I use a plastic pour-over filter and a manual burr grinder by Kyocera, which costs around U$25. I use coffee ground in the same day or in the previous day. In my experience this is what makes the biggest difference.
I usually buy beans at an import shop that has good turnout, so I know the beans are fresh. But last time I ended up buying at Starbucks and it was... awesome. Really.
If you follow these three guidelines and do nothing
more, you will enjoy coffee better than you can find
in most specialty coffee shops:
1. Buy only whole-bean coffee roasted within the last
2. Grind it fresh, just before brewing.
3. Brew it in a French press or a pour-over filter using
fresh water, off the boil.
1. The most important factor is fresh grind of good-enough beans. Grind just enough for each brew.
2. Water temp, which you mention, makes a difference, but no need to get a fancy kettle. Take water off a boil and count 10 seconds. Good enough!
3. Good-enough beans are basically anything that you can buy in whole-bean form. You could spend $10 on a pound of high-end Starbucks or you could spend $5 on a mid-range pound of 8 O'Clock. They taste different, but I find both levels of coffee to be sufficient.
4. Make coffee stronger than necessary and dilute to your preference. Never use fewer beans than necessary as it will make the coffee bitter.
5. Like flavors? Add them afterwards. Additives in flavored coffee will generally leech into almost any brewing vessel and subtly alter future batches.
Brewing method generally doesn't matter. French press is nice if you don't mind inevitable grit and a manual process. Most auto coffee makers are good enough. I try to steer people away from cups and pods due to waste, cost, and the fresh-grind factor, but they are very convenient if you're optimizing for time. My preferred work/flavor balance is a Melitta cone filter that requires hand pour of water.
I brew everything from pre-ground supermarket coffee (which can actually be surprisingly good if you buy it at an upmarket UK supermarket such as Waitrose) to local freshly roasted whole beans ground on the spot. In my experience, the difference between fresh coffee and old coffee is much bigger than between expensive beans and supermarket coffee. Old fancy coffee tastes worse than fresh supermarket coffee, but fresh fancy coffee obviously tastes best.
Using a pourover is pretty straightforward. As long as you allow the water to cool down to just below boiling point to not burn the coffee and allow the coffee to bloom for a few seconds with just a little bit of water before pouring in the rest, there's not much to go wrong. You can become a coffee snob in 1:38 by watching this video: https://www.makedecentcoffee.com/film-library/how-to-films/v...
I do it in the morning when I'm still half asleep and it's kind of a nice activity to wake up to. I also like the v60 because it's a nice object, made of heavy porcelain. In the end, coffee is coffee though. Don't take it too seriously ;)
This has two effects:
First, the coffee tastes better. No more "ugh, burnt" taste, and the process of pressing it seems to produce a rounder flavor than drip-brewing.
Second, I actually drink less coffee! Since a pot (which gets me ~3 large cups worth) takes about 15 minutes to make, I don't tend to slam through it as quickly, and I waste less. Given that I was hitting ~3 12-cup pots per day before, I don't think this is a bad thing.
Overall, it'd made my coffee-drinking experience a bit slower and more enjoyable. The morning ritual of boiling the water and pressing the coffee is a lot of fun.
(My wife has a k-cup maker which I use when I don't have time to make a press worth's of coffee. It does fine.)
Once in the Middle East I came across a cafe that does it in a similar way, that is a much larger than standard Turkish. They managed to filter it in some manner too and it was delicious. Turkish coffee will not go through normal filter paper and so I don't know how they managed it. When I do my own I just let the sediment sink to the bottom of the cup like a normal Turkish.
If Turkish grind, or great beans aren't available I'll just get a regular medium grind from a supermarket or coffee shop and put it through a peculator.
This is a good source for a variety of beans in London, UK : http://www.coffee.uk.com/
Try the pourover method for coffee: http://lifehacker.com/5907612/make-your-own-pour+over-coffee...
You might have to buy some filters and a holder for it:
If you want to try and get a taste of what it's like, I _highly_ recommend Houndstooth Coffee or Patika Coffee. They both do excellent pourover coffee.
In general, with any sort of coffee, beans are at maximum flavor anywhere from 1-3 days after roasting. Grind right before you brew and with the pourover method, go slowly.
there are even machines that mimic this: vhttp://www.amazon.de/Philips-60-Gourmet-schwarz-silber/dp/B0...
An Albertsons near my house has one of these Redbox SBC machines:
Or I'll get those little packets, like the Starbucks VIA, but other brands are cheaper.
1. Use fresh beans. Whatever beans I buy I notice the quality of taste really starts to diminish about two or three weeks after roast. I'll sometimes still use beans up to a month old but nothing after that.
2. Grind Immediately before brewing. The moment you grind your coffee will start to lose flavor and oils.
3. Get a scale and use the right proportions of water to beans. Using a scale has been the single biggest factor in getting a consistently great cup whatever brew method I use.
I generally use a 6 cup chemex to brew, a bur grinder to grind immediately before brewing, a Bonita gooseneck kettle to pour the water, and a escali scale to measure both beans and water.
1. Measure 48 Grams of unground beans
2. Boil 000 Grams of water(1 Liter) in an electric kettle.
3. Grind beans
4. Use boiled water to wet the chemex filter
5. Pour out water from the chemex being careful not to loose the wet filter
6. Grind beans and put them in the filter
7. Tare your scale to zero
8. Pour 100 grams of water in a circular motion starting at the center of your grinds.
9. Wait 90 seconds for the grounds to "bloom"
10. Pour more water till you reach 710 grams total.
11. Wait for all water to pass through the filter and enjoy.
Ideally I'd like to control the temperature precisely but the electric kettle I have gets it very close. You'll notice I don't measure brew time, the way I've learned is the vary the grind in order to achieve the right extraction. If it comes out weak use a finer grind, if it comes out bitter use a more corse grind. If you want to use brew time as a reference however that amount should take 5 minutes total including the bloom and creates about 3 8oz glasses.
If you want to vary and make a smaller amount the ratio I use here is 14.79 Grams of water per Gram of unground coffee. This is the same ratio that Intelligentsia recommends for their chemex.
Usually I do 75/25 with almond milk only because I don't have the patience to let the coffee cool.
Again, I'll stress the importance of fresh roasted beans - I like mine a few days old so they can degas a bit.
I use Cafe Bustelo espresso grind (cheap!) and I get a pretty great cup in about 3-4 minutes. Grinding beans and cleaning the grinder became a turnoff for me.