How to Brew a Better Cup of Coffee at Home

It’s safe to say that during the past few months of #WFH, the amount of coffee we sip daily has gone up. If you’re looking to elevate your coffee experience at home, Blue Tokai are sharing simple hacks to help you make a more flavourful brew!


1. Bloom

When you’re brewing coffee, have you ever poured in all the water at once? If yes, that may be affecting the taste of your coffee.

When brewing coffee, remember to allow the coffee to ‘bloom’ first. This initial blooming helps reduce the copious amounts of carbon dioxide present in all freshly roasted coffee, which can lead to sourness. Once the carbon dioxide escapes, the water is able to extract more flavour from your coffee grinds, leaving you with reduced sourness and a much more balanced cup.

To do this, wet all the grounds with a little hot water and wait for 30 seconds. When the grounds come in contact with water, you’ll see tiny bubbles rising to the surface. This is just carbon dioxide being released from the coffee. After half a minute, pour in the rest of the water in slow, spiraling movements. Do not agitate your brew during blooming for dark roasts as it would cause over-extraction.

2. Water temperature

Since 98% of brewed coffee is water, the quality, temperature, and composition of water you brew with, affects the flavour of your coffee. In a country that loves its beverages ‘piping hot’, brewing coffee in boiling water may come naturally, but we recommend holding back for just a second. Or 60 seconds to be more precise.

The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is about 97° C. If you don’t have a brewing thermometer at home, there’s an easy trick you can use. Once your water reaches boiling point, turn off the heat and wait for about 45-60 seconds (this is what we call ‘off the boil’) and then pour the water over your coffee grounds. Ensuring the right temperature really helps prevent a burnt, over-extracted flavour developing in your cup.

P.S. Wetting your paper filters with hot water before brewing removes the papery taste it has.


Brewing tips for different brewing methods

Moka Pot

If you love a rich, strong brew, but don’t want to invest in an espresso machine just yet, the Moka Pot is a great alternative. While it can’t be considered a replacement, it can give you a deeply flavourful and concentrated shot. Here are a few tips that we have learned over time:

  • Keep your Moka Pot clean. The old dried coffee that sticks to the inside of the pot over multiple uses, can add to the bitterness of the subsequent coffees you brew.
  • Make sure you get your grind right. A very fine grind will lead to over-extracted, bitter coffee; while a coarse grind will lead to a weak, sour, under-extracted coffee. You may have to experiment a bit to settle on a grind size that works best for you.
  • Use pre-heated water to fill up your Moka pot, as the brewing process will lead to cleaner flavour notes. Most people tend to pour room temperature water in their Moka pot and boil the water in the lower chamber, as the coffee inside percolates to the top. However, this can lead to over-extraction and bitter notes in your cup.
  • Lastly, don’t tamp the coffee grounds tightly in the holder.

Aeropress 

When using the Aeropress, few people know that they can use much lower brew temperatures as compared to other brewing equipment.

Depending on the coffee you’re using, we recommend a range of brewing temperatures from 82 – 90 °C. This is due to the immense pressure used to extract the flavours in the Aeropress compared to other brew methods. We recommend making a concentrated brew, and topping up with the desired amount of water later.

Although most recipes suggest using one paper filter when brewing, using a double paper filter will give you a cleaner, more pronounced flavour and a smoother cup of coffee

P.S. Interestingly, the idea of a double filter works across equipment! A couple of our customers have suggested using an Aeropress filter paper over the moka pot filter for a cleaner cup.

Iced Pour over

An iced pour over is the perfect respite for people who like smooth, iced black coffee.

However, we recommend using half the water you normally would for a hot pour over and replacing the other half with ice cubes (so if you usually brew with 300ml of hot water, use 150 ml of hot water and 150 ml of ice instead).

Also, try adding the ice cubes in the cup or carafe after the coffee has been brewed, and give it a swirl for around 30 seconds before drinking. With this technique, the ice and water will create a balanced, flavourful brew that captures all the unique notes in your cup.

Another tip is to make sure the grind for an iced pour over is slightly finer than that of a hot pour over (preferably a Moka pot grind). This ensures that the brewing time is not too short, as we’re using less hot water in this recipe.


About Blue Tokai:

Having pioneered the artisanal coffee wave in India, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters is now a household name. The coffee they roast is the coffee they like to drink! The company works directly with 14 farms across the south of the country to source the highest quality Arabica beans which are roasted at their roasteries in Bombay, Bangalore, and Delhi and served across the country.  | Instagram @BlueTokaiCoffee

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