Coffee brewing techniques and best practices

17th May 2017

There are millions of coffee lovers around the world who enjoy the bold and bitter taste, the varying rich, brown color, and the sweet aroma of coffee. In order to please the coffee lovers who frequent your business, it is important to create and uphold brewing practices as to provide consistent and delicious coffee for your guests. The following brewing methods and best practices will enable your business to serve a variety of the most popular coffee drinks ordered in bars, bistros and cafes.

Choosing and Storing Coffee Beans

Before brewing, start with quality, whole coffee beans. Skimping on the quality of beans or neglecting to store beans properly will result in a poor cup of coffee and a lull in business. Choose a coffee supplier who focuses on fair trade from Columbia, Ethiopia, or Rwanda.Offering a variety of coffee beans might be appropriate for your business, however making sure that your house coffee is balanced, with a medium flavor profile, to meet the needs of most of your guests is paramount. Store your unopened packages of beans in the freezer to prolong their shelf life. After removing beans from the freezer, keep in a cool, dark place for one to two weeks.

Coffee Brewing Methods

Drip Brewing, also called filtered coffee or the pour-over method involves roasted, ground coffee beans being placed in a paper or mesh filter. Water (200℉/93℃) is then passes over the coffee absorbing its oils and essences to the bottom of the filter and is collected in a pot. Coffee beans that are intended for drip coffee makers or manual drip coffee systems should be ground medium for flat bottomed filters and fine for cone filters.

Espresso Brewing can be achieved with espresso machines or Moka pots. Espresso machines require an extra fine grind, exposing the maximum amount of coffee surface-area to the hot water, which increases the amount of coffee oils and solids that make it into the brew. As Moka pots depend on steam coming up through the grounds against gravity, they are not packed as tightly and the grounds should be fine, similar to the size of granulated sugar crystals. The water in your espresso machine should be between 190 to 195℉/91℃ which will provide a cup that is about 160 to 165℉/74℃.

French Press Brewing occurs in a cylindrical glass carafe. Coarse grounds are measured 1 tablespoon ground coffee to 4oz of water, then boiling water which has rested for 30 to 60 seconds (195℉/91℃) is poured over the grounds and then mixed well. Let the coffee steep for 4 to 5 minutes depending on caffeine and flavor preference. Finally, slowly but firmly push the plunger down to separate the grounds from the water. Serve immediately.