So it seems life has been turned upside down for the foreseeable future and everyday norms seem to have disappeared quite literally overnight. Business as usual currently looks very different for Machina too, however we wanted to find a way to bring a bit of joy to this new normal and coffee seems to be one of those things that is helping get folk through. Stripping aside all the complexities of the world of speciality coffee in which we normally live, coffee is offering something much more simple to people right now. It is providing comfort and familiarity. It is helping millions of people through the day right now, helping them stick to a daily ritual that brings pleasure, taste and that oh so necessary hit caffeine to help see us through this new normal.
However, not all of us are natural-born baristas and with the majority of us missing our favourite coffee shop, now is a great opportunity to step up and improve our home coffee game, by making sure we can brew up in the best way possible, whatever home equipment is lurking in the cupboard..
In this new series of blog posts our Machina Roastery and Cafe Team will give you our fail-safe methods for making incredible tasting coffee at home with a variety of different pieces of basic home brew equipment. Don’t worry, there won’t be any pretentious barista talk or overly complex methods, just an easy to follow process, to ensure you can enjoy awesome coffee from the safety of your own home.
Our Method for the Perfect Cafetiere.
So the good news is that this method is super simple.
The cafetiere is definitely the easiest way to make a large volume of coffee with as little effort as possible. Most people have one lurking in their cupboard somewhere and it’s most likely how you are served coffee when you go round to someone's house.
1. The Theory:
In essence, the cafetiere method is all about steeping grounds of coffee and then separating the water from the coffee sludge using a plunger.
Except our method doesn’t recommend a plunger - I know that’s the first curveball! But we’ll come to that.
Also What is Steeping Coffee I hear you cry?
Steeping provides the simplest way of making coffee, and it entails leaving ground coffee in water for a period of time, depending on temperature, coffee preference and grind size. In this time the water extracts the coffee and the flavour from the coffee grounds accordingly.
65g coffee to 1 litre of hot water is our recommendation
Stick to this ratio depending on how much you require - so. 65g to 1000ml, 32g to 500ml, 48g to 750ml and so forth.
(TIP: We appreciate a lot of you won’t have specialist coffee scales, but kitchen scales will do a perfectly fine job. If you don’t want to be that specific then try and work with 1/3rd of a cup or 4 egg cups worth of coffee)
We would recommend a Medium Grind... so think Sea Salt consistency
- 4-8 minutes (but it depends on grind size)
- The smaller the grind, the larger the surface area, the faster the coffee dissolves.
- Think crushed ice vs. ice cubes, which dissolves faster...
That said time isn’t too critical in this brew though because we're letting the coffee grounds settle naturally at the bottom of the cafetiere. The only time the coffee is really extracting is when the grounds are moving. This happens when we first brew because there is lots of agitation pouring the water and when we break the crust in but as the brewing process settles down extraction slows, almost to a stop.
Machina Coffee to try with this Method:
1. Clockwork V5 - Machina House Espresso Blend
Made of 2 seasonal lots, this coffee is a great all rounder - flavour notes of Milk Chocolate, Honeycomb and Malted Biscuit.
2. Grota Funda (Natural) Espresso
A sweet and complex cup from Brazil - flavour notes of Milk Chocolate, Rum, and Sweet Spice, with a descriptor of Smooth.
Huye Mountain #337 (Washed) Espresso
A complex and vibrant Rwandan coffee with flavour notes of Blood Orange, Lime, Dark Chocolate plus a descriptor of Silky
Maura Ochoa (Washed) Filter
A beautiful El Salvador micro-lot called Maura Ochoa, named after the amazing woman who owns the farm and heads up her family in the municipality of La Palma. Flavour notes of Pear, Brown Sugar and Sultana with a descriptor of Sweet
1. Place the coffee in the cafetiere.
2. Add the hot water from the kettle into the cafetiere. Make it as hot as possible! Straight off the boil preferably as it’s really hard to burn coffee.
3. Wait 4 mins - do not put the plunger in
4. Use a spoon to “break the crust of coffee” on top of the cafetiere. Break the crust means pressing gently down with the back of a spoon causing a minimal amount of stirring, which will release the gases from brewing.
5. Wait 4 mins again - I know it sounds fussy, but it will be worth it.
6. Rest the plunger on the surface of the coffee. Do not plunge down- this will agitate the coffee which will increase the extraction unnecessarily and unpredictably.
7. Pour the coffee out gently. You should aim to leave the sediment at the bottom as undisturbed as possible.
8. Enjoy your brew!
Troubleshooting Common Problems:
“My Coffee is too weak” - use less water or use more coffee or use a finer grind size
“My Coffee is too strong” - more water or less coffee or use a coarser grind
“My Coffee is too bitter” - over-extracted, use a coarser grind
“My Coffee is too sour” - under-extracted, use a finer grind
- Always only change one thing at a time and experiment using this basic method to find a version that suits your taste.
- We would always recommend grinding your own coffee if possible, as it always provides a much fresher taste than pre-ground. However that is a whole other post for another day.
Enjoy brewing up at home and let us know how you get on?
Any questions just leave a comment at the bottom and we’ll get back to you.