These basics principles for creating great tasting fresh coffee apply regardless of the device you use to make your coffee:
1. Make sure your equipment is thoroughly clean and dry before use. Whether you use a cafetière, Aeropress, espresso machine, filter machine or stove-top, any coffee residue left in the equipment will add a bitter flavour to your coffee.
2. Grind your coffee beans immediately before use. There are various ways of grinding beans, but the fineness of the ground coffee will strongly affect the brewing process and taste. Generally speaking, longer brewing methods require a coarser grind than faster brewing methods. Coffee beans which are ground too finely can produce a bitter and harsh taste (over extraction), whereas a grind which is too coarse may produce a weak, flat coffee (under extraction). Experiment with your grind on the first couple of brews to find a grinding fineness which suits your taste. Pre-ground coffee is convenient but it goes stale much faster than whole beans. Buy in smaller quantities so you use it quickly and store it appropriately (see Storing Coffee).
3. Use good quality fresh water. Water quality varies immensely from region to region. If your water is not of good quality, or is overly chlorinated, then we recommend using filtered or bottled water for the best results. If using tap water, then use fresh, cold water.
4. Use the right amount of coffee. How much coffee you use depends, of course, on your own preferences and your brewing method. As a general rule, 7 to 10 grams (1 dessert Spoon) of ground coffee for every cup (circa 170ml) of water represents the accepted ratio, but consult our brew guides or the manufacturers instructions for specific ratios.
5. Don't use boiling water. The temperature of the water is extremely important for the best tasting coffee. To avoid burning your coffee we advise using water that is just off the boil, of between 90-96°C. Some kettles can be set to turn off at this temperature but leaving the water for thirty seconds after boiling will provide the right temperature.
6. Adjust your brew time to the device. The length of time you brew your coffee depends on your equipment. Longer or shorter brew times will affect the taste of your coffee and we recommend experimenting to find out what works best for you and follow the advice we provide in our device specific Brewing Guides.
7. Use a warm mug. Brewed coffee is best enjoyed immediately in a warmed mug or cup to maintain temperature. Warm milk also helps maintain temperature and flavour. We advise against re-heating coffee.