Home brewing is more of a journey than a destination. So, where are you in your home brewing journey?
Is brewing coffee a bright spot in your day? There are always new ways to improve it by stepping up our processes. These ways will help us expand our coffee knowledge, re-emphasize what we already know and elevate our home brews.
In this article, we will walk you through 5 simple ways you can incorporate to elevate your coffee brewing journey.
1. Choose your beans carefully
It's all about the beans! To enhance your home brew, we need to pay careful attention to the coffee beans that are used. The three key factors we need to consider are the roast profile, processing method and origin of the coffee.
Each type of coffee bean comes with its own unique flavour profile. So, it is important to read through the labels and choose the taste profiles that you prefer. For instance, if you enjoy chocolaty flavour notes in your coffee, you can purchase a dark roast coffee with the said notes.
Also, we need to make sure to:
- Use freshly roasted beans
- Store them in a vacuum sealed canister away from the sunlight
- Grind coffee fresh before brewing
Grind size matters.
- Cold brew - Extra Coarse
- French press - Coarse grind
- Dripper - Medium-coarse grind
- Aeropress, pour-over - Medium-fine grind
- Espresso machine - Fine
- Turkish coffee - Extra fine
2. Understand the variables
The science of home-brewing is made of several variables, and one way to elevate the journey is by playing with these variables.
These variables are:
- Roast levels- We can try out different roast types such as light, medium and dark.
- Brewing ratio- The ratio of coffee grounds to water is the brew ratio. It usually goes like 1:15, 1:16 and 1:17. We can experiment with this ratio to see what suits your taste the best.
- Brewing temperature- For optimal extraction, the water temperature must be as required by the brewer.
Experimentation also calls for trying out different brewing methods. Start with the basics and eventually invest in various brewing methods - French Press, Pour Over and Moka pot.
3. Use accessories for precision
We can measure coffee with our eyes, heat water and time the brew using our instinct. This can result in excellent coffee. However, accounting for a similar recipe will be difficult. To ensure control over every step of the process, we need to level up.
We can use accessories such as weighing scales, gooseneck kettle and timers.
- Weighing scale - simplifies the whole coffee-to-water ratio. With a digital LED scale, you will not only waste any coffee but also ensure a balanced cup.
- Gooseneck Kettle - allows us to pour the exact amount of water precisely where we need it. The design of the spout allows us to control the flow rate of the water as well.
- Timer - The extraction time is a vital variable. Errors in only a few seconds can mean a bitter or weak brew. Hence, a timer will help you control your brew quality better.
These accessories help you figure out a balanced cup and remove the mystery around brewing a delicious cup of coffee.
Besides, precision accessories help you achieve consistency.
4. Journal Your Brewing Journey
It is always a good idea to document the home brewing journey. By making notes not only will we improve our brewing skills but also know how far we have come along.
You can purchase a coffee journal to record your progress. Alternatively, you can use a notebook and start jotting down.
Either way, here are some key factors to consider:
- Taste - acidity, sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and sourness
- Aroma - caramel, chocolatey, nutty, vanilla etc
- Body - the thickness, intensity and mouthfeel
- Clarity - level of paper flavours, defects and earthy flavours
By chronicling your coffee journey, you can better recognise the nuances and develop your palette.
Coffee journalling also provides a great space to go back to your experiments and old favourites.
5. Join a Coffee Community
People gather to talk about a lot of things over a cup of coffee - work, family and friendships. How about gathering to talk about coffee?
Join a coffee community in your city as the next step in your coffee journey. Speaking to fellow coffee lovers and sharing knowledge with people from different walks of life is the best way to deepen your coffee knowledge. This will open doors for new connections, a ground to experiment and a lot of learning.
The world of coffee brewing runs far and wide. That’s why, we will never run out of ways to elevate the journey. There will always be new coffee beans to explore and better ways to store it. There will be new and improved coffee gears coming up in the market.
Like we say, something’s always brewing!
So, take your time to explore, experiment and enjoy with fellow coffee lovers. If possible, treasure your memories in a notebook for keepsake.