ORM chats to Ben Glennon from JOY Organic Coffee Roasters to give us insight into how to brew better at home. From selecting the right equipment to choosing what beans to buy, we look at how to bring the café experience home (and it doesn’t involve pods!). Brewing at home is a great way to experiment with new flavours, get the exact coffee you want, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune…
Australia has one of the most iconic café cultures in the world – beautifully designed cafes serving some of the best specialty coffee in the world. But, did you know that over 75% of Australians still drink instant coffee at home?!
Australians are the #1 consumer of instant coffee in the world. Yes, it’s true! We may have extremely high standards when going to our favourite local café, yet for some reason, the majority of Australians are missing out when it comes to home brewing. Well, we hope to change all of that. Brewing specialty coffee at home has never been easier or more affordable, with a little guidance and education, of course!
When deciding on what coffee you want to brew at home, there are a few considerations. What strength do you like? How much time do you have? What is your level of experience or how adventurous are you in experimenting with new techniques? We’ll look at three key points to consider when brewing coffee at home: brewing equipment, grinders, and bean selection/storage.
Let’s have a look at some of our favourite brewing gear.
Stove Top Espresso
This is by far our favourite at-home brewing method for a few reasons: easy to use, cost effective, and the resulting flavours are full bodied, rich, and bold. The humble stove top espresso maker (you may know it as a Moka Pot) is by no means new to the scene - Italians have preferred this method since they created it in the early 1930’s. Make sure you buy a stainless steel, high quality pot. Trust us, the cheaper models won’t last as long and will result in a lower quality cup of coffee. Our top pick is Bialetti. They’ve been in the game the longest, and are true masters of their craft.
Grind your fresh coffee beans to a fine espresso grind
Fill the bottom compartment with fresh, cold water to just below the safety release valve
Fill the coffee compartment with your freshly ground coffee – level off the coffee so it’s evenly distributed (don’t use a tamp, the water pressure below won’t be able to penetrate tamped coffee)
Screw all the pieces together and place over medium heat
Listen! This is the most important step. Listen carefully for the characteristic “gurgling” noise – remove immediately. If you let it continue to boil, excess water and steam come through the funnel and will give you a bitter, burnt flavour
Add milk or hot water to preference… enjoy!
This is a traveller’s (or office worker, or home brewer’s!) best friend. It is SO easy to use, and is just as fast as an instant coffee – there’s no excuse to not try the Aeropress! You will love this brewing method if you’re after a clean, smooth cup of coffee that takes only minutes to prepare.
Grind your freshly roasted beans to a medium grind (for pour over or drip style)
We prefer the inversion method, as you can control the brewing time more precisely
Assemble the Aeropress upside down, extend the chamber. Place your ground coffee into the chamber
Bring your water temperature to about 75-80 degrees Celsius (boiling water will burn the coffee and give you a bitter flavour). Pour the water over the ground coffee in the Aeropress and stir to combine
Place the micro filter in the cap and twist the cap onto the chamber
Very carefully, invert the Aeropress over your coffee mug (try over glass to watch the process!)
Plung and press gently all the way down
Add milk if you prefer, or enjoy black
Pour-over methods have grown in popularity in the last few years, and Australians are jumping on board to experiment. The Chemex coffee maker is a beautiful work of art, and will produce a clean, crisp cup. We recommend trying a Single Origin with your Chemex – a sweet and fruity Ethiopian or a Honduran Microlot with notes of honey and stone fruit.
Grind your coffee slightly coarser than a medium setting
Place the filter in the top of the Chemex, and set your water temperature to just off boiling (about 98 degrees Celsius). Place coffee into filter.
Pour water over the ground coffee beans, slowly and in a rotating pattern to ensure all the grounds are evenly covered
The filtered coffee will funnel into the bottom compartment, best enjoyed black
If you enjoy convenience, and have an appetite for A LOT of coffee (or if you love entertaining and want to make several cups of filter coffee at a time!), then you will absolutely love the Moccamaster for its efficiency and flavour.
Grind your coffee to a medium grind
Fill the water reservoir with fresh, cold water
Place a filter in the brewer, and add your ground coffee
Activate the brewer, and let the coffee soak before opening the flow control
Let the coffee brew for approximate 4.5 minutes – enjoy black or with milk
We recommend always using a burr grinder, as this will give you consistency in particle size and will put less stress on the coffee beans (blade grinders can easily burn and destroy flavour within seconds). Here are our top picks:
Rhinowhares - Hand held grinder
If you like rituals and a traditional, purist approach, try the Rhino hand grinder. It’s a beautiful mechanism that lets you adjust the grind to suit your brewing gear. A perfect travel companion with ceramic burrs, so you can always have quality coffee on the go.
Baratza Encore – Automatic burr grinder
Our absolute top pick for home grinders. This grinder has 40 different grind settings so you can adjust to perfection every time and for every manual brew method. Conical burr grinders are a must if you want to elevate your home brewing – they will give you evenly ground precision coffee every time.
Selecting the right coffee and storage
When choosing what coffee to buy for your brewing equipment, consider a few different variables.
If you’re experimenting with filter brewing (Chemex, Moccamaster), look for a filter roast that is best suited to those methods. Our micro lot Honduran will give you an incredible flavour experience – with notes of honey, chocolate, and stone fruit. If you’re brewing espresso (for a stove-top espresso, for instance), try an espresso blend. In our Burleigh flagship café, we use our First Light Espresso blend, which will give you a rich, creamy espresso with a chocolate finish.
Use a top-quality grinder, or let us grind your coffee in-store. Grind size will affect the flavour and intensity of your coffee, so make sure your coffee is ground to the manufacturer’s recommendations – each brewing method will vary slightly.
Buy freshly roasted beans and once roasted, we recommend using your coffee within two to three weeks – always grinding just before use. This will give you the freshest cup, full of rich aromas and full-bodied flavours. At JOY, we always recommend purchasing Specialty Grade, organic coffee beans – you will definitely notice a difference as you move towards a higher quality bean. As coffee is the second most traded commodity next to oil, your purchase decisions really do make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world. Organic Coffee is better for you, the farmers, and the environment, so give it a try!
Storing Your Coffee
Now that you’ve invested in the right brewing equipment and the best specialty coffee, you need to store your coffee to keep it fresh as long as possible. The best way to preserve the flavours and aromas of coffee is to store out of sunlight in an airtight container away from heat and moisture. A well-sealed bag with a two-way valve in your pantry will work just fine (skip the fridge or freezer altogether!), but If you want to really preserve the flavours for as long as possible, try a vacuum sealed container with a degassing valve. Our pick is the Friis Coffee Savor Canister, as it’s the only coffee canister in the world to address all aspects: light, moisture, trapped CO2 and air.
These brew tips are a summarised version, why not visit us at our café in Burleigh for a free demo and to check out all the latest brewing gear? Let us help you to take your at-home experience to the next level!