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Brew Guides: Perfecting brewing at-home

Brew Guides: Perfecting brewing at-home

As the weeks tick on we are all adjusting to isolation life - fresh coffee deliveries, at-home workouts, Friday night drinks on Zoom - but are you still struggling with getting the coffee you are brewing at home to taste quite right? 

Obviously, you should always use high quality, freshly roasted coffee:  quality in = quality out. But the taste of coffee you brew at home can also be affected by another few key things. You need to be conscious of the correct coffee and water ratios, water temp (it’s not boiling!), grind size, and brew time. 

We’ve compiled a list below of some common issues with popular at-home brew methods and ways to fix them. The other important element to consider is the  gear you are using. You need the right gear for how you like to enjoy your coffee, and quality gear that will get the job done well. 

Once you have your chosen brew method, gear and recipe, we recommend sticking to it for a while to perfect it. Then, if there are little elements from a sensory perspective that you’d like to change, you can make your own tweaks. 


Trouble Shooting: Brewing coffee at home 

If you are not doing it already, the single best thing you can do to improve all at-home brew methods in grinding your own beans fresh just before you brew.

There are many different options for grinders out there but we recommend the Porlex Mini Hand Grinder - crafted in Japan with ceramic burrs that grind coffee easily and magnificently, and the Breville Smart Grinder - the home grinder of choice for the Rumble team, this bad boy has easy to use programable settings and can grind from espresso to filter and beyond.


Why is my Moka Pot / Stovetop coffee bitter? 

A classic method, but perhaps one of the easiest to mess up. The most common error resulting in bitterness is over-extraction (brewing too long). The key to avoiding this is ensuring you have the right grind (too fine means longer brew time) and using pre-heated water or a higher heat setting to shorten the time your grounds are being heated 

Why does my V60 coffee taste like paper? 

There is nothing worse than looking forward to a delicate single origin filter roast and getting a cardboard taste but it is a really common and easy to fix mistake. All you need to do is run boiling water through filter papers and discard the water before you add the coffee. The removes paper odours, taste and any dust/particles that may be on the paper prior to brewing. 

Why is my French Press coffee so grainy?

A delicious mouthful of freshly brewed coffee shouldn’t remind you of sandpaper. The french press is a simple, classic brew method but if you don’t get grind size right and grind evenly, it can be pretty crap. The other important thing is to make sure you are skimming the surface to remove floating grounds and allowing for a secondary brew time for the last of the particles to settle. 

Why is my AeroPress coffee sour? 

Maybe our favourite and definitely the best coffee maker for high-quality coffee at home. A sour-tasting coffee from an AeroPress is most likely due to under extraction. Fruity acidity is the first of the flavour profiles to extract from coffee as it brews, followed by sweetness and bitterness. All are needed to create a well-balanced cup. Check your grind size and brew time. 

Why does my Moccamaster coffee taste weak? 

Not only do they look great, Moccamasters are the easiest and tastiest way to batch brew lots of delicious filter coffee. If your coffee is coming out weak you most likely need to check your ratios are correct. It can also be the effect of a channelling, where water pulls through too quickly due to an uneven grind / uneven placement of the ground coffee. 

For step by step recipes, ratios and all the tips and tricks you need to pour liquid gold at home with any brew method check out our  Brew Guide video series with Stan, and remember - it all starts with good coffee!