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Brewing Coffee

Updated on July 31, 2012

Coffee is composed of two ingredients and should be easy to brew. This brief overview may provide some insights into how to brew coffee.

Coffee Beans

Arabica and robusta are the two varieties of coffee beans. Arabica beans are flavorful and rich, while robusta makes a bitter cup of coffee that one can drink. Companies blend robusta beans with Arabica to cut cost. If the coffee is made weak enough, the blend becomes acceptable.

Mark Sweep photograph of roasted coffee beans released to the public domain.
Mark Sweep photograph of roasted coffee beans released to the public domain.


Two tablespoons of ground Arabica coffee mixed with six ounces of two hundred degree water is the basic coffee recipe. This will bring out the natural flavor of the coffee. Grounds quantity and fineness influences the flavor, and that is one way to adjust taste.

Roasted Beans

The longer coffee beans are roasted, the darker they become and the more robust the flavor changes. Darker and longer roasted beans, such as French roast, often give the affect of stronger brewed coffee. Coffee beans come in a variety of flavors and different varieties can be blended together for different flavors. For the coffee purist the beans that produce the best flavor are those used right after roasting.

Pure Water

The best water for brewing coffee is pure, filtered, or bottled water. Water taste has an influence on the coffee taste.

Coffee Grinders

The common blade grinder, which uses a high-speed rotating blade to grind coffee, is fine. Some of these are adjustable for coarseness. A purist will use a burr grinder that allows a precise grind. This gives a great deal of control over the coarseness, or fineness of the coffee grounds. Too fine a grind can make the coffee taste bitter, too course may make it taste flat.

Coffee Ratio.

The standard starting coffee to water ratio is two tablespoons of coffee to six ounces of water for one cup of coffee. This starting point can be adjusted to increase or decrease the coffee strength and flavor.

Drip Home Coffee Makers

Most people use drip coffee makers to brew their coffee. These  makers drip the hot water through the grounds for brewing. Put ground coffee in a basket, water in the machine, and turn it on. It is the easiest and most popular way to make a fresh cup of coffee at home.

Press Pot or French Press

The press pot, or French press, is one of the favorite methods by coffee purists to brew a cup of coffee. It brings out the full flavor of coffee. It is a glass cylinder with a screen plunger. Put coarse coffee grounds in the cylinder and 200-degree water, stir and brew for 4 minutes. Then push the coffee to the bottom with the plunger. Adjust the brewing time for taste. This method makes some sludge, but it makes a wonderful cup of coffee

Coffee Vacuum Pot

Coffee vacuum pots were popular in the time before percolators. This brewing method has made a comeback as many coffee enthusiasts feel its the best way to brew coffee. It has two glass, pyrex, or plastic sections. Water in the bottom heats and pressure forces the water into the upper section with the coffee grounds. Remove the heat when the bottom section is empty. As the water cools it runs through the grounds into the bottom chamber. This method produces a nice cup of coffee.

Espresso Machines

Espresso machines come in a range of sizes and options. They all force hot water through fine coffee grounds. Each machine has instructions for brewing coffee. The best espresso requires fine, evenly ground coffee. The grind isn't as fine as for Turkish coffee, but fine.

Turkish Coffee

Ibriks are possibly the original coffee maker. It uses coffee ground as fine as talcum powder, and sugar. Use the ratio of two tablespoons of coffee per six ounces of water, and adjust for taste. Bring the mixture of coffee and water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Do this three times. For a proper cup of Turkish coffee, hold the foam back when pouring into cup. When the cups are poured, spoon some foam back onto the cups. This has some sludge, but makes a tasty cup of sweet coffee.

Coffee Percolator

Brewing coffee with a percolator boils the water and recirculates it several times. This makes coffee bitter and the tendency is to make it weak. This method for brewing coffee has lost it’s popularity.


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    • heanders profile image

      heanders 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks. I can't imagine how I missed that.

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

      Interesting hub. I would love more information about the amounts to use in each process.