Handy filter coffee brewing tips
BUY FRESH, GRIND FRESH
1. Look for a ‘roasted on’ date on your coffee. Ideally use it within 4 weeks of roasting or less for best flavour. Avoid buying coffee with a ‘best before’ date!
2. Grind the coffee just before using if at all possible. Ground coffee loses aroma very quickly, and you’ll get better flavour if you can adjust the grind size to suit your method and palate.
3. There are lots of good home grinders available - we recommend the Sage Smart Grinder - or try the Hario Mini Mill for travel, or if you’re on a tight budget.
4. ‘Spice Grinders’ - the kind with whirling blades sometimes sold as coffee grinders - are not suitable for coffee. If this is all that’s available to you, we’d actually recommend buying pre-ground instead.
5. If you do buy pre-ground coffee, it’s better to have this ground for you in the shop when you buy it, so you know it was ground as recently as possible.
USE GOOD WATER
Water is the main ingredient in your coffee so can have a big impact on taste. Always use filtered water, especially if you live in a hard water area - or try bottled water: Volvic is great, or Tesco Ashbeck is good and inexpensive. Make sure the water is the same temperature each time you brew - just off the boil is fine, or if you have a thermometer, try aiming for 95°.
MEASURE YOUR COFFEE
Measure your coffee and water as accurately as you can - ideally by weighing both. You can use an ordinary kitchen scales, but if you want more precision then try these specialised brewing scales.
About 60 grams of coffee per litre of coffee for pour-over brew methods (like V60, Chemex, percolators)
About 68 grams per litre for methods where the coffee and water sit together in a container before filtering (like French Press, Clever Dripper, Aeropress)
If you like stronger coffee, use a bit more!
FOLLOW ONE METHOD
Try and brew your coffee the same way every time you make it - brew for the same length of time, at the same temperature, in the same way
That way the only things you need to change are the amount of coffee (for strength), and the grind size (for flavour)
NAIL YOUR GRIND SIZE
Once you’ve made your coffee, taste it!
Weak, thin, sour, light? Grind finer next time
Too strong, bitter, dry, burnt tasting? Grind coarser next time