In the last few years, coffee professionals are recognizing that new automatic consumer coffee makers are not that bad. Though not as good as professional ones, when it comes to get perfect brewers, you would be hard pressed to get better results with a pour-over.
With that in mind, even with the right equipment, getting the best results out of your coffee maker requires a little care. Let’s go over some of the things we know are important and essential so get the most out of your coffee maker at home.
The right Coffee recipe:
The Specialty Coffee Association recommends 60 grams of coffee to 1 liter of brew water for optimal results, if you stick to this Gold Cup standards, just make sure you use the right brewing ratio - about 1:16 - and optimized to your brewing basket. This standard also recommends making a bed of about 4-5 cm of your coffee grounds. On most consumer coffee makers, this usually means using a dose of about 40-60 grams of coffee.
For accurate results, we recommend carefully weighing your coffee grounds on a scale and to make sure the water measurements are accurate, since consumer coffee makers tent to be inaccurate or confusing (Sometimes they measure in “Cups” instead of liters or ounces)
Quality water matter
It may be hard to believe, but the water you use matter. So, flash news - your tap water is not the best for making coffee. Too much minerals, chlorine, fluoride and bicarbonate (i.e. the entire American Midwest), and you’ll have a bitter and flat flavored coffee (no-ones favorite, I know). So for your coffee cravings at home, the most practical option to get the best results is to use a high quality home water filter, if this is not an option, you can use bottled filtered water (preferably one with the mineral content listed) Look for water with a total hardness around 80-150 ppm, with less than 100 ppm bicarbonate if possible.
Use a Good Quality Grinder
Here at Karmic Grounds we use a XYZ refractometer, (do you use this or should we only talk about the grinder or other equipment ?) in addition to carefully trained palates, and Onyx coffee experts to optimize the grind settings. For consumers at home, this is where it gets a little trickier, so we recommend using brew time as a cheat sheet metric. Making it easier to differentiate between under-extracted (sour taste) and over-extracted (bitter taste)
At home, a liter batch should takes about 4 to 5 minutes to brew, from the moment water makes its firsts contact with the coffee grounds. Using this method it is recommended to use a medium to medium-coarse grind. For the best results use a high quality burr grinder, or get a batch ready to brew from our pre-packed Onyx to go bags. Even slightly slate coffee ground with pro equipment, will taste better than fresh ground coffee on a cheap low quality consumer grinder.
Stir, Stir, Stir
Assuming the coffee maker allows you to access the basket during brewing, stir the mixture during brewing and the finished brew itself. Even if you can’t access the basket during the brewing process, the point here to make sure the water its evenly distributed to assure saturation of all the grounds.
Depending on your coffee maker shower head you may find that it needs a little help. So at soon the basket get enough water to wet all its content, start giving it a quick and stir and make sure to dig deep to avoid any dry pockets. Our goal here is a completely flat brew bed by the end of the brewing time, so if you have to, give it a second, gently stir as you see needed later in the brew. After brewing the batch could use a little stir as well, since coffee tends to stratify in the pot, with the thinner, bitter bits on top. Just give a little stir with a wooden spoon it will help homogenize and ensure your brew is balance for each cup you serve.
Only use great Coffee (have you heard of Onyx Coffee?)
If you’ve been a coffee fan for a while now, this is just common sense to you, but to all our new coffee lovers out there, we want to let you know this is the most essential step. Using fresh specialty coffee from a roaster you trust, will definitely improve your blah, reason why here at Karmic Grounds we’re glad to be serving Onyx Coffee. Simply put, no coffee maker can improve the quality of the coffee, it only releases the flavor potentially created at the farm and roaster.