Easy Brew Hacks Worth Remembering
Written by Alex
“Pre-wash your coffee filter”
Whether you like to use a V60 or Kalita brewer, the use of filter papers is undeniably simple. They make for an easy clean up and a consistent brew, with a little bit of practice. But even the best of us forget the simplest tips to refine your brew.
Pre-washing your filter paper with hot water is a great practice when using this equipment. Initially, this will help to eliminate any of that papery taste that could leave a trace in your final drink. And the second benefit is that your equipment will be preheated for the final pour!
Preheating your brewing equipment helps your brewing water to retain its heat, preventing energy loss through cooling. The amount of preheating required is dependent on the material your brewer is made from, and it’s specific heat capacity. Plastic has a low heat capacity, which means it is quick to heat up, and therefore the most energy efficient.
Something like a thick ceramic V60 would have a high heat capacity, which means that it is slow to pre-heat, but stays hot for longer. A good tip for preheating this kind of brewer is by replacing your kettle lid with the brewer, in order to preheat it effeciently!
“Swirl the coffee slurry”
When brewing in a V60 or Kalita, there’s various little tips and tricks that are easy to forget – but, if missed, will lessen the quality of your final brew. We have a brew guide that covers an in depth description of this brewing method for first timers, but these quick one liners might help you experienced brewers!
Channelling is something that we often talk about with espresso machines, specifically when extracting coffee using a portafilter. Essentially, it means that the water takes the easiest path through the grounds, resulting in an under-extracted brew. For coffee machines we use tampers and distribution tools with the portafilter basket to create an even puck, but what can you do with a filter brewer?
Firstly, tapping or shaking the brewer to level the grounds will even out the coffee bed and ensure no end is too dense or shallow. Then, swirling the coffee slurry or swirling the brewer after the first dose of water, means that you will be able to level the coffee bed and ensure that all the grounds are evenly soaked.
The intention of this is to allow the water to flow at a slow and even rate through the grounds, absorbing all those lovely coffee solubles.
“Pour in a circular motion”
Once again, this is one of our favourite tips for brewing in a V60 or Kalita, and helps reduce channelling and increase the extraction of your coffee. Simply pouring in a circular motion using a thin spouted kettle (if possible) will greatly increase the quality of your brew.
It doesn’t necessarily need any additional equipment. The aim, if using a kettle, is an even and consistent flow of water to wet all the grounds as evenly as possible. This steady controlled stream and circular motion helps to maintain the flat coffee bed and extract through the coffee grounds evenly.
“Clip tasting cards to the side of your coffee bag”
Our tasting cards come clipped to the top of your bags, which makes it nice and clear when the bag isn’t open! Although we do print the coffee name at the bottom of each bag (in-case you lose your tasting card), it’s not the most convenient from a first glance.
However, we’ve seen our customers starting to re-use our handy binder clips by clipping our tasting cards to the lip on the side of our bags! This keeps the top of the bag clear, so that you can continue to form that air-tight seal, essential for keeping your beans fresh.
“Spray your beans with water before grinding”
This well-known tip was recently showcased by one of our favourite coffee bloggers, Luke Porter, @porter.coffee on Instagram. He often shares his best tips and tricks from his immaculate coffee corner, whilst sharing some of the best coffee that he comes across along the way!
This week, he shared, in one of his satisfying reel series, that he sprays his coffee beans with a mist. Luke goes on to explain in his comments that this is a simple water mist, used to reduce static in the grinder!
The friction that occurs between the burrs of the grinder and your beans is responsible for creating the static. This can cause your grounds to cling to the grinder burrs or walls of your grounds’ collector – potentially causing an inconsistency in the weight of your grounds.
Water reduces static charge in the beans and keeps the whole process running smoothly! But be wary, only a small spray of water should be used (or stir the beans with a damp spoon), as excess water can damage electric grinders – and water will begin to break down coffee solubles, so it should be used on single servings and ground instantly.
In fact, if you’re interested in learning more about home brewing, or want some professional training under your belt, check out the Barista One course on Barista Hustle. We offer this course free to all of our monthly coffee subscribers!