We at Backporch are avid French Pressers. When we were given a commercial airpot brewer to play with, we were a little lost. So, Dave and I spent a couple of days trying to figure out if it is possible for drip to do justice to the coffee. As far as I know we’re the only shop in Bend that doesn’t drip our coffee. We do this for a few reasons:
1.) Coffee generally needs about four minutes of contact between the water and the grounds for proper extraction. (Unless under intense pressure such as in an espresso machine) In most drip coffee makers you’re lucky if you get one minute of contact. This leaves the coffee seeming thin and under-extracted.
2.) Drip machines are generally hard to keep clean. In addition to a sprayer which gets all sorts of grimy build-up on it if not properly cared for, I’ve found that there’s always a delicious metallic taste that comes from drip.
3.) Those darn filters. I don’t like tasting paper in my coffee. Period.
Now I would love for everyone to be daily french pressers, and to have a vacuum pot for the weekends, but I also know that it’s very hard for some people to leave the comfort and convenience of their drip coffee makers. To those of you who can’t let it go, here are a few tips for getting the best out of your drip coffee:
1.) Keep it clean! Clean your sprayer thoroughly after every pot. It will keep you from tasting your old coffee in your next brew. Also, remember to keep hard water from building up in your system. I recommend taking some distilled vinegar to it every month or so, This will help avoid that metallic taste and help you taste more of the coffee and less of the brewer.
2.) Rinse your filters! It’s not okay to have paper as one of your flavor profiles. Pour about one liter of hot water through your filter before each pot. This will diminish the paper taste quite a bit.
3.) Figure out your dose and grind! This is probably the biggest issue with home drip users. It seems everyone makes coffee the exact same way that their grandma taught them when they were twelve. Hopefully you aren’t making Maxwell House anymore, and you should put the scoops away. You should use approximately 60 grams of freshly ground, amazingly roasted, Backporch Coffee, per liter of water. Not a big fan of metric? Well, I’m sorry, I like it. It’s just so precise. A cool gram scale is a good investment for any coffee lover. As far as grind goes, I can’t tell you. It depends quite a bit on the amount you’re brewing. My advice is to start on the drip setting of your grinder, and go coarser the larger amount you brew. Avoid the temptation of saving coffee by brewing less grounds on a finer grind. You might get some strong coffee, but you’re losing out on all of the flavor nuances that hopefully you spend the extra money for.
4.)Lose the electricity! If you can’t be swayed from your drip, try a pour-over system. This is a much more hands on and precise brewing method than electric brewers. (sorry mr. coffee.) You can find a lot of pour-over systems out there, (also known as swiss gold) but the general consensus is that chemex makes the best. This is because of the functional (and swank) glass design and because of it’s specially designed filters that allow for appropriate contact time (about 4 minutes) and are unbleached. If you just ran to your local kitchen store and purchased your first chemex. Here’s a great video to show you how to use it: Pourover Video.