Make an exceptional cup of coffee, no matter which method you use.
Grind For the freshest tasting coffee, grind whole beans just before brewing. The type of brewer you use determines the appropriate grind degree and following the manufacture’s guidelines normally produces a good cup of coffee. The general rule is the longer the water is on the coffee the larger/courser the grind size is. Try familiarizing yourself with different grind sizes by rubbing the grind between your fingers. Experiment until you get the best grind for your brew method. Mill or burr grinders are best as they grind to a consistent size. Blade grinders are less preferable because some beans get ground more finely than others which causes uneven extraction.
Coffee Since fresh roasted coffee is essential to the best coffee experience, we recommend purchasing coffee as soon after it’s roasted as possible. At Kohana we make this easy for you; we fresh roast coffee from your order so there is never coffee sitting on our shelves. Purchase coffee in small amounts – only as much as you can consume in a given period of time. Ideally, every 1-2 weeks. Use the proper amount of coffee; generally, 1 level tablespoons (or standard coffee measure) of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water unless your coffee maker manufacturer instructs otherwise. Use more or less to suit your personal strength preference.
Coffee Maker At Kohana when it comes to coffee we feel that cleanliness is next to godliness. It is critical to keep your coffee maker clean. Coffee contains oils that can almost invisibly stick to your brewer. Over time these oils can turn rancid and taint brewed coffee. A trick is to smell your brewer – if there is an ‘old coffee’ odor take the time to clean it. Consider cleaning with a mixture of baking soda and water as soap can leave a film and aftertaste.
Water The coffee you drink is 99% water. Unpleasant tasting water results in unpleasant tasting coffee. Use fresh, cold water, as free of impurities as possible. Use a filter system to improve taste. Do not use distilled or softened water – without organic minerals brewed coffee may taste flat.
Brewed Coffee Always brew your coffee with hot water, never boiling, as boiling water will damage coffee flavors. Ideal temperature for optimum extraction is 195 - 205F, which translates to boiling water then letting it sit approximately 10 seconds before starting the brewing process.
When using a manual drip brewer, wet the paper filter to rinse the paper taste, then add hot water to the grounds first, letting the water soak in and ‘bloom’ the coffee. Let that sit approximately 30-45 seconds before adding remaining water - slowly to keep the coffee/water mixture at a ¾ level in the brewer without overflowing the basket.
If possible, pour brewed coffee into a pre-warmed cup to maintain its temperature as long as possible. Freshly brewed coffee starts to lose optimal taste moments after brewing, so only brew as much as will be consumed quickly. If you don’t plan to drink your coffee immediately, pour into a warmed, insulated thermos or carafe and use within 30 - 45 minutes.
Filter & Drip Systems Coffee in these types of units always taste better when you brew the full pot. So, brew the full capacity of the unit (i.e., if 8 cup capacity brew 8 cups).
Other Brewing Tips
- Don’t boil, reheat or hold coffee for very long on heat as it has the potential to cook off all the delicate flavors, leaving a bitter taste, which is a chemical reaction: the polymerization of phenols or pyruvic acid.
- Don’t combine left over coffee with freshly brewed—it doesn’t taste good. Never reuse coffee grounds. Once brewed, desirable coffee flavors have been extracted and only the bitter, undesirable flavors are left.
- Glass and porcelain are best for brewing and serving, but if you must use metal, use stainless steel.
- When making drip coffee it’s best to swirl or mix the pot right after brewing. The coffee toward the bottom will be stronger since it was brewed first.
- Weak coffee may be due to using too little coffee, too coarse of a grind, too cool water or too short of a brewing time, all of which affect strength or weakness.
- The shorter the brewing time, the finer the grind. Example: Espresso, fine grind, 26+ second extraction time – French Press, course grind, 4 minutes extraction time.
When manual brewing we find if that if you actually measure water and coffee in grams on a scale you can get best results and they are easiest to replicate. Brew guides for manual brewers are plentiful online and can help with those measurements.
- At Kohana we encourage you to take your time and become the craftsman of your cup. Experiment and take notes to be able to replicate that great result. A perfectly prepared cup of coffee should be enjoyed as thoughtfully as it was brewed. Smell the aroma, sip and notice the flavors. Compare the body, acidity and balance to other coffees you’ve tried. Are you a fan of Panama Boquete region or do you enjoy an East African? A freshly brewed cup won’t last long, but every sip will bring you a moment of joy.
We highly recommend purchasing whole beans over ground coffee, as whole beans have a greater shelf life and retain flavor longer. Then, for optimum freshness and flavor, keep your Kohana Coffee in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place, away from excessive air, moisture, heat and light. Do not store Kohana Coffee in the freezer or refrigerator, as coffee is porous and will absorb the flavors of neighboring food items. Freezing and refrigeration also breaks down a bean’s oils, essentially removing its flavor.