How to: Brew Perfect Filter Coffee

August 04, 2014
Photography by Michael Hall and Stefan Johnson .
How to: Brew Perfect Filter Coffee

Soft brewed coffee is having a moment, but how do you know you're doing it right? Cafe L'affare share tips from their new book, How to Make Really Good Coffee.

Filter coffee is one of the best brewing methods for enjoying single-origin beans. We have used a Chemex here, but a similar method can be used for other devices like the Hario V60, swissgold and Coava Kone.

With electric filter equipment, use the ratio of coffee to water outlined here, but follow the instructions on your brewer.

1. Preheat the Chemex by pouring hot water into it and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before emptying it.

2. Insert a paper filter (you can also use a metal one) into the Chemex.

3. Boil your water and allow it to cool for around 30 seconds so the temperature drops to between 92°C and 96°C.

4. Pour hot water around the filter to ensure that it is fully damp. Empty the residual water.

5. Add freshly ground coffee to the filter — 15g per 250ml of hot water. A coarse filter- or plunger-grind works best.

6. Slowly pour the hot water onto the coffee grounds. You should add only enough water to ensure that the grounds are wet. Leave this to sit until water has finished dripping through the filter. This is called the bloom or pre-infusion.

7. Once the bloom is complete, slowly pour hot water onto the grounds evenly in a circular motion; be sure not to pour too fast, but aim to create ‘turbulence’ within the coffee. Add water in stages to ensure an even extraction.

8.  When you have finished pouring, and the brewing process is complete, lift the filter and dispose of the grounds.

Established in 1990, L'affare is one of New Zealand's largest premium coffee businesses. In their latest book, How to Make Really Good Coffee, they spill the beans on how to extract the best cup from your equipment - whether you use a plunger, filter, stovetop or full-blown espresso machine. The book will be available from 1st August in all good bookshops, and costs $27.99.