Brew From Home Like a Barista
Dropping in at your local café every morning is great, but let’s face it—the price of having a barista prepare your morning fix can add up. Sometimes it’s nice to just kick back for the morning and enjoy a nice cup of joe at home.
Cliff Hansen, Head Roaster for Ottawa’s Bridgehead chain, called in with tips for making the perfect brew in your own kitchen, no barista necessary.
When asked about his go-to method for brewing at home, Hansen mentioned his Bonavita brewer that “gets the right temperature”. His six-minute regime includes approximately one minute of weighing the beans and water to find the right ratio—60 grams for each liter of brewed coffee—and then pressing a button. From there Hansen will occupy himself with other morning tasks while the Bonavita does the rest for the remaining five minutes.
Another favourite for Hansen’s is the Chemex method. Hansen combines the Chemex with an Abel Kone metal filter, as opposed to the usual paper filter that absorbs oil from the coffee grounds. The pairing of a metal filter and Chemex offers a “cleaner, sweeter” cup of coffee, but also, according to Hansen, a “pretty heavy texture in a cup”. For those short on time yet desiring a quality cup, Hansen recommends the use of a clever dripper: “It gives you the freedom to do a longer bloom for fresher coffees—it also does a great extraction for any coffee.”
In terms of finding quality beans that suit your tastes, Hansen recommends warming up to your local café and getting to know the baristas: “It gives you the ability to build that trust and then have them work with you on coffees . . . that you might really enjoy, or recommend things that you might otherwise not get to try.”
Samantha Walton, an experienced barista at Jimmy’s Coffee, recommends Green Beanery as a source for buying brewing equipment, and Detour Coffee or Classic Gourmet for purchasing beans. For her morning routine, Walton enjoys using a French press: “I like my coffee strong, so I enjoy being able to steep my grinds to get the desired flavour.”
Tools We Swear By
BONAVITA OR TECHNIVORM AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKERS
For those busy morning birds that want a solid cup on the go, both Bonavita and Technivorm are SCAA-approved (Specialty Coffee Association of America) automatic drip brewers, offering precise temperatures and saturation to make a first-class cup of coffee.
Scooped coffee grounds, splash boiling water, wait, press, pour. The French press is a beginner-friendly method that offers a more hands-on, controlled approach. While it bears a full-bodied, thick taste, tiny particles from the grind can escape into your cup, and the device is not efficient at retaining heat for very long.
SIPHON/VACUUM POT BREWERS
Besides their mad-science, theatrical look, siphons create a heavenly cup. Due to the many variables involved in brewing the perfect cup, vacuum pot methods are great for the advanced coffee connoisseur looking to while away their morning in pursuit of perfection.
With a little patience, this method extracts a slight sweetness from the coffee and offers a clean brew. A sure bet for coffee makers of all experience levels.