Coffee is a vital part of the day for many people and with a host of methods to brew, everyone has their favourite approach to enjoy their cup of joe. Making coffee is considered a ritual by many and understanding different brewing methods can help you get the best out of the coffee you have bought. Chemex, V60, Aeropress, and Moka pots are just some of the options to brew a perfect coffee at home.
What Equipment Do I Need To Brew Coffee at Home?
For those who want to venture away from instant coffee, there are certain pieces of equipment that can enhance your coffee’s taste. If your budget allows for it, it is advisable to purchase filter papers, a grinder, scales, and a pouring kettle. While not all of these are compulsory, they ensure that your coffee is at its optimum.
A grinder is a great option for those who want to get into coffee. Coffee is at its best when it has been freshly ground and having a good grinder for that can make all the difference. Most grinders come with options for how you want the bean to be delivered – which could be fine or a more coarse option. If a coffee grinder isn’t available to you, you can get your coffee ground when buying it or get the coffee shop you’re purchasing it from to grind it to your personal preference.
V60, Chemex, and Aeropress all require a specific type of filter paper to brew coffee. Make sure you purchase the correct filter paper as they come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.
Pouring kettles aren’t a necessity, but they do give you more control when saturating your coffee. They allow an even extraction over the beans which adds to the taste.
While scales may seem like a strange thing to include on a coffee equipment list, they can be incredibly important and affect the taste of the coffee you are brewing. All coffee beans have different densities, so weighing your beans ensures that you have the correct water to coffee bean ratio.
Possibly the most important piece of equipment is, of course, your coffee. Researching what blends you enjoy and what flavours appeal to your palate is crucial to finding the perfect coffee. There is an abundance of varieties to choose from and local coffee shops offer multiple roasteries to try. Online coffee shops also sell bags of coffee beans that you might not be able to get in local stores.
How to Brew Coffee
Understanding ways to brew coffee correctly can exponentially increase taste for those willing to put a little more time than making instant coffee. It is usually recommended to use the ratio of 60 grams of coffee per litre of water. This can vary depending on the coffee, but this is a well controlled variable, to begin with.
You can add more coffee or water depending on your preference of strength, but experimenting allows you to find the right balance. One thing to note is the temperature of the water. It is recommended that water is between 88 and 92 degrees celsius which is just below the boiling point.
Brewing Coffee: Chemex and V60
Chemex and V60 share very similar processes when brewing. They do, however, have a different method of coffee grinding. Chemex requires a coarser grind than a V60 and this is reflected in the filters used to brew them. Chemex is a great method for those who enjoy the nuanced flavours in coffee, as it picks up on all the different tones. The V60 is a similar process but lacks the smoothness that is found in a Chemex.
Boil your kettle to the optimum temperature and prepare your filter paper. This is done by wetting the filter paper to remove any sediment and then empty the water out. Grind the coffee down and add it onto the filter paper. Add water doubling the amount of dry coffee available. Wait for a minute to allow the coffee to ‘bloom’. This lets the coffee granules absorb the water to release the best flavours.
After waiting for this time, continue to add water slowly, and let all the water extract through the filter. This should take around 3 minutes for a V60 but can take up to 6 minutes if using a Chemex.
Taking the Plunge: Aeropress
The Aeropress is the perfect solution for those who are making individual coffees. It makes a strong, full bodied coffee for those who enjoy a deeper taste.
As always, boil the kettle and allow the water to reach the optimal temperature. Place a circular filter into the Aeropress’s detachable cap and pour water through the filter to remove the papery taste. Place the Aeropress with the numbers upside down on the scales and add your coffee.
Add double the amount of water that you have to dry coffee and wait for around a minute to let the coffee bloom. Add the rest of the water and wait for another minute before stirring the coffee.
Place the cap on and turn the Aeropress the correct way up before applying pressure to the vacuum downwards. This should be a task, so don’t worry if it doesn’t go down easily. Once all the coffee is extracted, remove the cup and wash the Aeropress out.
Traditional Methods: Moka Pot
The Moka Pot is a brewing method that is mostly favoured by Europeans. It creates a strong espresso-style coffee that can be served as is or has water added to it.
A simple process, fill the bottom of the Moka Pot with tap water, the whole way up to the valve. Add coffee to the filter basket and make sure it is levelled off. Add this filter to the base of the Moka Pot and screw the pot back on.
Place your Moka Pot onto a gas or electric hob and wait for the water to boil. When it starts to boil, lower heat slightly to allow the coffee to simmer. This lowering of heat allows the water to rise through the coffee and up the spout into the upper area of the Moka Pot.
Like an old school kettle, when the coffee is ready, the pot will hiss and it can be served immediately. Serve to your taste with more water added or as is.