San Juan Bautista Coffee Roaster
A great cup of coffee prepared at home will set you back less than 60 cents! The only drink less expensive these days is tap water. But please do not take it for granted. It is still one of the worlds most exotic and luxurious drinks, give it it’s due. Personally there is a little impromptu coffee ceremony I follow that goes something like this:
shake the beans - savor the aroma
grind the beans - savor the aroma
savor the aroma as it is brewing while salivating impatiently
And as I take my first sip, the memory of all the intense aromas and a lingering perfume of coffee in the air makes it a complete coffee experience for me. There is no wrong way to enjoy your coffee, let your palate be your guide. But milk fats do alter the taste perception.
So if you take your coffee with milk, have a couple of sips black before adding dairy. And if you like it black, try it with a tiniest amount of milk once in a while. Just to get to know your coffee better. The golden rule of coffee preparation is a ratio - 55g of ground coffee to 1 liter of water (filtered, spring or reverse osmoses is best) which translates to 1 table spoon (or 7g if you happen to have an accurate scale) per every 3oz of water, but it is not written in stone and if it doesn't taste quite right to you, by all means find your own golden ratio. Try a little more or less, make several cups at once for the family using a different ratio for each and compare. But keep it tight, don’t stray too far.
This is the simplest, least expensive, widely available setup that delivers an exceptional cup. It is simply a plastic or ceramic cone and a paper filter. If you decide to go all out and get a metal mesh filter such as Swiss gold it’s well worth the money and will raise your coffee experience even higher as metal mesh does not capture flavor carrying coffee oils.
- Boil double the amount of water you will need. Meanwhile measure your beans into the grinder, get filter, cone and mug ready.
- When water comes to a boil, slowly pour half of it over the filter completely saturating it. This step gets rid of paper taste and preheats your mug. (If you think I am splitting hair here, try soaking filter in water then taste it and then taste regular water). Grind your coffee, use fine grind - table sugar like. Place coffee in the filter and DON’T FORGET TO DUMP THE WATER FROM THE MUG! (how many times have I done that?).
- The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 198F. So by the time you grind the beans and rinse the filter it should be just about perfect.
- Slowly drizzle just enough water over the grounds to get it wet, wait 20 sec., the grounds will plume (expand a little) and degas - you will see some babbling going on. Don’t skip this step, it is critical for proper extraction.
- Slowly pour the rest of the water while gently stirring it at the same time.
And stirring is a key to a filter cone.This simple step of saturating all the particles and suspending them in water evenly is what separates a great cup from all the others.
For the gung ho coffee purist thr French press or press pot is the ultimate brew.
Bodum makes a great insulated press “Colombia” or as an alternative, you can stop by a plumbing supply store and get a length of pipe insulation tubing that will fit your press pot or just wrap it with a towel, but do find a way to insulate it.
The uniformity of a grind particle is crucial to French press brewing, that means no blade grinders! A Burr Grinder is HIGHLY recommended!
Depending on your taste and on the coffee you are drinking at the moment, brewing time is anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 min.
- Boil double the amount of water you will need.
- While water is heating up measure beans into the grinder and insulate your press pot.
- When water comes to boil pour half in the press and submerge the plunger in it. Grind the beans. The grind should be quite gritty, like coarse sand.
- The time it takes to preheat your press pot and to grind the beans (30-40 sec) will bring down boiled water temp right in the neighborhood of a near ideal brewing temp of 198F.
- Empty press pot of hot water. You can pour it out into your mug to preheat it.
- Put your coffee in the press pot ,start the timer.
- Slowly pour water over coffee and stir at the same time. Pour 80% of the water in, than wait about 20 sec. Coffee will plume and form a kind of crust. Stir again and top up with the rest of the water. Put the plunger in, depressing slightly, until coffee just starts to seep through .
- When timer is ready slowly and carefully depress the plunger all the way down.
- If it is too difficult to press, grind is too fine
- If it’s too easy, grind is too coarse
The feeling of moving your open palm through a body of water is the kind of resistance you are looking for.
Here I have some bad news for you.
Auto drip coffee makers are the most popular way of making coffee in this country, but unfortunately a vast majority doesn't do a very good job of it.
The brewing temperatures are way off, resulting in under extracted coffee. There are issues with saturation of coffee grounds and that heating plate just plain kills your coffee. If you are using an auto drip, as soon as it is done brewing, take it of the heating plate and wrap it in a towel. Better yet drink it right away.
If you are in the market for an auto drip, two good ones are Technivorm and Scandinavian design Presto. These machines do a good job of controlling the brewing temperature. At the very least look for a machine that brews into insulated carafe.