Making good coffee at home doesn’t need to be intimidating. If you are looking to improve your home coffee brewing, we have some simple suggestions that should quickly lead you to a better cup.
The simplest adjustment is making sure you are using the right amount of coffee. We recommend using 3 tablespoons of ground coffee per 8-ounce cup of water. This will put you right in the middle of our suggested ratio for coffee to water.
Pro Tip: Some home machine serving sizes are closer to 5 oz rather than actual 8 oz cups. With this in mind, it is important to measure the amount of water you are using before you brew, with a measuring cup or by measuring how much water your brewer holds.
Once you are sure you are using the right amount of coffee, take a look at the grind size. The grind size determines how quickly the flavor transfers from the grounds into the beverage. For drip coffee, you should start with a medium grind, similar to ground sea salt. Once you determine the right grind size, it is important to look at the quality of the ground coffee. Consistency of flavor is dependent on all the coffee grounds being the same size. To achieve this, we recommend a high-quality burr grinder. If you don’t have a burr grinder at home, you can ask your local specialty coffee shop to grind it for you. They have the professional equipment to do it and will make sure that you have a very consistent grind.
If your coffee still isn’t tasting quite right after taking these steps, make small adjustments to the grind size. If your coffee seems too weak and tastes papery and thin, grind the beans finer. Inversely, if it is too strong and tastes sour or bitter, use a courser setting.
Since a coffee beverage is 98% water, the quality of the water you use is super important. It is best to use filtered water (bottled filtered water is an option in a pinch); however, you should avoid distilled water. A common problem with home brewers is that they don’t actually get hot enough. A simple hack for this is to pre-heat your water by running a brew without coffee and then using that heated water to brew your coffee.
Coffee bags are designed to hold coffee. You don’t need to do anything special to keep your coffee fresh. We just suggest that you finish your bag within a month and keep it in a room-temperature environment, away from excessive moisture and sunlight.
Keeping your machine clean is also incredibly important. We recommend cleaning your pot weekly with unscented dish detergent. Monthly, you should do a rinse with a water and vinegar solution (a 1:1 ratio). Your brewer’s manufacturer should provide recommended instructions pertaining to your model, but if your machine needs something stronger, specialized cleaners are available. Once again, check with your brewer’s manufacture for the specifics.
We hope that helps you brew a better cup at home, and when you have the time, we welcome you into Spyhouse!