Updated January 2022
You’re probably craving more for human interactions than food during this quarantine. It is in times like these that we need to come closer to each other. But not everything is negative though as even the worst things can turn into positive ones.
As you’ve got plenty of free time available, why don’t you bring your brewing coffee technique to the next level?
How to enjoy coffee: Quarantine & Coffee
Today, we are going to have a look at how to enjoy coffee at home, improving our skills so we don’t miss that much of our favourite coffee shops. Also, we don’t know yet for how long we are keeping away from them.
First of all, brewing at home is affordable for everyone as it doesn’t need to invest lots of money to brew good coffee.
What we need is:
- a good grinder;
- good water;
- great coffee;
- the desired brewing method;
- a coffee scale.
Let’s see where/how to buy this brewing equipment.
If you don’t have all of this stuff do not worry, even in quarantine everything can be purchased online.
As we are in quarantine I would recommend you to buy everything you miss from a local coffee shop/roaster’s website; big companies do not need your money, so make sure to support your local stores.
A good Grinder
A good hand grinder can be found easily without spending too much. Just don’t go for a blade one as it simply chops your coffee beans without caring for their sized. You need a hand grinder or an electric one with proper burrs that guarantee a better grind size uniformity. I recommend you the Rhinoware hand grinder (which you can purchase on this link https://rhinocoffeegear.com/categories/brewing-gear/rhino-coffee-gear-hand-grinder.html)
or the Scottish Aergrind (http://www.madebyknock.com/store/p52/Aergrind.html).
A good Water Bottle
Good coffee goes well with water as it’s the main element of the beverage (talking about the drinks, espresso is 92% water and filter coffee is 98%). For home brewing, the best-bottled water to purchase in London (according to Maxwell Colonna), are in order the Waitrose Essential, the Volvic or the Tesco Ashbeck.
A great Coffee
Then, you need a great coffee. I just give you a few recommendations (based on my own opinion) about great coffee companies from which you can buy amazing coffee (and also various coffee gear) from their website. Here are a few:
– Square Mile, Prufrock coffee, Workshop Coffee and Nude coffee roasters.
Let’s turn to the desired brewing method.
There are lots of brewing method out there. In case you’re not familiar with any of them I would recommend you to start with a coffee plunger such as the French Press or a hand brew one such as the Kalita or the V60 one. Both of them are really cheap and definitely on sale on every coffee shop’s website.
Do not worry if you’re not familiar with any of these brewing methods as t doesn’t need great skills at the very beginning: to start with I suggest you have a look on the web as there are plenty of video tutorials that easily explain how to brew delicious coffee right from the start. Here’s below I’ll show you how to brew great coffee with the Kalita pour-over.
Also, on the following link, I’ll explain to you why you should opt for the Kalita Wave rather than the V60 one.
Lastly, the coffee scale.
Coffee is pretty much a scientific subject made of numbers so nothing can be achieved without a proper scale.
A FEW TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BREWING
Brewing average coffee is something that anyone can do. But as soon as you become more skilled, your desire to improve the result in the cup increase. Let me tell you what tricks can boost your brew.
- – Always grind at the time; what makes difference more than any other variable is to brew with fresh coffee grounds. It doesn’t make sense to even think about how coarse or fine you need to grind or for how long to brew if you are using coffee grounds that rest on your grinder after being ground. Brewing fresh coffee is so important as most of the aromatic compounds start to evaporate as soon as you finish to grind it. By grinding it fresh we can preserve all these volatile compounds and taste them in the cup (bear in mind that ground coffee loses most of its aromatic compound just after 10 minutes as of the oxidation process occurred).
- – Start with a ratio of 1:16 or 60g/l if you love more the latter one. Even most of the coffee lovers and skilled baristas would agree with me that the first recipe you follow when you don’t know a coffee, is pretty much this one. For instance, when brewing a new coffee with the V60 method, I always start with 18g in and 300g out, which is exactly 1:16,66 ratio which means that for every gram of coffee you need 16g of water.
- – Buy a fresh bag of coffee. The coffee industry will tell you to consume your bag of coffee within 3 months since it has been roasted. I would recommend you to consume it within a month or so and to start to brew it after 6-7 days from the roasting date as it needs a bit of time for the bag to release that extra CO2 that otherwise is going to give you a greeny, vegetative taste to your brew.
- – Less is more. Especially if you are at the very beginning of your coffee journey, don’t push yourself or pretend too much. Just don’t make too much agitation while brewing and pour the water to the coffee bed as close as you can. Also, try to pour with moderate water flow and not for too many times (a couple it’s ok to start with). So, keep it simple!
As I said before, being isolated in quarantine is unfamiliar with us but is nothing that can stop from connecting to each other. What we can do is to keep the coffee industry alive by supporting everyone that is involved, no matter which part of the chain. A single effort is not enough but our effort, the one we make together as a coffee community, it is.
We should keep going, buying coffee from the website of our local roasters and brew it at home. Because we are now isolated at home in quarantine it doesn’t mean we have to stop drinking delicious coffee.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.
2 thoughts on “How to enjoy coffee in quarantine time: 4 tips for the perfect brewing”
Edoardo, you turned my coffee world upside down!
How I lived before that?! I’m a 100% coffee addicted and I was sure I was doing the right thing, but … So I’m here and ready to take my brewing coffee technique to the next level!
Every day starts with my special coffee ritual. A specially bought cup of elegant porcelain and a certain kind of Italian coffee.
Now what? The new Grinder+ the Kalita has been selected in the shopping cart (thanks to the author for the recommendation). It’s very interesting to compare the taste, I’ll see how it works. Since I’ve been using blades for grinding coffee beans and boiling water all this time. Forgive me for this “coffee vandalism” true professionals make the best coffee!
As I relax on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I try to avoid thinking about the quarantine (which is finally winding down) and how I don’t know if I would have made it without my coffee. In terms of “perfect” brewing, I’ve never given thought to the water nor that it’s 98% of the mix. I’m going to try making my coffee from better quality water than the very questionable tap I’ve been using.