Updated: Jun 14
If you are planning on brewing coffee at home, the obvious questions would be, Where do you start?
You start with control. Why control? Because this is an experiment, and you want to control all the variables of brewing coffee at home.
You’re going to start with the equipment available so you can have total control over your brew.
Brewing Perfect coffee at Home, The Grinder
You can start off with your grinder, a vital element in this experiment.
You want a grinder that will grind up your coffee into the correct grind, pieces that are consistent so you can extract at the same rate per particle.
Grinders allow fresh coffee to be ground right before brewing which allows a delightful sensory experience through smell and flavors.
With a grinder, you have control over your grind size, which is essential.
It’s good to grind your coffee right before you use it. We recommend burr grinders.
What is good about them? They allow a consistent particle setting, and that’s important to the overall quality of your brewing coffee at home.
You can find burr grinders pretty much everywhere. You can find a hand grinder for as cheap as $20, and you can spend $900 on an electric burr grinder.
There are many options out there. When it comes to grinders, you get what you pay for.
Brewing Perfect Coffee at Home, The Scale
You need a scale. Refrain from “eyeball/estimate” your quantities. This goes back to control. The more you can control in your experiment, the more you can control it later and have greater success in brewing coffee at home.
Scales give you complete control over your brew – from dosing your beans to pouring your water (which is essential).
The scale is critical in the home brewers’ arsenal.
Long Neck Kettle
Goose Neck Kettle
We need a “swan/gooseneck kettle.” You can really control your pour when you have a long-neck kettle.
You’re able to when you have the correct temperature of water onto your coffee grounds, you’re able to precisely pour where you’re supposed to pour. You get speed and agility.
Pour Over Devices
In this experiment, You can’t brew coffee without a method of brewing. We’re going to focus on pour-over devices.
The first device you’re going to try out is the V60. It’s cheap, it gets the job done, and it’s a great way to be introduced to pour-over devices.
The first brewing device you’re going to be using is the “Chemex.” Let’s make a list of our essential variables when we’re brewing coffee at home with a V60D coffee brewer.
We’ve got water temperature as one of our beginning variables. Water is the universal solvent. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances, which is why it is such a suitable solvent. And, water is called the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.
When it’s hot, it breaks down the molecules faster than when it’s not hot—coffee particle size: when your coffee is ground finer, your coffee extracts at a quicker rate.
When your coffee is ground coarser, the opposite is true. Brew time – the amount of time the grounds are actually saturated with water.
The longer a coffee is exposed to water, the more extraction occurs.
This is related to a filtered pour-over device.
Brewing Perfect Coffee at Home, Coffee Ratio
Sometimes extraction is hard to grasp because we’re dealing with too many variables.
Therefore it makes sense for us to reduce our variables by us controlling some of our variables or making them constant.
Let’s start with our coffee ratio. This refers to grams of coffee to grams of water.
An excellent place to start is 1 gram of coffee to 16 grams of water. If you’re brewing with 30 grams of coffee, multiply your coffee weight by 16 to get your output of 480 grams.
To determine the strength of your brew, you can use your brew ratio. Let’s keep our brew ratio locked in at 1 to 16.
Water temperature does affect your brew. If your water temperature is hotter, you will extract faster than if your water temperature is colder.
Let’s keep our water temperature at 192 degrees Fahrenheit (92 degrees Celsius). That leaves us with particle size & time (brew time) to manipulate.
Your brew time is directly affected by your particle size. The finer the grind setting, the faster the particles will start to extract, but the slower it will brew in a manual pour-over device.
If you were to put it in a French press, I could let that sit there for 10 minutes.
We’re going to keep constant the variable of coffee to water ratio and the water temperature. We’re doing this to make your brewing coffee at home much easier.
Espresso Machine vs. French Press
You can’t brew on an expresso machine the same way you do for a French Press.
Each of these brewing devices has different methods that have a relationship between the grind size & the brew time.
With expresso, you will use a very fine grind setting, powder-fine. You start with hot water, you have a super fine grind, and you have a 25 – 30 second brew time.
Another variable that plays in with expresso is pressure. Pressure plays an essential role in expresso.
You’re forcing water through coffee rather than pouring water through the coffee.
Espresso is very easy to mess up. That’s why you can go to any expresso bar & get an awful expresso.
With the French Press, you’re always going to be starting with hot water. You’re going to be using a very coarse to medium coarse grind setting.
A French Press is a full emersion coffee, you get to decide the brew time.
Most people find that they’re going to extract between 4 – 5 minutes, even longer is possible & you’ll end up with a pretty good cup.
The large size of the grind allows you to have those longer extraction times. French Press is a great way to brew coffee at home.
A popular and favorite brewing method is “Aeropress”. This brewing device is very flexible.
You can use coarse to superfine grind and control the time.
This is a serious brewing gadget. If you can master “this brewing method,” you are a master brewer. It’s impossible to mess up.
Filtered pour-overs variables, you’re looking for hot water, medium grind, 2 minutes 30 seconds to 4 minutes brewing time.
Extraction is fundamental in its application. Anyone, on any of these devices, can figure out how to brew a good cup without having extensive technical knowledge.
You can find everything out by experimenting. At first, it might work one time, and it might not work the next. Just keep trying.