Like most things during the summer, my addiction to coffee relaxes a bit. Now that school is starting up and I’m forced to don the somewhat insane drill sergeant persona necessary to get the lunches made and the house relatively picked up and the kids and myself out of bed, dressed, fed and out the door by 8 a.m., my dependence on my morning cup, or three, is amping up.
During a recent trip to Portland, Oregon (where they take their coffee almost as seriously as their microbrews), with this imminent increase in caffeine looming, I asked a barista at a well-known cafe and coffee roaster how to go about making the best cup of coffee. At first, the steps seemed a bit much, and I really can’t explain the science behind most of them, but, I do love a ritual and the below tips have definitely upped my coffee game. Once learned, the below brewing method doesn’t take much time and the results are worth the extra minute or two.
Here’s what I learned:
For starters, forgo the automatic coffee maker and opt for the single serving manual drip cone–preferably a porcelain or glass cone over the plastic version. You can find a porcelain cone for about $10 on Amazon.
1. Put a kettle of water on high heat. While it boils, grind your beans–medium grind. Once the water has boiled, pull the kettle off the heat.
2. If you are using a paper filter, as opposed to a reusable metal one, wet the filter, letting the hot water drip into your coffee mug and then dump the hot water out of your mug. This does two things: the hot water rinse lessens the papery taste that the filter can leave behind and it heats up your mug. This step should take about 30 seconds, which gives the boiling water a chance to cool slightly–apparently, you don’t want to brew coffee with boiling water.
3. Add two tablespoons of ground coffee to your filter. You may need to adjust this amount based on how strong you like your coffee.
4. Pour a little bit of water over the grounds, just moistening them. This is called “blooming” the grounds and it prepares the grounds for proper infusion.
5. Pour more water over the grounds so that the grounds are covered. Continue to slowly add more water so that the grounds are always covered until you fill up your mug.
6. Remove the cone and enjoy.