Know-How: Intermediate Equipment

The old adage of practice makes perfect is one we take seriously and how! There’s so many different ways to create the perfect cup of coffee – be it the flavour, texture, temperature, technique – one can find multiple ways to craft their brew. We believe that taste is subjective to each individual’s preferences and you can’t really have just one perfect cup of coffee. However, we do know that technique is important in ensuring you get the most out of your bean and the ingredients used are harmoniously working together with the right equipment.

As part of our Deep Dive series, we’re getting into round 2 of brewing equipment and will give you the details on using some of the more technical, process-driven methods of brewing your coffee.

In this post: Learn how to brew your best cup using an AeroPress, Pour Over, Moka Pot and the importance of investing in scales and a coffee grinder.

Coffee Grinder & Weighing Scales

If you’re reading this post, we’re assuming you’re ready to invest more time and effort in your coffee brewing. Firstly, get yourself a good grinder and a set of weighing scales.

Coffee Grinders can be manual or electrical – up to you! This means you’ll be buying whole beans and enjoying the smell of freshly ground coffee. The fun part is that you can also grind a combination of different beans and experiment with the taste!

Look for a burr grinder rather than a blade one. This will make sure you get a consistent grind all the time.

The scales come in handy in measuring the coffee to water ratio which is crucial in balancing the taste. You can look up the right proportion depending on the equipment and type of coffee or you can define what works for you after a little trial and error. Nevertheless, once you get the hang of measuring your portions and brewing it right, it’ll be hard to go back to the spoon!

Any weighing scale works, but if you want to really up your game, a scale which reads in .1 gms intervals and has an inbuilt timer will go a long way.

AeroPress

A versatile equipment, this easy to use and portable device can make great strong coffee as well as a smooth iced variant. The two steps and main parts of this equipment are the Pour (funnel) and Plunge (plunger). Here’s all you need to do:

  • First things first – you’ll need paper filters and a sturdy mug. You’ll also need a slightly coarse blend of coffee and can choose the same on most websites while purchasing your coffee. If you’re grinding them a home make sure it’s not too fine and has some density to it.
  • Detach the cap of the AeroPress and place the paper filter. Hold the cap by it’s ears and pour some hot water into it. This helps in ensuring the filter sticks firmly as well as heats your vessel for consistent brewing temperature.
  • Twist the cap on the chamber/funnel and place the funnel on top of your mug.
  • Add 1 spoon of coffee and shake the funnel to level it.
  • Pour 1 mug of hot water, ideally 85-95 degrees Celsius. Boiling water tends to alter the taste so it is recommended that you boil water and leave it for a minute before pouring it in.
  • Stir the coffee and water for 10 seconds to kickstart the brewing.
  • Insert the plunger and push down gently. If you begin to feel a resistance, pause for a bit and then continue.
  • The concentrate gets pushed into your mug. Taste and enjoy as is like an espresso or pour some hot water and turn it into an Americano!
  • Ensure to detach each part and wash them thoroughly as part of post prep care.

Moka Pot

Think of this as sort of like a reverse Aeropress – in the sense that the water brews upwards rather than being plunged down. Also known to be one of the easiest ways to make the closest alternative to an espresso on a budget, the Moka Pot is a fun piece equipment to own. There’s 3 parts to the Moka Pot – the water chamber, the filter and the brew/coffee chamber and here’s how to use each one:

Water Chamber

  • Fill water in the water chamber up till the pressure valve. Adjust the quantity of water based on 1) how strong you want your drink and 2) how much coffee you’re putting in. Use only water in this chamber, do not add any milk or sugar. For best results, use water that is already heated.

Filter

  • In the filter, add at least 2 tablespoons of coffee and shake to level. Adjust this on top of the water chamber.
  • Use a fine ground coffee for this equipment – you can do it on your own or choose this option while ordering online.

Brew Chamber

  • Lastly, place the brew/coffee chamber on top, adjust all of them tightly and place it on a stovetop. Keep the temperature moderately high.
  • Essentially the boiling water will create pressure and brew the coffee upwards into the brew chamber. Do not boil it at a very high temperature as this will confuse the extraction process.
  • Once you notice steam or a sound from the pressure valve, you’ll know it’s done and ready to serve!

Pour Over

To be honest, if you’ve gotten through an Aeropress and Moka Pot, you might as well learn the Pour Over too. In this post we’re using a Hario V60. It’s basically three things: measure, bloom and pour.

This is one of the most budget friendly options to get into brewing and yields one of the cleanest cups. A favorite of the team at Beandeck and most of our roasters, this is a must try.

Measure

  • Use your scales to measure and get a perfect ratio of coffee to water. It is recommended to have a 1:15 to 1:17 ratio
  • Keep a timer handy to measure the duration of the pour and the intervals between them.

Bloom

  • Once you’ve got your coffee ready and your water is just off the boil, arrange a filter in your Pour Over cup and add the coffee.
  • Pour just a little water for around 10 seconds and let the coffee bloom.
  • The coffee begins to release CO2 and essentially rises.
  • Wait for 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom.

Pour

  • Once the coffee has bloomed, pour the rest following a 10-30 interval: 10 seconds to pour, 30 seconds to brew and drip and repeat till you’re done with the water.
  • It’s best to pour the water using a long spout and in a nice, even circular manner to ensure it’s spread equally in the coffee.

This is one of the simplest recipes for a pourover and as you progress you might want to get into more detailed recipes. Get in touch with us if you would like a recipe tailored to your needs or your coffee of choice.

We’d love to be a part of your experiments in the kitchen! Do share your videos with us and tag us on Instagram.

Image credits: Nathan Dumlao, Tyler Nix, Goran Ivos, Eric Barbeau and William Moreland

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