The process of brewing coffee

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08/10/2022
The process of brewing coffee

The key is to choose the right plantation from among those located in Africa, Asia, America, or Australia. Experienced roasters lean towards micro plantations that do not distribute massively. They choose beans from many sources because the final taste of coffee depends on the location of the cultivation. For example, coffee from India tastes completely different from that of Kenya or Honduras.

The coffee beans harvested at the plantation are then selected and processed. After peeling the skin and getting rid of the pulp, the seeds are dried. Thus, it is from them that the coffee is brewed. The real work of the coffee roaster begins when the sacks full of beans reach their destination. The whole process requires perfect knowledge of the specifics of beans from different regions of the world because they require different time or temperature of roasting. 

What coffee should I drink?

The answer is simple. The one that tastes the best. What do we need for the perfect coffee taste? First, good quality beans. Secondly, the method of brewing suitable for the given coffee and personal taste preferences. Here are some ways to make perfect coffee.

Semi-automatic espresso machine

Brewing coffee in a semi-automatic espresso machine is a method that takes time and patience. The semi-automatic espresso machine takes time from the moment it is started to heat the water in it. The portafilter, which must be placed in the head of the machine, as well as the cups that must be placed on the warmer, also require heating. 

In the espresso machine, hot water is forced under pressure through the ground coffee in the portafilter. After filling the portafilter with the appropriate amount of changed coffee, even its surface, then press the contents of the portafilter with temper. The brewing process should take approximately 25 seconds.

Due to the very short contact between the water and the ground coffee beans, it must be properly ground to bring out all its taste and aromas. If the beans are ground too coarsely, the water will flow through them too quickly, the brewing process will not be carried out properly and the coffee will be too weak. Conversely, if the coffee is ground too finely and firmly tamped in the portafilter, the water will have trouble flowing and the coffee will be too bitter.

According to the Italian National Espresso Institute (Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano), the pattern for making the perfect espresso is as follows:

- 7 grams (+/- 0.5) of finely ground coffee

- Water pressure 9 bar (+/- 1)

- Brewing temperature 88˚ C (+/- 2)

- Brewing time 25 seconds (+/- 2.5)

- Capacity of the infusion served in a cup with cream - 25 ml (+/- 2.5)

- Brewing temperature 67˚ C (+/- 3)

- The amount of fat in the infusion does not exceed 2 mg/ml

- The amount of caffeine is not less than 100 mg for a single espresso

About 7 grams of ground coffee are needed for one cup of espresso. For lovers of really strong espresso or caffé crema, you can prepare a single serving from 16 grams of ground coffee. The amount of coffee with which the brew is made should depend on your taste preferences.

Each type of coffee will behave differently when grinding and brewing. It is worth testing the proportions of the amount of coffee and the grinding thickness to discover the qualities and flavour notes of a given coffee that will suit our tastes.

French Press

To brew coffee in a French Press you will need fresh water, preferably filtered and good quality coarse ground coffee. When brewing coffee in a French press, as with other brewing methods, the proportions are important. Right about 6 grams of coffee should be used for about 100 ml of water.

Pour the coarsely ground coffee beans into a container and pour hot water (about 90 ° C) over it so that the beans are completely covered. We mix and leave for about 1 minute. After this time, pour the remaining amount of water over the brew and mix it again. Then put the cover on without pressing the plunger and leave it for about 3 minutes. After this time, press the plunger of the lid to the dish, then pour the coffee into the cups.

AeroPress 

The AeroPress includes a cylinder, a plunger, a plastic strainer, a set of filters, a stirrer, a funnel and a coffee scoop. In addition, a stopwatch, filtered water and coffee are essential. If you only have coffee beans - also a coffee grinder, preferably a burr.

For brewing in an AeroPress, the best coffee is coffee beans, freshly ground just before brewing. To prepare 250/270 ml of infusion, we need about 20 grams of finely ground coffee and water at a temperature of about 90 ° C.

Put a paper filter into the strainer and pour water over it. Pour in a measured amount of ground coffee, pour in about 50 ml of hot water, mix it several times and leave the brew for about 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the water, wait for about 1-2 minutes again. During this time, we can mix the coffee several times, thanks to which we get a more expressive and stronger brew.

After the required time has elapsed, put the plunger on the cylinder and slowly, steadily push the coffee into the cup. A characteristic sound - a hiss, will be a sign that the squeezing must be stopped. AeroPress also allows coffee to be brewed using the reverse method, thanks to which we obtain different taste qualities of coffee using the same beans.

Insert the piston into the cylinder and then pour in the right amount of coffee. We perform the next steps as in the traditional method: pour a small amount of water over the coffee, wait, then pour the rest of the water over it and wait 1-2 minutes. In the meantime, we can stir the coffee. Then put on a strainer with a paper filter poured in with water and place the AeroPress on a vessel into which we will squeeze the infusion. Squeeze the coffee with a gentle, steady motion, about 30 seconds, until we hear the characteristic hiss of the air. The AeroPress produces an infusion similar to espresso, diluted with water it will resemble Americano, and after adding hot milk - latte.

Brewing in AeroPress:

- Water temperature 85 -94 degrees

- Quantity of finely ground coffee approximately 16-22 grams per 250/270 ml of water

- Pre-infuse about 50 ml of water, 30 seconds

- Total brewing time (without evacuation time) approx. 2 minutes

- Pressing the coffee approx. 20/30 seconds

 

The coffee maker

The coffee maker can be made of aluminium or steel. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the alloy from which it is made. Poor quality coffee makers, when exposed to high temperature and water, can give the coffee a metallic taste and release harmful compounds.

The size of the coffee machine is very important, as it should be adequate to our needs because in the coffee machine we always have to prepare the infusion in the full dedicated volume. The capacity of coffee makers is determined by the number of cups that can be obtained from a single brewing. Approximately 25-35 ml of infusion of coffee corresponds to one cup.

Coffee to be brewed in a coffee maker should be ground quite finely. Thicker than espresso0, but finer than drip. Proper grinding of the beans will cause the coffee to drip to the top of the coffee machine rather than overflowing. Grinding the grain too finely may clog the sieve and stop the brewing process.

Pour hot, boiled water into the coffee maker. This treatment shortens the time the coffee is in contact with high temperature, thanks to which we will obtain coffee with lower bitterness and better taste.

Pour the water to the marked height at the bottom of the coffee maker. Fill the strainer with coffee up to the edge, gently levelling it with your finger. The coffee in the strainer should not be beaten, it is enough to slightly smooth it with a spoon. Close the coffee maker and place it on the stove, on the low power of the burner.

As soon as the coffee stream changes to foam and you hear the characteristic gurgling, stop the brewing process immediately by removing the coffee pot from the burner and pouring the coffee into the cups. Holding the coffee pot on the burner will give the coffee an unpleasant bitter and burnt taste. In a 3-cup coffee maker, you will get about 150 ml of infusion, which is equivalent to 3 espressos. Fresh espresso coffees are perfect for brewing in the coffee maker.

Drip or Chemex brewing

In the case of drip or Chemex brewing, we pour water over the coffee, which goes directly to the cup. The best taste of coffee brewed in a drip is if you use freshly roasted coffee, ground in a grinder. We grind the coffee quite coarse - coarser than for a coffee maker, but finer than for a Chemex.

For best results, the grains should resemble coarse sand, approximately 1-1.5 millimetres in size. Single origins (homogeneous coffees, from the same region, from the same processing, from the same farm or co-operative) are the best solution for drip brewing. The drip time should be around 3 minutes. If the brewing process takes longer, it means that the coffee is ground too finely, and if the brewing was too short, the coffee was ground too coarse.

Remember to pour hot water over the paper filter to get rid of the paper aftertaste and heat up the device. Pour in the right proportions of coffee, start the timer and start pouring the ground beans with water at a temperature of 90-96 ° C.

Pour a little water over the coffee until it is completely covered and leave it for 30 seconds. After this time, we start pouring the coffee in circular movements, avoiding the filter walls. We pour water successively 2-3 times.

The whole brewing process is completed with the use of a special watering can for alternative methods. Thanks to it, we can easily control the water stream and the accuracy of pouring. Coffee brewed with this method has a delicate body, it is juicy and balanced. More so, Chemex brewing gives a clear, even tea infusion with a velvety texture and a delicate body.

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