Coffee Brewing Facts

Brewing Coffee


Before beginning the brewing process, it is very important to make sure all of your equipment is clean and free of coffee oils and residue that build up over time. Dirty equipment will taint the taste of coffee significantly.


Purchase high quality whole coffee beans. At Eagle River Roasters, we roast only the highest quality Arabica beans for the most flavorful cup.


Coffee grinders are not all alike. When shopping for a grinder spend the extra money and invest in a “burr” grinder. Cheap grinders create an uneven, inconsistent grind which results in a poor quality cup of coffee. Burr grinders grind all the beans to a uniform consistency yielding a proper extraction of flavor during brewing. Grind coffee to the proper coarseness of grind for your chosen brewing method. Grind coarse for a French Press, grind medium for most auto drips with a round filter – slightly finer for a metal or conical filter, or grind fine for an espresso maker.

Use the proper amount of coffee to the measure of water. An incorrect measure of coffee is the most common, yet easily avoided, mistake. The official rule is 1 coffee measure (2 TBS) of properly ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. This will result in a strong cup. Some people add as much as 10 ounces of water per measure. Many make the mistake of running more water through less grounds, trying to get a “weaker” cup of coffee or to cut down on the caffeine. This is a gross error because the last flavors to come out of the bean – by over extraction – are the unwanted bitter flavors. If you want a less “bold” cup of coffee purchase a milder bean variety. Eagle River Roasters describes the bean flavor characteristics for every coffee we roast and sell.

Grind only what you will use just prior to brewing. Once ground, coffee quickly stales if not used. Whole beans that are to be kept longer than a week should be stored in an air tight container on the counter or a shelf free of heat or humidity. Coffee can be stored in a deep freezer, whole bean, up to 2-3 months.


The water used during brewing should be good tasting and of high quality. Good water is the key to a great cup of coffee. Another option is to use a coffee maker with a charcoal filter. On average, coffee is 98-99% water, thus making the quality very important.

Water brewing temperature should be 198-205 degrees for 90% of the time it is in contact with the coffee grounds. Unfortunately, most home auto drip coffee makers brew around 175 degrees. This 30 degree difference will dramatically impact flavor quality. Look for a “gourmet” drip coffee brewer with a higher wattage heating element. The higher temperature water extracts all of the good flavor nuances from the coffee grounds. Optimum brew time is between 4 and 6 minutes. If brewed too quickly you miss out on flavor; if brewed too long the coffee is over extracted and bitter.

Stir your coffee after it is made before serving; this disperses particulates evenly instead of sitting at the bottom of the pot. This will result is a more consistent cup. Store any freshly made coffee in a preheated airpot or thermos to preserve quality and retain temperature.

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