Making your perfect cup of coffee is based on a simple principle: extract the water soluble components of coffee beans. The water dissolves these components it produce a liquid solution -lets call it coffee. This transformation can be achieved through different manners: infusion (coffee in hot water), decoction (coffee heated in water), filtration called "leaching" (the water passes through the coffee).
The latter is done in two ways: forced by pressure (Mocha, espresso, piston, AeroPress) or by the force of gravity (filter, cold infusion).
The French Press Piston, for example, combines infusion and filtration. It begins with an upward filtration through pressure, followed by an infusion and finally a descending filtration.
COFFEE PREPARATION BASICS
- The coffee variety
The profiles vary according to the type of coffee (blend, single origin, single variety, altitude, etc.). Ethiopian varieties are aromatic and light, while Sumatra is thick and full. Coffee milling, density, and solubility differ depending on roasting: light, medium or dark. If it is truly a dark roast coffee, it will be more soluble and bulky.
- The size of the grind
The smaller the grind, you are increasing the contact area between the water and coffee. In doing so, you strengthen its extraction and intensity. The larger the grind, you may have under-extraction and risk developing astringency, acidity, and lightness tastes.
You can balance this by regulating the amount of time the coffee is infused in water.
- The extraction time
Each preparation has its own ideal extraction time. The longer it is, the more power and possibly bitter taste develops. With longer extraction times, heavier taste components tend to dominate the lighter components. Longer extraction time also increase the amount of caffine.
- The coffee/water ratio
Each preparation has its own unique coffee to water ratio. This ratio will also be different for the method of preparation.
- The intake or the flow of water
If you gently and evenly pour the water on the grind, avoiding the edges of the filters, you force the water to cross it harmoniously and to fully extract the flavor of your whole bean coffee. For espresso, it is advisable to fill and compact the grind so that it is uniform and even.
- Water, temperature, and composition
Coffee is partially composed of oils and solid compounds that are water soluble. The solvent power of the water depends on its temperature and its mineral level (hard or soft water). These both have an important effect on coffee extraction. Too much or too little minerals prevent the compounds from being attracted to water.
For espresso and similar extractions, you also need to account for the pressure. This is the force with which you control the contact between the water and coffee. The higher the pressure, the stronger and more bitter your coffee is. The less pressure, the more acidic, astringent and concentrated your coffee. In the other preparations, similar effects on turbulence, agitation, and sequencing of the water flow can be created.
THE 10 KEYS TO CREATING THE PERFECT CUP - IT IS AN ART FORM
- Use clean, easy to wash utensils made from neutral material: ceramic, stainless steel or glass. Avoid paper or cloth (filter).
- Choose fresh and balanced water: neutral pH, between 80 and 120mg dry residue. The Volvic or Black Forest is suitable for sweet extractions, Montcalm or Rosée des Près for espresso.
- Rinse and heat your instruments with boiled water.
- Choose a fresh coffee. Grind it when you are ready to use it.
- Always use the correct grind size for your preparation.
- Measure out the right amount with a scale or, if not, with a measuring spoon.
- Use water between 90 and 95 ° C maximum, depending on the coffees.
- Adjust the coffee/water ratio, depending on your taste and the roasting profile.
- Vary the extraction time according to your taste, the moment, roasting and coffee.
- Pair your coffee to the moment - the right flavor for the right time of day, meal and guests.
Using The Perfect Filter
Start by forgetting the plastic filter built into the coffee maker. This is for amateurs and not a professional coffee lover like you.
You have to make your choice based on two crucial points; the material and its form. Use melted or cast filter holders in an inert material, such as ceramic, stainless steel or certain plastics that can withstand thermal shocks, such as Plexiglas. This will prevent you from transmitting an unwanted flavor to your coffee. The more we avoid the contact with the paper, the better it is. Want to upgrade - try a metal filter. Brands like Kone, IMS or Yama are leading this niche market with their stainless steel filters of different shapes and finish. Ceramic filters are also a possibility, but they require a paper filter.
The Japanese brand Hario, known as the V60, offers an excellent filter option. It comes in a large array of sizes and rest directly on the cup. This type of filter has certain advantages: its shape adapts to the thick grinds, the narrow evacuation tip allows a better extraction and its fluted edges give the coffee the possibility of inflating during the pre-infusion. The shape of the filter influences the quality of the extraction.
The V60 has this name because it is flared at 60 °, while its competitor, Kalita, is much more vertical. Some filters are fluted to promote better pre-infusion. The filter market is continuing to expand with many new offerings entering the market.
In recent years brands have started to invest in new generation electric coffee makers, often certified by specialty coffee associations such as SCA: KitchenAid, MoccaMaster, Ratio, Buonavita, Wilfa, etc. These machines take into account the temperature of the water, its distribution and its flow rate on the ground coffee, as well as the quality of the plastic materials. Finally, if you are a professional or have a big family, several equipment brands now offer coffee filters of a higher quality to handle high volume such as Marco, Bravilor, Bunn, etc.
Filter Your Way to Coffee Perfection
- Wash, rinse, and heat your hardware. Go for stainless steel, instead of paper and cotton. If you use a filter, rinse it at least twice with warm water.
- Choose a good coffee grinder to give you grind as fine as sand.
- Heat your water and stop it before boiling, between 87 ° and 95 ° C.
- Then place your ground coffee in the filter, at the rate of 20g for about 30cl of water.
- Pre-infuse your grind 30 and 45 seconds, pouring the water in small regular fillets. Just bathe it a little: 80ml should suffice. Observe the flour and foam if it is very fresh.
- Pour gently and evenly, being careful not to touch the edges, to avoid under-extraction. Stop pouring as soon as you cover the grind by more than 2 to 3cm. Then start again. For very vertical filters of the Kalita type, pour in the center; for the V60 model and Chemex, use circles between the heart and the edges instead.
- 7. Once your water volume is exhausted, let it filter for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Finally, by touching the wall of the cup with the back of the hand, you will know if you have reached the tasting temperature without risk of burning yourself.
HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL COFFEE WITH A COFFEE MAKER?
Infusion Is the Preparation of Pros
Whether for cooking or preparing tea and coffee, brewing is undoubtedly the most delicate method of extracting aromas, provided you follow the basic rules.
For example, if you brew with water that is too hot or too heavy, you risk destroying your coffee’s flavor. It is better to practice a cold infusion to obtain the most complex and deep taste.
HOT INFUSION: THE ART OF DELICACY
The French Press is a simple and accurate method to create the perfect cup your heart and palate desire. Make sure to match the right grind size to the correct amount of water. Use the right temperature and practice patience. Remember to be gentle… smooth and easy does it.
STEPS TO SUCCEED HIS INFUSION
- Wash, rinse and warm your hardware.
- Use a good coffee grinder to get 60g/l of a coarse grind, similar to that of crystal sugar.
- Place the coffee in the bottom of the coffeemaker.
- Pre-infuse with a little water at 92°C maximum and let it soak briefly.
- Then pour the rest of the water. The coffee rises to the surface. Allow it to infuse in the water for 3 minutes. Gently stir with a spoon.
- Let it soak for a total of 3 and 5 minutes, depending on your taste and the type of coffee used.
- With a spoon, skim the surface to remove the gas.
- Place the plunger and press gently, without forcing.
- Serve and enjoy!
COLD INFUSION: Reaching the heart of the flavor
Cold infusion, sometimes known as Cold Brew, is the most delicate process for expressing the aromas of a liquid. Bathed in water at room temperature, the flavor of coffee will migrate into the water. This method requires more patience than with hot water.
When choosing your Cold Brew makes, opt for a model that guarantee the most static materials and the least contact with oxygen so as not to alter your beverage.
Cold Brew like a Pro
- Wash and rinse your equipment with hot water.
- Wet the filters with warm water to eliminate odors.
- Choose a fine espresso type, a large coffee, and dose at 160g/l.
- Adjust the grind in its receptacle and moisten it to pre-infuse it.
- Place the filter on it, so that the water does not dig it.
- Choose a preferably gaseous water to protect the coffee from oxidation.
- Fill the upper chamber with water and adjust the drip (try infusions of 12, 24, 36 hours). Thirty drops per minute is the best.
- At the end of the brew, do not hesitate to add a little clear water if the coffee seems too strong.