A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BREWING THE PERFECT COFFEE AT HOME
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BREWING THE PERFECT COFFEE AT HOME
Nov 13, 2020.
15 minute read
Coffee brewing can be as easy or as technical as you wish and there are numerous ways to celebrate this elixir we love – coffee. This is not to say easy is attributed to short-cuts. As one of the early founders of the World Barista Championship, I fully appreciate the hundreds of hours of practice and 1000’s of cups brewed to create a drink worthy of World acclaim. Kudos to the professional baristas who pour their hearts into their craft while sharing their expertise and passion! If you are just starting out, brewing good quality coffee at home can be overwhelming and that is what we will discuss today.
But lest we forget, Good coffee begins in the health of Araku’s organic soil, nurtured by the farmers who respect the land and coffee. In technical terms, good brewing begins with understanding the basics of flavor extraction, insoluble and soluble solids, thermal dynamics and a lot more. But before we scare you into thinking that coffee brewing takes years of practice and cannot be achieved at home, let us guide you with a few pointers to ensure you don’t miss your daily brew!
If you have been drinking instant coffee, you are in for a shock when you try the real thing. Freshly roasted, freshly ground and freshly brewed. Your senses are in for a treat.
Let us start with the assumption that you have a stove top, Moka Pot or a French press as your first investment for coffee brewing. Another thing you need is boiling hot water. With this, we have two of the “pillars” of coffee brewing achieved.
And ofcourse - You must have freshly roasted, high quality specialty arabica beans. Make no mistake and I suggest ARAKU Coffee.
WHICH ARAKU COFFEE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Are all Araku specialty coffees the same? Absolutely not! Same in deliciousness, however with different brewing styles, the flavors you enjoy will vary. Let’s talk Coffee.
If you are just entering the specialty coffee world and seeking guidance for new sensorial experience, here’s what we recommend.
Go Wild or go Mild
For those of you used to mild or instant coffee, go with Araku Selection. Dark Chocolate, toffee, sugar cane, caramelly, full body, smooth, creamy and easy to enjoy. We feature this in all regular brewing styles. Araku Selection is complemented by Moka Pot brewing. If you have an espresso machine at home, try it! Selection is not complicated yet delicious every time.
ARAKU Signature is a medium-dark roast and has flavour notes of red fruits, green pepper & dark chocolate. It has a long and clean aftertaste and remains sweet and fresh with a mild bitterness. Yes, a snappy crisp element which adds a zip to the cup. A good morning wake-up, mid-day coffee break or after dinner cuppa with your favorite dessert.
Araku Micro Climate, a personal favorite, wild fruity intensity of dried cherries, jammy, olives and a fruit forward snappy bright acidity which has a full mouth. But not for the faint of heart, this natural process coffee is complex and multidimensional. Brewing as Pour Over, French Press or Cold Brew, it will rock you.
Araku Grand Reserve is a special coffee. You’ve been stuck at home, perhaps quarantined, you deserve it. Tropical Fruits, Floral, Citrus, Dates and Olives. I know this sounds esoteric, but truly a special Araku Originals coffee. This is best suited as a pour over coffee, like Chemex or V-60.
Get your hot water and Araku beans, and now how to brew.
COFFEE BREWING BASICS: Brew U(niversity)
French Press - Also called emersion because the coffee grounds are fully submerged during the brew process. Recommend - Araku Signature, coarse grind with ratio 1:15 - 1-gram coffee to 15 grams water. Presses come in different sizes. Preheat the press, discard this water. Add coarse ground coffee, pour water just before a rolling boil begins and start a timer for 4 minutes and finally stir to ensure all grounds are wet. Place plunger gently on top of the press (do not press yet). At 4 minutes gently press plunger until all grounds are trapped in the bottom of the press. Pour in preheated cups and enjoy. Coffee will stay serving hot for 20 minutes. By then, you will need to brew another!
Moka Pot (or Stove top) Recommend - Araku Selection. Fill the lower chamber with fresh pre heated water up to the value. Place the coffee filter basket into the lower portion. Fill the filter basket with 10 – 13 grams of fine ground coffee. Affix top portion of Moka Pot to lower half of the Moka Pot. Place atop stove to boil water. As water boils and passes through the filter basket, brewed coffee will fill the upper chamber. Use your senses, once you hear the water boiling, pay close attention. When all water has boiled from lower Moka Pot to the upper section, your coffee is brewed. A reminder - never add milk or other ingredients to Moka Pot.
Pour Over – Chemex or V-60, Recommend - Araku Grand Reserve - Using the same ratio of 1:15, dampen paper filter and preheat vessel with hot water. Discard water or pour into the cups to preheat. Add medium grind coffee. Pour water in a circular motion over grounds until all are wet. Allow coffee to bloom until initial water has passed through the filter. Pour again in a circular motion and wait once more. Careful not to over fill the filter so water level is above carafe level.
Cold Brew (my current favorite)Recommend - Araku Micro Climate. You will need coarse grind coffee, a glass container, or Hario Cold Brewer. I make mine as a concentrate so I can pour it over a full cup of ice and still have the “punch” of flavour. In this case, 2:1 ratio. Coffee in the vessel, fresh room temperature water, stir to dampen all grounds. Cover, rest on the counter or in the fridge overnight. Morning comes, strain coffee concentrate. Any remaining concentrate after filling glasses should be kept in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. (But it is always drunk before then!)
Buy whole beans and upgrade to a home grinder and grind your coffee just before brewing.
Be forewarned, once you learn the basics of coffee brewing, your journey has begun. There is no turning back! Fueled by confidence or caffeine or both, your journey continues.No matter where you enjoy your coffee and whichever brewing method you choose, respect the process and the bean, have fun and reward yourself by enjoying the cup you brewed! Show us your home brewed coffee @arakucoffeein