Coffee Brewing for Beginners
Minimal investment, maximum taste! Lookout for Coffee hacks at the end..
I still remember the exact moment when I fell in LOVE with coffee, I mean I still do every day when I brew it every morning, It cost me around INR 20, but I was smitten by the bittersweet taste that evening. Since absolutely no one around me drank coffee, I had no idea about the depth of coffee making. So I started with drinking instant coffee (Nescafe), then gradually moved towards buying a fancier instant coffee(Davidoff), until I discovered ground coffee beans in late 2017.
I think I started brewing coffee at home back in 2018 when I decided to commit to my love for coffee and bought myself an espresso machine. It was the most basic espresso maker to get started with my learning experience. I located a local coffee shop nearby, where I got south Indian peaberry coffee beans freshly ground every week and packed to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Then I started experimenting with different kinds of roasts. Since the Indian coffee I bought was slightly acidic, the taste of dark roast grew on me. Partly because I romanticized the idea of drinking darker blends and related to its taste with my personality and taste in music.
Then I graduated from buying ground coffee to buying coffee beans and grinding them at home. This came as a next step to buying a new grinder for our kitchen. As an amateur, I obviously didn’t know grinding coffee was not just about using any grinder, so I used a mixer grinder to grind my coffee.
Grinding coffee isn’t about using any grinder
I was aware of the grind size fundas, so initially, I ground small batches of coffee, carefully stopping after whirring the grinder for 2 seconds to check if it’s not too fine. I remember once getting distracted and ground it too fine. It was so fine just like flour, even the espresso maker choked and was unable to pass water through the coffee grounds! I had to throw that batch away and ground a new batch.
After using my espresso machine, I relocated to a new home, and I decided to not carry it with me here. I bought some alternate brewing equipment, which were basic and not espresso brewers.
I started with a French Press and some pre-ground coffee grounds. I used Philz’s PhilHarmonic and Pete’s French Roast. The coffee tasted really nice, it was just a bit muddy at the end. I got a bit bored of using it after a while and then I switched to my next equipment
Then I bought a Pour-Over for my birthday along with the most basic coffee grinder. It’s a conical burr grinder. Not very consistent grounds, but it’s not bad at all. The best coffee investment of the year! I started buying freshly roasted (local) coffee beans and I now grind coffee every morning. I usually make pour overs and absolutely love them!
Using a good filter paper also makes a huge difference!
- Coffee static in a coffee grinder (coffee grounds get stuck to the plastic container) — take a small spoon, late two drops of water, and run it in the beans holder jar and Magic!
- My coffee grind size for pour-over is 80% towards medium grind, but a 20% fine grind lean.
- I prefer a medium roast. I buy Jose’s Vanilla flavored bean
- Instead of buying a V20 pour-over, I have invested in a more basic pour-over for single cup coffee. I hate using Chemex filter paper for one cup of coffee.
- Chemex filter paper gives the best-tasting coffee. Sow while we talk about coffee beans, roast, grind sie, equipments, using a good filter paper also makes a huge difference!
- Take a few mint leaves and drop them into the container while brewing coffee. Thank me later!
- Using vanilla extract in coffee is NOT equal to using a vanilla flavored creamer. Using the extract will lead to a bitter-tasting coffee, probably because of the spirits used while flavor extraction
- I LOVE Mocha! I use chocolate syrup only, instead of adding sugar when I am craving some cany coffee along with a dash of 2% milk.
- Mocha reminds me, my experience with a mocha pot wasn’t very good. I didn’t enjoy drinking even a single cup make using my mocha pot
- I have a weighing machine, but NEVER in past so many months of having it have I used it for measuring food! So skip it :)