Brew Me Some Sweet Home Java

Different Brew Methods, Instructions, Pros, and Cons for everyone from the Beginner to the Connoisseur to find that perfect home brew.

-Author: Victor Hodgson


AEROPRESS (INVERTED):

Total Brew Time: about 1 minute 30 seconds

1:14 Ratio (coffee to water)

Start by placing plunger in to the body just past the bottom of the rubber gasket (so a little plastic is showing through the body. Preheat the brewer (put a little hot water in and swirl then discard).

Put paper filter in to screen and pre-wet (helps the filter stick to screen when you put it on also helps get rid of any paper taste).

Grind 14 grams of coffee (finer than drip; somewhere between espresso and drip coffee and place in brewer.

Aggressively pour 200 grams of water (at 190 degrees Fahrenheit) on top of coffee. Stir to saturate all the coffee.

Place screen with the filter on the aeropress.

At 1 minute 15 seconds flip the aeropress over on to a STERDY mug and immediately plug by pressing down on to the brewer. Once you hear a slight hissing noise stop.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Easy clean up (simply take screen off and press out coffee grounds and rinse it off).

  • Incredibly durable and compact which makes it great for traveling and camping.

  • Quick brew time.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t make a lot of coffee at a time.

  • Plastic


Hario V60 (Pour Over Cone)

(recipe for the 2 cup)

Total Brew Time: about 2 minutes and 30 seconds

1:16 ratio (coffee to water)

Fold filter where it is joined together and place in the brewer.

Pre-wet the filter with hot water then discard water.

Grind 22.5 grams of coffee at a medium fine grind finer than drip.

Pour grinds in to brewer and settle by lightly shaking the brewer.

Heat 360 grams of water to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour 45 grams over coffee grounds, stir slurry. Let sit for 20 seconds.

Pour water in slowly in a counter clockwise spiral. Water should not go over the coffee line on the filter. Until you hit 360 grams.

 Give one more stir. Then let draw down.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Can produce some amazing cups of coffee.

  • Glass, ceramic, plastic options for looks or durability.

  • Cheap filters.

  • Versatile styles depending on how your brew and what kind of resulting cup you want.

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve. A good technique is very important to get a good cup.


CHEMEX:

(for 6 cup chemex, have to adjust ratio depending on brewer size)

Total Brew Time: about 5 minutes

1:16 Ratio (coffee to water)

Place filter in the chemex. Put the three-layer side towards the spout.

Preheat and wet filter by pouring some hot water through (completely saturate the filter) it then discard the water (do not lift the filter).

Grind 40 grams of coffee at a medium coarseness. A little coarser than you would for a v60.

Put grinds in to brewer, settle coffee by lightly shaking the brewer.

Heat 640 grams of water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, pour about 60 grams of water over coffee grounds (just enough to saturate all the grounds). Let it sit for 30 seconds.

Continually pour the remaining water (about 580 grams) in a spiral motion over coffee grounds.

Give resulting slurry a quick swirl with a spoon to make sure all the coffee grounds are saturated.

The coffee should take about 5 minutes to fully brew (from time the first 60 grams are introduced)

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Easier pour over than a v60 in terms of pouring technique.

  • Thick filter catches a lot of the oils if you’re not particularly fond of them.

  • Looks really good on your shelves.

  • Good for brewing multiple cups at a time.

Con:

  • Thorough cleaning is difficult with the wooden neck.

  • Expensive filters

  • Hard to brew single cups.


KALITA WAVE:

(pour over flat bottom) (recipe for wave 185)

Total Brew Time: 3 minute 30 seconds

1:15 Ratio (coffee to water)

Place filter in brewer and pre-soak with hot water (Make sure the entire filter gets soaked however, only pour in the middle of the filter do not pour down the sides). Discard water.

Grind 35 grams of coffee and a medium coarseness (table salt like).

Heat 525 grams of water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour 80 grams of water of coffee grounds and stir, wait for 30 seconds.

Pour 100 grams in to brewer in a circular motion periodically pour in 50-75 grams of water till you hit the 525 gram mark.

Total brew time should be 3-4 minutes.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Simple brew methodology.

  • Metal/ceramic brewer options.

  • Can easily be adjusted to make more or less cups.

Cons:

  • Not the most common brewer so filters can be harder to find.

  • Some say it makes a “flater” cup of coffee.


French Press:

(recipe for 12oz French Press)

Total Brew Time: 3 minutes 45 seconds

1:15.5 Ratio (coffee to water)

Grind 20 grams of coffee at a course grind setting (a bit courser than drip; do not go too far though) and put in the French press.

Heat water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aggressively pour 200 grams of water over coffee grounds.

After 30 seconds give it a quick stir to knock down the bloom. Don’t stir to aggressively just enough to push the bloom back down.

Place the top with the screen on the press.

At 3:45 seconds press down on the plunger with a gentle steady pressure.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

 Pros:

  • Easiest way to brew hot coffee.

  • Not a lot of equipment needed

  • Makes a heavy bodied cup

Cons:

  • Not everyone enjoys the heavy bodied-ness

  • Can hid some of the subtler notes in the coffee


SYPHON:

Total Brew Time: 3 minutes 45 seconds

1:12 Ratio (Coffee to water)

Put together filter/stopper. (Fabric filter usually sandwiched between two metal screens or just one screen with a draw string on the filter.)

Filter goes in top chamber. Grab draw sting from under and pull down to set filter in to place. Use the hook that the draw string is attached too to hold it there.

Put 300 grams of cold or hot water in bottom chamber then place top chamber securely on top. Then fire up the burner.

When the water gets hot enough it will rise into the top chamber (except a very small amount that remains in the bottom).

Lower the heat to where it is just hot enough to keep the water in the top chamber.

Put 25 grams of medium/fine ground coffee in to that top chamber and stir to make sure all the coffee is saturated.

After 1 minute knock down the bloom. Let sit for 3 minutes then stir once more and turn off the heat source.

Coffee will be pulled down in to the lower chamber this should take about 45 seconds.

Remove top chamber and put to the side.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Fun and interesting way to make coffee.

  • Great conversation piece.

  • Great for slow mornings/afternoons

Cons:

  • Fragile brewer.

  • Kind of fussy and takes time to figure out the heat.


STOVE TOP:

Total Brew Time: Depends on the size of your brewer and heat.

No real brew ratio as again it depend on the brewer itself that you are using.

Boil water then pour it in to the bottom chamber of the brewer. Fill to the indicator line on your stove top brewer.

Grind coffee medium/coarse and fill basket to the top (again depends on your brewer).

Do not compress the grounds.

Put the brewer together (basket between the two halves). A towel is useful for this due to the just off the boil water in the bottom chamber.

Put brewer over a heat source (stove top duh).

Leave the lid up and shortly coffee will brew up. Take brewer off of the heat source as soon as you hear and bubbling or gurgling sounds.

Wrap a cold wet towel around the base of brewer to completely end the extraction by lowering that chambers temperature in order to prevent over extraction.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Makes a strong cup almost espresso like (But it is not espresso!).

  • Easy to use and very durable.

Cons:

  • Risk of burning yourself due to the hot components.

  • Some Don’t like the strength


COLD BREW:

 Total Brew Time:

1:4.4 ratio (coffee to water)

Can be brewed with just about anything as long as you have some way to filter it. (I will either use a French press or a mason jar and a paper cone filter.)

Grind 227 grams of coffee coarsely (slightly course than a french press).

Put coffee grounds in to your brewing vessel.

Pour 1000 grams of room temperature water over the grounds.

Stir to make sure all the coffee is saturated.

Put the lid on and put it in the fridge for 20-24 hours.

Pour through filter or metal cone or if using a French press simply pressdown on the plunger.

The resulting coffee is a concentrate. When consuming pour in to a cup and dilute anything from the straight concentrate to a 1 part concentrate to 1 part water ratio.

Enjoy.

Pros:

  • Can make a large batch and keep it for the week in the fridge.

  • Easiest coffee brewing method.

  • Very little equipment needed (actually not coffee specific equipment besides a grinder is needed, as you can use a regular metal kitchen strainer with (or without) a cheese cloth to filter.)

  • Makes a very strong coffee concentrate.

Cons:

  • Some say it mutes the natural tasting notes of the coffee.


JAPANESE (POUR OVER) ICED COFFEE:

Total Brew Time: 1 minute to 4 minutes

1:15 or 16 Ratio (coffee to water)

Using the same method as your pour over method (Including the aeropress) simply substitute out 1/3 of the hot water for ice in the carafe/cup.

Pour in to a cup and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Creates a sweeter and brighter iced coffee than cold brew

  • Allows you to taste the subtler notes that cold brew may hide.

Cons:

  • More difficult to make.

  • Easier to mess up with bad technique.

 

 

Personal notes on methods:

Aeropress:

Easy process and good coffee. However, I don’t often use it at home. I really only use it camping or if I am traveling thanks to its incredible portability. Also, there are grinders that can fit inside the plunger part of the aeropress to keep everything compact (namely the porlex grinders). Plus, with metal filters you its creates a tiny foot print in your bag.

 

Hario v60:

Technique is very important. In order to get a great cup you have to be very precise with your pour. However, once you dial in your method you can make some really killer brews. In other words, it has a higher learning curve but also a higher reward.  

 

Chemex:

Easier pour over to use than the v60 but still needs some technique. Some think the thick filters take away too much of the coffee and make it to thin (very light body). Others also believe it brews weird do to the three sheets of the filter on one half an only 1 on the other. The idea is that it would then extract more for the single sheet side as it flows through the filter easier.

 

Kalita Wave:

My preferred pour over method. The flat-bottomed basket I find creates a more even extraction bed thus resulting in a more evenly extracted coffee. It also takes less technique and focus to make a good cup.

 

French Press:

One of my favorite methods. Simple to make, makes a nice full-bodied cup and often highlight the fruity notes in coffee. Good strong but not too strong of coffee plus being hard to mess up makes it great for those who have trouble focusing in the morning.

 

Syphon:

It is fun to use when I have the time for it and the patience. While the technical brew time is short waiting for the water to heat and finding the right balance of heat can take a while. But it is fun to use and even better if you are trying to impress someone because it looks a lot more complicated than it is.

 

Stove Top:

Very popular it Latin American countries as well as Mediterranean countries. An okay substitute for espresso of you don’t want to spend the money on a setup. (It is important to note though that it is not espresso and if you really are looking for something espresso like there are different attachments that can be found for the aeropress that makes an even closer rendition.) Very strong coffee can be made with this method.

 

Cold Brew:

Personally, I find that all cold brew tastes similar. I also often it being surprisingly bitter and harsh. Although I do still make it as I have found you can use older beans and have it still come out as a decent cup. I will also take the left-over beans from bags when I have say 10 grams or less and combine it with other coffees that are the same way and make cold brews out of that.

 

Japanese Iced Coffee:

The way I make iced coffee. Allows me to get those floral and lighter flavors that I like in coffee. Great for warm summer days.

Alexandra BobbittComment