How to brew a better cup at home

JOURNAL

In a year when we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home, there’s never been a better time to sharpen our coffee-brewing skills. It’s either that or keep refreshing the newsfeed, and that’s definitely a lot less satisfying.

And while your favourite café (Kiss the Hippo, we hope) might still win out, with some simple techniques and advice you can still brew a coffee that tastes so delicious, you won’t believe it came from your kitchen kettle.

Buying the coffee

To start, we suggest using a light roast specialty coffee. The vast majority of coffee is of incredibly low quality and roasted so dark that it tastes overwhelmingly bitter.

The trick to finding great coffee is looking for transparency. Not a see-through bag, but a bag tells you where the coffee is from – the country, the farm, and sometimes even info about how it was produced. Coffee labelled like this is usually specialty. To find it, skip the supermarket and buy online so it can be sent straight to you. 

Storing the coffee

Freshness is key when brewing quality coffee. That’s because, once coffee is roasted, it begins to oxygenate and lose CO2. Not only do closed bags keep oxygen out, our packaging is specially designed to keep the CO2 in.

Ground coffee has a larger surface area, meaning it de-gases and oxygenates very quickly – usually in less than 5 minutes. That means it’s always best to keep your coffee in a sealed container, and grind immediately before brewing. We suggest the Wilfa Grinder for the best results at home.

Pouring the water

More than 98.5% of a filter coffee is water. And your water needs to extract the flavours we want from the coffee – without adding any of its own. The best water is high in magnesium, low in bicarbonate and has a total dissolved solid of around 125 to 200 – so avoid tap water and try and use filtered where possible.

Brewing for one

The AeroPress is perfect for when you only want one cup of coffee, or are just looking for a compact brewer. The AeroPress gives you a coffee somewhere between a French Press and a filter—it’s really unique and lends itself well to experimentation.

You will need 17.5g of coffee & 225ml of boiling water

  • Put a filter in the cap, screw it on and power some water to rinse the filter
  • Put the brewer cap down on your cup and pour your coffee in
  • Pour the 225ml of water in and start a timer
  • Give it five stirs once the water is in and place the cap on so it is sealed
  • Allow to brew for 1.5 minutes then plunge until you hear a sucking sound

Brewing for Two

The Kalita Wave is a perfect brewer for two people. It creates a cup with lots of flavour clarity and very low levels of bitterness.

You will need 42 grams of coffee and 600ml of boiling water.

  • Place the paper filter in the brewer and pour some water in to rinse. Let some run through but swirl and dump most out of the top.
  • Place the brewer on your server and put the coffee in.
  • Pour 80ml of the water and give the grounds a stir to make sure they are all wet.
  • In circles pour the remainder of your water. Keep a steady pace so you allow enough water to pass through the bottom while pouring over the top.
  • Once all the water is in give the brew four good stirs and let it pass through

Brewing for More

The Chemex is a classic brewer when you have a group of people looking for a brew. It creates an exceptionally clean coffee because of its thick filter and tends to be a very juicy coffee.

You will need 21 grams of coffee and 300ml of water per-person up to 6 servings.

  • Place the paper filter in the brewer and pour some water in to rinse. Let some run through but swirl and dump most out of the top.
  • Place the brewer on your server and put the coffee in.
  • Pour double the amount of the water to the coffee you put in and give the grounds a stir to make sure they are all wet.
  • In circles pour the remainder of your water. Keep a steady pace so you allow enough water to pass through the bottom while pouring over the top.
  • Once all the water is in give the brew four good stirs and let it pass through

Kiss the Hippo Team