Home Working Coffee Guide

Filter coffee is sometimes seen as the poor cousin of the more glamorous espresso-based drinks. Nonsense, say Kopi! A beautifully brewed cup of filter coffee is among a home worker's finer pleasures. 

When you start your home business you'll know for sure that good coffee should be in within reach ... certainly no further than the end of your desk.

And the cafetiere method proves that you don’t need fancy machines and expensive equipment to make a good cup of coffee. You need quality coffee, clean water and a cafetiere – something you can easily get for under a tenner.

The rest is practice and patience ... and mugs of the stuff. For tasting to perfection, say Kopi. For getting through your home business planning, says iHubbub.

Read on for some master brewing tips from Kopi's Jim Cain. 

A beautifully brewed cup of filter coffee is among a home workers life’s finer pleasures.


The Coffee

A cafetiere works best with medium or coarse ground coffee (it should look a bit like Demerara sugar) rather than an espresso grind. This is mainly because a medium or coarse grind ensures less surface area is exposed to water, resulting in a more rounded flavour without too much bitterness. Also, when you use a finer espresso grind with a cafetiere, you tend to end up with sediment in the cup.  

While the grind of a coffee is important, every home business owner coffee lover knows the date of roasting and grinding is just as critical, if not more so. Coffee that’s been sitting around for a while, whether in whole bean or ground format, usually tastes like it. Freshly roasted and freshly ground – Kopi firmly believe this is the only way to a gorgeous cup of coffee. 

When it comes to storing coffee, the old ‘keep it in the fridge’ myth is just that – a myth. Coffee should be stored in as uninteresting an environment as possible: away from excessive heat, moisture, air, light and just about any other excitement you can think of. Kopi’s dark-coloured resealable bags do the job beautifully, but if you need an alternative, try an air-tight glass or ceramic container. 

The Water

This one’s simple but it’s also where most people go wrong. Start with cold, clean (ideally filtered) water and bring it to the boil, but here’s the trick: don’t use it straight away. You want to work with water that’s about 95 degrees, so leave the kettle for 30 seconds or so post-boil to lose those five degrees. 

Water temperature is one of the easiest ways to make bad coffee. If the water is too hot it will scald the coffee and affect the flavour. You know that gorgeous taste of a good coffee, when all the flavours come out – the caramel tones, the floral scent, the citrus hit and the dark, heady notes?

That's what happens when you don't scald coffee. And you know that taste when it's just all wrong – sort of burnt and bitter? That coffee was made with water that was too hot. 

The Gear

The list of cafetiere must-haves is brief: you need a glass or metal canister (not plastic as it retains flavours and smells) and a metal filter. Whether you prefer plastic or metal handles on your cafetiere is up to you and unlikely to affect the way your coffee tastes. 

For the most part, one glass or metal cafetiere is as good as another. What’s critical is what you do with yours – and again, we’re talking temperature. That 95-degree water makes the best coffee when it’s poured into an equally warm cafetiere. So pre-heat your cafetiere with just-boiled water, and while you’re at it, warm your mug, too. 

If you want to get really serious, invest in a double-walled cafetiere that can hold its heat for longer. This means the coffee left in the cafetiere after that first cup will hold its taste as well as its temperature.


Jim Cain from Kopi shows home workers how to brew a perfect cafetiere coffeeJim Cain from Kopi

Jim Cain is a leading coffee specialist and mastermind behind the selection of world class coffees for www.kopi.co.uk, the subscription gourmet coffee company.  




The Science

Good coffee comes down to ratios. For those with kitchen scales and the patience to measure, Kopi reckon somewhere between 5 grams and 8 grams of coffee per 100ml of water.

For those busy as hell home business start ups who can’t be bothered, this means roughly one heaped dessert spoon of coffee per small cup of water (so two heaped spoonsful per large mug). 

Cafetieres typically come in 3-cup, 6-cup and 8-cup sizes, but keep in mind that these are demi-tasse cups: an 8-cup cafetiere actually provides coffee for three people. Whatever size cafetiere you have, if you drink your coffee out of a mug, work backwards from that and only add the amount of coffee and water you need. 

The Method

Pour the right amount of 95-degree water over the grounds and give it a little stir with a clean metal implement – no plastic or wood. Put the plunger on top, not quite touching the coffee, and leave it be for three minutes, regardless of how much coffee you are making.

It's a common misconception that the longer you leave it in the cafetiere, the stronger coffee gets. What actually happens is that the coffee gets over-extracted and becomes bitter. Stronger coffee can be achieved by increasing the amount of coffee you use, not the brewing time.

All in, you're looking at just under four minutes from boiling point to pouring.

Once you hit the three-minute mark, slowly and evenly plunge the coffee. Go on and pour yourself a cup – it should be just about perfect.

Then put your feet up and read more articles in iHubbub's home business magazine to help your new business start-up!

The Aftermath

Once you’ve finished your coffee, pull the plunger out of the cafetiere and take the time to untwist the end piece and rinse each component under a warm tap. Be sure not to leave any bits of coffee left in the filter or coil as they’ll grow stale and affect the flavour of your next cup. Soap is best avoided as it may leave an aftertaste. 



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