There are so many ways to make coffee at home. Many of the basic principles are consistent throughout the coffee brewing process, however the equipment required and the techniques differ greatly which results in drinks with different textures, taste, and volume.
Remember: No matter what type of coffee you make at home, the keys to success are the same. It’s all about the quality of filtered water and freshly roasted coffee beans, ground right before brewing. In addition, having the correct grinder for your brewing method and a scale will be influential in making the best coffee at home. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend starting with a 15:1 ratio of water to coffee (i.e. start with 15 grams of water to one gram of coffee). From here you can move the ratio up and down for desired taste and strength.
5 Ways to Make the Best Coffee at Home
#1: French Press
One of the most popular and easiest home brewing methods is the French Press, also known as ‘Plunger coffee’.
For this technique, you need a (1) French Press, (2) coarsely ground coffee (approx. 18-20g per serving), (3) filtered water that’s been brought to boil then allowed to sit for one minute. First, fully wet the coffee grinds with some of the hot water and allow them to “bloom” for 30 seconds before slowly pouring the full amount of hot water is a slow circular motion as to wet all the grounds. Then allow it to sit and be extracted for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to let it brew too long. This full-immersion brew technique takes all the bean has to offer and yields a rich, sometimes oily, full-bodied cup. French Press is a perfect coffee brewing method if you like to add a splash of your favorite milk.
Handy tip: Once the brew has been pressed down, pour all of the liquid coffee out into a separate serving flask, so the extraction process stops and you can avoid an over extracted, sour second cup.
This is a single serve coffee method, and a combination of full-immersion/pass through brewing. To get started you’ll need: (1) Aeropress (2) Aeropress filter (3) hot filtered water and (4) freshly roasted coffee ground medium fine. The Aeropress’ lightweight unbreakable design is perfect for the traveling barista and it can be easily stowed in your hiking back-pack or carry-on. To brew, you’ll dump your coffee grounds (15-18 grams) into the bottom of the Aeropress, then pour hot water (~100grams, just off boiling temp) over the grounds, fully immersing them. Important: After pouring the water in, remember to let it bloom, and after one minute give it a good stir to achieve a full saturation of your coffee grounds. Next, firmly press down to push the coffee through into a strong and sturdy cup (don’t use glass!). The result is a balanced cup of coffee that’s both light and flavorful, yet still rich and deep in flavor.
Fun fact: The Aeropress is designed by the team that brought us all the Aerobie Flying Ring as kids!
#3 Pour Over
This method sets up well for the experienced home brewer and is exactly as the name describes. We use this method at the Roastery and it is one of our favorite ways to make coffee, especially single origin coffees. To brew a pour over coffee like a CRR barista you’ll need a (1) Cafec flower dripper, (2) Cafec Abaca paper filter, (3) serving beaker or carafe, (4) digital scale, preferable with a timer (5) gooseneck kettle (6) filtered water, and (7) freshly roasted coffee (15:1 ratio of water to coffee or 300 grams of water for 20 grams of coffee), ground medium. Before brewing, place the paper filter into the dripper and wet the filter with your hot water - this will also warm up your dripper and carafe. Next, the ground coffee is placed into the wet filter sitting in the Cafec flower dripper, which is then placed above a cup or server. Gently pour about double the amount of hot water to coffee (40 grams of water if using 20 grams of coffee) allowing the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds as it slowly drains to the cup below. Slowly pour your hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular motion to saturate all the coffee grounds. The coffee should bubble, extract, and drip through just over 3 minutes. If the coffee falls through too quickly (ie. 2 - 2:30 minutes ), then make your grind slightly finer. If the coffee takes too long to brew (ie. 4 minutes +) then make the grind slightly coarser or reduce the dosage. The end result is a smooth, clean cup of coffee that has a similar texture to a tea. It should be light and delicate, showcasing the true characteristics of each coffee’s origin.
Pro tip: Do not add milk to this method.
#4 Drip Coffee
There are thousands of different drip coffee machines on the market at a wide range of price points and brewing capabilities. A drip coffee machine is a popular method because you just need (1) freshly ground coffee and a (2) correct sized filter, and the (3) machine will do the rest. At CRR, we use the Ratio Six drip coffee machine, which provides one of the best combinations of form and function on the market. This beautiful, sleek machine allows you to play to the strength of your coffee beans and offers excellent consistency and balance by simulating a professional pour over.. For the best results, be sure to freshly grind the coffee right before you brew (medium to medium coarse), and to use the 15:1 ratio rule again ( Ie. 60g of coffee for every liter/1000g of water). The Ratio Six does the rest! With its Bloom, Brew, and Ready phases, you’ll be able to simplify your coffee routine while elevating your coffee experience. Plus, you’ll get multiple quality cups every time with minimal investment in time and effort. Sit back and watch as the coffee making is done for you. This coffee machine is perfect for a small office or home kitchen.
#5 Home Espresso
If you feel you are a true coffee connoisseur, then having a home or office espresso machine is a must, however it requires some decent investment compared to the brewing methods mentioned before. That said, perfectly prepared espresso coffee is the ultimate coffee experience, with its bold, syrupy and concentrated texture and versatility. The beans need to be finely ground using a high quality grinder to exact particle size. The dose is measured (19g-20g) and placed into the group head then hot water is then forced at 9 bars of pressure, through the coffee, yielding a thick, syrupy ‘shot’. The shot should yield around 40 grams of liquid in about 30 secs. Applying similar principles as the other brewing methods discussed, if the shot pulls too quickly, make the grind finer or increase the dose, and if it drips a lot and pulls too slowly (40 seconds +), reduce the dose (by half a gram) and/or coarsen the grind. Once you have your perfect shot, you can texture some milk and create a latte or cappuccino, or add a splash of boiling water for that zesty americano. This technique can take a lot of practice, however once mastered, this is a life skill you won’t regret.
Pro tip: If drinking a straight shot of espresso coffee, use a side of sparkling water to cleanse the palate first.
All coffee equipment you need to start making better coffee at home is available in the CRR Pro Shop or online. Feel free to reach out or ask one of our friendly baristas for advice and tips to help you make better coffee at home. Happy brewing!