Home Brewed Coffee Starting Equipment

By | February 12, 2015

When starting out with your home brewed coffee experience, I learned that it is necessary that you get the proper items to produce excellent coffee.

Here’s a list and some information on the necessary and optional items that you’ll need:

NECESSARY ITEMS:

1. Freshly Roasted Whole Coffee Beans

I wrote this first because this probably ranks first in producing the best taste. Get
them as freshly roasted whole beans as much as possible because they extract the best
flavor in the coffee. Most experts say that you should get these freshly roasted beans
from your local roaster. Either that, or buy one that still has a long “use by” date.

2. Coffee Brewer/Maker

The taste of your coffee will depend on which brewing method you use. I started my
home brew experience with manual pour over drippers, and used the Kalita 102 as my
starting brewer. There are many types of coffee makers in the market, from pour overs
to French presses to espresso machines. The list will go on and on so We’ll look into
that in detail in the future.

3. Grinder

You will see two types of grinders in the world of coffee, blade and burr. But for
serious coffee brewers, there is only the burr grinder. We will tackle this further
along the road, but the simplest explanation to get a burr grinder is because it
consistently produces the same grind size as compared to a blade grinder. Different
coffee brewers use different grind settings, so you need the consistency that only a
burr grinder could provide.

OPTIONAL ITEMS:

These items are optional because in some you will not need them for all brewing
methods and you could brew coffee without them. They do, however, produce a lot better
quality of coffee in almost all cases.

1. Water Filter

Whether one should use water filters is a difficult subject to tackle because there
are some places where the hard water (i.e. water that comes from the lawn tap rather
than water from the kitchen) makes better coffee than filtered water. That being said,
most places, especially coffee shops, use water filters to clean the water and they
also claim it makes a better cup of coffee. What’s important here is to experiment and
try various sources so you could come up with the best tasting cup.

2. Gooseneck Kettle

The gooseneck kettle allows you to have control over your pouring compared to a
regular kettle. This is an optional item because not all coffee makers need a
gooseneck kettle.

Gooseneck kettles are best used when you are using the pour over method. If you’re
using a French press, all you need to do is to pour the water straight from a regular
kettle.

3. Weighing Scale

I never imagined that weighing scales were used in making coffee. I certainly never
used one before learning about making coffee. I used to gauge the volume of beans by
using spoonfuls of ground coffee and making adjustments from one batch to the next.

What I found out about having a weighing scale is that since I started using it, I
have been more consistent with the quality of coffee that I produce. Having a scale
not only makes you weigh the amount of coffee beans that you are using, but it also
makes you weigh the volume of water that you’re using. Get the correct ratio, add in
proper technique, and you’ll get a most exquisite cup of coffee.

Although a weighing scale seems important, I still made it optional as you could still
measure by spoon. A tablespoon of coffee weighs about 10 grams. And you could
certainly use the height of a French press to measure your water volume. But I find
hat a weighing scale gives you the precision and consistency that you could not get
from other measuring devices.

4. Timer

Timers are important for brew time. For example, you’d want to go for 3-4 minutes for
your French press. Too long and you’d come out with bitter coffee, too short and you’d
come up with under-extracted coffee. Manual pour overs also have target time ranges
that you’d want to be in so that you could come up with a good extraction time.

No need for fancy gadgets here. A simple stopwatch app from your watch or phone will
work perfectly.

So that’s the list you need for brewing coffee. It may seem like a lot to being with,
but as I found out, the more you brew, the easier it gets and the better your coffee
starts to taste.

We’ll discuss the items in more detail in future posts. For now, if you’re starting
with your own coffee lab, it might be good to start looking around. I’ll post my first
timer recommendations in the near future. Bye for now

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