The handcrafted style of coffee may be new to many of you. It’s a form of coffee brewing that gives the user control, eliminating many of the constraints of the average home coffee maker.
For some, those constraints are mobility. A mobile coffee brewer like the KOHIPRESS lets us take coffee out into the world.
For others, the constraints of the average home coffee brewer is quality. Regardless of what beans you use or what you try, the coffee maker at home just may not cut it anymore.
These constraints are what push people to jump into specialty coffee. All we want is an intentional, easy, delicious cup of joe.
We kept this in mind when designing the KOHIPRESS. It’s a brewer that lets you be as complicated or as basic as you want.
For those wanting a simple brew in the morning, they can just add coffee, add water, wait, and plunge.
Others who wish to take their coffee even further can develop recipes with the Mastersheet and experiment.
This blog is going to cover ways you can take your brewing further. If you’ve been brewing with your KOHIPRESS for a while and don’t know where to improve - this is a good place to start.
Hack 1: Managing the Bloom
When hot water comes into contact with freshly ground coffee, something magical happens… the bloom.
The bloom is an admixture of gases, water, and grounds formed when hot water touches fresh coffee. You’ll find the bloom at the top of your brew when you initially pour your water into the KOHIPRESS. The hot water drives the gases out of the grounds, allowing the slurry to degas.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s completely natural. Some blooms are big and some are small - and they’re usually an indicator of how fresh your coffee is. If your bloom is really big, chances are, your coffee is pretty fresh off the roast.
But many people choose to let the bloom happen and not do anything about it. This is unfortunate, since the bloom can cause inconsistencies in your brew!
You’ll notice that the bloom is kind of like a puck that sits on the surface of your brewing coffee. If you poke it with a spoon, you’ll find that it has volume. Some blooms are over a centimeter thick.
This means that the coffee grounds on top of the bloom are in less contact with water. The grounds at the bottom of the blooming slurry are extracting more than the rest of the grounds.
Here lies our problem. We want all grounds to be extracted equally.
This is what we suggest:
Dunk the Bloom Before Completely Filling Up Your KOHIPRESS
Depending on the type of coffee you use, the KOHIPRESS can brew up to around 400ml of coffee at a time.
If your coffee is super fresh, the bloom could be huge. You don’t want the KOHIPRESS to overflow, and [400ml of water + bloom] may be uncomfortably close.
So try this:
When you pour in around 370ml of water, stop pouring and wait 20 seconds or so. Then dunk the bloom with a spoon and give the surface a stir. This will incorporate your grounds into the brew. It will also allow you to pour the remaining 30ml of water and finish brewing.
Plunge Just Enough to Cover the Bloom
Instead of dunking the bloom with a spoon, you could also use the plunger to submerge the bloom into the brew.
People have been doing this with French Presses for years. All you need to do is pour your water and barely insert the plunger.
And feel free to take the plunger out if you need to stir or add more water. Using the plunger to dunk the bloom will keep your grounds extracting consistently, and it will also keep your water piping hot!
Hack 2: Pre-wet KOHIPRESS Before Brewing
Heat is transferred during the coffee brewing process via endothermic and exothermic reactions.
When water is poured into the reservoir of the KOHIPRESS, heat is transferred and absorbed. The water loses heat through the air as it makes its way into the KOHIPRESS. The steel walls of the reservoir also absorb some of the heat from the water, bringing the water temperature down even further.
The reason we’re bringing this up? Years of studies show that the ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is around 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t brew at lower temperatures, but for the sake of consistency, it’s usually best to stay within the standard.
We get it -- you can’t micromanage everything. So instead of pulling out a thermodynamics textbook, there’s something you can do to maintain a consistent brewing temperature.
Pre-wet the KOHIPRESS… that’s it.
Once your water is ready, pour a little bit of water into the KOHIPRESS and swish it around. This will make sure that you don’t lose too much heat when you start brewing.
Deposit that water into a receptacle for later use, throw in your coffee, and start brewing!
If you do this every time, your coffee will be consistent, and dialing in the brew will be easy.
And speaking of dialing in…
Hack 3: Remember the Basics of Dialing In
We cover this in the KOHIPRESS Brewing Mastersheet. You can download that here.
Dialing in may not seem like a useful KOHIPRESS hack… but once you get the gist of it, you’ll feel like you just cheated the system.
When your coffee tastes bitter, you can fix it with a few adjustments on the next brew. When your coffee tastes sour and acidic, you can correct it by making a single brewing decision. You’ll feel invincible.
There will be more KOHIPRESS tips in the near future, but for now, download the Mastersheet and incorporate some the techniques we discussed here.
A few adjustments can change the game. You’ll notice that the tiniest of details can create a consistent, balanced cup of coffee.
Keep on brewing!
The KOHI+ team