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How to brew your coffee

Our top tips & ratios for different brewing methods

We've learned that you can never be wrong with how you make your coffee: it's just down to your preference in taste, brew method, and temperature! And what you like may well be very different to what we like - that's the beauty of brewing and drinking speciality coffee.

If you'd like to know how we do it, below is our handy guide for each of the main brewing methods. We tend to weigh our beans and our water, but we've been living and breathing coffee for ten years and know how to get the best out of it.

However, if you'd prefer practical, hands-on advice on getting the perfect brew plus the origins and processing of the coffee you drink, check out our Coffee Enthusiast Experience course.

Espresso machines

In our espresso bars in Oxford, we use a recipe of around 17.5g espresso coffee to 36ml of water, with a run time of between 28 and 34 seconds. An espresso grind should be fine, so if the coffee is gushing through in ten seconds, you probably need to fine-up your grind. If it's dripping and all syrupy, you'll need to coarse up the grind. With a home espresso machine, the grind might need to be slightly coarser, so if you're ordering from us, you could try selecting a "moka pot" grind if you don't have a grinder.

Moka Pot

A Mokapot is a stove-top brewer which passes boiling water pressurised by steam through ground coffee. The consistency of the liquid is similar to that of espresso, but slightly less intense. The coffee needs to be reasonably fine, but not as fine as espresso. The basket should be filled with ground coffee to near its top, taking care not to push the grind down. We tend to put hot water in the bottom chamber and use a tea towel to screw it together after putting the filled basket on top. Add water to dilute until you get a perfect consistency. Turn off the gas/heat when the coffee starts spitting.

Aeropress

The Aeropress uses manual pressure to allow you to create more extraction. It's quick, clean and easy and great for camping trips. We recommend the inverted method (you'll find this on youtube) using 15.5g of coffee and about 220ml water, off the boil.

V60

The V60 dripper is a cone-shaped filter with a filter paper. The whole process should only take a few minutes, and it enables you to get a clean, silky flavour from your filter coffee. The grind should be medium, not too fine and not too coarse. We use about 17.5g of coffee and 250g of water. So think 7g to every 100ml.

Filter

You can get many different filter machines, where you put the coffee in and press go. Just make sure you've got your ratios sorted and the grind perfect. We recommend 7 grams of coffee to every 100ml of water, and a medium grind, like coarse sand.

Cafetiere

All hail the mighty cafetiere. If we're not in the espresso bar, this is our go-to method in the morning, and it's awesome. The same 7g coffee to every 100ml water recipe works, but the grind needs to be much coarser. We usually put the coffee grind in, pour the water off the boil, wait for two minutes, stir, wait for another two minutes and then plunge. People often think that if they put more coffee grind in they will get a stronger coffee, but if the ratios aren't correct, the coffee becomes over-extracted and bitter.

For a step-by-step guide to each of the brewing methods described above, download and print our Coffee Brew Cards.

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