You’re in good hands…
I understand if you don’t like coffee… kind of (not really). It takes dedication to start enjoying it but it’s SO worth it. Suddenly a world of caffeine fuelled flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes, ristrettos and mochas are at your fingertips. It’s powerful stuff, and it gets WAY better when you start making it at home. You don’t need a big expensive espresso machine. In fact it’s more fun experimenting with the cheaper slow brew methods… the coffee is totally different from your average espresso.
So we have our coffee beans, but even now the taste of our coffee can be adapted in so many different ways! Essentially it comes down to five things (yep, five)… water to coffee ratio, pressure, grind size, water temperature and brew time.
1. Water to coffee ratio
This is a pretty obvious one right?! Maybe not… because I usually just guess. The more coffee to water the stronger your coffee is going to be, but since every coffee bean tastes different, you can experiment with different ratios to get different flavours. This is measured on precision scales when tasting coffee… it’s taken pretty seriously!
Pressure is important, but probably not the easiest thing to control at home. It’s really split into espresso (brewing under very high pressure) or slow brew, which is easier to do at home without fancy equipment. Slow brewed coffee is more mellow and can be closer to tea than coffee when you first taste it. It’s not usually had with milk. Different beans are suited to each of these methods, so choose carefully!
3. Grind size
Grind size is super important, because it determines how much flavour is released over time. It will take less time to extract flavour from finely ground coffee, because there’s much more surface area.
This is another tough one to control at home, but it’s possible. Buying whole beans and grinding them fresh is the best way to have your coffee, no question. Grab a manual or electric grinder and start experimenting!
4. Water temperature
Ever thought of this when you’re making a coffee? It can make a big difference! Pouring straight out of a kettle can scorch the coffee, while lower temperatures increase the extraction time needed. It’s closely linked to brew time as when one changes, generally the other will too.
5. Brew time
When making espresso the brew time is always very short, but to get the right flavours other methods can take longer, from a few minutes to up to 8 minutes! Cold brew coffee (made with room temperature water) takes hours. It’s worth remembering that the longer the contact time, the higher the caffeine content… use that knowledge however you want.
I think that’s it! Definitely enough to get you started in the world of brewing some epic coffees at home. You probably need a coffee after all that… so get brewing and let us know how it goes! Tweet us @sortedfood.
If you like this you’ll love…