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Coffee Master Brewing Tips

Updated on September 12, 2012

Coffee Purists Guide to Making Coffee

Coffee Press & Cold Brewed

When did you learn to drink and like coffee? I didn’t drink coffee until the late night studying in college. When I look back on it, we drank some pretty nasty swill that we thought was coffee.

Well, thanks to the coffee bar retail trend, we have all come a long way from what I still euphemistically call ‘church coffee.’*

Since moving to the Southwest, I have learned to make rich delicious coffees. I learned from my Aunt Pat who loved the cold brewed method which I will describe. I have also learned from my hubby who is A Coffee Purist.

First the Coffee Purist and then the Cold Brew Method (brand name Toddy Coffee) from Aunt Pat.

You too can make gourmet coffee just like your favorite coffee barista.

A Coffee Purist Makes Coffee at Home

1. The coffee must be a most excellent brand. Something like grown at a high altitude, on the shady side of the mountain, picked in the morning etc. This would be funny if my Coffee Purist did NOT know almost this much about his coffee of choice.

2. You must chop it yourself right before you use it. NOTE: I said CHOP because grinding does something to the beans that is bad, what it does, I am still not sure but we chop not grind in our house; you may hand grind though. Just do not use those commercial electric kitchen grinding models. There are electric chopper models that are acceptable. Oh dear!

3. Place three and one-half (3 ½) generous tablespoons of chopped coffee in a coffee press. Do not even suggest a commercial coffee machine, as the water boiling temperature must be fairly exact.

4. You must boil fresh (not dead) purified (not distilled) water and once off the boil and down to 180-190° F degrees you may pour the coffee into the coffee press. And yes, we have a cooking thermometer that is next to the kettle. The Coffee Purist does take the water's temperature.

5. You need to pour the water in the press so that all the grounds are wet.

6. Then plunge the coffee press a bit to fully immerse the coffee grounds. Return the plunger to the top of the coffee press

7. Wait for no less than 10 minutes.

8. Plunge the coffee press

9. Pour from a height of 4-6 inches so the brewed coffee is aerated as it is poured

10. Now enjoy.

11. And I am NOT KIDDING.

(NOTE: this from a lovely husband who will eat anything else that is ‘seriously slowed down.’ I.e. he is not hard to cook for except for coffee! So, he gets to make his own.)

Okay, the Coffee Purist does make wonderful coffee.

Cold Brew High Altitude Coffee

The cold brew system is used in the higher altitudes of Peru and Guatemala. Water boils at a different temperature high up the mountain. The temperature that water boils is in direct relationship to the altitude you are cooking at. Over boiled coffee is not good. The brand name for this is Toddy Coffee.

For example at 0 degrees of altitude water boils at 212 F°. Where I live water boils at about 183 F°. We live up on a mesa in New Mexico, hardly a novelty here!

This means that using boiling water to make your coffee becomes problematic.

So, in the highest elevations in South American they came up with the cold brew method. It makes a most excellent coffee and you should try it!


Four cups of ground coffee (you can get away with a lesser brand of coffee for this!)

8 cups of purified water in 4 cup increments

First assemble these items: (*Easy Peasey $$ method at the end)

One large glass jar with a small opening (the jar must be large enough to hold all of the ingredients)

A large WIDE MOUTH carafe or pitcher with a lid that seals or another large jar with a lid that screws on tightly

Several layers of cotton or linen dish dryer towels…not the fluffy ones! These will be coffee stained after this, so plan on using the same towel(s) every time.

A colander


Place the ground coffee in the first large glass jar.

Pour in 4 cups of the purified water.

Let sit for 5-15 minutes

Pour in the remainder of the purified water (4 cups)

Gently stir to moisten all of the coffee grounds

Place a plate on the top of the jar….not sealed just covered to keep dust and bugs out!

Sit on the kitchen counter for 12-24 hours. Yep, that long.

In 12-24 hours, you will strain the coffee so only the water is left.

This is a bit tricky, so read the description below in detail before you do it the first time!

Place the towel(s), folded several times over with a generous amount of the towel hanging out in the colander. Place the colander lined with the towel(s) in the mouth of the carafe/pitcher. The colander and towel(s) will act as a filter and NOT let the coffee grounds get into the carafe or pitcher. Carefully, pour/place the jar with the water and coffee grounds IN the colander with the towel(s). Strain out the coffee. The grinds stay in the original jar. This may take a bit. So, rig it to stand by it self

You now have a rich dark coffee in the carafe/ pitcher. A coffee liquor, if you will.

The grounds make a great garden soil addition or will help clean and sharpen your garbage disposal!

Cup of Coffee

In order to make a cup of coffee, you pour 1/3 to ½ cup of the rich coffee into a serving cup from the carafe/pitcher and add boiling water to this to make a full cup. This is some of the best coffee that you will ever taste. The flavor is rich, dark, full bodied with no bitter or burnt taste.

One plus, is that Cold Brewed coffee is super-easy to have on hand each morning for a fast delicious barista quality cup of coffee. Also, it is very easy to make lots of coffee for a party with this system.

This also makes a great chilled coffee in the summer.

You can make espressos, lattes, and any manner of barista coffees from this full bodied rich coffee liquor. May I suggest you substitute 1/2 cup of this liquor for water in a chocolate brownie recipe. The coffee just pops the brownie recipe.

(*) Easy-Peasey and $40.00: Go buy yourself a home commercially manufactured cold coffee system and follow the instructions that come with it. Kitchen stores and a certain national chain of coffee barista shops sell these. I confess that I finally did. See the picture for what one of these systems look like!

Church coffee

An Ode to Church Coffee*

*Church Coffee Described:

Church coffee is where the sweet little old church lady makes coffee and skimps on the grounds, which are already the cheapest she could find in the store, because she wants to save the church some money, and then when no one will drink the coffee that only resembles coffee as you can read through it, this sweet little old church lady saves it and serves it over-and-over. The coffee acquires a burnt offering ring at the bottom of the pot. Half of the coffee has also evaporated. But the sweet little old church lady is still saving the church money, by now, just adding more water through the same grounds. YECH and DOUBLE YECH. Still, you feel guilty taking a cup and not tossing a quarter in the donation box to buy more coffee.


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Simone, thanks for the compliment. I appreciate coffee more since I have the Coffee Purist making it for me!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Oooh, good tips! You're a real pro!! I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but you've made the process sound so fun and gourmet... I might just get into it now!

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I love good coffee, but not to the point that I chop it! Wow, very impressive! We lived in Seattle for four years and my appreciation for good coffee, always black of course, really took off. Thanks for the guide, maybe we'll have to try it with our coffee press!

    • profile image

      sdzulu 6 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. If I didn't have my cup of coffee by my elbow I would have had to go make myself some.