans is significantly easier than handling ground coffee. You can easily add or remove one or two coffee beans; however, the same cannot be said for balancing the exact weight with a ground-up substance. Guessing the number of coffee beans you need can lead to excess waste or the need to repeat the grinding process to get the correct amount. So, save yourself some time and energy by weighting first, then grinding.

The second is freshness. You should always grind your coffee beans within minutes of using them to brew coffee. Once the coffee beans have been ground up, the fragrance is released, and it is at its peak freshness for a very limited time.

 

Best Methods for Brewing Coffee

Brewing coffee at home can feel overwhelming, or it can feel exciting. Either way, once you have all the necessary materials, you're halfway there. After that, the rest will be trial and error to determine which roast and coffee brewing method works best for you.

There are many different ways to brew coffee, and you don't have to decide on just one. Many coffee lovers enjoy mixing up their favorite coffee brewing methods depending on the day or the season.

Pour-over might be your go-to while working from home or on the weekends, while cold brew is your favorite to drink in the afternoon or during the summer months. And still, others keep the option to brew drip coffee available when entertaining guests.

 

3 Most Popular Coffee Brewing Methods:

  • Cold Brew Coffee
  • Drip Coffee
  • Pour-Over Coffee

 

Brewing Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Cold brew is deceptively easy to make. You only need a few supplies that you most likely already have in your kitchen. Aside from the 24-hour steeping time, making cold brew coffee takes roughly five minutes.

Cold brew coffee is one of the best year-round coffee brewing methods. It’s always a favorite during the long summer months for its refreshing chill, but it maintains its appeal even during the winter months.

Cold brew coffee is also great for those looking for a less acidic coffee drink. The cold-water coffee brewing process releases fewer acidic compounds compared to the hot-water brewing process. It's the ideal coffee brewing method for those that deal with sensitive stomachs.

  

Supplies Needed for Brewing Cold Brew Coffee

  • Medium-coarse or coarse ground coffee beans
  • Filtered water
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Filter - paper or cheesecloth
  • Mason jar or pitcher

 

The coffee grounds-to-water ratio differs depending on how potent you want your cold brew extract to be. The good thing is once steeped and strained, cold brew is intended to be mixed with water to adjust the potency. This recipe uses a one-to-four ratio of coffee grounds to water.

 

Let’s Cold Brew!

  1. In a Mason jar or pitcher, stir together 1 cup of coarse coffee grounds and 4 cups of cold, filtered water.
  2. Place the lid on the container and let it sit at room temperature overnight, anywhere from 12-24 hours.
  3. Double strain the cold brew coffee using either a coffee filter, a fine-mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. This eliminates any coffee grounds from getting into your drink.
  4. Pour the cold brew concentrate in a glass with ice, adding water to taste. Typically, equal parts cold brew and water make the best combination.
  5. Add milk, creamer, or sweetener to taste.

 

Drip Coffee Brewing vs. Single Serve Coffee

Drip coffee is a coffee brewing method that uses a coffee maker. First, hot water is dripped over the coffee grounds, then dripped into your cup or carafe. Drip coffee is incredibly popular for its efficiency and ease. When things get hectic, you can't beat pressing a button and letting the machine do all the work.

Drip coffee is what many office environments rely on, while in recent years many have veered away from the standard drip coffee to single-serve machines. The single-serve method is another common coffee brewing method, often described as a drip coffee since the process is similar.

  

How to Brew Drip Coffee

When brewing drip coffee, a medium coffee grind is the best option. If your coffee grounds are too fine, you'll end up with bits of coffee grounds in your drink. If the coffee grounds are too coarse, the water won't be able to saturate it enough, resulting in a weak cup of coffee.

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Supplies Needed for Brewing Drip Coffee

 

Brewing Drip Coffee

Each coffee maker will have its specifications, but the overall process will be the same.

  1. Fill the water reservoir with filtered water up to the indicated line.
  2. Place a paper filter in the machine.
  3. Measure your ground coffee beans. The general rule is 2 level tablespoons of coffee grounds per cup of coffee.
  4. Add coffee grounds to the paper filter, then shut the lid.
  5. Press the brew button and wait for your coffee to brew!

 

Pour-Over Coffee

Pour-over coffee can be categorized as drip coffee, but there is a big difference between these two coffee brewing methods. The main difference is that drip coffee uses a machine and requires little work on the part of the barista. Other names for this coffee brewing method are hand brewing and manual brewing.

Pour-over coffee is made by hand, or as some would say, made with love. It is praised for providing a genuinely authentic coffee experience. In addition, many prefer the texture and mouthfeel of pour-over coffee to other coffee brewing methods.

Freshly ground coffee will always garner the freshest cup of coffee. Unfortunately, it's not always feasible, but if you're willing to take the time to brew your coffee manually, we highly suggest grinding your coffee beans.

 

How to Brew Pour-Over Coffee

Pour-over coffee is considered a favorite ritual for many people. It is a great way to begin your morning on a thoughtful and purposeful note, then hopefully carry over into the rest of your day.

 

Supplies Needed for Brewing Pour-Over Coffee

  • Medium grind coffee beans
  • Filtered water
  • Dripper
  • Paper filter
  • Cup or Carafe
  • Burr grinder
  • Slow-pour kettle (for consistency) or standard kettle
  • Gram scale

 

Steps To Brewing Pour-Over Coffee

  1. Bring 20 oz of filtered water to a boil
  2. Medium grind 20 grams of coffee (3 tablespoons, if you don’t have a scale)
  3. Place a new filter in your dripper
  4. Pour hot water over the empty filter, then discard the water. This warms the dripper and removes any residual paper taste.
  5. Add ground coffee beans to the filter, then tap the edge to level it out. Place your pour-over brewer on a cup or carafe.
  6. This is the first pour; there are four pours in total. Slowly pour the first ¼ of the water over the coffee grounds starting at the outer edge moving inward. Allow the coffee to drip for 30 seconds before beginning the second pour.
  7. The second pour begins in the center and works its way toward the edge. Reversing the pour direction should even out the water across the coffee grounds. Wait 30 seconds, then repeat the process with the last two pours.

 

Making pour-over coffee is not a short process - it is meant to be an experience. When brewing coffee using the pour-over coffee brewing method, you are in a position to not just make coffee but create it.

 

Brew Coffee, Brew Happiness

Keeping filtered water and fresh coffee beans stocked in your kitchen is a sure-fire way to set your mornings up for success. Whether you’re working from home or have a commute, brewing coffee can be as methodical or as quick as you need to ensure you get your caffeine kick.

Choose the best method for brewing coffee that fits your taste buds and lifestyle. Between drip coffee, cold brew coffee, and pour-over coffee, there are numerous ways to elevate the act of brewing coffee. And don’t be afraid to experiment. Brewing coffee should be enjoyed, and discovering new ways to brew your favorite blends is always a win.

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