Brewing: Tips & Tricks

Having issues?  Coffee not tasting right?  Not brewing right?  Well, first make sure you are well-versed in our brewing at home guide to get you started, and if things are still not going as planned, try some of the ideas listed below:

  • Are you using coffee roasted less than two weeks ago?  If the answer is no, get coffee that fulfills this requirement (we have plenty at our shop!) and try again!
  • Are you using coffee that has been ground using a burr grinder immediately before brewing?  If the answer is no, I highly recommend getting your hands on even a small hand burr grinder to get you started (we have these too!) and try again!

Of all the ways to brew coffee, the two listed above (in my opinion) can have the greatest impact of a cup of coffee, how it tastes, smells, and even how it brews.  Keep going below if you are still having issues!

The Bloom

This stage of the brewing process is a result of freshly roasted (within 2 weeks of roast date) coffee releasing carbon dioxide gas.  Even though this happens in whole bean form, once ground the surface area of the coffee dramatically increases, resulting in a flurry of gas being released.  This also dramatically increases oxidation of the coffee, which leads to loss of flavor and aroma compounds quite quickly (this is why we only grind immediately before brewing!).  Once this freshly ground coffee is placed in the filter, and the hot water comes in contact with it, you can see this release as it increases and swells (or “blooms”) for around 30 seconds.  During this time the water cannot extract the coffee as the CO2 is being released, this is why we wait for the reaction to subside before we begin the extraction process.

Temperature

To keep your water at the correct brewing temperature, you may need to place it on the stove for a few seconds or add more hot water to your pouring vessel to heat it back up to temperature.  Also, a small thermometer can work wonders!

Brew Time

Depending on the brew method this time could range from 2-4 minutes.  Most are in the 3-4 minute range, while the aeropress is one method that may be on the lower end of that scale.  Each brew method has a recommended brew time.  You can adjust the brew time for drip methods a couple of ways:

  1. Coarser Grind = faster brew; Finer Grind = slower brew
  2. As you pour, if you fill the dripper closer to the brim, you will have a faster brew; if you keep the level lower, you will have slower brew
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