Coffee demo drip coffee clever pour over coffee maker burr grinder

Coffee Brewing Basics

The precisely perfect grinding and brewing process really does depend on your particular taste – do you enjoy the deeper flavor characteristics of a dark roast, or the mind expanding fruity and floral notes of light roasted Tarrazu coffees?  How much do you need to balance convenience with creating a special experience?  We dive into the different brewing methods and how to apply this in particular to high elevation coffee beans like our Tarrazu coffee (which are harder than other beans).  However, there are some coffee brewing tips that you should follow regardless of the process and equipment you choose. 

1. The most important consideration apart from your choice of coffee beans is water quality.  Use filtered, purified or spring water (but not distilled or mineral water).  Tap water typically contains chlorine and other impurities, which will negatively affect the taste of your coffee.   Any degree of hardness in the water also slows or restricts the extraction process by limiting the bonding action of water with coffee.

2. We recommend grinding your coffee fresh, when possible, right before you’re going to brew your coffee for optimum freshness.  You can also grind for a few days in advance and keep in an airight container.  Pre-ground coffee can still yield a good cup if it has been packaged recently.  Our pre-ground coffee is considered a medium ground.

3. Make sure the grind size is right for your method of brewing.  See the directions for your particular coffee maker. 

4. Use a brewing process that is best suited for the beans and roast profile you prefer. 

5. Use the right amount of coffee based on the flavor profile of the coffee and the roast.  With Cafe Jose coffees, we encourage using at least two to three teaspoons per imperial cup of water keeping in mind that most people consume 1.5 – 2 imperial cups in a typical coffee mug.  Don’t be afraid to tinker with the ratios. 


Grinding coffee fresh is preferable to purchasing pre-ground coffee or grinding in advance and storing.  Ground coffee exposes more of the coffee bean to oxygen, which reacts with the bean by aging it.  If you can afford to, invest in a burr grinder.  Smaller grinders with bladed propellers are inexpensive, but chop beans into uneven sizes that can cause poor flavor extraction (over emphasis of compounds that yield bitterness and other off flaovrs).  Burr grinders which uses gears to crush coffee beans instead of chopping them.  This creates even, spherical grinds that yield an even, consistent flavor no matter the brewing machine or process.


Burr grinder coffee grinder
Burr grinder

This process, oxidation, is slowed if your coffee is in a sealed container.  There are a number of sealed containers that rely on twisting or latchesSealed containers   Keep your beans sealed as well 

Generally speaking, with Cafe Jose Coffee, you can go a little bit finer, which will give you better flavor extraction.  With other coffees, this can lead to more bitterness, but this is not a concern with Tarrazu single origin beans.

Our recommendations follow:

Drip Coffee Makers – Medium to Medium Fine Grind
Coffee machines that gradually drip water onto grinds contained in a filter or steel mesh basket.
Example: Moka Master, Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee 

Full immersion – Coarse Grind
Where water complete covers the grinds for a period of time.
Examples: French Press, Aeropress, Cold Brew.

Moka Pot (Greca) – Fine
A small metal pot with a receptacle for water and a separate receptacle for coffee.  The pot is heated on a stove top,  causing the water to percolate up and into the grinds. 

Pour Over – Medium Fine to Fine
Small pots with reusable filters or receptacles for paper filters to hold coffee grounds.  Hot water is slowly but surely dripped into the grinds, create a coffee “flower” (or bloom) that maximizes flavor extraction.
Examples: Clever Coffee Dripper,  Chemex, Bodum

Refillable Keurig Cups – Medium FineChem
K-cups with a snap on top and steel mesh that are reusable.  You fill the reusable cup with coffee grinds for each brew.

Espresso Machines – Very Fine
We recommend a fine grind for espresso machines (some grinders will have an espresso setting) and an ultra-fine grind for Turkish style coffee brewing.


It is important to understand how the brewing process works so you can adjust it to achieve the best taste and experience. 

Virtually all coffee is made from beans that have been roasted.  Coffee beans are pale green in color with a rubbery texture before roasting.  After, they range from tan to dark grown or brownish black based on the length of the roast.

The roasting of coffee beans produces Carbon Dioxide (C02), much of which is retained within the bean.  To get the best extraction from your coffee, you want to de-gas or “bloom” so that the coffee can efficiently extract C02 and with it maximize flavor extraction as well.

More extraction is not necessarily better.  Over brewing extracts more  of the compounds in coffee that produce a bitter taste – chlorogenic acid lactones and phenylindanes.  This is partly why brewing methods like percolators and moka pots yield “stronger” tasting coffee – because grinds are immersed longer and with hotter water than other methods.  This is why its better to use coarser grounds with percolators and moka pots.  

With a typical drip coffee machine this is achieved by the pulsating of the water as it first hits the coffee grinds and is an automatic process.  Some of the more expensive machines allow you to experiment with water flow and temperature to achieve optimal results.  Cafe Jose’s Tarrazu beans – whether pre-ground in our packaging or fresh ground by you – are a perfect fit for auto drip and auto pour over machines.  The harder beans and lower presence of acids that produce bitter flavors means that you can err on the side of using a more generous number of scoops per cup.  Our pre-ground coffee is a medium-fine which makes it perfect for drip machines, but also workable with pour-over methods as well as even many presses.

Automatic Pour Over Drip Coffee Maker
Automatic Pour Over Drip Coffee Maker

Manual brewing devices like pour overs and presses require you to do this manually.  You’ll want to start by heating water to a temperature that is no more than 190 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsuis).  A quick and dirty way to get the right temperature is to take your water off the boil and wait for one minute.  Once the water cools a bit, slowly and gently slash large drop of water evenly across the top of the ground coffee.  Do not do this so quickly that you end up immersing the coffee, but not so slowly that the initial drops of water are absorbed.  Maintain a decent pace so that the extraction occuring around each drop of water builds by combining with other drops nearby.  It will take several tries to perfect this, but eventually you should be able to create what looks like a foamy flower with coffee grinds layered throughout gradually expand and then contract – also referred to as a “bloom”.  


Coffee Bloom
Coffee Bloom

Espresso machines achieve this through brute force – by subjecting the grinds to pressurized water, extraction is accelerated.  Most Espresso machines perform this action without human intervention, but many higher end machines allow you to adjust the temperature, pressure and timing.  This is helpful to achieve perfect extraction because beans from different regions have varying levels of hardness, and of course the roast level will affect the moisture in the bean, all of which are factors in flavor extraction.  Cafe Jose coffee is a “strict hard bean,” which is harder than most other coffee beans because it grows at high elevation, so pressure and timing can be adjusted up to maximize extraction.

Specific instructions for an idea preparation for each type of machine follows.

Directions by Brewing Machine or Process

Pour Over (Filter Cones)

Authentic Tarrazu coffee can be enjoyed the most with a ceramic, glass or plastic cone that can accommodate a paper filter and generate a single serving of coffee.  This method is truly professional and provides the best brew.

1. Use ground Cafe Jose coffee or grind your whole beans at medium to medium-coarse.

2. Prepare approximately 2 to 3 ounces (56 – 84 grams or 1 to 1.5 tablespoons) of coffee per 1 cup (340 g) of water; vary according to desired taste and strength.

3. Boil approximately 2 to 3 ounces (56 – 84 grams or 1 to 1.5 tablespoons) of coffee per 1 cup (340 g) of water; vary according to desired taste and strength.  Let the water come off the boil and stand for a couple minutes.  If you have a thermometer, measure and keep the water until it reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsius).

4. Pour a little bit of the water – a couple tablespoons (40 grams) roughly into the press or the cone and watch it bloom

5. After 30 – 45 seconds, pour the rest of the water slowly allowing for it to mix evenly with the grinds

6. Wait for the coffee to drain thoroughly into the cup

7. Enjoy!

French Press

The next best method of brewing coffee involves a French Press.

1. Use ground Cafe Jose coffee or grind your whole beans at medium coarse to coarse.

2. Prepare approximately 2 to 3 ounces (56 – 84 grams or 1 to 1.5 tablespoons) of coffee per 1 cup (340 g) of water; vary according to desired taste and strength.

3. Boil approximately 2 to 3 ounces (56 – 84 grams or 1 to 1.5 tablespoons) of coffee per 1 cup (340 g) of water; vary according to desired taste and strength.  Let the water come off the boil and stand for a couple minutes.  If you have a thermometer, measure and keep the water until it reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsius).

4. While the water boils, rinse your French press with hot water; press the plunger up and down a few times, then pull it up, remove the lid and pour out the water.

5. Pour the ground coffee into the French press; shake it until the grounds are spread evenly along the bottom.

6. Pour about half of the hot water evenly over the grounds and wait about 30 seconds.  You should see the coffee rise slightly was the water seeps into it (also known as the “bloom”).  The timing of this step is essential to properly liberate all of the aromas and flavors in your coffee.

7. After about 30 seconds or when the bloom stops expanding, stir the coffee gently.

8. Pour the remaining water into the French press, pull the plunger up and close the lid.  Allow the coffee to steep for up to an additional 3.25 to 3.5 minutes (4 minutes total from the initial pour).

9. After the 4 minutes has elapsed, slowly push the plunger all the way down to filter the coffee from the grounds.  Serve the coffee immediately thereafter.  Do not leave the coffee in the French press as it will become bitter.

Drip Coffee Machines

Drip coffee machines have advanced considerably since their invention in the 1950s – many feature water action that simulates a pour over and will therefore produce a bloom for you.  The biggest issue with drip machines that most people are aware of is that they accumulate mineral sediments over time, which reduces the extraction and yields coffee that has less body, tastes week or seems to have odd flavors emphasized no matter the quality of the bean.  Be sure to clean your drip machine periodically (every 3 – 6 months) with anti-scaling tablets. 

1. Use ground Cafe Jose coffee or grind your whole beans at medium to medium-fine.

2. Prepare approximately 2 to 3 ounces (56 – 84 grams) of coffee per 1 cup (340 g) of water; vary according to desired taste and strength.

3. Place the ground coffee into the filter.

4. Pour as much water as corresponds with the quantity of coffee you’ve placed in the filter e.g. 4 cups for 8 – 12 oz. of ground coffee.

5. If your drip coffee maker has any other settings, refer to your manual.

6. Wait for the coffee to fully brew and drain into the carafe (although tempting when in a hurry, a cup poured in the middle of the brew will be stronger and lack a balanced flavor).

Keurig and other Single Serve Machines

Although Cafe Jose does not currently sell its coffee in K-Cups or other single serve containers, you can enjoy our coffee in a Keurig machine!  Both the original and V2 Keurig support refillable K-Cups.  Using our pre-ground bagged coffee or grinding our whole beans yourself, you can enjoy fresh coffee in single serve portions and without the added expense or environmental impact of using disposable plastic K-cups.