Daily tips for making great drip coffee

Making good coffee at home can be difficult, but it’s easier than you think.

Brian Bennett / CNET

When brewing drip coffee at home, you probably don’t think too much. Performing the basic task of pouring boiling water into the coffee grounds itself is not that complicated in itself, but consistently achieving delicious results is not easy.

After putting Many home coffee machines Through their pace, this is an important thing I learned in the process. We are confident that these techniques will not only help you scientifically stack well-known coffee appliances, but will also help you brew better coffee at home. Most of you don’t want to go into all this trouble, but if you’re looking for some concrete way to raise your home coffee game you’ve come to the right place.

read: How to make the best cold brew coffee

Coffee in a nutshell

At the core of a cup of coffee is simply an aqueous solution containing dissolved solids and small particles of compounds. Pour boiling water over the ground coffee beans. The resulting liquid passes through some sort of filter, either a paper or gold mesh or a steel strainer (as in the case of a French press).

However, depending on how you make this formulation, this beverage will either taste really sublime or you will not be able to drink it at all. Even more confusing is that, if you’re not careful, using the same coffee beans from the same bag that was roasted at the same time in the same batch can have very different results. This is why consistency is important at each step.

A perfect cup of coffee is flavorful and complex, but not bitter.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Ideal brewing

According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Make coffeeCalled Golden Cup Award, Scientifically advantageous and reproducible results are obtained. You should use 3.25 to 4.25 ounces of coffee grounds per 64 ounces of water (from 90 to 120 grams of coffee to 1.9 liters of water). The water temperature when touching the ground must be 200 degrees Fahrenheit (+ or -2, or 93 degrees Celsius). Finally, the total dissolved solids (TDS) measured at a particular brewery tastes best for most people when it is between 1.15 and 1.35%.

Sounds pretty easy. I thought so until I went a little deeper and realized that home coffee makers rarely meet these criteria. In addition, other factors, such as total brewing time and coffee grind size, can significantly affect results.

How to grind

Check out coffee lovers’ blogs and commentators on our own coffee maker reviews, and there’s an enthusiastic debate about whether to use a blade grinder or the more expensive burger grinder to process coffee beans. It is clear that there is. Some argue that regular blade grinders (also sold as spice grinders) cannot chop the contents with the right amount of uniformity. Also, it cannot usually be adjusted.

Another theory about blade grinders is that the pure kinetic energy released by the rapid slicing of blades actually heats the coffee particles-essentially cooking them. This is said to change the flavor of the final brewed beverage (or worse).I can’t address this concern directly, but I can confirm that the coffee I ran is adjustable compared to beans ground with a personal spice grinder. Burr miller It was always the same size and texture. This is a big difference from the inevitable bit of half-chopped beans that I tend to experience using a basic blade grinder.

This irregularity can affect the surface area of ​​coffee grounds exposed to water. Homogeneity is also essential for reproducible results, as grinding size directly affects the number of coffee particles extracted into the solution (the finer the ground, the higher the extraction). This is why I always grind test beans (Costco House Blend) in medium settings.

Weighing and ratio of coffee to water

I know that for many there, splattering into a flashy Burr grinder is not an option. So I highly recommend investing in a cheap kitchen scale (about $ 15 or £ 12). Whether you’re relying on a sophisticated burger grinder or stuck with a basic blade coffee chopper, the only way to know for sure how much ground you’re brewing is to weigh it. is.

Also, follow SCA guidelines and use 2 ounces of coffee per 45 ounces of water (57 grams per 1.3 liters). Note that this amount of water is equivalent to approximately 10 French Tasse cups. Another advantage of weighing coffee grounds is that you don’t have to tinker with the annoying coffee scoops that many coffee makers have built into their machines. Since “level” or “heap” scoops can mean almost anything, they tend to be not only significantly inaccurate, but also messy and difficult to track.


Temperature and brewing time are important factors in making good coffee.

Brian Bennett / CNET

Temperature and brewing time

As I mentioned before, SCA is recommended The brewed water of a home coffee maker reaches the ideal temperature for properly whipping a delicious cup. Specifically, according to the association, the brewing temperature of the machine should reach 197.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the first minute of brewing and should not exceed 204.8 degrees. It is also important that the coffee maker exposes the ground to water for 4-8 minutes.

You’ll be amazed at the number of kitchen gadgets that overshoot this brewing time, which takes 8, 9, or even 10 minutes or more to complete the brewing cycle. The same is true for collecting heat to achieve the proper brewing temperature. This is the reason for measuring the operating temperature in the brewing chamber of all coffee machines I review. Also, time the entire brewing cycle of a particular coffee maker to see if it meets (or how late) it meets SCA guidelines.

Measurement and tasting

The last bit of scientific testing uses a device called a refractometer. This gizmo uses a lens and uses distilled water as a control reading to detect the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the brewed coffee. As mentioned above, according to SCA, the ideal percentage of TDS is 1.15 to 1.35%. After testing a large number of coffee machines, I tend to agree.


True coffee geeks use refractometers.

Brian Bennett / CNET

In fact, the best products I reviewed were almost hit, if not all of the SCA standards. For example, my current favorite gadget, Oxo 8 cupThe brewing time was just over 6 minutes and the TDS reading was 1.3%.Same thing Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 (1.2 TDS, 6 minutes). And, as a record, the coffee brewed with both products was consistently delicious.

When everything is said and done

This is a lot of information to capture, and I’m convinced that working on these coffee brewing steps at home, especially early in the morning, is too much to ask for. That said, if you adopt any of these tactics, you’ll be amazed at the positive results you can achieve.

I will never go back to the dim era of measuring coffee grounds without a scale. And to love life, grind the beans as close to the brewing time as possible. Daily tips for making great drip coffee

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