Brewing Basics

Coffee Beans

First things first, we need to start with the coffee beans. I highly suggest grinding your own coffee. The coffee will stay fresh for significantly longer if you purchase whole beans rather than ground coffee. It is preferable to keep the beans sealed and away from fragrant foods. There are many variations of processing coffee that produce a vast array of flavor notes to explore from regions all around the world. I suggest looking into the flavor notes in a roast before purchasing.

Grind Level

The next step is grinding up your beans. This should be done just before you brew your coffee to keep the coffee fresh. When it comes to grinding the beans, the decision needs to be made on what grind size to choose. This comes down to two questions: brewing method and personal taste. For starters: a coarse grind should be used when choosing to brew with a French Press, medium-coarse grind on a Chemex, medium grind for an auto-drip (standard 12-cup coffee maker), and a medium-fine grind for a pour-over brewer. Branching out from the brewing methods, if your coffee tastes watery, sour, or weak to your personal taste; the grind should be adjusted to be finer. Vice Versa, if your coffee tastes strong and bitter, the grind should be adjusted to be coarser.

Water

The brewing process should start with cold water, heated to 198 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Filtered water is preferred, but not required. But it should be noted, if you dislike the tap water in the area where you are brewing and are not drinking it as plain water, that same taste will contribute to the overall taste of the water. Boiling the water for certain brewing methods such as french press, and pour over should mellow some of the taste of the tap water.

Bloom

The bloom is a crucial step in the brewing process for the french press, Chemex, and pour-over methods. It involves pouring a portion of the hot water and letting the coffee beans rest for a period of time. For the french press, completely cover the grounds and fill the carafe halfway full and let the beans sit for 60 seconds, adding the remaining water and completing the brewing process afterward. For the Chemex and pour over brewing methods, add water at a 2-1 ratio to the grounds and let the beans sit for 30 seconds, adding the remaining water and completing the brewing process afterward.

Enjoy

At the end of the day, enjoying coffee is about personal preference and taste. Explore roasts from different regions, try different flavor notes, try different brewing methods, and find what you like.