If you were to take a look at most folx home coffee set ups there is probably an automatic coffee brewer instead of a gooseneck kettle and V60 or Kalita. For the second part of this three part series we are diving into the world of automated coffee machines. Head back over and read all about pour-overs to recap part one!
On to batch home coffee brewers……
We love batch brewers! They do most of the work for us and CAN brew amazing coffee with basically no training!
We are going to walk through how to make and/or improve coffee using your already home equipment. At the end we have a few resources on certified brewers and coffee grinders if you are in the market to upgrade your home set up.
There are three main things to remember when making coffee: Fresh Coffee, Coffee to Water Ration, Grind size and grind fresh!
GOOD, FRESH COFFEE!
Easiest way to find great coffee – Go visit your local specialty coffee shop and take a look at their retail bean shelves. It can be overwhelming so ask the barista when you’re ordering a drink if you have any questions. Baristas love geeking out about coffee! We recommend using the coffee with in 21days of the roast date. Past that date, coffee can start to stale and not be at peak deliciousness.
If heading out to a shop is not doable take a look at some of our partners and order online directly from them! You could even find some rad coffee merch. We’ve done the work for you, so you know the coffee you get is specialty grade and fresh!
GRIND FRESH AND CORRECT GRIND SIZE
Similar to how coffee can stale when it gets months after the roast date, once coffee is ground it oxidizes [stales] even more rapidly. Think about biting into an apple, only a few minutes later the flesh is brown and not as tasty. Same thing with coffee. Once it is ground the aromatic compounds and sweetness start to degrade at a faster rate. Ideally, use a burr grinder and grind fresh every morning [or afternoon!]. If you don’t have a grinder, don’t fret! Simply ask the barista to grind your coffee and then keep the bag sealed and in the cabinet between uses.
For most coffee makers a medium to medium coarse grind size is ideal. On the grind comparison chart at the end of part 1 of home brewing, that would be anywhere from the Kalita – Chemex grind size. If the grounds basket is cone shaped grind it close to the V60 setting and if it is flat bottomed grind close to the Kalita.
COFFEE : Filtered WATER RATIO
This part can get super sciencey and polarizing, so let’s keep it simple. We recommend a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water.
A couple tips …. 1 tablespoons of coffee equals about 6-7grams and most coffee makers “cups” markers are for a 6oz cup of coffee. So for an 8 cup pot of coffee:
70 grams of coffee and 1,050 grams of water
Use 10-12 tablespoons of coffee and 4.5 cups of water
Play around with what ratio you enjoy. If a stronger coffee is your fancy, use 12-14 tablespoons and go the other direction if a slightly weaker coffee is preferred. Using filtered water is ideal. Coffee is 98% water, so having tasty water is the key to tasty coffee!
With all of this information in mind, let’s brew a pot of coffee!
Pre-wet filter (removes any paper tastes!)
Weight out and grind whole bean coffee (10-12T or 70grams)
Shake the grounds bed to give a level brewing surface
Pour in 1050g or 8cups cold, filtered water
Press go and that’s it!
With those simple steps your home coffee is going to go from good to great in only a few minutes!
Keep reading below if you are looking to upgrade your home coffee set up. . .
What makes a SCA certified brewer?
The Specialty Coffee Association has created an easy-read list of the coffee makers that they certify as being able to brew coffee as tasty as you can with a manual brew.
Brews with water that is between 195-205*F (optimal coffee brewing temperature)
The brew cycle takes 3-6 minutes
Level of turbulence (the speed of the water pouring into the coffee that creates movement)
The best part about these metrics? Is that you don’t need to think about them, because the research has been done for you!
Quick blurb about home coffee Grinders
There are two main kinds of grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders. The best ground coffee is when all of the particles look as close to the same size as possible. A blade grinder generally gives a really uneven grind distribution, some coffee grounds will look like powder and some will look like gravel (see image above under Grind Fresh). A burr grinder is industry standard and there are many models that are excellent for home brewing. Baratza, OXO, and Capresso all have excellent and affordable grinders. Many times burr and blade grinders cost similarly, so go with the burrs and your morning cup will thank you!
Upgrading home equipment is an investment and if you are looking to get deep into coffee geekery it could be worth it! Getting a SCA certified brewer + burr grinder will probably run about $300. Maybe that’s in your budget or maybe use the tips above with current equipment and save that dough for the next few Nintendo Switch games that come out!