Coffee Guide Part 2: Brewing Methods

Coffee

[ˈkɔ·fɪ]

 

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared
from roasted coffee beans,
the seeds of berries from certain
Coffee species.

With the basics of coffee in place
from Fabula’s Guide Part I, let us dig into
the brewing itself here in Part II. We will
walk you through just about any coffee
brewing technique that exists, starting
with the most common.

Pour Over

[pɔː ˈəvə]

The old school style! There is a reason this tech-nique keeps being around. It’s simple, it’s not “an equipment sport” and - when done right - absolutely delicious.

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • GRINDER
  • DRIPPER
  • FILTER PAPER
  • MUG
  • TIMER

Step 1: Grind your beans medium-fine. Getting the grind right is really critical for this type of brew. You will need 6-8g per 100ml water. If you are making just a cup for yourself (it’s your coffee moment, right?!), and your cup is 250ml, you will need 15-20g. For 20 oz (or 600 ml), enough to share, you will need around 40g.

Step 2: Make sure you have enough water ready. You will need a coffee-to-water ratio of about 1:15. Boil the water, and let it rest for 1-2 minutes to reach the right temperature. Place the filter in the dripper. You can pre-wet the filter.

Step 3: Add coffee into the filter in the dripper. Make sure it is distributed evenly. Place the dripper on your mug or a carafe.

Step 4: Gently and evenly add the water in the filter. First add in about double the water to the amount of coffee. Your pour should last about 15-20 seconds. Start at the edges and move in circles toward the middle. Make sure all coffee grounds are covered by water. Let the coffee swell and bubble; this is called “blooming”, as CO2 is released and aromas are being extracted. Pure magic!

Step 5: Once the bubbling ceases, you go to the second pour. This should be about 30 seconds after the first pour. This time you start in the middle and work your way to the edges. Make sure you pour all the way out to the edge, so you capture all the grounds, and get them back into the extraction. Pour the remaining water. You can stir it gently, and then allow the coffee to drip its way through. Some people prefer to pour even 3-4 times, so have fun with it and experiment.

Step 6: Voila! Drink coffee, be happy.

PRO TIP: If your coffee is too weak or sour, you need to grind finer. If it is too bitter, you need to grind more coarse.

Drip Machine

[drɪp məˈʃiːn]

By far the most common brewing method, due to the ubiquity of coffee machines. It is understandable, as it is easy and consistent. It might not be the fanciest of methods, and some aficionados would not use a drip machine (as taste notes tend to mute), but since this is a very popular brew method, we thought it best giving guidelines on best practices

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • GRINDER
  • DRIP COFFEE
    MACHINE
  • FILTER PAPER
  • MUG

Coffee-to-water ratio is really important here. We recommend about 1:15, so for a fairly standard pot of coffee, that is 30 oz (850g) water with 1.75 oz (50g) of coffee.

Grind size should be medium, about the size of sea salt. It depends on the machine, as some brew faster than others (faster brewing, finer grind). The machine is either designed for conical or flat-bottom filters, and this will also affect your grind size. Conical filters tend to brew a bit quicker, and therefore need a finer grind.

When buying a coffee drip machine, look for one that brews at an appropriate temperature setting, ideally a 203º-207ºF. Some have an option to “bloom” (often called pre-wetting), which will also make a better coffee. Calcium can accumulate over time in the coffee maker, so make sure to decalcify the machine from time to time

Step 1: Grind the coffee, pour in water in the tank. We recommend about 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio.

Step 2: You can pre-wet the filter. Put in the coffee beans and make sure they are evenly distributed in the filter.

Step 3: Push the button, smell the coffee, listen to the soothing snoring of the machine, and then enjoy your coffee!

PRO TIP: If your coffee brewed too quickly, and comes out weak, make your grind a bit finer. If your coffee brewed too long, your grind needs to be more coarse. If your coffee tastes sour, it needs more time brewing. If your coffee tastes bitter, it needs less time.

Espresso

[eˈspresəʊ]

The Espresso. Short, intense and to the point. The good news: coffee heaven lies here. A perfect shot of espresso is something truly special, a goal worth pursuing. It takes time, patience and practice, but that’s part of the fun of the road to perfection. The bad news, and we will be honest with you: equipment does matter, and a solid espresso machine will make a difference. However, beginners can do with less, and once you get into it, the investment will be totally worth it. So let us get started with the best practices!

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • ESPRESSO MACHINE
    (with portafilter)
  • ESPRESSO CUPS
    (aka demitasse)
  • GRINDER
  • SCALE
  • TAMPER
  • TIMER

Step 1: Remove the portafilter from the machine and wipe it clean.

Step 2: Grind 18-21 grams of coffee. Your grind needs to be fine, like confectioner’s sugar. A proper grind for a balanced shot of espresso is absolutely essential here.

Step 3: Measure the coffee weight on the scale. If you like, put the portafilter on the scale first, zero it out, and put in the ground coffee.

Step 4: Use the tamper to even out the coffee in the portafilter. You don’t need to do it very hard, but gentle and firm is key. You can give the tamper a slight spin, and this will even the beans perfectly.

Step 5: Put water on the espresso machine, and purge the grouphead (where water comes out) thoroughly with hot water. That also ensures everything is warm and good to go. You can also pre-heat the cup (aka demitasse), and you’ll look like a real pro!

Step 6: Put the portafilter in the grouphead, lock the mechanism. Start your engines, and push the button! There should be small drips coming at first, then two small, steady, even streams. The entire extraction process should take about 30 seconds. Towards the end, the espresso should start to thicken and become blond or yellow-ish. Stop the machine at this point.

If the extraction takes too much longer than 30 seconds, try a coarser grind. And, vice versa, if it brews too quickly, try a finer grind.

Serve and enjoy! Some people will stir the espresso, others like the foam on the surface. That is totally up to you. Some people like their espresso with a shot glass of sparkling water. In any case, we hope you have found coffee heaven. If you are not quite there, adjust and keep trying!

Moka Pot

[ˈmɒkə pɒt]

These Italian coffee-culture staples can appear a little complicated at first glance. Don’t be put off! A moka pot is actually a super easy way to prepare a rich European-style beverage. Moka is sometimes thought of as espresso, as both methods entails pressurized and vaporized water being pushed through the beans, but the pressure, temperature and timing is different and the outcome will also be different.

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • GRINDER
  • MOKA POT
  • KETTLE
  • TIMER
  • MUG

Here’s our simple step-by-step guide that will show you how to use a Moka pot to make a buonissimo cup of coffee. Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Grind 35g of coffee beans. This is around six tablespoons, enough for six cups of this energetic beverage. Your grind for a Moka pot should be as fine as sugar. The coffee-to-water ratio should be 1:7.

Step 2: Wipe down the equipment using kitchen towels, and fill half of your coffee maker with boiled water. Make sure you do not fill higher than the safety valve. You can also use room temperature water, but it’ll take more time to brew.

Step 3: Fill the filter basket with your ground coffee and then carefully shake the surface a little. You can also smooth it out with your finger to remove the excess grounds.

Step 4: Put the filter filled with coffee at the bottom of your Moka pot, then screw on the top. Place it on a stove set to medium heat. Warning! The bottom chamber may be very hot. Be careful.

Step 5: When the water starts boiling in the lower chamber, the pressure will push the coffee stream slowly to the upper pot. It’s important to keep an eye on the drink during the process. If it bubbles really fast, your water’s too hot. If it is slow, turn up the heat. The coffee is ready when you can hear a bubbling sound and steam comes out of the pot.

Step 6: Turn off the heat, remove the Moka pot from the stove and get your cup ready for a taste sensation.

That’s it! We hope you enjoyed this easy step-by-step guide to making coffee with Moka pot.

French Press

[frentʃ pres]

We’re excited to share another coffee brewing method, and this one’s a classic!

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • FRENCH PRESS
  • GRINDER
  • KETTLE
  • TIMER
  • SPOON
  • MUG

This recipe will teach you how to make enough French press coffee for 2-3 cups. Depending on the size of your press, you could go for more or fewer servings, but try to stick to a 1:12 French press coffee-to-water ratio. Grab your cup, your press, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare and grind 40g of coffee to a coarse texture. The quality of your grinder matters here, as you get a uniform grind size for even extraction. Add the coffee grounds to your empty French press coffee maker.

Step 2: Boil water in a kettle. If you can set the temperature, put it to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, the hotter end of the appropriate water temperature for coffee. Otherwise, boil the water and let rest for a minute. Quickly but gently add 1-2 cups of water to the press. Be sure to only add a little at first; just enough to make the grounds wet. This pause will help the coffee’s flavor to open up and develop. After half a minute, pour in the rest and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon – metal can create small cracks in the glass of your French press.

Step 3: Put the lid on top of the press, but don't push down just yet. Give the coffee around four minutes to brew. Use a timer, as too little or too much time will over- or under-extract your coffee, and not be an ideal cup. Then carefully press the plunger down until it almost reaches the bottom. Make sure you push gently to avoid the risk of glass cracking.

Step 4: When finished, immediately serve your coffee. If you don't drink it all straight away, pour the rest into another thermal container to save it for later. You do not want to leave the coffee in the French press, as the beans will continue to extract and become sour.

Et voila! Your French press coffee is ready. If your beverage is too weak, we recommend increasing the coffee-to-water ratio or brewing time. French presses give you a lot of space to experiment and find your best formula – you can even use it for your next cold brew recipe!

Aeropress

[aeropress]

Looking for a delicious, no-fuss coffee for lazy weekend mornings? Your search is over! The Aeropress is an innovative brewing method for adventurous coffee drinkers, who enjoy trying out different brewing recipes and usually prepare just one cup of coffee at a time. Let’s get started!

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • AEROPRESS
  • AEROPRESS FILTERS
  • AEROPRESS FUNNEL
  • KETTLE
  • GRINDER
  • TIMER
  • AEROPRESS PADDLE
    OR SPOON
  • MUG

Step 1: Measure out 15g of coffee beans (add a couple more grams for a stronger taste). This equals about two and a half tablespoons.

Step 2: Grind the beans to medium – you’re aiming for a texture slightly finer than sea salt.

Step 3: Preheat the Aeropress maker, coffee filter and your cup. This will help to draw out the flavor. Then place two rinsed filters into the coffee maker to minimize sediment.

Step 4: Wipe your cup. Affix the basket to the bottom of the brewing chamber and place the cup underneath. Add your beans to the Aeropress with a loader – try to not spill anything!

Step 5: Set the timer to 1 min 10 secs and pour 220 ml of boiling hot water into the Aeropress. Stir three times, making sure the coffee is saturated. Then place the plunger into the Aeropress quickly but carefully to create a vacuum.

Step 6: When the timer goes off, remove the plunger and stir three more times from back to front. Put the plunger back again and press down gently but steadily. When the Aeropress starts to make hissing sounds, you’ll know there’s no more water to push through the device and your drink is ready.

Step 7: Remove the basket and pop out the coffee grounds and filters. Don’t forget to rinse everything in advance so you’re ready for your next brew.

Your fresh Aeropress coffee is ready to enjoy!

Cold Brew

[kəʊld bru:]

Let’s talk about the coolest coffee recipe on the block. That’s right, we’re going to teach you how to make a cold brew! Cold brewing is one of the most popular methods around right now. This isn’t just down to the great taste (although that definitely helps), but also because you don't need to buy any special tools to make the perfect cup. All you need is a little time, patience, and a handful of premium coffee beans.

What
you need

  • FABULA COFFEE
  • GRINDER
  • CONTAINER OR A JAR
  • LONG-HANDLED
    SPOON
  • MUG
  • WATER
  • MILK, FLAVORED
    SYRUP OR CREAM
    (as per your preference)

Step 1: We will use a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:5. Use 50g of coffee, which equals a little less than a quarter of a cup of ground coffee. If you want more cold brew, just double up on your coffee measurements, but don’t forget to double the amount of water as well.

Step 2: Grind beans to a coarse consistency. You don't want too finely ground coffee beans, as this is a slow-brew method, giving the water time to extract the flavors from the beans.

Step 3: Put the coffee grounds into a container or a jar - we recommend using a glass container, as they can be with fewer residual flavors and aromas from previous use. Make sure to clean it properly with warm water. Fill it up with around one cup of water, or 250ml, and use a long-handled spoon to stir and combine it with the coffee. Let the liquid rest for a few minutes and then stir it again to let the grounds absorb more water.

Step 4: Let the coffee rest for 10-12 hours. Cover the jar with a lid or a small plate to protect it from dust and smells, and leave it overnight. The temperature doesn’t matter – the timings will stay the same. Once your brew is ready, you can store the coffee in the fridge for up to a week. Don’t leave it out on your kitchen counter for days, as the flavor will deteriorate.

Step 5: In the morning, pour the concentrate through a thin paper coffee filter or a small thin cotton napkin into a large mug or bowl. You can also use a French press if you prefer. Let it rest for five minutes.

Step 6: Serve the beverage with one half of the glass filled with iced water and the second half with the coffee concentrate. It’s important to add water before drinking because otherwise there is too much caffeine in the cold brew concentrate. You can also use another ratio, like ¾ coffee to ¼ water, if you enjoy a stronger drink. For a finishing touch, add milk, flavored syrup or cream

Enjoy your homemade cold brew!.