Brewing at Home? Kaldi’s Tips for Making it Great
At Kaldi’s, we view our cafes as a hub to connect with people and to have a chance to live in the moment with some of the best coffee in the world. Whether it’s the perfectly balanced Cafe Kaldi or our newest fruit bomb Ethiopian, we believe that well-brewed coffee can transcend time and goings-on, and give you a chance to breathe.
But brewing coffee at home can its own rewarding ritual. Our baristas go through extensive training and we use the best equipment to ensure that each coffee reaches its highest potential, but there’s no reason that you can’t make a great cup at home and still have one of those moments.
Here’s our tips for how to get the best possible cup, no matter who you are and what equipment you have. We have it broken down for every level of coffee knowledge and expertise for those that want to delve a little deeper into the world of brewing coffee.
No matter who you are or how you like it, we hope this brings you some joy!
Best Practices for Any Brew
- Buy fresh coffee!
- Coffee never goes “bad” in the typical sense (like milk), but it does lose more and more flavor as it ages. We find that coffee is best in the first three to four weeks after roast, so only stock up for as much as you’ll use in that period of time. If you aren’t going to use it immediately, it is perfectly fine to place a sealed bag in the freezer. Just bring it up to room temperature before opening it.
- Insider tip: This is one major benefit to buying straight from kaldiscoffee.com: Coffee is roasted to order, ensuring that you get your bag when the coffee is at its freshest. Check out our blog all about this!
- Grind fresh if possible, and ideally with a high quality burr grinder
- We love the ageless Baratza Encore for its durability and grind quality (and exceptional customer service).
- Use a scale. This is key for consistent ratios of coffee and water, which leads to a more consistent, better extracted cup. We like the 1:16 ratio, meaning that if we are brewing 40g of coffee, we use 640ml of water.
- Use fresh, filtered water no matter how you are making your coffee.
- Click here to go to our other home brewing guide with a few more details.
Interested in getting more in the weeds?
- Making a French Press?
- Check out our French Press tutorial here
- This method takes the standard cupping protocol that we put all of our coffees through during our rigorous QC and applies it to the French Press. If you’re patient, you get an exceptionally clean cup with all of the body you want from the FP. It’s just so easy and the results are so great, we don’t think there’s a better way.
- Need a French Press? We like the Yama, but all FPs essentially make the same cup with this method
- Making a pourover?
- We’re still working on our own brew guides, but in the meantime let us refer you to James Hoffman and his v60 technique. It’s a great guide, and is super repeatable.
- Here’s our tried-and-true Chemex recipe, especially good if you’re making for more than one.
- Watch our IGTV video on how to brew with the Kalita 185!
- Get your water good and hot
- Have an auto-brewer? It can be hard for less expensive brewers to get the water up to temp. Heating it up a little in the microwave first can really help.
Wanna get way, way deep in the weeds?
- Stir or swirl your bloom. This helps saturate all grounds immediately and evenly, leading to better extraction.
- Grab an Aeropress and go through a myriad of different recipes.
- Each year, there is a World Aeropress Championship, and recipes are posted here. The best thing about the Aero is its versatility, and we definitely recommended having some fun with it.
- Cup coffees next to each other. Here’s our video for how to do that at home using our Blend Sampler Box. This is a great way to try coffee alone or have a little "event" with friends and loved ones.
- Experiment with different toys. We’ve loved playing with things like the Fellow Prismo, the Melodrip, or the Able Kone.
- Make your own water (well, add minerals to it, don’t do advanced chemistry or anything)
- We won’t get too geeky here, but water plays an enormous role in the quality of your coffee. Filtered or bottled water is great, but there are a couple products that are specifically made to bring out the best that your coffee has to offer. You just add these to a gallon of distilled water, and voila! Perfect water for brewing.
Want to ensure coffee keeps coming?
- We have subscriptions! Recurring subscriptions save 10%. Choose Roaster’s Choice if you want to get a little variety mixed in.
- Our partners at Mistobox offer an even more curated service. Kaldi’s is proud to be a listed roaster, but Mistobox also offers many other coffees from our other friends in the coffee community.
Want to try something new?
- Our Blend Sampler gives you a chance to try Haya, Cafe Kaldi, and 700 next to each other.
- As mentioned, our Roaster’s Choice Subscription is a rotating single origin selection chosen by our awesome roasting team
- Keep an eye on our Single Origin page. We are dedicated to sourcing and roasting the freshest harvests and the finest coffees in the world. Each coffee comes with a “Why we love it” and a graph showing the basic flavor profile. We know you’ll find something you love!
Don’t want to have to brew at all?
- Grab Haya Cold Brew at these locations! Or, brew it at home:
- Here’s our guide for how to make Haya using a Toddy
- Cold Brew every day the easy way:
- Make a concentrate, add water to it every morning (dilute to taste), and walk out the door or grab your favorite book.
And, weirdly enough, that’s just a taste of what you can do with coffee. The beauty of coffee is that it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. So, whether you’re looking for simplicity to ease your mind, or looking for something complex to take your mind off things, coffee can be that thing for you.
We appreciate you so much, and happy brewing!
Last updated: 5/15/2020