Espresso vs. Filter
Wanting to jump out of your comfort zone and try out a new brewing method at home? We know it can be a bit overwhelming so we’ve put together this handy dandy cheat sheet that lays out each brewing method for you.
What exactly is filter coffee? Basically, filter coffee is when water is poured over your coffee grounds before being filtered through paper or a fine metal mesh. There are two main methods of filter coffee you can try out at home: pour over and full immersion. Basically, the full immersion method is when the coffee and the water stay together until you’re ready to decant. While the pour over method is when the water is poured over the coffee straight into your cup or carafe.
Full Immersion Coffee
Let’s dig a bit deeper into full immersion coffee. Full immersion brewing usually leads to a heavier bodied brew, whereas pour over coffee tends to be lighter and brighter. It really just depends on your preference! Some brewing equipment used for making a full immersion batch is the French Press (or Plunger), Aeropress (an inverted method), and Clever Dripper.
When making a full immersion brew it's a good idea to start with a slightly coarser grind size than you would normally use for pour over coffee. This is something you might want to play around with because a finer grind can increase the body and help a coffee hold up with milk. It's also a good idea to invest in a good quality coffee grinder. Freshly ground coffee retains a lot of the delicious flavour our roasters work so hard to deliver best to grind right before brewing.
As for water temperature, try boiling your kettle and let it sit for 30 seconds before pouring. You can also play around with the water temperature for different results. Have fun experimenting with different grind sizes, water temperatures, timing, and ratios. All these variables can completely transform your brew. Trial and error is all part of the fun.
Pour Over Coffee
Okay, so what’s the deal with pour over coffee then? Pour over coffee is when the water runs straight through the coffee grounds and right into your brewing vessel. This is different to full immersion which is when the water sits in the coffee grounds.
You may have noticed that pour over recipes often mention a "bloom". A bloom is the small amount of water poured over the coffee at the start of brewing. Its purpose is to release the CO2 that’s trapped in the coffee from the roasting process. Evenly saturating all the coffee grounds with a bloom allows for a good extraction.
Blooms will often be listed on a recipe as a ratio compared to your dose. So for example if the recipe said bloom 2:1 or 3:1 and you had 15g coffee, you would pour 30g or 45g of water respectively. Blooms are only at the start of your brew and not to be confused with the total coffee to water ratio. Playing with blooms can have quite a big influence on your final cup so have fun with it!
Espresso. You know the word, you know the drink, but what exactly is it? This is a hotly debated topic. People get wrapped up in technicalities such as the length of your shot and how much coffee you extract into your cup, but I think we’ll avoid that part of the topic entirely because it can get confusing. What everyone can agree on is that espresso is essentially just coffee brewed under pressure with the use of a pump. Boom!
Commercial vs Home Pumps
Commercial machines are quite different to your home machine mainly because they use a much larger pump. Cafes in Australia tend to use somewhere in the 18-24g range, whereas a home machine may only take a maximum of around 14g. Our advice here is make sure you keep the ratio the same and always follow the recipe our feature roasters provide.
Now that you’re an expert on different brewing methods get out there and have fun trying out different techniques. At the end of the day it’s all about your preference and how you like your coffee.
Happy brewing! Share your brewing stories with us by tagging #3000thieves! We love seeing what you’re getting up to.