Art of a good brew can be achieved at home

Go! & Express - - Go! People - ALAN HAWKINS www.el­cof­fee.co.za

MOST cof­fee roast­ers sell ground cof­fee re­luc­tantly. The rea­son for this is that ground cof­fee loses flavour far faster than whole beans.

The sur­face area of ground cof­fee is far greater than that of a whole bean and flavour loss is di­rectly pro­por­tion­ate to ex­po­sure to air.

Vac­uum pack­ing may slow the flavour degra­da­tion a lit­tle but once the pack is opened, it’s pretty much down­hill from there.

If you have no choice but to pur­chase ground cof­fee, try and con­sume this as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter open­ing.

In only a few days, much of the orig­i­nal bean flavour will be lost.

The al­ter­na­tive is to buy whole beans and to grind these at home. This said, the typ­i­cal blade grinder present in most kitchens is not rec­om­mended for cof­fee.

This mean ma­chine merely pul­verises the del­i­cate bean and delivers an in­con­sis­tent grind size which can re­sult in bit­ter­ness and other un­wanted flavour el­e­ments.

Throw it away as far as cof­fee goes and look out for a burr grinder lo­cally or on the many on­line por­tals.

Home grinders are not too ex­pen­sive and will un­doubt­edly lift your cof­fee ex­pe­ri­ence to new lev­els.

You love cof­fee but the ex­pen­sive ma­chin­ery is a bridge too far? I’ll share a se­cret – when we cup cof­fee in our lab­o­ra­tory we push aside all the ex­pen­sive ma­chin­ery and use a sim­ple plunger. Of­ten re­ferred to as a French Press or a Bodum, this brew­ing sys­tem costs very lit­tle and con­sis­tently delivers a good brew. We rec­om­mend a medium roast pro­file for this method.

Alan Hawkins is a the chief roaster of Cut­man & Hawk Cof­fees and founder of the East Lon­don Cof­fee Co.

GOOD CUPPA: Get your freshly roasted and ground cof­fee at East Lon­don Cof­fee Com­pany

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