Basic Brewing

After two posts I have come to realize that I can’t help but engage in SSP (shameless self promotion). Just the act of creating a blog is SSP so I am not going to appologize any more for it but I will acknowledge any blatant use of it.

As indicated in the category selection I am going to talk about coffee. So, today, I am going to talk about making coffee. If you don’t really care about brewing your own then you should take this time to go grab a cup of Timmies or Starbucks or whatever your favourite caffeine source is. For the rest of you (if there are actually anyone reading this) I am going to outline some basics concepts of home brewing.

There are three basic components of making a pot of coffee; the coffee, the brewing device (coffee maker) and the water. The simplest one to explain is the water. Basically, if you won’t drink the water then don’t use it to make your coffee with it. Personally I wouldn’t use distilled water because it extracts far too much flavour out of the coffee, including all the nasty sour straw flavours that you get from cheap under roasted coffees found in certain coffee chains.

The type of coffee maker dictates how you grind the coffee. If you use an electric drip machine then the coffee should be ground so that a full pot is brewed in 4 -6 minutes. Espresso makers use espresso grind, percolators use a coarse grind, vacuum pots use extra coarse, french press uses medium coarse and manual drips use fine grind.

OK, so now comes the SSP, the coffee. In my humble opinion the coffee is the most critical part of the three items I mentioned. the coffee should be a good quality specialty arabica bean, fresh roasted, fresh ground and the right grind size. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about quantity. Always use enough coffee to brew a decent pot. The coffee industry experts recommend 1 to 2 coffee spoons per 6 oz cup and a coffee spoon is 2 tablespoons. Never try to skimp on the coffee. It will just taste sour and straw-like. A strong pot of coffee can always be diluted with hot water after it’s brewed. There is nothing you can do with weak coffee.

The absolutely best coffee is that which you roast yourself at home and then grind just before you make a pot. I do know someone who actually gets up early in the morning to roast his coffee in his oven for his breakfast. While I think that is a high dedication to the ideal of fresh roasted, but not even I would do that. However, I think that anything over two weeks old is not fresh and I won’t sell you it as fresh.

So there you have it, my first coffee category post. If you have any questions I will try to answer them. If anyone is actually reading this please make a comment. Please drop me a life line.

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