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What’s the best way to make coffee? – Our comprehensive brewing guide

What’s the best way to make coffee? – Our comprehensive brewing guide

Today we’re going to delve into the art of coffee brewing. Hopefully, by taking a closer look at some of the most popular brewing methods, we’ll be able to help you decide which is best for you. 

French Press:

Let’s start with one we’ve definitely all heard of. First things first, you’ll need to get yourself… a French Press!  They come in all shapes and sizes, so the great thing is it’s really easy to find one that’s perfect for your needs. With a French Press the coffee grounds are allowed to brew before they’re plunged out of the way. It’s possible that finer grounds will slip through the metal screen used to plunge the coffee, so for this method coarse grounds are best. Feel free to experiment with the ratio of coffee to water, but a good starting point would be 1 tablespoon of coffee per 3 ounces of water, and this is a good guideline for most brewing methods. 

Simply bring your water to the boil, allow it to cool for a minute or two and pour it over the grounds.

Stir gently, just enough so all of the grounds make full contact with the water.

Next, insert the plunger just so the lid is on, and leave it to brew for around 3-4 minutes, depending on the type of coffee. When it’s time, slowly press the plunger down to the bottom and your coffee’s ready to be served.

Since no filter paper is used with this method, more of the coffee’s oils make their way into your cup, making for a coffee that’s decisively rich and full-bodied.

Drip-filter coffee:

Brewing coffee with a drip filter is also a great way to enjoy your morning cuppa, and I’m guessing many of its advocates would take pride in telling you there’s simply no other way. There are many different types of machines and contraptions that can be used and price can vary dramatically depending on what you opt for. If you’re savvy, you shouldn’t have to pay a small fortune to find something that works a treat. The concept is simple – let gravity take its course as it slowly draws through the ground coffee, drip by drip.

Perhaps automated machines aren’t for you and you’d like to brew your coffee with a more hands-on approach. If that’s the case, we’d recommend using something like a Chemex.  Also known as pour-over brewing, the process is similar, but it allows you to have more control. These types of devices use filter paper to filter out the grounds, so we’d recommend going for medium ground beans. Before you start, be sure to wet the filter paper with hot water. This ensures the taste of the paper itself doesn’t sneakily land itself on your tongue.

Next, drop the grounds onto the filter paper and slowly pour a small amount of water (heated between 90-93 degrees Celsius) in a circular motion, just enough so all of the grounds make contact with it. Be careful not to let the grounds rise to the top during this process. The idea is to allow the coffee to be damp for a minute or two without dripping through the filter. This process is known as blooming, and it allows the C02 that’s become trapped in the beans during the roasting process to escape. 

Once the grounds have had time to bloom, slowly pour over the rest of the water. Try to do this bit by bit, as this will allow time for the grounds to infuse effectively. Once all of the water has passed through, simply remove the filter and you’re good to go.

If you’re looking for a bold, rich brew then a drip filter or pour over method probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for an exquisitely clean cup with a light body, then I think this will be perfect.  

In addition to our domestic range - we also have a number of commercial drip brewers available here. All of which have zero deposit finance options available.


A popular choice for coffee shops and households alike is this classic Italian method. Espresso coffee can be made with traditional espresso machines or bean to cup machines. Both work by forcing hot water through finely ground, often dark-roasted coffee at extreme pressure. 

Bean to cup machines are easier for beginners as they automate the whole process, meaning all that’s left for you to do is pour in your beans and press a button. Traditional Espresso machines, on the other hand, offer a greater level control, so if you consider yourself a bit of a connoisseur I’d say this is your best option. In terms of price, Espresso machines range from the hundreds to the thousands, so trying to figure out which is best can be a daunting task. If you’re really stuck, be sure to give us a call - we will be more than happy to listen to what you like and guide you in the right direction. 

To make coffee with a traditional espresso machine, you’ll need to start by grinding your beans until they’re finely ground. Just remember – water will always take the fastest route, so a good espresso relies on the grounds being uniform in size. This is why if you’re hoping to buy a traditional espresso machine, we also recommend that you invest in a good grinder. 

Place the grounds into a portafilter and ensure they’re levelled, rather than heaped. Next, use a tamp to press firmly – the grounds need to be firm, but not so firm that the water is unable to pass through. Following this, you’re ready to connect the portafilter, hit the magic button and wait for that liquid goodness to make an appearance. 

If you’re a fan of intense flavour, then I’d say go for an espresso machine. The pressure used to extract the coffee with this method results in a full-bodied cup with a wonderful crema on top. Don't expect to be able to replicate this with any other method!

We have a range of domestic espresso machines available here, alongside our extensive commercial range, which can be seen here :)


The Aeropress is a great place to start if you’re looking to make the transition from instant coffee into the world of speciality coffee. Having said that, it’s certainly not uncommon to find the even the most of seasoned sippers swearing by its unlikely charm. 

It’s light, portable, it sits directly on top of your mug and the good news is you won’t have to remortgage your house to buy one. The best thing about it is you can knock up a great tasting coffee a couple of minutes! There are many ways of using the Aeropress, but for now we’ll just take a look at the original method. 

Before brewing, it’s important that the Aeropress and paper filter are rinsed with hot water. This both preheats the Aeropress and ensures the filter paper is cleansed of its own, undesirable flavour. 

To set up, begin by grinding your beans until they’re as fine as table salt. Next, prepare the Aeropress by inserting one of its disposable paper filters into the basket. This basket should then be connected to the bottom of the brew chamber (the part with numbers on), which can then be placed on top of a mug. 

Next, add the grounds to the brew chamber and submerge them in off-the-boil water for around 10 seconds, carefully spinning the chamber to ensure all the grounds become saturated. Continue to add the water until it reaches the number 4 on the brew chamber, before stirring the mixture.

Following this, slightly insert the plunger into the brew chamber and lift up slowly to create a pressure seal. But try not to plunge yet (I know it’s tempting) as the mixture needs stirring once more, after it’s infused for around 1 minute. 

OK… plunge! Apply steady, downwards pressure until the plunger reaches the bottom of the chamber. You’ll know when it’s finished because you’ll hear a hissing sound. I suppose the full cup of coffee is also a pretty good indicator that you’ve finished. 

This nifty little contraption, which has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years, produces a coffee that has the richness of the French Press method, and feels as clean as a coffee that’s brewed with the drip filter method. 

So there we have it. Hopefully you’re ready take the plunge yourself (sorry!) and have a go at some of these methods. In order to get the most of your coffee experience, we always recommend using the freshest beans possible. Some beans are better suited to certain methods, so we urge you to get out there and experiment. 

Be sure to click here to browse our very own range of freshly roasted, Fairtrade coffee beans. There’s plenty to pick from – whether you’re looking for wonderfully balanced espresso blends or superb single origins. 

We also offer Roast of the Month coffee subscriptions, with pre ground options available for your preferred brewing method - free shipping is included too!

Coffee storage - Our top tips for keeping your beans fresh!

Coffee storage - Our top tips for keeping your beans fresh!

I’m guessing that by now, most of us are well aware of the many benefits of buying freshly roasted coffee. However, it's also important to consider just how easy it is for good coffee to turn bad if it’s not stored correctly. Since your coffee experience matters so much to us, we thought we’d put together a quick guide with our top tips for coffee storage, with the aim of helping you get more bang for your buck!  

The Basics

The main thing to remember is that coffee keeps for longer when it’s not exposed to light, heat or moisture, and this is true whether you’re using coffee beans, ground coffee or instant coffee. So I suppose the first thing is - try not to open a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans and leave it open on the windowsill in the kitchen. Sure, it’s always nice to have the subtle aroma of coffee wafting about, but if you do this be prepared for your coffee to meet an untimely demise! If you have a pantry this is perfect – keeping coffee somewhere like this will ensure your coffee stays fresh for months rather than weeks. 

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to take chances, or perhaps your house is inexplicably moister than most, then I’d recommend going for a vacuum container. It’s super easy to find a relatively cheap vacuum container these days, and what’s good about these is that they do the job of the pantry for you. Vacuum containers are built with an airtight seal, so you can be sure that the coffee won’t be exposed to any of the threats we need to protect it from – bless its little cotton socks.

Storing For Longer Periods - Can You Freeze Coffee?

We understand that for some people, coffee must last considerably longer for their personal needs. Storing coffee in the freezer is extremely common, and the good news is that storing coffee this way means it can be enjoyed for years… if done correctly. There’s always been a debate around whether storing coffee this way leads to a loss of flavour, but I suppose if you do need to store coffee for longer periods then the best way we can help is to advise on how to do it correctly. 

With frozen coffee, your main enemy is likely to be the condensation that forms when the coffee is removed from the freezer. For this reason, we advise freezing coffee in batches so the same coffee isn’t constantly going in and out of the freezer. We’ve all seen what freeze-thaw weathering can do to rocks! If you do wish to freeze your coffee then we also recommend doing so in a vacuum container. Coffee absorbs everything from the air around it, and the last you want is an old, chilli-flavoured coffee… although somehow that actually sounds very appealing! 


Hopefully these tips help! We accept that storing coffee in the most efficient way, all of the time isn’t an option for some people. Just remember - air, light, heat and moisture are the enemy, so be sure to avoid these as much as possible.

As we always say, the best way to ensure the coffee you’re sipping is at its best is to make sure you’re buying freshly roasted coffee to begin with. If you’re careful to buy the right amount each time, you should be able to enjoy fresh coffee all-year-round without being plagued by bitter coffee that goes to waste.  

Be sure to take a look at our very own range of freshly roasted, 100% Fairtrade coffee. We roast a wide range of different beans, which are available for single purchase or as part of one of our Roast of The Month Subscriptions.

If you’ve got any questions about any of our roasts or you’d like to learn a bit more about us then please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help :D

This Week on the Blog - What is Coffee Acidity?

This Week on the Blog - What is Coffee Acidity?

Today we turn our attention to coffee acidity. It’s often an important focus of coffee tasting guides, but what exactly does it mean? Whether you already know your stuff or you’re a beginner on the road to enlightenment, it’s our hope that this guide will further develop your understanding and help you when it comes to choosing a new coffee to try out.

I should start by pointing out that acidity in coffee isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, much of the flavour we enjoy from coffee is closely linked to its acidic profile. Too much acidity in anything is unpleasant – think of the sour, tangy taste you might get from an apple that’s past its best. You’d experience something similar from a coffee that hasn’t been processed properly. 

That’s why each step of a coffee bean’s journey, from the way it’s grown to the way it’s roasted, is carefully tailored towards preserving and teasing out its natural acidity. After all, this is what gives beans that are grown in different regions their unique characteristics. The roasting process, in particular, is known to alter the concentration of acidity in coffee beans. Generally speaking, most acids degrade at higher temperatures, so it’s the ones that survive this process that we’ll focus on.

Chlorogenic acids – These are those that degrade quickly during the roasting process, so they’re most commonly found in lighter roasts. This explains why lighter roasts are often described as being brighter and more acidic than darker roasts.

Acetic acid – In small amounts, this can result in a lovely sharpness, and you’ll know it because it’s the exact same acid in vinegar.

Citric acid – This tends to be found in beans grown at higher elevations, particularly from the Arabica plant. Unfortunately there are no prizes for guessing that it’s the exact same type of acidity that’s present in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. We have our very own premium high grown arabica roast which you can view here - Clumsy Goat Ethiopia Sidamo Single Origin, it has a lovely light citrus taste that's great for summer afternoons.

Phosphoric acid – This is often much sweeter than other acids and is found in fruits like mangos and grapefruits. 

Tartaric acid – This is found in grapes, which is why coffee containing this can often take on wine-like characteristics. However, much like Acetic acid, too much of it can make for a sour cup!

Quinic acid – Presence of this in a coffee can lend itself to a clean finish, but again, this is also likely to upset your stomach if there’s too much of it. You’ll often taste this in stale coffee, darker roasts, or even coffee that’s kept warm for too long after brewing. This is because quinic acid is produced as other acids degrade. 

Malic acid – Coffee beans containing malic acid are often associated with subtle hints of pear and apple, but can sometimes suggest notes of stone fruits. This is common in many of our South American roasts.

Hopefully you’ll be able to align your preferences with one or two of these, and next time it comes to choosing a coffee to taste you’ll have a much clearer idea of what which direction you should head in!

Be sure to take a look at our range of speciality coffee beans by clicking here. We have great tasting guides for all of our roasts so you can have a good idea of which roast you'll enjoy :)

Alternatively if you'd prefer not to make the choice - head over to our Roast of the Month Coffee Subscriptions and we'll send you a different roast and flavour profile each month, with free shipping!