January 20, 2015

6 Golden Rules To Brewing Coffee At Home


Did you know that it takes 2000 hours for a cup of coffee to be made? From seed germination, to roasting, to the brewing. For many of us, simply watching someone else brew our coffee isn’t enough. Getting started brewing at home can be daunting but it’s  rewarding and fun. Here’s six golden rules to kickstart your home barista quest…

SPANISH VERSION:6 Reglas de Oro para Preparar Café en Casa

Barista grinding coffee

Most important starting point is a burr grinder.

Start with the Proper Equipment

Your homebrew setup can be as crude or complex as you would like it to be. Many start with a regular teakettle, blade grinder and a chemex. You soon realize that a crude setup leaves a lot of margin for error in the brew process. Each improvement made in your brewing equipment will yield results in the cup. A scale, burr grinder and proper pourover kettle are excellent upgrades that will make a world of difference.

Coffee brewing control chart

It’s even simpler than it looks.

Understand the Principles of Brewing

How hard can it be? You’re only pouring water over coffee, right? Well yes, but it’s more than that. As you brew, take time to appreciate the fact that you are a ‘5 minute chemist’. Learning the very basics of ‘coffee chemistry’ such as the rules of ‘over and under extraction’ will help you to understand how to time and proportion your brew. Toying with factors such as temperature, brew time and grind size will give you different results. Experiment!

Field in the sun

Treat it as a morning (and afternoon) ritual.

Don’t Rush It!

Slow yourself down some. Realize that specialty coffee will take a bit longer than a set­and­go coffee pot, that’s why it’s specialty. Taking a few extra moments out of your morning, even if it means waking up earlier,  will yield a result thats well worth it.

The inverted Aeropress method

Brew guides are so useful.

SEE ALSO: How to Prepare Milk-Based Coffees at Home: Your One-Stop VIDEO Guide

 Research, Research, Research

Research your brewing method and what it has to offer compared to other methods. Research brewing guides for your method of choice. Remember, Youtube exists! Let it be your friend! Many roasteries provide their reccomended brewing instructions on their site. You can also find many other resources online, not unlike this one which can help you get started.

Male baristas having fun

Baristas are too much fun.

Baristas Are Your Friends 

They can be an excellent resource when getting started in home brewing.Remember that no-one is an absolute authority on coffee but baristas have a head start on specialty coffee brewing and are usually willing to assist with any questions you may have.

Coffee brewing station

Experiment & Play Around. Credit: Nico Alary 


Brewing at home allows you ample time to experiment with your brew. Try different coffee to water ratios, grind sizes, water temperatures, try brewing over ice. Remember that every part of the brewing process is variable so the possibilities are endless.

Coffee spilled in the kitchen

We’ve all been there!

Above all don’t get discouraged! Much like playing an instrument, home brewing will require patience and practice. No one gets a perfect brew the very first time. Just remember that for every bad cup you brew, there will be 10 good ones in your future.

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Perfect Daily Grind.