Coffee Brewing Basics or How to brew great coffee without the fuss

Brewing delicious coffee really only requires these 5 things

Fresh Roasted (within 2 weeks) Specialty grade Coffee

Hot water preferably filtered to remove chlorine but retaining some minerals (no distilled water) at 198 degrees f to 202 degrees f. 

A decent coffee grinder capable of grinding the desired particle size with little variation of pieces from that desired size.

A Brewer or devise that allows the hot water to pass through your ground coffee then separate the grounds from the coffee in about 4 minutes.

And, this basic bit of chemistry or physics knowledge:

The larger the particle size of your grounds the less surface area you will have exposed to the hot water and will therefore extract slightly less of the total flavor of the bean.

In terms of taste this generally means large size Course grind will be less bitter but weaker if using the same amount of a finer grind. The important thing to remember here is to use the proper Grind size (within a range) for the brew method you choose. Course Grinds are good for Press Pots (French Press) and should produce a rich round less bitter taste but may require more coffee per cup to reach the strength you like. Pour over through a filter and most standard home brewers work well with a medium grind you will want to experiment by changing the grind slightly one way or the other while using the same coffee and amount of coffee. With filters if you go too fine you will plug the pores in the filter and end up with weak or bitter coffee. If you try too course a grind your coffee will taste weak which can also be bitter because the coffee can't release enough of it's flavor so all your senses detect is the bitterness.

Bitterness is a sign of just plain Bad coffee, Stale coffee, Weak coffee (how much coffee with how much water), Improperly Ground coffee (very small particles in with a medium grind will plug a filter), Poorly brewed coffee (too fast or slow, too hot, left on a burner), and should not be confused with the bitter sweet taste of a Dark Roast coffee.  

A good brewer simply delivers the proper temperature water evenly over Freshly ground coffee in 4 minutes.

Excellent and cheap methods of brewing a few cups are the French Press and Pour Over or Dripper, either one is available in Department stores from $3 to $50 on the high end. Ad a good Grinder $129 from our Grinders and Accessories and any method to boil water then pour just after boil stops. 

Below Bodum French Press empty with plunger all the way down. About $20 - $50 depending on size.


Hario V60 Dripper (Pour Over) with filter and an "I Roasted This Coffee Mug". Plastic Drippers are available under $10, Hario Ceramics about $20 - $30.


Baratza Encore Coffee grinder with French Press


Medium Ground Fresh Coffee into Hario Dripper


Nesco Hot water Kettle pouring just below boiling water onto grounds in Pour Over Dripper, stay around middle pour slowly but under 4 minutes.


This is really good coffee!

Fresh Ground Coffee

In keeping with our keep it simple philosophy - A thought on Fresh Coffee

Coffee is an amazing little seed. When it is raw (Green) it yields and takes in very little aroma or flavor, it's basically inert.

Once we roast it, coffee becomes brittle and expels C02 gas and aromas for a limited time, usually about 2 to three weeks. That is fresh coffee! Beyond three weeks of roasting call it what you want but I wouldn't call it fresh.

Simple physics tells us once we grind coffee we increase surface area exponentially and those gasses and flavors escape proportionately in just minutes.


Fresh Coffee is Ground just before Brewing and Roasted within 3 Week of Brewing. 

Home Coffee Roasting Benefits # 7

Not all Specialty coffee is Earth friendly but for the most part it is much more likely to be Earth friendly than large quantity commercial (many National Brands) coffees. Specialty coffee is grown to intentionally achieve a higher grade and better taste than the average which reduces the relative quantity that can be produced (as your standard rises quantity falls). Specialty coffee thanks to it's growing demand and Gourmet taste adventurous culture is also more likely to come from small Growers and exotic Counties of Origin.

So, just how does all this benefit good old Mother Earth!

Coffee can be a rather fragile plant, it becomes stressed if exposed to too much sun or not enough moisture and then will produce less fruit of lower quality.

However we know the more sun and nutrients a plant gets the faster it produces fruit, coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry fruit.

To increase the quantity grown and reduce costs they simply cut down the forest, flatten the Earth, plant less tasty but more hardy varieties in straight rows so they can knock the fruit off the bush with a machine, and use fertilizers and pesticides. They can get a harvest in 6 months rather than about 9 months the natural way, that's 2 harvests per year vs one.  

Naturally coffee prospers at very high altitudes where the sun is semi blocked by clouds or fog, temperatures are moderate, and often under the shade of taller trees. Forests and fruit groves provide an excellent environment for coffee if your main concern is flavor; trees provide shade that slows the fruit growth to allow richer flavors to develop, droppings from large trees and birds provide natural nutrients, birds and other animals provide natural pest control (they eat bugs). Small Growers and exotic Countries of Origin simply may not have the means to buy modern fertilizers and pesticides, or machines to do the work.

Specialty coffee Growers in their pursuit of flavor want the fruit to develop slowly, will maintain Heirloom varieties for taste, must pick the fruit by hand only when ripe at the peak of its' flavor. Coffee you buy in a coffee shop or from a Specialty Green coffee site (ok that would be us) is more likely to be Earth Friendly, we care about taste and the Earth that gives us this delightful drink. 


How to Roast Coffee with a Fresh Roast SR300 video

It's up and running now on YouTube! 

Our newest How to Roast Coffee Video using a FreshRoast SR300 Coffee Roaster.

This is one of the easiest  and economical home roasters to use and yet it's capable of producing an excellent Roast in just minutes.

If you are new to roasting and looking for a basic machine that is easy to use and care for, watch this video to see it in action.

Handy for roasts up to about 4 1/2 ounces of Green coffee, more than enough for a huge pot or numerous French Press or Pour Over brews. 

Just click on the Youtube Icon on the bottom of our Homepage to get to our Youtube channel with all our videos.

Feel free to email or call with any questions.

April 14, 2014

safe to shop ›

What is Heartbleed and should I worry about it

Our site is Hosted by Shopify (a large online Host for small business sites) and has been since mid October of last year. Our online security, storage, and function of the website and Checkout is entirely provided by Shopify which thanks to it's technology roots function and size is about as safe as a site can be.

Websites that sell online use SSL technology to protect the information being shared. Heartbleed is like an opening in the SSL system that could let an outsider get to that private information.

Shopify has addressed this issue already and in an email provided this assurance "we want to stress that merchants and their customers using Shopify are safe from Heartbleed".

I believe our site thanks to Shopify is safe from this threat.

I do suggest caution using some websites and looking into the Google Chrome extension for your browser called "chromebleed Checker" which warns of Heartbleed.

You may also want to change your passwords and watch bank statements for anything unusual, which you should do regularly anyway. 


April 08, 2014

Local Donation to MHS Band

Middleton High School Band and Orchestra Spring Supper and Silent Auction is this Saturday April 12 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM. They have a nice selection for the auction this year including our Home Coffee Roaster Beginners Kit and one of our New HRC "I Roasted This Coffee" mugs, you can be the first in town to own one. The MHS Band and Orchestra is always a good Group to support but especially this year as they prepare for their big trip to London to play in the New Years Day Parade.

April Featured Baratza Grinders come with 1 Lb Jamaica Blue Mountain

Order a Featured Baratza Coffee Grinder from the Featured Collection and ad 1 Lb JBM to your cart and enter code aprlbrtz14

You will get your fabulous new Baratza Grinder at the lowest price around, a pound of Jamaica Blue Mountain Green Coffee Beans, the remaining quantity of free Green Coffee for that Grinder, and Free shipping in the Contiguous 48 States.