Coffee Methods

This section of the site is filled with recipes, gear recommendations, and videos for the express purpose of brewing and enjoying of coffee.

Coffee Methods is currently non-exhaustive (of course, when it comes to opinions about coffee, can you ever be exhaustive?). I’ll be expanding, updating, and maintaining it as I drink more coffee.

### Brewing Contraptions
What started with nothing more than a standard-issue Bodum French Press, has now grown into an embarrassing amount of coffee paraphernalia. My coffee brewing devices currently consist of: the aforementioned french press, an Espro Press, an AeroPress, a Siphon Vacuum Pot, and a Clever coffee dripper, a single-serving-size v60, and the Kone Brewing System.

The AeroPress is my go-to daily driver for brewing my cup of coffee each morning. But I use them all on a regular basis. I like the AeroPress because it’s very forgiving and extremely versatile. As you’ll see below, I have just one good recipe for all my brewers except for the AeroPress which has three. [The Espro Press]( is a better version of a french press and is great for brewing a big pot of coffee when guests are over. The [Siphon]( is ideal for impressing your friends (so long as you don’t burn your house down).

### Recommended Coffee Gear
If you just want to make a good cup of coffee every morning without going nuts about gear, then I recommend these two starting basics:

– **Conical Burr Grinder:** I have a [Bodum Bistro]( It’s one of the best among the inexpensive conical burr grinders. What I also like about the Bodum Bistro grinder is that it uses a glass catcher for the grinds and it’s attractive.

The reason you want a burr grinder rather than a cheap blade grinder is because the former will produce a consistent grind (the biggest complaint against blade grinders) without damaging your coffee beans. And you want a conical burr grinder because it means there is a larger grinding area for the same diameter, allowing the conical burrs to spin at a slower speed. And you want your coffee to be ground slowly. Grinding at high speeds (as most regular, flat burr grinders do) heats up the burrs and results in burnt coffee beans and damaged grounds.

– **AeroPress:** For anyone just starting out with brewing coffee from home, I highly recommend an [AeroPress]( They’re inexpensive (about $25) and extremely versatile. You can use fine or coarse grinds, and brew it right side up or inverted, for all sorts of combinations of different types of brews. Also, the AeroPress is extremely easy to clean up.

To get a little more out of your caffeinated setup, I highly recommend the following:

– **Scale:** Assuming you’ve got the right gear and some freshly roasted beans, making an awesome cup of coffee is simply a matter of science. [A simple kitchen scale]( lets you grind the right amount of coffee and add the right volume of water every time for consistently great coffee every day.

– **Airscape bean canister:** Coffee beans keep fresh best when they’re in a cool, dry, dark place with no oxygen. [The Airscape vault]( combats all these enemies. I started using one over a year ago and was absolutely shocked at how well the Airscape kept my coffee beans fresh compared to the standard-issue air-tight container I’d been previously using.
– **Bamboo Stir sticks:** They’re inexpensive and make [a great tool]( for string your coffee. Since they’re wood (and not metal) they don’t conduct any heat out of your in-brew coffee like a spoon would.
– **A better grinder:** [The Baratza Virtuoso]( is a conical burr grinder that is able to grind at a slower speed than less-expensive grinders. As mentioned above, slower is better because it reduces static electricity and it reduces heat, which can lead to damaged grinds.
– **Gooseneck Kettle:** For any of the pourover coffees, and even for the AeroPress, [a gooseneck kettle ]( is designed to make it easier and more consistent to pour your hot water over your coffee. Since the water is pushed out from the bottom of the kettle, rather than sloshed out from the top, you have a more controlled, consistent pour.

### Recipes

There are oodles of coffee recipes out there. And since everyone is different, no recipe is perfect. But it helps to have a starting point to of reference in order to then experiment and craft your own recipe that’s just right for you. Below are my go-to recipes for each of the different brewing contraptions I own. For me, these each make a great cup of coffee.

For more recipe references, I’ve gotten many ideas from the excellent [](

**A brief note about pre-wetting paper filters:** they say you should do this to remove the papery taste from you paper filter. This goes for pourover filters, AeroPress filters, Chemex filters, etc. Now, maybe my tastebuds are dense, but I’ve never noticed a difference between a cup of coffee that was made with a pre-wetted filter or not. So I skip this to save time and the environment.

#### AeroPress’d Americano

– 16 g. finely ground coffee
– Add 125 ml. of hot water (about 195° F.)
– Stir quickly, then slowly press the coffee — taking approximately 60 seconds for a total brew time
– After the coffee is made, add hot water to taste (I add an additional 100ml.)
– Enjoy

#### Inverted AeroPress
**Note:** To brew a cup of coffee with the AeroPress inverted, place the rubber plunger into the top of the AeroPress until it’s even with the “4” circle. Then, set the AeroPress upside down so that what is now the “top” is where the filter and cap screw on.

– 15 g. of medium-grind coffee
– Begin a timer / stopwatch
– Quickly add 50 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Let bloom (i.e. don’t touch it) until the timer says 45 seconds
– Add 200 ml. more of water (thus making a total of 250ml.).
– Stir, the add the filter cap and let sit until the timer says 90 seconds
– Flip over the AeroPress and press the coffee, finishing up by the time the timer reaches 2 minutes
– Enjoy

#### Regular AeroPress

– 18 g. coarsely ground coffee
– Slowly add 225 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Stir, then slowly press the coffee, stopping the press as soon as you hear the “hiss”
– Enjoy

#### Clever Coffee Dripper

– 20 g. of medium-grind coffee
– Add 300 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Stir, then let sit for 2 minutes
– Place dripper onto cup, let it drain
– Enjoy

#### Espro Press

– 45 g. coarsely ground coffee
– Add 250 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Stir
– Add additional 500 ml. of hot water, to equal 750 ml. total
– Put lid on, and wait 4 minutes
– Press filter down
– Enjoy

#### Siphon Vacuum

– Heat up 375 ml. of water in the lower vessel
– Once the water has boiled up into the top vessel, let it wait there for a few moments to cool
– Add 30 g. of coarsely-ground coffee and stir immediately
– Let the coffee brew for 2 minutes
– Stir again
– Turn off the heat source, and let the coffee drain into the bottom vessel
– Remove the top vessel
– Enjoy

#### Single Serving v60

– 15 g. of medium-grind coffee
– Slowly add 50 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Wait 25 seconds while coffee blooms
– Add additional 200 ml. of hot water, pouring from the center of the grinds in a circular motion working your way towards the outer edge while “riding the bloom”.
– Take a break from adding water as needed until you’ve poured all the water
– Wait for coffee to finish filtering
– Enjoy.

#### Kone Coffee Brewer
*If you’ve got a Kone Brewing System, you know it came with a brewing recipe and instrucions in the box. This is the recipe I’ve been using and it’s turned out some delicious pots of coffee. I’ve brewed this recipe at 1/3 suggested volume (15g of coffee and 250ml of water) as well as at 33-perecent over volume (60g of coffee and 1,000ml of water), and it still turns out well.*

– 45 g. of medium-grind coffee
– Add 100 ml. of hot water (just off boiling)
– Wait 15 seconds while coffee blooms
– Add additional 650 ml. of hot water, pouring from the center of the grinds in a circular motion working your way towards the outer edge while “riding the bloom”.
– Take a break from adding water as needed until you’ve poured all the water
– Wait for coffee to finish filtering
– Remove top portion of Brewing System, place the lid on top of the pot, pour a cup, and enjoy.

### Videos

The below videos were done as a part of “coffee week”, circa early 2012 as part of Shawn Today. Some of the gear used has since been upgraded, but the general instructions for brewing are the same. Over the next year, I have intentions to record significantly better (and shorter) videos with the aid of some professionals rather than my iPhone an a Glif.

#### Coffee Gear Overview

#### Brewing with an AeroPress

#### Brewing with a French Press

#### Brewing with a Siphon Vacuum Pot