Farm to Cup: Roasting and Brewing

The most intimate roasting and brewing process. For the most consistent roast, you can’t beat a home coffee roasting machine but you can still try with what we call as the frying pan method. You can use any pan that will hold the coffee beans and that you can safely place on a burner.  A skillet or soup pot would work, and a nice round bottom wok would be the best. The biggest factor in pan selection is that you want to use a metal pan that’s thick and doesn’t have any kind of coating like carbon steel, stainless steel or cast iron are all excellent choices.

Coffee shops all over the world have known one of the secrets to making the best cup of coffee is to use freshly ground coffee beans. Manual coffee making methods are becoming an increasingly popular option for home enthusiasts and coffee shop baristas alike.

The abilities to control every variable in the brewing process, create a cup that’s exactly suited to one’s preferences, and highlight the unique character of the coffee has convinced many to make the switch. This new popularity has prompted the birth of several new methods and devices, as well as the resurrection of older methods.

Two important aspects of brewing a delicious cup of coffee is freshness and extraction or pouring water over coffee grounds. You can help control freshness by purchasing coffee as whole beans, roasted to order. Coffee is a food and minimizing exposure to the elements is critical to keeping it fresh. When coffee is ground, more surface area is exposed to the elements, which causes it to lose its freshness that much faster.

The next aspect is proper extraction. While there are many extraction variables such as dose, water temperature, and other elements, one of the most important is the coffee grind. Uniformity in the coffee particle size ensures that each coffee particle is extracted similarly and properly.

Simply, larger particles need a longer contact time with water to get a proper extraction; smaller particles less time. If you have particles that vary greatly in size you have coffee that is both over extracted or too much contact with water and under extracted or too little contact with water. A small effort to get the most uniform grind possible for your preferred brewing method will yield a huge return in the cup.

Pourover coffee unlike some other methods continuously replenishes the liquid surrounding the coffee grounds with new, fresher water. This promotes a faster, more efficient brew. On the other hand, that fresh water also has a tendency to extract more from the surface layers of the grounds.

One stream of water, rather than a dozen or more little streams from a coffee maker shower head, results in a brewing environment that’s a few degrees higher, just from reducing the surface temperature loss from those narrow water streams. Temperature and water quality affect the overall reaction rate of our little coffee chemistry set as hotter, cleaner water generally means faster.

Pour overs may be having their day in the sun, but many of our favorites have been around for decades. Whether you’re a first time brewer or a coffee drip master, brewing your best requires a few tips. Beyond that, always use fresh coffee, and adjust your grind and proportions to taste.

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