Brewing Basics : The Essentials

Aug 2, 2022

Which brew method is best and how to know you are getting the best out of your brew?   It’s confusing but don’t worry, some basic guidelines can get anyone to track brewing the best coffee each day.

Where to start?   On one side of the spectrum there are the technical aspect and strict standards set by organizations such as the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America).   The other side of the spectrum is personal taste and preference.  Somewhere in the middle is where was all are.

The ingredients in coffee are simply coffee and water.   Coffee flavor comes from chemical compounds (there are over 1,000) that are released when the ground coffee particles contacting the water.   Only 1.2% of coffee’s water-soluble compounds are extracted under normal brewing process.   98.2% is water.

There seem to be limitless variables to the brewing process that can confuse coffee flavor and body in the cup.   When we brew coffee, we are in control of a few important variables such as water ratio, grind size, water quality and the coffee filter.   Knowing the basics of coffee brewing practices can enhance the coffee experience.  Let’s breakdown the fundamentals.

  1.  Coffee to Water Ratio by volume 2 Tablespoons per 8 oz. of water.   By weight (preferred method) is 60g. per 900 ml.
  2. Use “medium” grind size (size of regular beach sand)
  3. Brewing equipment is working properly (water contact time, water temperature)
  4. Water temperature is 195 to 205F
  5. Quality water should have a small amount of dissolved minerals (spring water for example).  This does produce better tasting coffee
  6. Correct filter medium (proper separation of the insoluble material from the brew)

Subtle changes will affect brew strength, flavor, taste, and body.   As you are likely thinking, most of these brewing guidelines are subjective.   And there are many opinions and advice on what is best.   However, calibrating to a baseline will enhance the coffee experience so give it a shot and see what happens.


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