Two-time NW regional barista champion Devin Chapman knows a thing or two about making a mean cup of coffee. Formally trained at the critically acclaimed Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Devin learned the ropes at local favorite Coava in Portland. We asked Devin to share his best hacks for making an award-winning coffee at home.
“The one thing that will 100% revolutionize your coffee is this – buy good coffee. Go to your favorite coffee shop and ask them to suggest something. I guarantee you’ll get a great recommendation because every barista is dying for someone to ask them that question.”
Tip: When in doubt, Ethiopian beans are a safe bet. As the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia produces some of the best beans in the world – you can order online, too.
“Tap water is really bad for brewing coffee. Since coffee is 99% water, it’s important to use filtered water that will extract the flavor properly – you want to make sure the mineral content isn’t too high.”
Tip: Always use filtered or bottled water. It might seem extravagant, but it’s really worth it.
“Most coffee machines don’t brew at a high enough temperature, which means the water isn’t hot enough to fully extract the flavor and your coffee will generally taste very acidic.”
Tip: Throw away your home coffee maker and invest in one that can get water hot enough (they go for around $200). The perfect temperature is slightly off-boil at 200° F or 95° C. If you don’t want to splurge on a new machine, take a look at our next tip.
“I actually prefer a traditional manual brewer, like a Hario V60, Kalita Wave or, my favorite, a Chemex. For the water, fill the kettle, let it boil, then pour the contents into another kettle holding water that’s at room temperature. This causes the temperature to drop five or six degrees – the magic number."
Tip: After pouring water over the coffee, wait three and a half to five minutes for the perfect brew.
“Make sure that every time you brew coffee you aren't just guessing. If you measure out the right amount of coffee and water you'll make a better cup every time."
Tip: Generally speaking, a 1:16 ratio of coffee to water works well (for 1 oz of coffee, use 16 oz of water and so on).