Once only brewed through a peculator or an automatic drip, coffee is now a beverage that has many versions and possibilities. From the French press to Turkish to other flavoured varieties, there are many styles and methods for creating coffee. While the automatic drip coffee machine on your kitchen counter may still be your go-to device for coffee brewing, there are many other methods that you can employ to create that perfect cup of joe.
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Consider the type of bean you want to use in your brew. There are many different roasts and flavours available for your tasting pleasure. Some of the most common roasts are: light city roast, the full city (which is a good balance of body and flavour), the French or Vienna Roasts and the Italian Roast, one of the darkest roasts available. One thing to keep in mind about the beans that you choose is that the longer they roast and darker they get, the less caffeine they have.
Consider whether you want to use ground or whole beans. Ground coffee offers the convenience of not buying a grinder or having to worry about grinding your own beans. One consideration to keep in mind when using ground beans is that they may not hold the freshness that whole beans will. Once ground, a bean's ability to "last" is diminished, as it becomes much more perishable and loses a great deal of flavour. This can happen especially when freshness cannot be kept in and carbon dioxide cannot be let out. Many containers that ground beans are sold in, tins and bags included, are not airtight enough to keep freshness in and do not allow carbon dioxide to escape. When buying ground beans, look for bags which have a valve built into the bag.
For those that prefer whole beans, there are two basic types of grinders: burr grinders or blade grinders. Burr grinders take up more space and are heavier, but they also offer the ability to choose a specific grind size (i.e. French press, espresso or automatic drip sizes). Burr grinders will also allow for much finer grinds than a blade grinder. A blade grinder may not offer a smaller grind, and grind sizes are not as even as with a burr grinder, but they are much smaller and more portable.
Plan which type of brew method you would like to use. There are many methods for brewing coffee, including automatic drip, French press and Turkish. These three methods produce a multitude of coffee types to entice your taste buds and fulfil your caffeine fix.
Fill your automatic drip coffee maker with water and put coffee grounds into the filter of your coffee machine. Measure out the amount of coffee you need by using 2 tbsp of coffee per 177ml. of water.
Turn the coffee maker on and allow the brewing process to finish before you drink. Keep in mind that the caffeine level is highest, flavour best and coffee freshest immediately after you brew. If you have to save your coffee for later, use a Thermos or another similar device to keep it hot, and refrain from reheating it.
Clean your coffee maker as often as possible, preferably between each brew.
Boil your water so that it is ready to use when you need it. Make sure to measure the amount of water that you need so you will know how many coffee grounds to use.
Grind your coffee to a uniform large size. This can be achieved most easily with a burr grinder .
Utilise a 2 tbsp of coffee per cup ratio when brewing your coffee.
Pour your coffee grounds into the bottom of your French press.
Pour your boiling water over the top of the coffee grounds.
Stir the combination of grounds and boiling water a few times until the top of your coffee "blooms." You will know that the "bloom" is done when a slight foam forms at the top of the water and ground mix.
Attach the filter assembly to the top of your French press. Let the water and grounds steep for at least three minutes. Use a longer steep time if you have a larger French press.
Push down the plunger, found in the middle of the filter assembly, in an even and steady fashion. Make sure that the plunger stays straight, as a crooked plunger will allow grounds to float through the filter and get into your brew. Once you have plunged your French press, the coffee is ready to serve.
Brew Turkish coffee using a Turkish mill to grind the beans, an ibrik (the device used to do the actual brewing) and demitasse cups (cups that are specific to drinking the brew made with a Turkish brew).
Grind your coffee to a fine powder using the Turkish mill.
Measure the amount of water you will need using your demitasse cups, and pour the water into the ibrik. Use as much water necessary for the number of cups you are making.
Add 1 tsp of coffee for every demitasse cup of water that you add to the ibrik. To add to the taste and authenticity, add sugar and cardamom. Add 1 tsp of sugar per 2 teaspoons of coffee, and use cardamom sparingly.
Mix the grounds, water, sugar and cardamom, if used, into a slurry before you boil them all together.
Boil the solution in your ibrik over medium-low heat. Boil the solution until a froth forms on the surface. Be careful because this solution can boil over the top of your ibrik very quickly. Repeat this process two more times until the solution has boiled and foamed three separate times.
Serve the brew and enjoy.
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