Espresso is both a beverage and a brewing method. With the help of water pressure, the normal water-to-coffee ratio (see “Brewing” for more on this) is dramatically reduced, as is the time commitment. Where brewed coffee uses a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water, espresso’s ratio is between 1:1.5 to 1:2; the brew time is almost instantaneous once you’ve heated up the water.
The espresso process starts with very finely ground coffee, finer than most home grinders and many professional grinders can offer. The grounds are then compacted into a small, precisely constructed basket with extremely fine holes no larger than the thickness of a strand of hair. Water is then forced through the finely ground coffee, producing about 2 ounces (for a standard double shot) of thick, creamy, and intensely flavorful coffee that contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee.
If a coffee bag is labeled “espresso,” that typically means the beans have been pretty darkly roasted. This is because the darker roast, and stronger.
How to Make ItTips For A Little Bump n’ Grind
Let’s Spend a Minute On Water!
One of the most impactful differences between the coffee shop and your home is water quality. Consider investing in a water filter before throwing down your money on that fancy grinder or kettle. Chicago boasts some of the best tap water in the country, but unfortunately it is also some of the hardest, which impacts the taste of your final brew. If you are truly serious about the best homemade coffee you can possibly make, invest in water softeners or a reverse-osmosis unit to purify your water.
When making coffee, you want to get your water as hot as possible. While the coffee “steeps,” it of course loses heat. Also, always preheat your kettle and brew equipment, because once the boiling water hits the coffee grounds, the water cools nearly 10 to 15 degrees. In order for coffee to really open up and give its full flavor, you need as much heat as possible.
A good ratio brewed coffee (that is not espresso):
Most Popular Pour-Over Coffee Systems
Brewing Pour-Over Coffee
These steps work for all pour-over coffee systems.
Brewing a 12-ounce Coffee with the V60:
A V60 also makes great 8 and 16-ounce cups, but 12 ounces is the recommended amount.
Weigh 26 grams of coffee beans and set aside.
Set the V60 atop your carafe/pot. Add a filter.
Boil a kettle of water.
With the hot water, moisten your filter. Swirl the water through the carafe, then discard.
Medium-grind your coffee. It should be about the coarseness of table salt.
Add the grounds to the V60. Shake it a bit to level the grounds out.
Gently pour 52 grams of water in a clockwise fashion, starting your bloom (see the section Brewing Pour-Over Coffee for more info on blooms).
Gently start your pour, focusing on the center of the V60, in an area about the size of a quarter. Pour in a clockwise motion, in 70- to 100-gram pulses (i.e., fill it up, wait for it to drain a bit, repeat). Your stream can hit the edge of grounds as necessary, just keep all the grounds wet until you hit your target water amount of 415 grams.
Let it drain.
As the stream of coffee becomes a series of drips, your brew is done. Remove the filter if coffee grounds and discard.
Serve in a preheated mug. Enjoy!
Brewing a 16-Ounce Coffee with the Chemex:
A Chemex also makes great 8-, 12-, and 24-ounce cups, but 16 ounces is the recommended amount
Weigh out 33 grams of coffee beans and set aside.
Boil a kettle of water.
While the water is heating up, insert the filter into the Chemex so that three sheets of the filter are bracing the spout. Pour a small amount of the boiling water into the filter, making sure it gets completely moist.
Swirl the water about in your Chemex, to warm the bottom, and then discard.
Grind your coffee beans a few notches coarser than medium. You want a consistency slightly coarser than table salt.
Add the grounds to the Chemex. Shake it a bit to level the grounds out.
Gently pour in 66 grams of boiling water, in a clockwise fashion, starting your bloom (see the section Brewing Pour-Over Coffee for more info on blooms).
When the bloom is complete, start your pour, focusing on the center of the Chemex. Pour in a clockwise motion in 70- to 100-gram pulses (fill for 10 seconds, stop for 10 seconds, repeat). Your stream can hit the edges of grounds, just keep all the grounds wet until you hit your target water amoung of 525 grams.
As the stream of coffee becomes a series of drips, your brew is done.
Serve in a preheated mug. Enjoy!
Cold Brew Iced Coffee
If you take one thing away from this section, let it be this: a cold-brew iced coffee is not the same as hot coffee served over ice. For one, cold brew takes at least 8 hours to make, and for two, it requires a much higher ratio of grounds to water. The result is a very low-acid drink that goes down smooth and doesn't taste watery. Cold brewing also brings out unique flavors you wouldn't otherwise taste if the coffee were brewed hot, like dark chocolate.
Toddy and Filtron are both great brands for cold brewing. Both feature a vessel for brewing and a basin to filter the coffee into. The cold-brew process uses a different ratio from other brewing processes. At Heritage, we brew a ready-to-consume iced coffee, using a 1:8 water-to coffee ratio, but most shops do a cold brew concentrate, with a 1:4 ratio.
This guide will be with the ready-to-drink brew in mind, but if you add lots of milk to your coffee, it might be worth your while to double your dose. The concentrate picks up a bit more acidity than the ready-to-brew method, but it stays fresh longer, and you get more servings out of your final brew. Experiment and pick the brew that works for you.
Brewing a 32-Ounce Cold BrewIt’s a twelve hour process, so plan ahead.
French Press Coffee
The French press is probably the most common manual coffee maker in the world. It’s charming in its simplicity: throw in coffee, add water, and voilà, you have a cup of coffee.
When making coffee, try to keep everything as consistent as possible so that you don’t have too many variables to consider when your coffee tastes bad. Heritage uses a standard water weight and water temperature on every pour, so the only variables are bloom, grind, and dose (amount of grounds). Bloom time is determined predominantly by visual cues. If your coffee looks dry after your bloom, for example, it bloomed too long.
For grind and dose, consider the below chart: