Better coffee at home, but how?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is; ‘I have a senseo or nespresso, but the waste bothers me, do you have an alternative?’

The first step is to check what kind of coffee you like to drink. Maybe you often visit a specialty coffee bar, and you perfectly know the difference between an espresso and an americano, a cappuccino and a macchiato. But for a lot of people there is only one kind of coffee: black, with milk and/or sugar. It is important to know what you like, so that we can recommend the right equipment and brewing method.
Contact us by mail, messenger, telephone to discuss your made-to-measure solution. Below you can find the first introduction.

"The good news is that you also can make high quality coffee at home with a Hario set of 29€."

In general we can divide most coffees in 2 categories; drinks based on espresso or the so-called slow brew coffee. To make espresso and all derivatives like doppio, americano, latte, cappuccino, etc, you need an… espressomachine! Such a machine produces 9 bar of pressure in the portafilter (a kind of “handle” with basket which is fastened onto the machine and which holds the ground coffee). The name suggests otherwise, but a typical Nespresso-machine cannot produce a full-fledged espresso.

But lets start with what coffee lovers call “Slow Brew” coffee. There are many ways and recipes which are covered by Slow Brew, like French press, Chemex, Kalita, Clever drip, Melitta, etc. A lot of distinguished coffee connoisseurs use the V60 of the Japanese Hario, because a V60 has a big hole at the bottom, and you control the extraction time (and the flavour!) yourself by grinding courser or finer.

Your can take your first steps into the world of quality coffee at home with a good grinder and a Hario V60 Craft Coffee Maker set (29€). What do you need besides that? A water kettle, and a digital scale as precise as 1 gram. And good coffee.
When we mention good coffee, we are talking about coffee beans in stead of pre-ground coffee, because most of the aroma’s are irretrievably lost 15 minutes after grinding. There is so much energy and passion being put in the growing, picking, processing transporting and roasting of coffee that it would be a shame to lose those aroma’s in the last stages. Grinding you preferably do right before you make your coffee.

If you don’t own a grinder, it’s probably the best first investment you can make. You can either choose between a manual grinder or an electric one with a step-by-step adjustment. A grinder with blades we don’t recommend. The grinder is for many barista’s the most important instrument, because how course or fine you ground, has an enormous impact on the flavour of your coffee. Does it taste bitter, and do your grounds look like mud after brewing, then you grounded it too fine. Coffee grounded too course can deliver a sour flavour (high acidity) because your water wasn’t in contact with the coffee for a long enough time. A grinder of lesser quality will grind too fine as well as too course, which has an impact on the consistency of your coffee. That also influences the taste.
A good grinder doesn’t have to be expensive. For slow brew coffee Timemore for example has the C2 hand grinders which cost 79€. If you pay 30€ more than that you can get an 1zpresso Q2.

Do you prefer an electrical grinder? Then the Wilfa Svart Aroma will be a good choice. This one has a nifty timer-function so that you don’t always need to re-adjust the amount of coffee. Without timer, but very popular and available in different colours, is the Baratza Encore.
The ultimate electrical grinder for slow brew is, in our humble opinion, the Wilfa Svart Uniform, available in black (with built-in scale) or the RVS version, without scale.
The smart scale connects to an iOS or android app via bluetooth, and also offers tips and tricks from its designer and coffee master Tim Wendelboe.

Thé standard for manual slow brew coffee is the Japanese Hario V60 system. With the items we offer you can make different combinations, in sizes 02 and 03. The 02 sets are suitable for everything between 1 cup and 600ml, which is about the same as 2 bigger mugs of coffee. Do you need more, then the 03 set might suit you better. It has a capacity of 800ml, 6 smaller cups or 3 bigger mugs. Hario also has a Cafe Press, which is the compact version of the classic French Press.

Are you a bit more adventurous and do like to experiment? Then maybe an Aeropress might be the thing for you. The ‘press’ doesn’t refer to espresso, but to the downward movement you make when finishing the brewing process. The Aeropress is inexpensive, but versatile. There are Aeropress championships, accessories like metal filters, the Fellow Prismo, there are hand grinders that fit perfectly in an Aeropress for travelling, like the Timemore we sell, etc.
Be sure to download one of the free apps filled with Aeropress recipes like Brew Timer or Coffee Guru. For as less as 39€ you can buy a complete Aeropress set. We now have even it on offer!

A lot of people have little time to manually make coffee, especially in the morning. That explains the popularity of automatic machines. A good balance between quality, flavour and ease-of-use is important.
With the below automatic coffee brewers this can be achieved in a simple way. They just offer that little bit more. The Espressions Junior, made by the Dutch brand Bravilor, has a spray nozzle which evenly wets the ground coffee. The Norwegian Wilfa Classic Plus or Wilfa Performance offer a dripstop-function, in combination with a removable dripper-lid for blooming (blooming will be explained in a new post). All machines include an easy way to remove the watertank and/or dripper, which makes operating them easy and cleaning child’s play. Which certainly is not the case with full automatic machines.
Pairing these brewing machines with a decent coffee grinder gives you the ultimate ease-of-use.

In our opinion this is the most laid back solution with the best result for slow brew coffee, within an affordable budget.

What is often forgotten, but is extremely important to be able to make good coffee, is the quality of the water you use. Water from the tap works fine, but depending on where you live the water can be too hard. A water descaler might be a solution then (preferably one which the technician can set at a chosen water hardness) but a manual waterfilter like the BWT Penguin is also a good solution.
Apart from limiting future damage to your appliances due to limescale build-up, a good balance of magnesium, calcium, and a neutral pH is essential to make good coffee. Magnesium and calcium adhere themselves to the coffee particles and dissolve these, but water that is too hard can cause overextraction, and therefor delivers coffee that tastes less good. The BWT Penguin has been tailor made for coffee (and tea). It adds the ideal amount of magnesium which makes its water the perfect water for coffee and tea. Beyond that the water tastes better on its own as well.

The second category in coffee is everything based on espresso.
We’ll delve further into that in a new blog-post. Slow brew is the easiest way to make good coffee at home. It offers a wide range of possible flavours, with a minimum amount of equipment and investment.

Do you have any questions about slow brew? Let us know! We’ll gladly guide you in your search.

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