What I’ve Learned So Far about Making Flavorful Coffee

Weighing Coffee

I had some fun attending my first ever coffee brewing competition a few weeks ago. I went to the Aeropress Competition held at the Copper Tail Brewery. I met some very cool people and enjoyed watching the professional baristas duke it out making their best cup. As I watched the competition progress, I paid particular attention to the smaller details each barista employed to set their brew apart from the competition. Then it hit me that these “ninja moves” might just as easily transfer to my home brewing process and improve my daily brewing quality. Although I use an automatic drip coffee maker, these insider tricks have definitely improved my home brewed coffee. Here’s what I learned….

Coffee Beans

Use good, fresh roasted coffee beans — If high quality, fresh roasted beans didn’t taste way better than the coffee you buy at the grocery store there wouldn’t be a “coffee industry.” But they do, and there is, so just go with it. Millions of people can’t all be misled. This is probably the most important aspect of making really good coffee at home.

Weighing Coffee

Always start with a known quantity of beans – You don’t have to be a professional barista to understand that how much coffee you use is another super important aspect of making consistently good coffee. Of course the ideal method to get this nailed down is to weigh the amount of beans you use every time. But, if you don’t have a scale handy, it’s no big deal…just use the same spoon or measuring cup every time so you can establish a baseline. From there you can add a little more or less according to your taste. At my house we seem to like 3g of beans per cup of coffee. After exhaustive testing we have found that a slightly rounded tablespoon of whole beans is about 8g, ergo three of those makes a pretty tasty 8 cup pot of coffee.

Grinding Coffee

You need a grinder — An important note here… weigh your coffee in whole bean form first, and then grind ‘em. As is the case with almost anything commercial today, you can spend as much as you want for a grinder. Blade grinders, burr grinders…I say for the guy who wants good home brewed coffee start cheap and work your way up. I use a $12 Mr. Coffee blade grinder and it works just fine. In the total scheme of a primo cup of coffee this is a secondary factor. Just be consistent. Attempt to hit the same grind every time and you’ll do just fine.


Use good, fresh water – This obviously follows the thought about the beans. Water is the only other ingredient in this beverage so use the good stuff. If that means out of the tap… good on you. Take this to whatever level works.

Brewing Coffee

Machine Preparation – There is no need to go overboard on this concept, but it is worth mentioning. Most people’s coffee machine could use a clean out a little more often than it actually happens. Just make sure the pot and the cup that holds the filter is clean before you make a fresh pot. ‘Nuff said.

Filter Soaking

Pre-Moisten the filter — This is one of the tricks I borrowed from the baristas at the Aeropress competition. Dumping fresh coffee and hot water into a bone dry filter may create a woody or cardboard taste in your finished coffee. Drop the filter in the holder, then trickle some water over it and get it wet. Dump the water out after wetting the filter.

Soaking Grinds

Add the ground coffee – Pour the ground coffee into the wet filter, and then wet the grounds. Trickle water over the grounds until they are wet, but not standing in water. You want to maintain this situation for a minute or so, which means you don’t want to have the carafe in place. Most machines will not drip without the pot in place. Pre-moistening the grounds is another maneuver the baristas use all the time.

Coffee Ready

After you’ve completed all these “to do’s” it’s time to flip the switch on what should be your best cup of home brewed coffee yet. Turn on your machine, let it do its thing and enjoy. By all means please hit us back through this site or any of the social media outlets and report your results. I’m anxious to learn if your home brewed coffee improved as much as mine. And by the way, don’t forget to sign up for the Tampa Coffee Club. Then you can scratch “good, fresh roasted beans” off your list.

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