Recipe for Success: Brewing the Best Coffee at Home
Like many of you, we at Kona Coffee & Tea have been greatly affected by the global pandemic. Tourism in Kona, let alone the entire state of Hawaii, is at a standstill and we know many of our coffee lovers are working from home for the first time. Our jack-of-all-trades online manager, Mike, has been working from home for a few years and put together this guide of helpful tips for brewing coffee at home. We hope you're still able to enjoy your coffee rituals, no matter where you are.
There is nothing I enjoy more than my morning coffee brewing ritual. As I write this, I am finishing the last sip of my morning brew. Brewing great coffee at home comes down to establishing a reliable, flexible routine. I have been in the coffee business for about 20 years and have been exposed to a plethora of brew methods, new trends, exciting gadgets, and more. Although I make an effort to try new things, I always end up going back to the simple, tried-and-true brewing methods that have been around for decades, which provide reliable and consistent results.
My advice to all you home brewers: Be curious and try new things but with an eye towards finding a dependable, reliable routine that provides you with a cup you enjoy and look forward to every morning. Keep it simple and consistent, and let the final result help guide you.
Essentials for Successful Home Brewing
Good Coffee - This is a no-brainer. If you want great-tasting coffee in your cup, you have to start with great beans. Look for coffee from a source you trust that is quality controlled, roasted fresh, and is shipped quickly after roasting—like Kona Coffee & Tea!
Proper Storage - Do not refrigerate or freeze your coffee! Have a designated cupboard for all your coffee needs so you have it all in one place. Be sure that it is free of strong scents and that it maintains an average room temperature without great fluctuation.
Grinder - If you will be home brewing, you should invest in a reliable burr grinder. Blade grinders are fine for starting out, but do not offer the consistency you need to reproduce that great-tasting cup day after day. Burr grinders vary greatly in price and quality so it is best to do some research. It will be worth your while.
Ratios and Grind Size - Once you have a good grinder, you can start developing your optimal recipe by experimenting with water to coffee ratios and grind sizes. We recommend an 18:1 ratio of water-to-ground coffee as a starting point. For grind size, keep in mind that the longer the coffee is in direct contact with water, the coarser the grind should be.
Example: If you use a French press, the coffee is immersed in water for up to six minutes; therefore, you’ll need a coarse grind. If you use a standard pour over, the coffee is repeatedly flushed with hot water and allowed to drain so a drip grind is ideal. You’ll also want to get a reliable scale. I weigh coffee and water.
Water - Coffee is mostly water so using clean, filtered water is essential. Use a home water filter or water from a reliable source. Do not use unfiltered tap water or distilled water—coffee needs water with minerals.
Equipment - Different brew methods will provide you with different flavors. As I mentioned before, I always find myself going back to my tried-and-true preferred methods. Try a few methods to determine what you prefer. Don’t be hesitant to invest in a few different methods. It is good to have choices and when you have mastered them all, you can easily pick the method that speaks to you in the moment.
Electric Kettle - The electric kettle has saved me so much time and has made my morning routine seamless and simple. I wake up, click it on, and while I am busy grinding and preparing everything, it brings the water to temp.
Brewing and enjoying coffee at home is one of the greatest perks of working from home if you ask me. It is a reliable ritual that motivates me to meet the day. I try to remember to engage all my senses in this process: looking at the beautiful beans, smelling the fragrance of freshly ground coffee, touching the warmth of the mug, and, of course, tasting that sweet, bold brew, and letting it gently roll over the tongue. What better way to greet the day!
For all of you that are missing the café experience or who miss sharing that cup with friends and loved ones while engaging in playful or thoughtful discussions, I recommend having friends over for a socially distanced cup on the lanai or taking your brew on the road and meeting friends in a park or your favorite place in nature. I am an introvert by nature, but I highly value that personal face-to-face interaction. Nothing beats that in-person exchange. So while many of us are working from home and mastering our home brew, let’s not forget the gift of sharing. I’ll leave you with this inspirational meme I read once long ago. I cannot remember where, but it has influenced me greatly in every aspect of my life: “Make something beautiful and give it away.”
I hope you found this short primer on home brewing helpful. Especially in times of great change, it is helpful to have a ritual that stays the same. Something that is solid, reliable, and comforting. We wish you all much health and Aloha. May you be happy, well, and kind.
Getting great coffee for home brewing has never been easier
Our 100% Kona coffee is roasted and shipped daily from our single-estate farm to your front door.
Save 10% on all subscription items
30 and 60-day options available
3-order minimum fulfillment required
How do you make your cup of coffee?
Let us know by commenting below or on social media @konacoffeeandtea
CONTRIBUTOR: MIKE CUBBAGE
HOW I LIKE MY COFFEE: Medium Roast Black
NEW QUARANTINE HOBBY: Bee keeping
I've been involved in the coffee industry for about 16 years. I've been a barista for many years, then a trainer and consultant. I am big on sharing relevant knowledge that will help coffee lovers have the optimal coffee experience. Working with Kona Coffee & Tea Company is like a dream come true. I can't say how rewarding it is to work with such a great product from seed to cup. From the very beginning, being part of the team here, I've felt like family and have been treated like family. The spirit of Aloha is strong as is their dedication to community and quality.