This post is Part 1 for "Coffee as a weekly theme" as my exercise to meet my epistemic curiosity. I would like to try to learn and gain something not shallow but cumulate and weave the knowledge over the week by writing a series of posts.
To brew better coffee, here are the aspects that we could care:
- Water temperature
- Coffee to water ratio
- Brewing process and timing
Note that I tried to focus on what we could change by learning them, not just buying a nicer tool or buy better water/beans. Of course, water and beans are one of the dominant factors, grinding by ourselves would be a far better way to buy pre-ground beans. But let me first focus on what could be better in the same condition.
Water temperature should be around from 195F (91 C) to 205F (96C), but not boiling temperature 212F (100C). Most of the website recommends using a thermometer or pot with a temperature controller. If we do not have one, here is the approximated solution. 1F decrease per 12 seconds according to "Manipulating Your Brewed Coffee: Temperature", which means that 7F decrease can be achieved by 84 seconds.
By pouring the hot water into a cup or drip, the temperature drops to 150F ~ 170F. So it would be better to warm up the devices before brewing if you have the time.
Coffee to Water Ratio
Most of the websites recommend to weigh the coffee beans, not measure by volume. But approximately 1 level tablespoon is around 4/5/6 grams for coarse/medium/fine beans respectively. Water 1ml is 1 gram. Based on that, a good ratio would be around 1:15, which means 1 level tablespoon of coffee with 75 ~90 ml of water.
Brewing process and timing
There are two major steps: bloom and brew time. Bloom is the preprocessing time to release the carbon dioxide before the main process. We need to add minimal but sufficient water around twice the amount of water to the coffee and wait for 30 seconds. The main brew time could be tricky. It can vary from 2 min to 6 min, which I was surprised at since this is too broad. At the end of the paragraph in "Manipulating Your Brewed Coffee: Brew Time", the author compare the coffee taste with different brewing time with having a range of 100 seconds, he or she said all of these brews were tasty.
I am now excited to brew the coffee the next morning to try out and see if I can taste a slight difference by the above tricks.
- How to Brew "The Perfect Cup" of Coffee
- Forbes - How to make the perfect cup of coffee (its content are similar to the above)
- GoodFolks Coffee Company, in which I like this quantified way to convince us to make a better way of brewing e.g., brew time, brewing ratio, grind size and temperature. They call these 4 as big four variables that would have the biggest impacts on the strength and flavor of the coffee. Brewing guide.pdf is also a great summary.
I also found the references that could be useful in the following posts:
- Coffee Around the World for tomorrow's post "Relationship between regions and taste"