THE PERFECT . . .
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.