How I Make Coffee

This post describes the steps I follow to make a filter coffee.

  1. Here’s what you need to get started:

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2. Steps

  • Measure out beans
    • About 12g of beans is optimal. But a little more or less won’t ruin the brew. Remember to tare off the weight of the grinder before putting in the beans

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  • Grind Beans
    • Remember to set up your grinder at an appropriate level. You’re not looking for an ultra fine espresso grind but something a bit coarser, about 8/9 clicks is what I would generally use. More detail at this link: Hario Grind Settings. It should only take a few minutes to grind this amount of beans, if it’s taking ages you’ll know your grind is too fine.
  • Boil Water
    • I generally boil a regular kettle of water (see below for some further discussion on this) and then let it cool to 82 deg. Celsius approx.
    • While the water is cooling, take the lid of the AeroPress
      and attach a filter. Give it a quick rinse with cold water.IMG_20150727_200017
  • Make the Brew
    • With the AeroPress sitting on the Weighing Scales, pour in 100g approx of the 82 deg. Celsius water.IMG_20150727_200927
    • Then pour in the ground beans then give a quick stir with a teaspoon.IMG_20150727_200851
    • Then pour in another 100g approx of the 82 deg. Celsius water. Give another quick stir. There should be a nice crema appearing at this stage.
    • Put the lid with the rinsed filter on and then twist to tighten. Push the top down to remove any air gap between the top of the brew and the top of the AeroPress.
    • Give your cup a rinse of hot water before filtering in coffee to remove any residues or dust.
    • Turn the AeroPress upside down and sit it on the cupIMG_20150727_201021
    • Gently press the top down. You should be be pressing for approx 15 – 20 seconds. Don’t press it all the way through, stopping before you hear the air wheeze.
    • Sit back, relax and enjoy your very own filter coffee.IMG_20150727_201158

3. Other Considerations

  • Grinding: Most coffee retailers offer to grind their coffee for you. This is convenient if you don’t have a grinder but note that the ground coffee won’t keep for as long as unground beans.
  • Water: I haven’t gone into any specifics about water here as I have generally used unfiltered tap water, which I acknowledge is sacrilege to many AeroPressenthusiasts who insist that bottled water must be used. It’s something which I intend to experiment with
  • This method makes about half a regular cup. Depending on your preference, you can easily top it up with some water to make it more Americano-esque.

4. Resources

There are many ways to use the AeroPress and the above is what I have used many times and have always got a good result. However, don’t assume that it’s perfect! A quick google will find websites, podcasts, videos aplenty if you want to delve deeper.

The method I have outlined here is based on what Tim Ferriss described in the The 4 Hour Chef and also in the below video.

Hopefully the above is useful, send me your thoughts and feedback on Twitter @eoindelahunty

The Barn

It can often be difficult to get really great coffee, particularly in a city which you are less than familiar with, not even mentioning the merciless bombardment by Starbucks this and Costa that.  Thankfully, Berlin has an abundance of people who value quality coffee and plenty of coffee connoisseurs to meet that demand.

Situated a little bit away from the main thoroughfares on Auguststrasse, The Barn is a compact little coffee shop whose owners offer an authentic “third-wave” experience. I went there mainly because it was close to where I was staying. But as soon as I got arrived, it was clear that these guys meant business. When you see the freshly roasted coffee on the shelves, it’s always a good sign.

They also have a second location which is used primarily  as their roastery and they host events there also. There was a talk by James Hoffmann of Squaremile Coffee Roasters on the same day. Unfortunately I didn’t make it but it clearly shows the approach of  “The Barn” to their craft.

As far the coffee itself, it was fantastic. From the first sip, there was smoothness and delicate flavours coming through.  A good flat white is hard to beat and this was up there.  Particularly when you get the aftertaste and caffeine buzz later.

Although not spacious inside, sitting outside it was the kind of place where you could go in for a quick espresso and spend the day there reading or watching the world go by.