Before you buy your own brewing kit, consider these tips that I’ve learned from mistakes I’ve made to ensure your brew tastes tip top:
1. Ensure you start with good quality coffee. Even if it only takes you 4 or 5 minutes to make using an Aeropress, that’s time wasted if the coffee is poor to start with. Look online for folks who will send you freshly roasted beans.
2. If you’re going to buy a hand grinder make sure it’s good and sturdy. Although the little wood and brass boxy types with the draw for your grounds look lovely, they usually fall to bits within a week. Invest in something that costs at least £20!
This grinder looks fresh, but i’m not convinced it’ll last… Credit: Jan V
3. Sticking with grinders, if you buy electric, avoid a blade grinder and opt instead for a burr grinder. Again, as with most things, you get what you pay for, but expect to be investing around £40 – £60 in this piece of kit. For that you’ll get a wide array of grind size options and it’ll be nice and consistent.
4. Whatever method you’re using, be patient and experiment with it. If you’re using a drip method like a V60, try different grind sizes as it will make a difference. The coarser you grind your beans the easier water will pass though and give you a shorter brew time resulting in an inferior cup of coffee. Similarly, if you grind too fine the water will take much longer to pass through and you’ll be left with a bitter, nasty tasting cup. You’re looking for that sweet spot between the two.
There’s beauty in the brew.
5. Keep notes! There’s nothing worse than spending twenty minutes in the kitchen brewing the perfect cup only to forget how you did it! Keep notes of everything from grind size to brew time to keep track of how you make coffee exactly the way you like it with your chosen piece(s) of equipment.
6. Store your beans properly! Get yourself a container that will allow the gas from your beans to escape so they don’t go stale. Friis makes an excellent canister for this. You’ll probably read in a lot of places that you should keep coffee in an airtight container in the fridge. Don’t!
Or even better. Keep a notebook
7. Keep everything clean, especially your grinder. When coffee is ground it produces oils that will severely impair the taste of future coffees if not removed from the grinder. There are plenty of specialist products out there for cleaning all manner of grinders and equipment. If you’re on a budget, try running Minute Rice through your grinder. Strangely, it works.
8. If you’re not sure what timings you should be using then download an app to help you. KoHi does a great one that gives you instructions and timers for a variety of different methods to get you started.
Here’s a video explaining the app!
Article contributed by D. Pearson and edited by B. Recchi. For photos of the coffee he drinks follow @Amateur_Casual on Instagram.
Perfect Daily Grind.