Make the Perfect Coffee at Home
Thanks to McCabe’s Coffee for this guide to the French Press, Moka Pot, Aeropress and a general pour-over method for brewing at home.
For these techniques you’ll need a scales and timer. We would also highly recommend using a grinder for better results.
THE FRENCH PRESS METHOD (for this method we recommend using 55g of coffee for a 750ml cafetiere)
Step 1. Preheat your French press with boiling water while grinding the coffee to a course grind (this will feel like grit between your fingers).
Step 2. Pour away the water and pop your press onto the scales. Add the ground coffee and 200ml of water (*not boiling) to ”pre-infuse” for 30 seconds.
Step 3. Add the remaining 550ml of water and give it a few stirs with a spoon.
Step 4. Once the coffee has settled, remove as much of the grinds as you can from the top. This will prevent the coffee from extracting any further.
Step 5. Replace the lid, start plunging and enjoy.
*It’s important the water isn’t too hot as coffee doesn’t like boiling water. Leave it to stand for a minute after boiling.
THE STOVE TOP (MOKA POT) METHOD (for this method we like using a 300ml pot with 30g of coffee. Freshly boiled water and a medium-coarse grind are key here.)
Step 1. Grind your beans to a sandy consistency – an espresso grind will create bitter over-extracted coffee.
Step 2. Pour freshly boiled water into the bottom part, just below the pressure valve (in my pot this is 300ml).
Step 3. Add the grinds to the basket and place into the bottom part. Screw the whole thing together.
Step 4. Place the pot onto your stove at medium-high heat. Remember you used just-boiled water so the extraction won’t take too long.
Step 5. Here’s the important part. As soon as you hear bubbling coming from the pot, take it off the heat, wrapping the bottom section in a cold wet towel. This will prevent over-extraction. Pour and enjoy.
THE AEROPRESS (INVERTED) METHOD
Step 1. Pre-heat your aeropress and wet the filter to flush out any unwanted paper tastes.
Step 2. Weigh out 17g of beans and grind them to a fine/medium texture. This will be in-between an espresso grind and a sandy medium grind.
Step 3. Pour the water out of the aeropress, making sure the plunger part is pressed into the 4th number on the side. This gives us room to brew.
Step 4. Placing the plunger part on your scales, add the grinds and 40ml of water. Stir for 30 seconds.
Step 5. Add the remainder of the water, this should be around 230ml (grams) and at the minute mark pop the filter holder on and flip the aeropress onto a cup.
Step 6. Plunge slowly until you hear air escaping. Pop out the puck, give the aeropress a rinse and enjoy.
POUR-OVER (whether it’s a Chemex, V60 or Kalita, here’s a general guide to a great way of brewing coffee).
Step 1. Pop your filter into the holder and wash it out with boiling water. This also serves the purpose of heating your carafe or mug beneath the filter.
Step 2. For this I’m using a 2 cup filter with 21g of coffee, ground to a medium-coarse sandy consistency. That’s a ratio of 60g per litre.
Step 3. Add the grinds to the filter and place your filter holder and carafe/mug onto a scales..
Step 4. Using your thumb, bore a small hole in the middle of the grinds. Start your timer and pour 90°C water (remember 1 minute off the boil) into the hole, just enough to fill it. At this point, if you’re using fresh coffee, you should start to see it ‘blooming’ which is a very good sign.
Step 5. Slowly but surely, start adding the rest of the water in a circular motion around the hole, taking care not to directly touch the paper with the water. Gradually move towards the centre until you have poured in all your water (in my case this is 350ml).
Step 6. The goal here is to have all the water through the grinds and filter by the 3 minute mark, any longer and you’re in over-extracting territory. This method is a tricky one to get right and if you’re a nerd like me, you’ll practise practise practise!.
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