Making Coffee

WHICH GRIND TYPE?

Different coffee makers and different coarseness of grind can produce very diverse outcomes from the same type of coffee. Personal taste and trial and error has a big part to play when is comes to how fine to grind coffee. However there are some general principles. As a rule where water touches coffee for a short amount of time use a fine grind and when coffee is soaked in water use coarse.

We'll discuss each coffee maker in turn below but with espresso, aeropress or a stove top a fine grind creates a greater surface area and maximises 'extraction' - the process of extracting flavour from the beans. If the grind is too coarse you'll get a watery drink with little flavour.

When using a cafetiere or other techniques which involve immersing the coffee in water, a fine grind will allow too much flavour to be extracted. This will turn the drink bitter and will also result in silt at the bottom of the cup. A coarse grind allows extraction to gently take place over a few minutes. 

STORING YOUR COFFEE

We recommend you keep your coffee in its resealable bag or transfer to an airtight container if you prefer. Some people put their coffee in the fridge, we don't advise this as it can absorb odours from food and spoil. Just keep it in a cool dry place like a cupboard. 

Coffee doesn't 'go off' like other foods but once roasted its flavours deteriorate over time. We recommend you consume it as soon as possible but definitely within 6 months of the date roasted. Once you've opened the bag use within a month. 


BREWING

We want to help you get the most out of your coffee. Below you'll find helpful tips on using coffee making equipment. Photos and videos will be added over time. 

 V60

 Checkout this great guide by Hario, the manufacturer of the V60. It is broken down into 3 levels depending on what equipment you have available. 

Here's the method we use:

  1. Place V60 place directly onto your cup (as pictured)
  2. Insert a paper filter a pour hot water over to wash away paper taste and warm cup
  3. Add between 1-2 scoops of ground coffee depending on taste (we use 2)
  4. With your finger place a small hole in the middle of the coffee to create a bigger surface area
  5. Using hot (not boiling) water slowly pour about 50ml in a circular motion all over the grinds. This allows the coffee to 'bloom'. Leave for 45 secs.
  6. Slowly pour a further 70ml over the grinds, leave for 30 secs.
  7. Repeat 2 more times until you cup is full. 

Some people suggest a coarse grind but we firmly recommend a medium grind for pour over. The grinds need to be fine enough to extract maximum flavour as the water passes over but not so fine the water takes too long and over-extracts. Medium results in a strong, full-bodied cup which is what we are all about at Cannonball. A coarser grind will be thinner and more delicate. 


Aeropress

The aeropress is really easy to use and perfect for making one cup. We recommend a medium grind because our method means the coffee is immersed in water a little longer than traditional techniques. 

  1. Place the plunger 1cm into the cylinder (see picture) and turn upside down 
  2. Add 1-2 scoops of coffee depending on taste (again, we use 2)
  3. Slowly pour water just off the boil over the grinds, stir, and then leave for 20 seconds
  4. Wet a paper filter (this removes any paper flavour) or use a metal filter if you have one
  5. Place filter under plastic mesh lid and screw-on to base of cylinder
  6. Turn aeropress the correct way up and straight onto cup (coffee will slowly drip out as soon as it the right way up)
  7. Plunge

This method extracts more flavour than plunging straight away.


Cafetiere/French Press

A simple and cost-effective way to make coffee.We recommend a course grind to prevent sediment in the bottom of your cup and to allow the grinds to gently steep in the water without over extracting. Remember, using boiling water can scald the coffee and make it taste bitter. 

  1. Warm the cafetiere before using 
  2. Add 1 x rounded dessert spoon per mug
  3. Slowly pour over hot (not boiling) water and stir 
  4. Leave to soak for 2-3 minutes and plunge

Espro Travel Press

There are a couple of things to consider when selecting grind type for an Espro. The method is similar to a cafetiere but the vacuum sealed micro-filters prevent over-extraction. We recommend a coarser grind but medium works too, especially if you're in a hurry.

  1. Warm the cup
  2. Add 2 dessert spoons (20g) of coarsely ground coffee
  3. Slowly pour in hot water up to fill line
  4. Stir well and leave for 2-4 minuntes
  5. Plunge
  6. Screw on lid

Filter Coffee

Filter machines are a mainstay of offices and communal areas because they can be left unattended and keep the coffee warm. Water heated by the machine is passed through coffee in a paper. We recommend a medium grind as the water can sit on the coffee resulting in over-extraction if it is too fine. 

A top tip is to regularly clean using a specialist cleaning powder for coffee machines. This will remove build-up of oils from the coffee and limescale from the water which can both spoil the taste. Using filtered water will always make a massive difference, especially if you live in a hard water area.

Stove Top (Moka Pot)

The Moka Pot is a staple of Italian kitchens. It makes great espresso style coffee. Here are our top tips:

  1. Fill the bottom section with cold filtered water up to the two metal studs on the side
  2. Use a finely ground coffee. Do not press down the coffee. The reason for this is the moka pot does not generate enough pressure to cope with compacted coffee, unlike an espresso machine
  3. Place onto heat source. Keep lid open so you can observe the flow
  4. The first bit of brewed coffee to trickle out of the spout will be the strongest. Once the flow goes clear extraction is complete. Remove from the heat and run cold water over the bottom section, or wrap in a wet cloth. This stops extraction and prevents you from getting a bitter coffee.


Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Perfect for warmer weather (a few days per year), taking with you to drink before exercise, or as a base for liquor cocktails during colder months.  Below is a simple way of making it for yourself at home that makes 4 servings. As a rule of thumb use a water to ground coffee rough ratio of 4-5:1

  • Take 12 dessert spoons (roughly 170g) of coarsely ground coffee beans (we recommend Smooth Bore for a sweeter flavour)
  • Place in a cafetiere
  • Pour over 800ml of room temperature water and stir, but do not plunge!
  • Leave in fridge for 12-18 hrs
  • Plunge and enjoy