How To Make Coffee With The AeroPress :: Inverted AeroPress Video Tutorial

how to use the aeropress inverted method
Aeropress video tutorial :: How to Aeropress :: Aeropress Coffee

How to Use the AeroPress (Inverted Method)


When I started this blog, the first two videos were How To Brew Coffee With The French Press, and How To Brew Coffee With The AeroPress.  Admittedly, I was not on my game yet.  I have learned much since that time, and I have previously updated the French Press Tutorial, and now it’s time to set the record straight on how to PROPERLY use the AeroPress coffee brewer.  There are several techniques out there, but the one that I employ is easy for any Joe Schmoe to duplicate.  It produces a rich, flavorful cup of coffee, and does not involve any crazy tactics that will discourage you from using it on a daily basis.


When I first tried the AeroPress, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about.  People were, and still are, going crazy over this brewer.  I mean, how good can a coffee maker that is manufactured by Aerobie be?  These guys got famous by inventing a super duper frisbee for crying out loud.  Well, I was kind of disappointed when it was all said and done.  I strongly suggest chucking the included instructions into [Read more…]

How To Clean a Chemex : #CoffeeTip

how to clean a chemex no scrubbing
How to clean a chemex no scrubbing

How To Clean a Chemex Without Scrubbing


I’m sure a great number of people have shared my struggle to clean coffee equipment that has a narrow opening. Coffee oils cling to surfaces and turn rancid. These rotten oils add undesirable flavors to your brew. Nasty! I had a long bottle brush, but it was a total PITA to get it in just the right shape to make sufficient contact. Achieving enough pressure to scrub the oils away was another challenge.

 

There Has to be a Better Way!

How To Clean A Chemex no scrubbing wYes, there is a better way, and it is ridiculously simple to clean your Chemex, with absolutely zero scrubbing. This method will also work quite well with airpots, siphon brewers, as well as any other item that is made of metal or glass. I never use any detergents on plastic items, as plastics can hold onto cleaners forever. OxiClean is like a solid form of Hydrogen Peroxide, so it doesn’t seem to contain anything that would leave tastes behind, but I haven’t used it on plastic yet. Perhaps I’ll test it out on a cheapo Melitta.

What You’ll Need

  • Hot Water
  • 2T – 3T of OxiClean (Readily available at local stores)

How To Clean A Chemex 3w

Directions

  • Add OxiClean to the Chemex
  • Fill Chemex with hot water
  • Wait 2-6 hours
  • Rinse

You see how scuzzy my 13-cup Chemex was. I used about 3T of OxiClean and let it sit for about 2 hours. I could immediately see the coffee oils lifting away from the sides of the Chemex. It was magical and sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies.
How To Clean A Chemex After w

Do you have any tips or tricks to cleaning coffee equipment?

If so, please include them in the comment section!
 

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7 Valuable Steps to Brewing Coffee That Will Make You an Expert

7 valuable steps to brewing coffee
Guest post by Shaun Pullen

Making coffee is serious business, woe to the Keurig pods.

The search for great coffee has become an American obsession. It’s right up there with NASCAR and colluding with Russians. Connoisseurs of the elixir of life can now please their discerning palates at boutique coffee emporiums stretching from Seattle to Key West.

However, a fierce debate rages on regarding the best way to brew one’s coffee at home. Some swear by the vacuum process while others pledge their fealty to the French Press or the pour over. Brand names like Chemex, Aeropress, and Hario are now tossed around as freely as Frisbees.

IF YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE YOUR COFFEE,
THE FIRST DECISION IS HOW YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE IT.

Making coffee is serious business, and woe to the neophyte who says, “I think those Keurig pods are pretty good.” Blasphemer!

So, if you want to impress the Caffeine Cognoscenti, you may want to follow these seven easy steps to make one helluva good cup o’ Joe.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #1: FUNNY, YOU DON’T LOOK BREWISH

If you’re going to make your coffee, the first decision is how you’re going to make it. Many people who are sticklers for great coffee swear by the pour-over method and swear even more when they run out of filters.

So, if you find automatic coffee makers an abomination and a tool of Satan, get yourself a good Hario V60. Hario in Japanese means “King of Glass.” So don’t throw any stones at it. This Japanese-made pour-over kit contains a heat-resistant glass coffee pot that’s microwavable. It holds 4 cups and is easy to use.

And best of all, it makes a killer cuppa.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #2: GRINDER FINDER

What? You use pre-ground coffee! That’s a serious misdemeanor in Eugene or Portland, OR. According to the Coffee Nostra, coffee must be ground every time you make coffee. So, a grinder is de rigueur (which is a French phrase for “super cool”).

A GOOD GRIND CAN BE LIKE YOUR FRIENDS; SOME ARE COARSE, AND OTHERS ARE VERY FINE.

People in the know love the Burr coffee grinder and not just because of Aaron Burr, who killed Hamilton, invented it. His invention is making a killing, I know, ironic. The Burr can grind 17 different ways (insert joke here), so it’s well worth the modest price.

Nate Note: Unlike the blade-type grinders, burr grinders produce a more consistent grind size. Blades always create dust, which makes your coffee taste bitter.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #3: THE BEAN IS BOSS

Okay, you’ve got your coffee maker, your grinder, now comes the hard part.

Back in the day, there were only three kinds of coffee beans, and two of them were found on top of Juan Valdez’s donkey.
Today, at last count, you have 26,341 different types of beans to choose from, some from countries you’ve never heard of before.

So, why whole beans? Could it be because all their essentials oils are locked inside? Yes, I just answered my own question. And make sure they’re freshly roasted.

Okay, where are these precious beans? At a local roaster or a small roaster who sells online. Don’t have one? Then go to GoCoffeeGo and you’ll find a selection of quality beans from several roasters…all in one shopping cart. Or just walk around a trendy neighborhood in your city and sniff around a lot.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #4: SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

Now that the obsession of brewing the perfect cup of coffee has jeopardized your job and your social life, let’s go full-tilt OCD and talk about water thermometers. Yes, that’s right. Because if your heated water is only 185 degrees (the current temperature in Phoenix), you’re cheating yourself.

Those in the know say that 200 degrees in the gold standard of heatitude. So get that water thermometer out or get yourself the Bonavita Variable Temperature Kettle and impress your friends. If you still have any left.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #5: WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE

The average human body is about 70% water unless you’re Michael Phelps. Then it’s 98.75%. The same for coffee. That’s why many people think of Michael Phelps when they drink coffee.

THE AVERAGE HUMAN BODY IS ABOUT 70% WATER UNLESS YOU’RE MICHAEL PHELPS.

So it’s important to use filtered water. Not tap water. That will only anger your grind. And angry coffee is yucky coffee. Spring water and filtered water are best. Distilled? Not so much.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #6: BREWING 101

If you aspire to be a great coffee brewer, then there are a few fundamental things you should know. So get out your calculators and take notes.

  • Coffee to Water Ratio
    “Do I really have to know this?” “Will this be on the test?” Hey, stop your bellyaching. This is important stuff. Ideally, the ratio for a great cup is 18 parts water to one part coffee. So, if you’re using 4 cups of water, then… umm… you should be using… uhhh…Math is hard! I prefer the eyeball method.

    Nate Note: I get crazy here and uses a Hario scale to measure the mass of water used. I use a scale because mass offers better consistency from brew to brew than measuring by volume. If you use a ratio of 15:1, it would be 1000 g of water to about 67 g of coffee. Coffee is subjective, so adjust the ratio until you find your preference. Note that you’ll adjust this ratio for various brewing methods.


  • Grind Particle Size
    When it comes to coffee, size matters. A medium fine grind is ideal for most brewing methods. A coarser grind says to the world, “I haven’t a clue about the brew.”…unless you’re using a press pot. So get out that Burr device and figure it out.

  • Water Temperature
    Don’t forget the water should be between 198 and 202 degrees.

coffee brewing steps

STEP #7: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE STARBUCKS

Gandhi once said, “This lousy coffee tastes like the Ganges! Send it back!”
Coffee is a very personal thing. Start your day with a bad cup of coffee and the whole day is ruined. But a great cup of coffee makes the world seem more tolerable, like a world with fewer Kardashians.

So how do you tell the difference? Well, if you take a sip of java and immediately spit it out and cry “Foul!” that’s a good indication you’ve just tasted bad coffee. Conversely, if you take a sip… smile, say “Ahhh!” and high-five your umbrella stand, then you’ve tasted the delicious stuff.

NO EXCUSE FOR BAD COFFEE

In summary, there’s no excuse for a bad cup of coffee anymore. Just follow the previous seven steps, and nirvana will be awaiting you. Namaste.

How to Store Coffee – Tips on Coffee Freshness

how to keep store coffee freshness
ftc disclosure

Coffee Freshness

The subject of coffee freshness has been confused by ignorant coffee companies and consumers spreading lies and mistruths. I get it; you want to trust the company you bought the coffee from, and you put a certain amount of confidence into the information they print on the packaging. Unfortunately, many of them have no clue about proper storage of roasted coffee.

Coffee’s Enemies

  • Moisture
  • Heat
  • Light
  • Oxygen

Obviously, storing roasted coffee in ways that protect against the four elements is the objective.

The Lies

Coffee should never be stored in the refrigerator. Everything in the fridge is exposed to humidity/moisture.

Many coffee companies advise consumers to store their unused beans in the freezer. Placing coffee in the freezer should be avoided because the typical person isn’t going to go through the necessary steps to ensure proper handling.

Roasted coffee is safely frozen under the following conditions;

  • The coffee is moved into freezer-safe storage
  • The coffee is frozen once
  • The coffee is placed in a deep-freeze, not a kitchen freezer that is opened/closed daily

You can divide a large amount of coffee into smaller, week’s worth portions, placing each portion into freezer-safe containers. At the beginning of each week, remove one package from the freezer. Allow the frozen coffee to reach room temperature before grinding/brewing.

The Bean – A Freshness Container

A whole coffee bean acts as a protector of freshness. It shields the delicate oils from the outside elements. With typical consumer storage, whole bean coffee remains fresh for about two weeks.

When ground, the coffee immediately begins to spoil. The oils come into contact with oxygen. Air destroys the coffee, and the oils become rancid. This is why I say there is no *best* way to store ground coffee. To provide an answer would be like prescribing the best way to store curdled milk. It doesn’t matter what you do; it’s still going to be spoiled.

The Best Storage For Roasted Coffee

If you purchase fresh roasted, whole bean coffee, there are special containers you can purchase to prolong the freshness of the coffee. These containers provide protection from the four coffee freshness enemies.

After the roasting process, the coffee beans emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide. That is why you see valves on bags of roasted coffee. A lot of people think those valves are for vacuum sealing. They are one-way valves, allowing the CO2 to escape, while keeping the outside air from getting in.

After Opening

After opening the package, it is important to provide shelter from moisture, air, light, and heat. I’ve used two inexpensive options to store my coffee. They are opaque containers that effectively seal the beans inside, while providing a one-way valve for the CO2 to escape. I have complete confidence in both containers, and I continue to use them.

Place the amount of coffee you wish to store inside of the container, seal them, then put the container in an area that is not subject to temperature changes (i.e., sun exposure, near entry doors, etc.)

Here are my preferred coffee storage containers;

Coffee Gator

coffee gator reviewThe Coffee Gator is a simple storage container. It is a sort of coffee croc. The lid contains a one-way valve to allow the carbon dioxide a way out, without allowing air to enter the container. One-way valves are especially desirable if you’re going to keep the container sealed for multiple days. Operating the Coffee Gator quite easy, just push the lid down and flip the hasp. It doesn’t take much pressure or dexterity to engage the seal, so it shouldn’t be an obstacle for those with limits in those areas. Coffee Gator website

CoffeeNate readers will enjoy an exclusive discount of 15% when using coupon code: TYE3NCTE

The lid also provides two dials, one from 1-12 and the other from 1-31. You can use this to help keep track of when you began storing your beans.

CoffeeVac

coffeevacThe CoffeeVac works in much the same way, although its construction is plastic instead of stainless steel. I’ve had several CoffeeVac’s, which are available in several sizes. They are not as sturdy as the Coffee Gator, but they do work well. I would especially recommend the CoffeeVac if you’re storing smaller amounts of coffee, as you can store it with less air getting trapped inside of the container. Operate the CoffeeVac by pushing a button while sliding on the lid. You can hear the air being displaced and verify that the seal is working by attempting to remove the lid without depressing the button.

 
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Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder: Why Does It Matter?

ftc disclosure
burr grinder vs blade grinder

Burr vs. Blade Grinders: Why Does It Matter?

Guest post written by Sam Ellis

Some people still think that the only way they can improve the taste of their coffee is by buying better coffee or by using a more sophisticated coffee machine. They don’t realize that a very simple method to improve the taste of their daily brew is to change the way they grind it.

Before I started taking coffee seriously, I had owned and used several blade grinders. I never quite managed to grind beans to the same quality that I would find in packs of good, ground coffee at specialty coffee shops. The improvement I expected from having freshly ground beans simply didn’t happen because I was using blade grinders.

Long story short (if you know a bit about coffee, I don’t need to explain this to you), I eventually found the answer when I invested in a slightly more expensive grinder for my coffee – burr grinder.
So what are burr grinders and why do they generate a far superior grind for our coffee?

Burr vs. blade coffee grinders, the basics

Many people starting out with fresh coffee will often go for a blade grinder. I certainly did. Blade grinders are cheap; there is no question about it. They work by using a rotary blade which chops up the coffee beans inside the bowl of the grinder. There is no ability to control the grind size and getting a perfectly even grind is nearly impossible (at least beyond most people’s skills).

baratza encore coffee grinder

Nate’s Best Burr Grinder Value!

A burr grinder, on the other hand, will pass the coffee beans through two (or more) burrs which will crush the coffee, achieving an entirely even grind. They have a setting with which you can select the grind size – allowing you to grind your coffee to suit the brewing method.

Good burr grinders will be considerably more expensive than blade grinders, but if you are looking to have good coffee, the investment will certainly pay itself back over time.

Size Matters

Here’s where we need to get a bit technical. Bear with me.

As has been hinted above – one of the major benefits of a burr grinder is the even grind size. Even grind sizes matter more than you think in how your coffee tastes. That’s because a particle size will change the coffee extraction when your coffee maker passes hot water through it.

As you probably know, “extraction” refers to the process of dissolving solids (flavor) in the coffee beans into the water. Smaller particles will extract faster whereas larger ones slower, meaning that with a variety of grind sizes, you will have varying degrees of extraction in the same brew.


The result is some of your coffee getting over extracted and some under extracted. This matters because over-extracted coffee brings with it bitter flavor compounds ruining your brew while under extracted coffee will taste sour and even salty. The sourness in under-extracted coffee comes from the fact that some compounds, which balance acid tastes in the coffee beans, have not yet been dissolved into the water.

Under-extracted coffee will taste flat and lack complexity while over-extracted coffee will completely overwhelm your senses with an unpleasant bitterness.

Take Control

The distinction in particle sizes leads us to the second major benefit of a burr grinder vs. a blade grinder. The setting for grind sizes that you can make with burr grinders but cannot with a blade grinder is central to being able to make an excellent cup of coffee.

You might be aware that espresso coffee uses a very fine grind (and Turkish coffee an even finer one – more on that below) whereas drip coffee requires a coarser grind. Armed with our understanding of over and under-extraction we can now see why this is so crucial. Espresso will push the water at high speed and pressure through the coffee powder, whereas drip coffee will slowly pass the water through the grinds.

The more time the water spends in contact with the coffee grinds, the more coffee solids will be extracted. We balance this by using the right grind sizes – for espresso, the fine particles of the coffee will ensure that we extract the good flavors in the short time that the water spends in contact with the coffee.

So far so good, but there is more. Not only is your type of coffee machine an important variable when deciding about the grind size, but even different roasts, beans, and blends will have more or less of the bitter, sweet and sour flavour compounds meaning that they require different grinds.

A burr grinder lets you determine the best setting for your machine and your chosen coffee by allowing you to vary grind size with the turn of a knob. Once you’ve found the perfect setting, your burr grinder will ensure that your beans are ground to the perfect size day after day.

Feel the Burn

This might seem like an already strong case for burr grinders, but there is still one more benefit to mention. Here it comes down to physics. As you may remember from your science classes, when you rub two surfaces against each other, there is friction which in turns leads to heat.

Inside your blade grinder, the rapidly spinning blades will be rubbing the coffee beans against the sides of the grinder, generating enough heat to make the coffee feel slightly warm when you take it out of the grinder. This heat starts altering the flavor of your coffee beans while grinding, extracting some of that flavour into the air rather than into your coffee cup.

The one situation where a blade grinder is suitable

Is there any case where a blade grinder is preferable? Well, bar being on an extremely tight budget, a burr grinder will always be the preferred choice. And when you think that a grinder may last you five years or longer, the initial investment is not that huge.

There is, however, one type of coffee for which a blade grinder is suitable. This is where I get back to Turkish coffee: most burr grinders cannot produce the incredibly fine coffee powder that Turkish coffee requires. With a blade grinder, on the other hand, you can simply leave it to grind your coffee to the minimum particle size it allows. The challenge of mixed particle sizes is therefore in this case, not a problem (though you’ll still have the loss of flavour by heat).

Do you have any questions about the burr vs. blade grinders? Ask in the comments!