Stuck without your espresso machine? Camping, hiking, staying with unenlightened family, or bunked up in accommodation without your favourite brewing method? Here are some tips for brewing the perfect cup of coffee on holiday.
If you’re looking for some brewing equipment, including the super-useful AeroPress, drop by the roastery and Industrie Espresso Bar and pick up a cool gift for yourself or someone else.
Top tip for all home-made coffee:
Use high-quality coffee beans (we might be biased but we reckon ours are the best – check the range here), and grind them freshly before brewing if possible.
Use a coarse grind of coffee, and go for somewhere around a 1:15 or 1:17 ratio of coffee to water by weight. That means for a 350ml plunger you want about 20g of coffee, and for a 1L plunger use about 65g of coffee.
Use water around 95°C – let it sit for a couple of minutes after boiling. Wait 3 ½ to 4 minutes before plunging. Press the plunger down slowly. This is mostly to prevent making a mess.
Decant the coffee into another vessel straight after plunging even if you’re not going to drink it all immediately. This stops it overbrewing and going bitter. Top tip: pre-warm the vessel in the microwave or using hot water so it doesn’t cool the coffee down when you pour it in.
Part of the beauty of the AeroPress is it can be used to brew different styles of coffee. You’ll need to experiment a little to get the perfect ‘recipe’ for your favourite roast (or ask the barista at Industrie and they’ll give you some pointers). Here’s a basic guide:
Use 230ml of water to 15g of medium-grind coffee (there’s that 1:15 ration again). Let the water sit for a couple of minutes after boiling so it cools to around 95°C.
Give the grinds a good stir as you pour the water in. This saturates the beans and releases carbon dioxide. Let the coffee brew for 1 to 2 minutes before pressing – experiment with different timing for your favourite roast and drinking preference.
Pressing the AeroPress gently actually lets the coffee flow out faster (pushing hard compresses the grinds, which slows the flow of liquid) – and fast-flowing coffee tastes better.
Don’t plunge it the whole way down – this overextracts the coffee and makes it bitter.
Bonus tip: Café-style fluffy milk
You can use your coffee plunger to froth up milk for a flat white or latte. Put about 60ml of warm-hot milk in a clean plunger and rapidly agitate the handle up and down to froth the milk. Remove the lid and gently swirl the froth until it settles into a creamy consistency with no big bubbles before gently pouring it into your coffee (you can tap the plunger on a table a couple of times to pop the big bubbles).