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First, A Bit About Brewing in General
A good grinder can make a big difference in brew quality. Burr grinders produce a much more even grind than blade grinders and provide a more consistent extraction every time.
Consider water quality. Simply put, the best water for brewing is free of chlorine, sulfur and iron - and not too soft or too hard. For the home brewer, we'd suggest spring water.
The Kalita Wave 185 Ceramic
We love using the Kalita Wave 185 Ceramic brewers in our cafes for a great consistent cup. You can try the following method and bring the Sweet Bloom Cafe to your home.
Rinse Kalita filter to eliminate paper taste – pour out rinse water.
Add 18g of freshly ground coffee (grind size should be the consistency of table salt). Zero scale.
Gently pour 50g of water just off boil onto the coffee bed to form the bloom, ensuring full saturation. Do not pour down the edges of filter.
Wait 20 seconds - a great time to smell the bloom!
At 20 seconds, begin series of five - 25g pulse pours every 10 seconds. A second bloom will slowly rise to peak, then flatten around 50 seconds and 150g.
Subsequent pours should maintain the level of the second bloom for the rest of the brew. Continue second series of six 20g pulse pours in center of bed at 10 second intervals for 1 minute. Maintain top layer of coffee bed as long as possible allowing bed to gently rise and fall until 285g (gentle pours allow gravity to be the force of the extraction, pulling water evenly through entire coffee bed).
Finish pouring with 20g pour ~2:10 seconds, sinking any remaining crust from bloom. Draw down should take 20-30 seconds.
Miguel goes over the Sweet Bloom Cafe technique
The Aeropress is a great travel brewer. It is relatively inexpensive and nearly indestructible – great for road trips or camping. We like using a coarser grind, longer steep times, and gently pressing to avoid sediment passing into the cup for better flavor clarity.
Place filter in cap and rinse with hot water to eliminate paper taste.
Twist on cap and add 16g of freshly ground coffee to the chamber. The grind should be on the finer side of drip coffee.
Set mug on scale, place chamber on top of mug and zero scale.
Start timer and add 35g of water just off boil to saturate all the grounds and form bloom.
Wait 25 seconds - this is a great time to smell the bloom!
Gently and slowly add another 230g in the space of 30-40 more seconds (coffee will slowly be dripping in to mug during this time), then carefully insert plunger into chamber far enough so plunger will not tip out. Wait another 30 seconds. Carefully remove mug and Aeropress off of scale.
At approximately 1:45 seconds, slowly begin to press for 40 seconds until you first hear a "hissing" sound (don't squeeze the coffee bed dry). Total brew time should be ~2:30.
Checkout the video of Andy's 2013 US Aeropress Championship winning method!
The 3 Cup Chemex
We love the elegance of this 1-3 cup manual brewer and find it produces a consistently fantastic cup of coffee. You can try the following method with other pour-over brewers as well, keeping in mind that you’ll likely need to adjust grind size (finer for brewers with larger and or more exit holes).
Rinse Chemex filter to eliminate paper taste – pour out rinse water.
Place filter in brewer, thick side of filter towards spout.
Set Chemex on scale and zero.
Add 18g freshly ground coffee (grind should be medium drip) and zero scale.
Gently pour 40g of water just off boil onto the coffee bed to form bloom.
Wait 15 seconds - a great time to smell the bloom!
Gently add another 30g of water into the center of the coffee bed, forming a second bloom slightly higher in the filter.
Subsequent pours should maintain the level of the second bloom for the rest of the brew.
Gently pulse pour 25 grams of water at a time into the center of the bed in 15 second intervals, maintaining the top layer of grounds (crust) as long as possible and allowing the water level to slowly rise and fall. A very gentle pour allows gravity to be the force of the extraction, pulling the water evenly through the entire coffee bed.
Towards the end of the brew (time should be ~2:15 seconds), sink any remaining crust with a final pour to 300g.
Draw down should take 15-30 seconds for a total brew time of ~2:40 minutes.