Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - SHUTTERBUG - Ruth Deasy is the co-owner of Bear Mar­ket cafe, Main St, Black­rock, Co Dublin, see bear­mar­ In con­ver­sa­tion with Sarah Caden by Ruth Deasy

To make good cof­fee, you need fresh cof­fee beans and a ba­sic amount of equip­ment. I don’t mean any­thing fancy like the ma­chines we have in the shop, but sim­ple stuff that is not ex­pen­sive and easy to use. The ba­sics are a hand grinder, a scales and a

timer, but fresh beans are the real start­ing point. We rec­om­mend that you don’t buy bags of ground beans and leave them hang­ing around the house. They will age, and they won’t taste the same. In­stead, buy whole beans and grind them as you need them. The flavour is

com­pletely dif­fer­ent. Go for blends of beans by all means, that way you know you’re get­ting a cer­tain kind of roast, like medium, or full-bod­ied; but if you’re more ad­ven­tur­ous, I’d rec­om­mend sin­gle-ori­gin beans. It’s like with wine, you learn what kind of flavours you like by try­ing beans from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and re­gions. You won’t like some,

but that’s part of the fun of cof­fee. You can buy a hand grinder with ce­ramic burrs very cheaply. I like the hand grinder over the elec­tric one, be­cause you can con­trol more eas­ily what kind of grind you’re get­ting. Ce­ramic burrs are much bet­ter than the me­tal blades in a tra­di­tional elec­tric grinder, which heat

up as they grind and al­ter the taste of the beans. Peo­ple ask us how many scoops of cof­fee you should use in a cafetiere or French press, but you can’t an­swer that

eas­ily. Re­ally, it’s a case of ra­tio and of weigh­ing. You need a scales to weigh the ground cof­fee, and then we use a ra­tio of 1:10, cof­fee to wa­ter. In the recipe be­low,

it’s 60g of ground cof­fee to 600ml of wa­ter. It’s im­por­tant to make cof­fee with wa­ter that is just off the boil. We have spe­cial ket­tles to tell us when the wa­ter is the right tem­per­a­ture — 87-90°C — but you can just wait 10 sec­onds af­ter it boils. Boil­ing wa­ter will burn the cof­fee. Also, make sure to de­cant the cof­fee, either into cups or a heated jug, as soon as you’ve plunged it. Oth­er­wise it will con­tinue to brew and go bit­ter. It’s four min­utes, from the sec­ond the wa­ter hits the cof­fee, un­til you de­cant, and as re­gards tim­ing, you don’t re­ally need a timer. Most peo­ple just use their phone.

You will need:

60g ground cof­fee, the tex­ture of coarse sand

600ml wa­ter, just off the boil


You’ ll need a cafetiere large enough to hold 3-4 cups of cof­fee. Pre­heat the cafetiere; this is very im­por­tant to en­sure that the cof­fee does not go cold straight away. Pour in some hot wa­ter to heat the glass and then dis­card. Add the ground cof­fee to the jug and then add 120ml of wa­ter, just off the boil. Stir for 30 sec­onds. This is called al­low­ing the cof­fee to bloom. Then fill up with the re­main­ing 480ml of wa­ter. Place lid on and leave it for an­other three-and-ahalf min­utes. So the to­tal time is four min­utes, and then you plunge. De­cant, or drink straight away.

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