colombia coffee with iced coffee in center

Because it’s still hot outside, and because we all need a little variety from time-to-time, we’re Flash Brewing our Colombia Medium Roast Coffee.

What is Flash Brew?

“Flash brew” is a fancy (dare we say.. flashy :) term for a very simple brew method. Bascially, you brew coffee over ice. Instead of using all the water you would normally use to brew coffee, you split up that total water weight between ice and water.

You might have also heard flash brew called the “Japanese Iced Coffee” method. It’s the same thing. Last year, we detailed a recipe for Ethiopia Yirgacheffe using this method. See that recipe here.

This summer, we give you…. Flash-brewed Colombia Medium. Yes, we’ve tried it. Yes, we love it. Yes, you can do this at home.

Flash Brew Colombia Coffee 1

How to Flash-Brew Colombia Coffee

Our Colombia Coffee

We source this coffee from small-scale organic coffee farmers based in Cauca, Colombia. These farmers make up the some 400-member cooperative, Fondo Paez, which works to preserve local, indigenous Nasa culture. Fondo Paez is also deeply committed to restoring and caring for nature, and their attention to detail shines in their organic farming certification, as well as in the quality of their coffee.

Four Arabica varieties predominate at Fondo Paez. They are: Typica, Colombia, Caturra and Castillo. They are grown at altitudes of 1,500-1,900 meters above sea level.

We roast Fondo Paez’s coffee at a medium roast, one of the lightest roast profiles we carry. Brewed hot, this coffee has notes of cherry, vanilla and caramel and has a medium-to-high acidity.

Flash Brew Colombia Coffee 2

Our Flash-Brew Recipe for Colombia Medium Roast

This recipe is designed for a single-cup of coffee. You can increase these proportions for a bigger batch size, but you will likely want to coarsen the grind.

Brew Summary

  • Brew Method: Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker
  • Coffee Weight: 15 grams
  • Grind Size: Medium-Fine
  • Ice: 130 grams
  • Water: 130 grams
  • Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 1:17 (It’s actually 17.3, or 15 grams of coffee to 260 grams of water)
  • Brew Time: Under 2 mins

Materials Needed

  • Melitta Brewer
  • Melitta Filter
  • Carafe or Glass to Capture Brewed Coffee
  • Scale
  • Ginder (or Pre-Ground Coffee)
  • Cafe Campesino Colombia Medium Roast Coffee
  • 130 grams Ice
  • 200 grams Water
  • Hot Water Kettle

Brewing Steps

  1. Assemble All Materials.
  2. Add Water to Kettle and Heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Grind Colombia Medium to Medium-Fine Grind.
  4. Place filter inside Pour-Over Dripper.
  5. Pre-wet filter with Hot Water (let drain over sink).
  6. Weigh 130 grams of Ice into Glass Carafe.
  7. Add 15 Grams of Medium-Fine Grind Colombia to your Pre-wet Filter.
  8. Place Filter on top of Iced Carafe (gently shake filter so that coffee levels into a flat brew bed).
  9. TARE YOUR SCALE.
  10. Pour hot water over your coffee grounds. Stop pouring when you’ve gotten all grounds wet. (Shoot for about 40 grams of water or fewer on this first pour).
  11. Wait 30 seconds.
  12. Now, slowly pour hot water over grounds until all grounds are wet again. Let sit for about 15 seconds.
  13. Repeat step 12 until your water weight has reached 130 grams.
  14. Remove Melitta Dripper and Pour your Coffee-Ice-Slurry into a Glass.
  15. Add Ice & Enjoy!

Flavor Notes for Flash-brewed Colombia

Flash-brewed Colombia Medium Roast coffee is so sweet and juicy, it’s almost refreshing.

Aroma: Sweet, Brown Sugar
Body: Light-to Medium
Tasting Notes: Meyer Lemon, Brown Sugar

This is a Saturday-morning brunch coffee. It’s bright, juicy, acidic and sweet, and it’s great to pair with rich, savory breakfast foods.

cold brew coffee bag on a log

What? You can make cold brew on a camping trip?

Yes. Making your own cold brew is probably the best choice for an overnight outdoor adventure. Here’s why:

1. It’s Easy to Prepare

Once your campsite is set-up, you can prep coffee for the next morning.  Simply drop a cold brew pack in water. Cover.  And forget about it until the next morning.  (Get step-by-step brewing instructions here.)

Why our DIY Cold Brew is Great for Camping 3
Drop a filter pack in water and let sit until morning.

2. It’s Lightweight

There are five pre-portioned filter packs in our 1lb Cold Brew bags.  Take one (or two) pack(s) with you. Drop them in a tupperware or ziplock and add them to your food supplies kit.

On-site, you’ll need a mug or a mason jar, or some sort of small thermos to soak the filter pack and water over night. So don’t forget to pack that.

3. Coffee is Ready before you Wake Up (ahhhh…..)

This is the best part. If you prep your cold brew when you’re done setting up your tent, your coffee work is done for the next morning. Just drop a cold brew filter pack into water, cover and let sit over night.

When you wake up the next morning, all you’ll need to do is remove the filter pack, and decide how you want to use the coffee. Your morning options will be: 1 – Drink the Coffee. OR 2- Dilute the Brew and Share with Friends. Maybe give it a taste, and then decide? If your cold-brewed coffee is too strong for you, add water (or ice if you have any on-site). Once you dilute the brew, you’ll have a little to share ;) Or, you can even share some of the concentrated brew, and let each person add water per their preference.

Why our DIY Cold Brew is Great for Camping 4

4. Drink it Cold or Hot

This is the fun part. Just because you cold brewed coffee doesn’t mean you can’t drink it hot. In fact, cold brew holds up really well to a little heat. Take care not to boil your brew, but if you prefer hot coffee in the morning, pour your diluted or concentrated brewed beverage into a sauce pan and heat it up over a camp stove. Don’t want it hot? Go with the camping flow, and drink it as-is.

5. Clean-up is Easy

If we didn’t have these filter packs, cold brew clean-up would honestly be a lot messier. But because all of your coffee grounds are contained in this one sealed, paper filter, you can easily remove it from your cold coffee and toss it in your compost or trash bag. Be sure to GENTLY remove the filter pack and grounds from the coffee beverage. The water-soaked coffee grounds get heavy and can tear the paper filter if you are not careful… (and then you’re back to the messy part of cold brew).

So, it’s Settled then. DIY Cold Brew When you Camp.

The ease of brewing, the simple clean up and the versatility of cold brew make it a perfect addition to a camping adventure. Plus, a filter pack goes a long way. You can get up to 6 servings of coffee per each filter pack if you dilute your concentrate with enough water.

Why our DIY Cold Brew is Great for Camping 5
Share Kindness with Coffee 6

Kindness goes a long way.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been heartened by the stories of kindness. Small acts that are seemingly insignificant in a world where we’re trying navigating a pandemic and hundreds of years of racism.

Small, random acts of kindness give us hope.

The moms who’ve employed their sewing skills to supply local healthcare providers with masks. The anonymous donors who purchase pizzas for the emergency room crews at the local hospital. The police officers who bring protesters water. The regular customers who buy gift certificates at their favorite restaurants- just to show support to the small business owner. The teachers who take cards to their students at home, just to tell them they’ve missed them during quarantine.

It’s the small, seemingly random acts of kindness that speak volumes to a recipient. It says that you’ve noticed them. They matter to you. And you’ve cared enough to tell them.

Share Kindness with Coffee 7
Buy 3 or more pounds of coffee between June 13-21, and we’ll throw-in an extra pound.

Random Acts of Coffee

From June 13-21, we’d like to offer our coffee as a tool for kindness.

If you purchase three or more pounds of coffee from us, we’ll throw in an extra pound for you to share with someone else. Commit a Random Act of Coffee. Share kindness.

Give a Pound to Someone Else

The offer applies to purchases made in our webstore, at our coffee house, and at our booth at Morningside Farmers Market in Atlanta.

Share kindness through coffee. Show someone they matter to you.

Share Kindness with Coffee 8
Cold brew filter packs package

Step-by-Step Instructions for at-home Cold Brew

Looking for ways to keep cool and caffeinate?

Make cold brew at home. It’s cheaper than buying it at already brewed. It allows you to control the strength of your coffee. And, if you use our pre-portioned, pre-ground filter packs, it’s the easiest clean-up ever. (Yes. Ever.)

Here’s how it works:

1. Assemble Your Materials

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 9

You’ll need one cold brew filter pack, water and a pitcher.
(If possible, use a wide-mouthed pitcher; it will be easier to remove the filter pack after brewing).

2. Drop Cold Brew Pack into Pitcher

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 10

For ready-to-drink Cold Brew, use one filter pack. If you want a Cold Brew concentrate, use two filter packs.

3. Add Water

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 11

With one filter pack, use about 24-36 oz. of room-temperature or cold water. Use filtered water for best results.

4. Let Coffee & Water Soak

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 12

Now, do nothing. Really. Just let the water and coffee soak together for 12-24 hours.
You can leave it on the counter during this time; no refrigeration necessary during brewing.

5. Remove Coffee Filter Pack

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 13

After your desired amount of brew time, remove the filter pack. Anyone who’s ever cold-brewed before knows the pain with cold brewing is removing those coffee grounds. Yes, you can do your best to contain them, but often they go all over the place. That’s why these filter packs are so great. You simply remove the pack from your cold-brewed coffee, and the clean up is done.

IMPORTANT: Remove the filter-pack carefully. After 12+ hours of soaking, the coffee grounds can get heavy, and the pack can easily tear. You don’t want that. Be gentle, yet confident when you remove your filter pack.

6. Pour Yourself Some Cold Brew

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 14

Taste the good stuff. If you brewed using two or more packs, dilute with water. Otherwise, pour over ice & enjoy.

7. Store the Rest in the Fridge

Summer Coffee Must-Have: Cold Brew Filter Packs 15

Ready-to-Drink cold brew is good for 7 days refrigerated. Concentrates can remain fresh for up to 14 days refrigerated.

Don’t waste another second.
Get some Cold Brew Filter Packs

Cold brew Filter pack bag
There are five 3.2 oz. cold brew filter packs in each 1 LB bag.
That’s about 20 servings of cold brew coffee per bag.

SHOP NOW

brewing coffee outside

If you’re brewing more coffee at home these days, you might want to experiment a little. Pour-over brewing allows you to control the variables that impact cup quality, rather than letting a machine do it for you.

There’s a whole world of pour-over devices out there. Below is a recipe for a Hario V60 – an easy access point for at-home experimentation.

In recent years, V60’s have become a common at-home pour-over brew method. It is a cone-shaped brewer that is easy to-use and great for brewing coffee for one. V60’s have a ribbed interior that is meant to improve airflow during the brewing process. This helps your (coffee) water draw down into the cup more evenly across the brew basket, which can help improve the taste of your coffee.

Best brewing results come when you use a goose-neck kettle to apply hot water to the coffee grounds. The kettle design allows you to have more control when you pour hot water over the coffee.

Brewing a Hario V60: The Basics

Brewing Overview

Cup Size: 6 oz. to 12 oz.
Brew Time: 2 ½- 3 ½ Minutes
Water Temp: 195-205 Fahrenheit
Coffee-to-Water Ratio: 1: 15-18 (adjust to taste)
Grind Size: Medium-Fine

Stuff You’ll Need to Brew

  • Coffee! (Fair Trade, organic preferred)
  • Water Kettle (goose-neck if you have it)
  • Scale
  • Grinder (Always Peferable)
  • V60 – 01 or 02- either plastic or ceramic
  • V60 Filters (these should correspond with your 01 or 02 device)
  • Coffee Mug
How to Brew a Pour Over: Hario V60 16

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Pre-Heat Water.
  2. Calculate your Brew Recipe.
    This sounds fancy, but it’s really straight-forward. Basically, you will brew one gram of coffee to 15-20 grams of water. First, decide what you want your brew ratio to be (a 1:15 ratio produces a strong cup of coffee because it uses less water. A 1:18 ratio is weaker, because it uses more water). Then, choose a coffee weight and multiply that number by 15-18. As an example, let’s say we will brew 15 grams of coffee at a 1:15 brew ratio. Multiply 15 times 15 to get your water weight of 225 grams. Your brew recipe then is 15 grams of coffee with 225 grams of water.
  3. Weigh and Grind Coffee.
    Weigh out 15 grams of coffee. Grind at a medium-fine grind- something a little finer than what you’d use on an at-home Mr. Coffee-type brewer. If that grind-size is not possible, work with what you have.
  4. Place Filter in V60 & Place V60 on top of your Mug.
    Fold the creases of the filter before inserting it into the mug. This helps it sit snugly in place in the brewer.
  5. Pour a Small Amount of Hot Water Over Empty Filter.
    Your filter should get almost entirely wet and the hot water should empty into the mug, pre-heating it before you brew.
  6. Discard Water.
    Pick up the V60 and pour out the hot water.
  7. Add Ground Coffee to V60.
    Add 15 grams (or your preferred amount) of ground coffee into the pre-wet filter.
  8. Gently Shake the V60 & Return it to your Mug.
    When shaking the V60, you want to level the coffee grounds so the top is a flat, even surface.
  9. Place Mug and V60 on top of Scale and Tare.
    You want your scale to read zero grams when you begin to pour.
  10. Confirm Your Water is Hot (ideal is 195F-205F) and
    Begin Pouring Gently, Getting all Coffee Grounds saturated.
    If you are using a timer, begin it as you start pouring hot water.
  11. Stop Pouring when your Scale Reads about 45 Grams.
    Here, you will be allowing your coffee to bloom. This allows the carbon dioxide that is trapped inside the coffee beans to escape. (If your coffee is freshly roasted, you’ll see it bubbling out of your brew bed). Letting CO2 escape allows for a more even extraction as you continue your brew.
  12. Let bloom for 30 seconds.
  13. After a 30-second Bloom, Slowly Add the Rest of the Water in a Gentle Spiral. 
    Do not let water level rise above initial bloom.
  14. Stop Pouring when you Reach Your Desired Water Weight.
    In this example, you’d stop pouring when your scale reads 225 grams.
  15. Remove the V60 & Admire your Brewed Baby!
  16. When it’s Cool Enough to Drink, Observe What you Like or Don’t like about the Brew.
  17. Enjoy with Satisfaction! and/or Troubleshoot for your next Brew.
How to Brew a Pour Over: Hario V60 17

Troubleshooting your V60 Brew:

  • If the resulting brew is too sour or grassy, add more water. Multiply coffee weight by 17 and brew again.
  • If the resulting brew is too woody or burnt, use less water. Multiply by 14 and brew again.
  • If your brewing time is running long, use a coarser grind.
  • If your brewing time is too fast, use a finer grind.
  • If your bed is “high and dry,” meaning that coffee grounds are caked around the sides of the filter after brewing, you are pouring too much water in the center.  Try to use a smooth, spiral motion so that your used coffee bed has a flat surface after it drains. The more even the coffee bed, the more even the coffee extraction, and the better cup quality.

Experimenting with Grind-Size

You might also decide to keep your original recipe the same, but experiment with grind-size.

Coarsening the grind will expose less coffee surface area to water, meaning you might get a “less intense” or “less bold” cup. Making the grind-size more fine, exposes more surface area to water, meaning you will extract more out of the coffee. A finer grind will pull more natural acids and flavors out of the coffee, but if it’s too fine, it might be too much.

How to Brew a Pour Over: Hario V60 18

Check out our Home Coffee Brewing FAQ’s as a reference for future experiments.

Brew What you Like

In the end, brewing coffee is a delicate balance of a number of variables. The key is finding what you like and replicating it for you.

Below is a recent Facebook live session with Coffee Education Coordinator Hannah Mercer. Follow along as Hannah brews one of her favorite coffees- Colombia Medium Roast from Fondo Paez on a Hario V60 from home.

Hannah Brews Hario V60 from Home

Learn how to make a Hario v60 with Hannah, one of our Specialty Coffee Association Authorized Trainers, and learn about how you can keep Earth Day going by helping support the Grow Ahead project for CAC Pangoa in Peru. Donate today at https://growahead.org/cafe-campesino/

Posted by Cafe Campesino Roastery on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 19

Long before COVID-19 entered our lives, sustainable coffee was working to combat a price crisis in specialty coffee and also do its part to combat the climate crisis. Specialty coffee farmers worldwide were being drastically underpaid for their contributions to the industry and the planet was on-track for suffering irreparable damage at the hands of profit-hungry humans.

Those crises still exist.

But at the intersection of coffee and climate hope still exists for change. Small, incremental efforts are still underway to make sustainable coffee a reality for both farmers and the planet.

One such initiative is a women-led reforestation project at CAC Pangoa, a long-time trading partner of ours in Peru.

Women-led Reforestation in Peru’s Coffeelands

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 20

This Earth Day, we are asking you to invest in sustainable coffee and help keep regenerative agriculture alive. For the next two weeks, we are encouraging you to donate to a reforestation effort led by some 90 women farmers at the CAC Pangoa cooperative, a long-time trading partner in Peru.

We are partnering with the non-profit Grow Ahead to help fund Pangoa’s reforestation efforts. Grow Ahead is committed to combating climate change by supporting agro-forestry systems that are good for both farmers and the planet. Learn more here and see graphic below.

Since October, Grow Ahead has been working with Cooperative Coffees & its members (our partners in sustainable coffee sourcing) to help Pangoa raise enough money to plant about 22,500 trees on 45 hectares of land in the Central Amazon region. We want to help them.

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 21
Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, general manager of the CAC Pangoa cooperative.

You Donate, We Say Thanks With Coffee

We want to encourage you to donate to Pangoa’s reforestation project, so now thru May 15, we are offering a deal.

Everyone who donates via THIS LINK will receive a code for 15% off their coffee order in our online store.

Offers are good through May 31, and can not be combined with other discounts.

You’ll receive your code via email after you donate.

DONATE NOW

You can’t Donate? We are Still Grateful

We understand this is a difficult time to donate money. If you can only send positive energy our way, we will be forever grateful.

If you can only afford to order coffee, we have an incentive for you, too.

Starting today through April 30th, anyone who places an order in our online store will be entered to win $100 worth of trees planted in their name.

Because each tree costs about $1, that’s 100 trees planted in Peru, because you supported sustainable coffee.

We will announce the lucky carbon-offsetter on May 1.

What is Sustainable Coffee?

Since 1998, we’ve found that sustainable coffee is rooted in paying small-scale farmers far more than commodity pricing and establishing long-term trade relationships based on mutual respect and trust. For us this includes, price transparency, supporting cooperatives, re-opening contracts, returning year-after-year to purchase from the same suppliers and more (see this blog post for a more detailed description of our efforts).

Supporting climate resilience, we are learning, means investing in those same farmers to practice regenerative agriculture. As stewards of the world’s green spaces, farmers can take carbon out of the atmosphere and put nutrients back in the soil, helping to cool our ever-heating planet.

sustainable coffee is supported by a tree canopy. here a woman sits in the dirt at a nursery, preparing tree saplings for planting.
Tree saplings in Peru at the Pangoa cooperative. Photo courtesy of Grow Ahead.

Will COVID-19 Impact Sustainable Coffee?

Short-answer: Yes. It already has.

Longer-answer: Most coffee shops and cafes can not welcome the same walk-up foot-traffic they once had, so demand for specialty coffee is dropping. But many people are looking for coffee in other places- like in grocery stores or online.

At origin, coffee producers are also being asked to shelter-in place. The movement of goods is slowing down. We’ve heard reports that in one country a cooperative was moving its coffee harvest down the mountain via truck only to reach a wall of dirt blocking the road (a governmental effort to force sheltering in-place).

Warehouses and ports are likely to slow their work because workers will get sick. There’s a concern that exporters and importers might break their contracts because coffee demand is dropping in coffee shops worldwide.

There is an impact- one that we hope to better understand in the coming months.

Glimmers of Hope

In the mean time, though, our sustainable coffee supply chain still exists. We are still roasting and selling Pangoa’s excellent coffee, and they are still planting trees to help reforest the Amazon.

What Does Sustainable Coffee Look Like?

Below is a graphic developed by Grow Ahead that shows how a healthy agro-forestry system can offer food and income for a small-scale farming family.

It also offers habitat for flora and fauna, while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.

When producers at Pangoa plant trees, they will be contributing to an agro-forestry system similar to this one.

Please support Pangoa this Earth Day. Learn more here.

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 22

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 23
Coffee farmed in an agro-forestery style method at Pangoa. Photo courtesy of Grow Ahead.
brewing coffee at home using a scale and various brew methods

You’re brewing more coffee at home nowadays. And with that comes some questions. Our on-staff Specialty Coffee Trainers respond to some commonly asked questions.

Frequently asked questions include:

What are popular brew methods?
How do I know what grind-size to use?
What’s the best way to experiment when brewing coffee at home?
What variables impact coffee flavor?
How hot should my water be?
Does a roast profile impact flavor in the cup?
How do I make my coffee taste less bitter?
How to I make my coffee taste stronger?
How do I keep my coffee fresh?

Brewing Coffee at Home

What’s the best way to brew coffee at home?

The coffee experience is a personal experience. Brew methods, flavor preferences and cultural rituals surrounding coffee have developed over thousands of years. Brewing coffee at home means different things in different places.

Plus, each person has a unique set of taste buds, flavor receptors, and familial references that makes each cup of coffee specific to its drinker. The “best” way to brew coffee truly varies from person to person. Ask yourself a couple of questions: “How much time do I want to spend brewing my coffee?” “What do I want my coffee to taste like?” “What experience am I trying to create?” You’ll find your answer somewhere in there. (And warning: it could change from day-to-day).

While it’s impossible to name “the best” brew method for home, we can speak to popular brewing methods used in homes in the United States around 2020. Those methods include:

  • The basic Drip Pot, such as: a Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, a Moccamaster, a Cusinart, Breville, etc. This method automatically heats and distributes hot water over ground coffee and is generally made for small-batch brewing (yielding: 1-5 twelve oz. cups). This method allows you to control things that affect your cup flavor and quality such as: grind-size and water-to-coffee ratio, which is great when brewing coffee at home. But, it also allows you to walk away, letting the machine control water temperature and water distribution over grounds.
  • Manual Brew methods give you complete control over nearly all variables that impact coffee flavor, such as grind-size, water-to-coffee ratio, water temperature, water distribution, filter type and more. Manual brew methods include: Aeropress, Chemex, Clever Dripper, Hario V60, Kalita Wave, French Press and others. The best way to start with one of these brew methods is to pick one, and begin experimenting. These are more time-and-labor intensive, but when you get your coffee & method “dialed-in,” the cup quality can be very rewarding!
  • Keurig or Pod brewing has been an extremely popular at-home brewing method. People love the convenience of being able to insert a pod, press a button and have a cup of coffee within a few minutes. The price-per-cup is often more expensive than the other methods, though, and you have little-to-no control over brewing variables.
Brewing Coffee at Home - FAQ's 25

Does grind-size matter when brewing coffee?

Yes. A brewed cup of coffee is about 98 percent water. But the “not-water” part is made up of dissolved solids from your coffee grounds. When you grind coffee, you are exposing the soluble surface area of a coffee bean. The finer your coffee is ground, the more surface area you expose. The coarser the coffee grounds, the less surface area is exposed.

Your grind-size will impact the flavor of your cup, because when it is combined with other variables (such as water temperature, water-to-coffee ratio, brew time and method) it will affect the amount of dissolved solids (and overall “bean extraction”) you get in a cup of coffee. If you’ve used a really fine grind for a french press that brewed for about 4 minutes, you might find that coffee to be very bitter. If that’s the case, you’ve probably over-extracted the bean, because the grind-size was too small for a brew time that is 4 minutes long.

How do I know what grind-size to use when brewing at home?

In general, the shorter the brew time, the finer the grind-size. The longer the brew time, the coarser the grind-size. Brew methods can also determine what grind size you’d want. For example, immersion methods like the French Press and the Clever Dripper have longer contact times between coffee grounds and water, so you might want a coarser grind with those coffees.

If you’re brewing on an espresso machine, your brew time is only about 30 seconds, so you want an extremely fine grind. If you’re brewing on something like a percolator that repeatedly moves hot water past coffee grounds for 4-5 minutes, you’d want a much coarser grind.

Here are some suggested grind-sizes for when you’re brewing coffee at home: Espresso (30-second brew time): fine grind; Hario V60 (2-3 minutes): medium-fine grind; Chemex (3-4 minutes): medium or medium-coarse grind; small home drip, batch brewer (think Mr. Coffee) (4 minutes): medium grind; Clever Dripper (3-4 minutes): medium-coarse grind; French Press (4 minutes): medium-coarse grind; Percolator (5+minutes): coarse grind. Again, coffee flavor is a personal preference, so your grind-size will be, too.

Coffee Brewing Experiments

What’s the best way to experiment with coffee brewing?

There are a number of variables that impact the extraction percentage and total dissolved solids that you can get from a coffee bean. When you’re brewing coffee at home, try to keep all variables constant except for one. Then, change that one variable 3-4 times and note the differences. Find the method you like the best, then use that as your brew recipe for that particular coffee. Experiment like it’s an at-home science project.

Here’s an example:

  • Brew method: Hario V60
  • Coffee: Cafe Campesino Colombia Medium
  • Grind Size: Medium
  • Coffee-to-Water Ratio: 1:18
  • Weight of Coffee Grounds: 18 grams
  • Weight of Water poured Over Coffee Grounds: 324 grams
  • Brew time: about 2 mins, 30 seconds

Now, brew this coffee the EXACT SAME WAY three times, except change one variable. Try grind-size. Brew one cup with a fine grind, one cup with a medium grind and the third cup with a more coarse grind. If you end up liking the cup of coffee with the coarse grind, then you have your own brew recipe for Cafe Campesino Colombia Medium Roast.

If you’re interested in experimenting but need a list of at-home coffee gear, check out Perfect Daily Grind’s beginner’s guide to setting up a science-ready brew station.

Brewing Coffee at Home - FAQ's 26

What variables impact flavor when you’re brewing coffee at home?

Believe it or not, ambiance, personal history and the physical composition of your taste receptors all impact your perception of a coffee’s flavor. Most of those you can’t control. So, let’s look at the ones you can. They are: grind-size, water-to-coffee ratio, water temperature, water quality, brewing method, water delivery method, whether or not you stir (or provide agitation) during the brewing process, coffee roast level, grind-size consistency and brew time.

How hot should my water be when brewing coffee?

The Specialty Coffee Association recommends 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit for brewing coffee. At home, this is about 1 minute off boiling. Use a thermometer to get your temperature right the first time.

How does roast profile impact coffee flavor?

When you roast coffee, you are trying to optimize the natural sugars and oils inside the coffee bean so that they can be well dissolved and extracted into a brewed cup of coffee. A coffee bean actually starts as a dense, hard, green seed. During the roasting process, it loses moisture and density at the same time as its natural sugars are caramelizing or going through the Maillard reaction, the same chemical process between amino acids and sugars that takes place when bread bakes and turns brown.

Heating the coffee seed changes its color and chemical composition, ultimately dehydrating it to a point that it can be easily dissolved for coffee brewing. The darker the coffee bean, the more dehydrated it has become, making it more ready to dissolve during the brewing process. Therefore, it’s easier to over-extract darker-roast coffees. Lighter roast coffees, which are less dehydrated than darker roasted coffees, might need a little more work for extraction.

What flavors are associated with over-extracted coffee?

Woodiness, bitterness, acrid flavors.

What characteristics are associated with under-extracted coffee?

Sour and tart flavors. Thin body.

How do I make my coffee taste less bitter?

A number of variables can cause bitterness in a brewed cup of coffee. Check your water temperature and grind-size first. If your coffee is too finely ground, it can create a bitter cup. Also, water that’s too hot will over-extract coffee, leaving it bitter. Water should not be boiling. Your water temperature should be between 195-205 degrees F.

How do I make my coffee taste stronger?

Increase the amount of ground coffee you are using to brew. A common coffee-to-water ratio is 1 gram of coffee for every 15-20 grams of water used to brew. Using a scale is a great way to develop a brew method for your coffee. You don’t have to use it every day, but it can help you dial-in a new coffee to your preferred tastes.

If you want stronger coffee, use a lower coffee-to-water ratio, such as 1:15 grams. That’s about 40 grams of ground coffee to 600 grams of water. In a small, two-to-three cup Mr. Coffee drip pot, that’ll make about two 10-12 oz. cups of coffee. If you’re coffee is still not strong enough, make the grind size finer on the next batch. See if you can get a stronger cup of coffee without it getting too bitter.

I’m doing everything the same. Why does my coffee suddenly taste different?

There are a few questions to ask yourself here.

1- Are you doing everything the same? Or is someone else brewing the coffee? Even slight changes like the amount of coffee you use or your grind-size can make big changes in the cup when you’re brewing coffee at home.

2-Has your water changed at all? Coffee is 98% water, and different water sources will certainly impact cup quality. During the brewing process, flavor compounds inside the coffee attach to minerals in water. If there are too few minerals in your water, you might not be getting enough flavor extraction in your brewed cup.

3- Have you changed your toothpaste?

4- Are you taking any medication that might impact your ability to taste? All of these can impact how your coffee tastes.

Keeping your Coffee Fresh

Should I grind my coffee if I’m brewing at home?

Again.. this is all up to personal preference, but.. yes. The minute you expose coffee to oxygen, it starts to lose freshness. Carbon dioxide, which is trapped inside tiny pores inside coffee beans, takes coffee flavor and freshness with it when it escapes. Grinding coffee releases the CO2 trapped inside coffee beans. The longer the coffee is ground, the more time CO2 has to escape. Grinding coffee immediately before brewing means more flavors and aromas will make their way into your cup, creating a better tasting beverage.

How do I keep my coffee fresh?

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  • Grind immediately before brewing.
  • Keep your coffee in air-tight container.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight.
  • Avoid exposure to high-heat.
  • Brew it within 1-3 months of its roast-date.
  • Brew the most freshly roasted coffee you can get by ordering directly from a roaster.

Can I put my coffee in the freezer?

Recent science suggests that coffee maintains its freshness when stored in the freezer. What happens after the coffee comes out of the freezer, though, makes a difference.

In a 2019 lecture, scientist Samo Smrke of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences says that in order to avoid condensation forming on your coffee beans, you should let your sealed bag sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours before brewing. That way, the coffee inside the bag can reach room temperature and not be affected by humidity, which can impact freshness. You should also avoid taking the coffee in and out of the freezer.

Once you’ve brought your bag to room temperature, get the coffee you need for brewing, close the bag by folding the top down and using a clip. You can then store that in an air-tight container. And it’s always best to use whole-bean coffee, not ground, when you are storing it over time.

Should I store my coffee in the refrigerator?

No. For folks brewing coffee at home, refrigerators may be a tempting spot to store your coffee. But refrigerators will quickly dry out coffee. They also impart aromas from other foods. Storing coffee in a refrigerator vastly diminishes its cup quality, so you want to avoid it.

Other questions?

We know you’ve got them. We do, too. In fact, the more we learn about coffee, the more we realize we don’t know. If we didn’t cover your question above, leave it in the comments section below. If we have answers, we’ll share!

hands lathered up and ready to wash

Like many of you, we are deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 and are making every effort to keep our staff and customers informed and safe and to mitigate the spread of this virus.

In both our roastery and our coffee house cleanliness, sanitation and food safety are of utmost importance. We already have strict sanitation standards in place, but we are reinforcing those standards and adding to them in light of COVID-19.

At the roastery, we are :

  • Instructing employees to wash their hands more frequently and for at least 20 seconds.
  • Ensuring all packing equipment is cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • Encouraging the increased use of hand-sanitizer.
  • Instructing employees to wash their hands after using their cell phones.
  • Disinfecting door handles, faucets, toilet handles, light switches, computers, phones and airpots at least two times per day.
  • Instructing employees to stay home and CALL their primary care doctor should they have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Instructing employees to stay home if they have been in contact with someone they believe has been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Instructing employees to avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands after they do.
  • Meeting daily with staff to reinforce messages of cleanliness, sanitation and hand-washing and keep them updated on the latest developments.
  • Hanging posters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that address “What You Need to Know about COVID-19,” “What to do if you are sick,” “How to stop the spread of germs,” and “Symptoms of Coronavirus.”
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At our coffee house, we are also maintaining strict sanitation standards, as well as

  • More frequently sanitizing chairs, tables, and shared spaces.
  • Reducing the amount of touch-points for staff and customers.
  • Refusing reusable cups behind the counter & using disposable-compostable cups and silverware instead.

Rest assured, we will continue to monitor this situation and adapt our procedures and practices as needed based on the guidance of the CDC. We thank you for your support during this challenging time and are confident that together we will get through this with our community stronger and more united.