Putting it All Together


I often get asked the question, “How do I make great coffee?” You’d think the answer would be simple, but after reading this book, you might agree that it’s actually quite complex. Not that it’s hard to make great coffee, but there are just so many variables that impact the taste of the final brew. Freshly brewed coffee tastes much different than coffee that’s been sitting around for a while. The amount of time that has passed since the beans were roasted is a factor. The type of water used, the temperature of the water, the type of grinder used, the way you grind the coffee and the brew method all make a huge difference.


I thought it might be helpful to show how you can put it all together – to come up with a quick, high-level process flow of what a typical morning might look like when making coffee from start to finish. I’ll be brief without writing a choose your own adventure chapter based on the 3 typical coffee brewing methods.


Drip brew


Make sure the coffeemaker’s reservoir is empty. Add a half cup of water to the machine and insert a filter. Start the brew cycle just to rinse out the filter with very hot water. Pour the water into a ceramic mug to preheat it while you brew. Refill the reservoir with the desired amount of water to brew with. The colder the better so you can extend the brew time up to a minute for better flavor. Grind your coffee on a medium grind setting and immediately place the grounds into the rinsed filter and begin brewing. If your brewer has the pause and serve feature, use the hack mentioned previously to further extend the brew time. When the brew is complete, dump the water preheating your mug, pour in the fresh coffee and enjoy.


French press


Turn on your kettle when you’re ready to get started. Make sure the kettle is filled with bottled or filtered water. It doesn’t have to be cold. If it’s programmable, set it to heat the water to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. While the water’s heating, get a ceramic mug out. Pour some hot water into the mug to preheat it when the kettle gets to at least 160 degrees while you wait for the kettle to finish heating. When the water is close to reaching 205 degrees, grind your coffee as coarsely as possible. Use 8.5 grams of grounds per 4 oz of water. Dump the beans into the beaker. When the kettle beeps and the water is ready, pour slowly in a circular motion over the coffee grounds. Cover the beaker with a plate to prevent heat loss and let the mixture brew for 4 minutes. Remove the plate and plunge the grounds slowly. Dump the water preheating your mug and pour in the fresh coffee. Enjoy.


Coffee dripper


Turn on your kettle when you’re ready to get started. Make sure the kettle is filled with bottled or filtered water. It doesn’t have to be cold. If it’s programmable, set it to heat the water to 205 degrees. While the water’s heating, get a ceramic mug out. Place the dripper* on the mug and put the filter in the dripper. When the kettle gets to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, take the kettle and pour hot water over the filter in a circular motion to get the entire filter wet and leave the water in the mug to preheat. Return the kettle to finish heating to 205 degrees and right before it’s done, grind your coffee using a medium fine grind setting. Dump the preheating water from the mug, place the dripper back on the mug and dump the coffee grounds into the dripper. When the kettle is ready, begin pouring slowly in a circular motion. If you’re using fresh coffee and it starts blooming when you first add water, stop and wait 20-30 seconds for the bloom to subside. Continue adding water, slowly, getting all grounds wet until your mug fills up. Enjoy.


*If you’re using the Clever Coffee Dripper, it actually works a little more like a French press. Do not place the CCD on your mug other than to rinse the filter. After rinsing, remove the CCD and place it on your counter and brew much like you would a French press. Use 8.5 grams of grounds per 4 oz of water. Dump the grounds into your CCD, pour the 205 degree water in a circular motion over the grounds and cover with a plate (you can use a plastic one), letting the mixture brew for 4 minutes. When time’s up, dump out the preheating water from the mug and place the CCD brew on top of the mug and let it start dripping. You can keep the plate on it while it drips, just be careful. Remove the CCD when your mug fills up.


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