Coffee Brewing Dos and Don'ts!

Our hugely experienced and knowledgeable head roaster, Phil, has put together a few dos and don'ts to help you attain the perfect brew with whichever method you favour. Here's what he had to say:

Cafetiere

Always warm the cafetiere with some hot water. Empty the water out and add the required amount of ground coffee (approx 1 heaped dessertspoon per cup), add water just off the boil and stir. Put lid and plunger on to the cafetiere with the plunger resting just above the top of the water, leave to brew for 4 minutes, hold the handle firmly and then push plunger down and serve. The coffee should be ground so that it looks a bit like granulated sugar, i.e. reasonably coarse.

Espresso

Manual brewing - add 7 grams of ground coffee to a single portafilter (14grams for a double). Tamp the ground coffee firmly, insert portafilter into machine and allow water to flow for between 18 to 23 seconds, correct extraction will result in a caramel coloured crema. 
Stove top brewing - fill the coffee chamber and lightly tamp follow manufacturer's brewing instructions.
Having the correct grind for making espresso coffee is vital to achieving the perfect shot of espresso, this can only be achieved by measuring the brew time and adjusting the grind accordingly. Too long an extraction means the coffee is too fine and too short an extraction the coffee is too coarse.

Filter

Always use freshly drawn water. Add the required amount of coffee to the filter (approx 1 heaped dessertspoon per cup); if using an automatic machine ensure the correct number of cups has been selected and then brew. If using a drip filter add water just off the boil. Filter coffee when ground should look like fine caster sugar.

Percolator

Remove the coffee chamber and tube (if applicable) and add the required amount of freshly drawn water, replace coffee chamber and tube. Add the required amount of coffee to the chamber (approx 1 heaped dessertspoon per cup) and assemble the rest of the percolator and allow to brew. Percolator coffee when ground should look like demerara sugar.

General instructions

  • Always use freshly drawn water.
  • Ensure you have the correct grind for your brewing method.
  • Buying beans and grinding them yourself will give the best possible cup of coffee. If you don't want to grind your own, then ensure you remove excess air from your coffee packet and reseal.
  • Don't store opened ground coffee near other strong flavours as these will be absorbed by the coffee.
  • Coffee should always be stored in an airtight container, in a cool dark place.