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Brew Guides

AT JOHN WATT & SON, WE THINK THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF A GOOD BREW SHOULD BE ENJOYED BY EVERYONE, SO WHETHER YOU’RE A COFFEE CONNOISSEUR OR A COMPLETE NOVICE, WE’VE POPPED TOGETHER THIS HANDY GUIDE OF BREWING TECHNIQUES TO HELP YOU ENJOY OUR COFFEE & TEA IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME AT IT’S VERY BEST!

Aeropress

Aeropress

Best for:

a solo brew, great for on the go, with a full strength

Grind style:

Fine

In 2005, an engineer and toy maker by the name of Alan Adler, invented the Aeropress, a device made from polycarbonate born from a desire for a less bitter brew. 


The official Aeropress consists of a cylindrical brewing chamber, plunger with silicone bottom and a screw-on filter cap to hold small paper filters in place. It also comes with plastic stirring paddle, coffee scoop, funnel and storage compartment for your filter papers, all in it’s very own handy little tote bag!

Method

1. First, measure out your JW&S coffee of choice – we recommend 16g of coffee (fine ground) per cup.

2. Pop a fresh filter in your Aeropress filter cap and seat it filter-end end down onto your favourite mug before adding your weighed out coffee.

3. When your water is just off the boil (that’s about 90-96° if you have a thermometer!), pour into your Aereopress until it reaches the No.4 mark.

4. Pop the rubber end of the plunger just into the top to stop anything prematurely dripping through & leave for about a minute.

5. Once your minute is up, remove the plunger and give your coffee a brief, gentle stir.

6. Re-insert the plunger and press down steadily, you should feel a little resistance as the pressure begins to push the coffee through the filter. If you’re unsure how slow to go, we’d say aim for a press time of around 40-45secs.

Why not try an Aeropress Espresso Style? 

To brew Espresso Style, use 20g of coffee, pour your water to the No. 2 mark & leave for 30secs before stirring!

Moka Pot/
Stovetop

Moka Pot / Stovetop

Best for:

something with a bit of oomph (for fans of the Americano)

Grind style:

Fine

As coffee popularity spread throughout Europe in the 18th Century with large-scale Espresso machines starting to take full force, by the turn of the century, the economic boom seen in Italy, saw many Italian people looking for a way to enjoy the same quality of coffee in their everyday lives at home.This spurred Italian born, Alsfonso Bialetti to invent the simple, art-deco designed Moka Pot in 1933, now recognised all over the world as an icon of Italian coffee culture.


Also known as a ‘Stovetop’, the classic Moka Pot consists of 3 main components; a bottom chamber for water, a basket with funnel for your grinds and a top chamber where the steam pressured coffee bubbles through.

Method

1. First, measure out your JW&S coffee of choice – we’d say 21g for a 3-cup Moka Pot (roughly 7-8g per cup if your Moka pot is of a different size!)

2. Unscrew your Moka Pot into it’s 3 parts and pop some water on the boil.

3. Fill the bottom with boiling water and put your coffee into the funnelled basket before dropping into place in the base (You might want a tea towel for this next bit so as to not burn your fingers…!) and carefully screw the top back onto the base.

4. Pop it onto the stove over a low heat until you start to hear it begin to ‘splutter’. Once the coffee starts to appear in the top chamber, remove from the heat until your coffee has finished brewing.

5. And finally, pick out your favourite mug, pop your feet up and of course, enjoy!

Drip Filter/
V60/Chemex

Drip Filter / V60 / Chemex

Best for:

a light gentle brew, perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast

Grind style:

Medium

It is believed that drip methods of brewing first originated in France during the 19th century, quickly becoming perhaps the most popular brewing method of the time across Europe. In Germany, during 1908, the first coffee filters were invented, allowing coffee to be brewed without sediment & to a much cleaner, slightly sweeter taste.

Perhaps the most iconic of drip filters, the V60 was designed in Tokyo in the 1950s & was so named due to its ‘V’ shape & the 60° angle of its conical dripper.

Method

1. First, measure out your JW&S coffee of choice. We recommend 10-12g of coffee (medium ground) per 120ml water for drip filter brewing.

2. Prepare your drip filter with a fresh filter paper.

3. When your water is just off the boil (that’s about 90-96° if you have a thermometer!) pour over to wet your filter. For processes that use a larger filter such as this, wetting the filter before you brew gets rid of any ‘papery’ taste it may carry.

4. Pop your pre-weighed coffee in to the dripper & begin to pour over your water. (Ideally, use a gooseneck kettle for this bit as their concentrated flow gives you more control over the water flow & therefore more control over the clarity of your brew.)

5. Pour enough water initially to fill your dripper (this is usually double the amount of water than you have coffee) allowing the coffee to bloom. ‘Blooming’ is when the grounds start to swell whilst bubbles rise to the surface giving an almost ‘frothy’ appearance – the fresher your coffee the bigger the bloom!

6. After the foaming subsides (usually about 30secs) begin to pour slowly, in circular motions, aiming to keep the brewer around half full. Both grind size & water flow will affect your pour time, for example, finer grinds give you much slower brew time than coarse ones do, but it should take somewhere between 2-5 minutes.

7. And finally, pick out your favourite mug, pop your feet up & of course, enjoy!

Cafetière/
French Press

Cafetière / French Press

Best for:

multiple brews with minimal effort, full of flavour

Grind style:

Coarse

The cafetière, or French press, is a full immersion brewer with a metal, mesh filter. The true origins of its design are often disputed, but it is generally believed that the first patented design of a brewer resembling  such was created in 1852 by two French gentlemen by the names of Mayer & Delforge.


Arguably the most popular design, was the brainchild of Swiss Faliero Bondanini in 1958, which quickly became very popular in France, known as the ‘Chambord’, giving this brewer its iconic identity and namesake of a French Press.

Method

1. First, weigh out your JW&S coffee of choice. We recommend these measurements of coffee for cafetières of the following sizes…..
3 cup – 20-25g
6 cup – 50-60g
8 cup – 70-75g

2. Pour a little hot water into your cafetière to warm the brewer whilst your water boils. When your water is just off the boil (that’s about 90-96° if you have a thermometer!), empty your cafetière, add your pre-weighed coffee and fill with your fresh water. Experimenting with different ratios of coffee and water gives different nuances to your brew, so play around until you find something you like – to start with, we’d go for filling up to around 2-4cm from the brim of your cafetière!

3. Give it all a gentle stir and then pop the lid on, pushing the plunger down until the mesh filter disc sits just on top of the floating coffee grinds.

4. Leave for 4 minutes to work it’s magic and achieve optimum flavour!

5. Push down on the plunger steadily until it reaches the bottom and your coffee is ready to serve.

6. All that’s left to do is simply pick out your best mug (or mugs if you’re sharing!) & enjoy! (If you know your cafetière is going to be sitting for a while before serving, for example, if it’s a companion to a wonderful breakfast spread amongst friends, then we’d recommend popping your brew into a different decanter before serving – this is because if the coffee grounds are left in water, the extraction process continues, adding more bitter flavours to your coffee!)

Cold Brew

Cold Brew

The JW take on the popular + refreshing Cold Brew!

Brew/Grind style:

Cafetière – Coarse

We know that sometimes a warm and comforting cup doesn’t always quite hit the spot and that sometimes a nice, refreshing, chilled brew instead is just the ticket! Which is why we’ve put together our recipe to do a famous Cold Brew the JW way!


Generally speaking, cold brew is unique in comparison to other brewing methods in 3 ways; it is a much longer process, taking around 14hrs; it is (as the name suggests…) brewed using cold water; and it removes any bitter or sour flavours from your coffee to give you a much more honed down, smooth, sweet taste.


The first evidence of this cold-brew process, dates back to the 1600s in Japan. ‘Kyoto-style’ coffee (named due to it’s popularity in the Japanese city) is the earliest record of brewing the drink with cold water, using a traditional drip process that takes up to 24hrs to produce a full batch and is now considered one of the most artistic and nuanced brewing processes in the industry.


Fast forward to today, and cold brew is one of the most popular brews across the world. A characteristic referred to as ‘brightness’ by professional coffee tasters, relates to the tart, tangy and more bitter notes that hot-brew processes bring out of the bean as they release acids. Cold-brewing avoids this process and therefore any bitter flavours, making it an easy favourite amongst coffee and non-coffee people alike!

Method

1. To make a JW cold-brew, we recommend referring to our cafetière process but instead of using hot water, using fresh, filtered cold-water which looks as follows…

2. We recommend these measurements of coffee for cafetières of the following sizes…..
3 cup – 20-25g
6 cup – 50-60g
8 cup – 70-75g

3. Add your pre-weighed coffee to your cafetière and fill with your fresh, cold water (experimenting with different ratios of coffee and water gives different nuances to your brew, so play around until you find something you like – to start with, we’d go for filling up until around 2-4cm from the brim of your cafetière!) give it all a gentle stir and then pop the lid on.

4. Pop into the fridge and leave for anywhere between 6-14hrs depending on how you like your brew strength – we tend to think 12hrs is the sweet spot if you’re looking for a place to start!

5. Once you’re happy with your brew time, remove cafetière from fridge and pop the plunger down before serving.

6. Finally pick our your favourite glass and enjoy! A lot of people choose to serve over ice for an extra refreshing brew and is delicious with or without milk/dairy-free alternatives!

Tea

Tea

Our go-to guide for brewing JW tea…

Although teas of varying size, blend, flavour and variety often benefit from specific brewing times (just check individual product descriptions if you’re unsure!), this is our general rule of thumb for brewing a delicious cup of John Watt & Son loose-leaf tea.

Method

1. We usually recommend 1tsp per cup, whether you’re brewing in a pot or an individual strainer, as a place to start with our tea, but if you’re a fan of a strong cuppa don’t be afraid to play around until you find your personal preference!

2. We also suggest using water just off the boil (that’s about 90-96° if you have a thermometer!) as this can spoil the tea, encouraging more bitter flavours.

3. Once your water is up to temperature, we suggest a brew time for your tea of approx. 4mins – again, this can be influenced by the variety and size of the tea, and of course how strong you like it, so, again, don’t be afraid to try out different combinations of quantity and brew time until you find the truly perfect brew for you!