Brewing Coffee

When brewing coffee the ratio of ground coffee to water is vital. Generally the rule is 1 standard coffee scoop (2 tablespoons) of ground coffee to every 6 ounces of water. The only problem here is that coffee scoops can vary in capacity. The ideal way is to measure the capacity of your coffee scoop and adjust your subsequent coffee measurements accordingly. If weaker coffee is preferred then the 2 to 6 rule applies. Make it full strength and then dilute to taste with hot water or milk.

There are many ways to brew coffee but a percolator should not be one of them. Percolators violate two of the fundamental rules of good coffee brewing. They boil the coffee which extracts bitter and sour substances that should play no part in coffee and they pour water that is too hot over the grounds repeatedly. The water should be just right and poured only once.

There are many recommended methods of brewing a good cup of coffee.

The filter cone method involves pouring the hot water through ground coffee that has been measured into a filter set inside a cone. Over recent years this method has become increasingly popular. Connoisseurs prefer to use gold-washed metal filters but paper filters are convenient and easy to use.

Electric Drip machines operate in much the same fashion as manual filter cones except that they pour water over the coffee electrically from a pre-measured reservoir. The flat-bottomed cupcake shaped filters are thought to allow the water to saturate the ground coffee more evenly than the cone shaped filters.

The commonest version of the Metal drip pot is the old-fashioned stovetop pot divided from top to bottom into chambers for hot water, ground coffee and brewed coffee. These are excellent and produce coffee, which is full in flavor and body.

Plunger Pots or French Press Pots operate in a unique manner. The course ground coffee is placed into the pot. Hot water is then added and the grounds are left to steep. Then a metal screen attached to a plunger is slowly pushed down forcing the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot. This coffee has a thick texture and is particularly appropriate to the flavors of dark roasted coffees.

Espresso coffee is fast becoming popular and the term espresso refers to the brewing method and not a coffee bean. This method gives the fullest bodied coffee by far. Espresso machines force hot (not boiling) water through finely ground coffee at high pressure.

Almost certainly every nation of the eastern Mediterranean brew coffee with a very simple method which is though to have originated in the coffee houses of Cairo in the fifteenth century. Very finely ground, sweetened coffee is lightly boiled several times in a medieval looking long handles brass or copper vessel called a cezve in Turkish and ibrik or briki in Greek. Although the coffee is not filtered the grounds stay in the bottom of the pot but some sediments will find there way into the cup where it sinks to the bottom and remains.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Coffee