Making Better Coffee

Making Better Coffee

I’m a coffee snob, unapologetically. In my world, great coffee should be able to be enjoyed black, to stand on its own merit and bold flavor. If I had the time and know-how, I’d roast my own beans each week. Maybe one day.

In the meantime, I have a daily coffee ritual that took years to perfect. If you’re looking for a damn fine cup of coffee every morning, this is the way.

The tools
Here’s what I use to brew a perfect cup of coffee:

  1. Chemex + Chemex Natural Filters
  2. Electric Kettle 
  3. Burr Grinder
  4. Electric Kitchen Scale
  5. Pour-over Kettle

The beans
This step is absolutely critical. If you buy your coffee at the grocery store, stop. Coffee is best when freshly roasted (within 1-2 weeks), which means your best bet is probably to buy directly from a roaster or your local third wave coffee shop. Or a coffee subscription service from a roaster like Counter Culture for freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door.

The best coffee you’ve ever had

  1. Heat your water to 190° F.
  2. Weigh out 40 grams of coffee beans.
  3. Grind beans to a medium coarse grind. I set my grinder to 26.
  4. Open your filter such that you have three paper layers on one side on one paper layer on the other. Place the opened filter into the Chemex with the three paper layers on the spout side.
  5. Once the water has been heated, rinse the filter paper by wetting the entire filter. This will remove any paper taste and make it cling to the Chemex. Once rinsed, pour out the water from the Chemex.
  6. Place the Chemex (including rinsed filter) on your scale. Add your freshly ground beans. Gently tap the Chemex to ensure the grounds are level.
  7. Start a stopwatch and slowly start pouring the 190° F water over the grounds, making sure to saturate all of them, until your scale reads 150 grams. If needed, use a chopstick or small spoon to gently stir the grounds to ensure saturation.
  8. Once your stopwatch hits 30 seconds, slowly pour in additional water in a circular motion (keep your stopwatch running). Move the pour spot around to pour over any darker spots where the grounds are rising up. Continue pouring until your scale reads 650 grams. Your water should be at the very top of the Chemex once you hit 650 grams. (Note: this may take some practice.)
  9. Let the poured water drip through the grounds and fill the Chemex. Remove the filter and grounds from the Chemex as soon as your coffee level hits the little dimple in the Chemex. Your stopwatch should be at around 4:30 when you remove the filter.
  10. Pour into your favorite vessel and enjoy. This method should yield around two (2) large cups of coffee.
The Finer Things is an unsolicited recommendations series brought to you by Tip Top’s team and friends. If you follow the process outlined above, you’ll be raving like Special Agent Dale Cooper in no time.

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