How to Brew the Best Cup of Coffee of Your Life
By: Bulletproof Staff
September 21, 2016
Brewing the perfect cup every time may sound intimidating, but it really just comes down to having the right tools and ingredients. Read on for the details on how to weigh, grind, brew, and press your way to the best cup of coffee every time.
Brewing the best cup of coffee, start to finish
How to store and grind your coffee
In general, Bulletproof beans are the lowest in mold and other toxins on the market. But bad storage techniques can make your coffee stale at best and create an environment for mold growth at worst. Store your beans in a cool, dry place, preferably in something that vacuum seals. The Bulletproof Airscape ejects excess air and keeps out moisture, both of which can damage the flavor of your beans, or worse, make them moldy.
Measure your beans
As a biohacker, you likely enjoy a certain level of control over your body and your environment. For a perfectly consistent cup every time, we recommend something like the Hario V60 scale. This device measures in .01-gram increments and includes a timer so you’re never guessing about coffee bloom times and pours. If you’re using the pourover method, the timer on the Hario is perfect for preventing over- or under-extraction. You can also use it to measure every ingredient in your Bulletproof Coffee, from beans to butter. Coffee nerds rejoice.
Get the perfect grind
The most important part of grinding your coffee beans is making sure you’re getting even-sized particles. A cheaply-made grinder will make a pile of dreaded “dust and boulders,” which results in inconsistent batches of coffee and takes away from the deep flavors and subtle nuances in your brew.
The Encore is pretty much the best grinder you can get for your home, with 40 grind settings that range from coarse to superfine. That means you’re all set to brew in everything from a drip coffee maker to the finest espresso machine. It may sound silly, but getting the perfect grind is essential to maximizing the flavor of your beans.
The Hario Skerton ceramic coffee mill is ideal for those who are looking for something smaller and more portable. And if you’re going to go for a hand mill, this should be the only one on your list. It’s adjustable ceramic burrs produce a wide range of grind sizes, again – from coarse to superfine. And even though it’s manual, the Japanese design feels smooth and effortless. Did we mention it’s travel-friendly?
Whichever grinder you choose, go for a medium grind if you’re using a French press.
How to brew your best cup of coffee
Choose your strength
If you take your coffee strong, add about ½ cup of grounds to 3 cups of water in your French press. For a slightly lighter brew, try 2 ½ tablespoons of ground beans with 8 oz. of water, or 4-6 tablespoons for three cups of water.
If you have the Hario V60 scale, use it to weigh your grounds, tweaking the measurements until you find your perfect cup.
One of the tricks to making your coffee taste better – especially a darker roast – is to increase the brewing temperature. Most automatic brewing machines only get to about 175°F, which isn’t hot enough to get a good extraction. If you’re serious about a strong cup, use a French press and pourover technique.
To get the water at the perfect temperature for brewing, boil your water, then let it sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, which should bring it down from about 212°F to about 195-200°F.
How to brew your coffee
Your coffee is ground, your water is perfectly hot. Now, the magic happens. Here, we’ll focus on the French press, which captures the subtlest flavors from your beans, offering deep, full-bodied flavor every time.
Coffee has naturally-occurring oils that contribute to the flavor and the polyphenol profile of your brew. When you use an automatic coffee maker, these oils are absorbed by the paper filters or the water simply doesn’t get hot enough to extract them in the first place.
The Hario French Press is the preferred brewing vessel here at Bulletproof because the glass and stainless steel components don’t interfere with the taste, as opposed to plastic. The stainless steel mesh filter lets those naturally-occurring oils seep in, allowing an abundance of flavor and cancer-fighting polyphenols.
For the perfect cup, let the grounds sit for 4-4 ½ minutes before you press. The timing is really important, so make sure to set that timer.
To break the crust or to not break the crust?
When using a French press, the grounds will rise to the top of the water, forming a “crust.” It’s a hotly debated subject in coffee nerd circles whether to break this crust by stirring before you press or to leave it as is. We prefer to break the crust, stirring it gently, letting the grounds settle to the bottom and allowing for a deeper extraction. But be sure not to stir too vigorously, which can cause over-extraction, aka a super bitter taste.
After about 4-minutes, press your coffee and enjoy.
A note on mixing plastic and coffee
Eating and drinking out of plastic (even BPA-free plastics) can cause varying levels of endocrine (hormone) disruption, which has been correlated with unwanted weight gain, reproductive disease, some cancers, and a whole mess of hormonal issues. Heating plastic increases the secretion of these hormone hating compounds even more. So, please don’t heat plastic. Ever.
For even more ways to enhance your Bulletproof Coffee experience, check out this post on the top 15 things to add to your morning cup.
Using superbly-designed coffee equipment enhances the entire experience. What are some of your favorite coffee-making products? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
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