How to make coffee
Our quick tips and must-knows for making the perfect Kick Ass® cup of coffee.
For more detailed information and secrets of the universe, head over to our Coffee 101 section, where we reveal some of coffee's mysterious and delicious secrets.
How to Brew the French Press method (Bodum)
- Boil cold, clean water. Grind beans and add to the French Press (see measurements below).
- Let water rest for at least 30 seconds after bringing it to a boil.
- Fill French Press with the desired amount of water (see measurements below).
- Watch the coffee bloom (fresher coffee results in a better bloom).
- Give the grounds a good stir.
- Let it brew for 4-5 minutes.
- Plunge gently and serve.
French Press Tips
Water makes up 98.5% of a cup of coffee. If the tap water tastes good to drink, it's good to make coffee with. Use it cold and freshly poured from the tap. (Let the tap run for a few seconds first.) If the tap water isn't great, then use natural spring water for best results.
Grind fresh beans just before use. The French Press method calls for a coarse grind. The grind size should be between .75 mm and 1 mm. If the grind is too coarse it will make the coffee taste weak. If the grind is too fine, it will make the coffee taste bitter or too strong. For the most consistent outcome, we recommend a burr grinder.
We recommend a coffee to water ratio of 50 grams (1.8 oz) of ground coffee per 1 litre (34 fl oz) of water. In English, that's two tablespoons for every cup of water. More if you're bold, less if you're not.
Coffee absorbs odours and deteriorates when it contacts air. Keep coffee tightly rolled in its Kicking Horse Coffee valve bag or sealed in its Kicking Horse Coffee can until ready to grind more beans. Store coffee in a dry, cool location, but not in the fridge or freezer.
About the French Press method
The French Press is the French-kiss of coffee brewing — it enables a more intimate experience with the flavour of the beans. Low-tech and time-honoured, just grind, pour and plunge. The result? A simple method and deliciously complex cup.
How to Brew the Drip Machine method
- Add cold clean water in the drip machine.
- Use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water. Use more if you’re bold!
- If using whole beans, grind just before use with a medium-fine grind.
- Follow the drip machine’s instructions to brew the best coffee and enjoy!
How to Brew the Pour Over method
- Boil water.
- Let water rest for approximately 30 seconds after bringing it to a boil.
- Position filter in the Chemex brewer. If using a Chemex filter, place the triple layered side on the spout side.
- Dampen the filter with hot water to rinse filter and preheat the brewer.
- Pour out the water while keeping the filter sealed against the coffee maker wall.
- Grind your coffee (our use Ground coffee) and add to the filter. Level the coffee and create a small well in the middle.
- Gently pour a bit of water (about 100ml) on the grinds to saturate them and wait 30 seconds for the grinds to ‘bloom’.
- Slowly pour the remaining water over the grounds in approximately 100ml increments using a circular or back and forth motion to ensure the grinds are just covered at all times. This will make for a steady extraction (drip). *Be careful not to pour water on the outside of the filter. Pour this way until you’ve used up the water.
- Let the drip cycle finish & remove the filter.
- Give your Chemex brewer a nice swirl to ensure the coffee is evenly blended.
- Pour yourself a cup & Enjoy!
- Wash your Pour Over with a mild dish soap and hot water, let air dry.
How to Brew the Espresso method
- The espresso machine needs to be warmed up for a minimum of 20 minutes with the portafilter attached to grouphead.
- Run a shot of water through the grouphead and portafilter to rinse and purge the machine.
- Wipe portafilter with a dry cloth.
- Add Kicking Horse Coffee beans to the grinder hopper.
- Grind 18-21g of coffee directly into the porta filter (fine grind).
- Level coffee grinds in portafilter
- Using the tamper, tamp the grinds with 30lbs of pressure distributed evenly across the coffee bed (this ensures even extraction). Give the tamper a gentle ¼ turn to ‘polish’ the grinds.
- Lock the portafilter into grouphead.
- Place espresso cup under the portafilter.
- Start the extraction - the shot should start with a slow drip and turn into a gentle stream.
- A 2oz shot should extract in approximately 20 seconds
- Serve and enjoy!
Depending on your water source, if your water is hard you may need to decalcify your espresso machine. Most espresso machine manufacturers sell a specific product to do so.
Dump the espresso puck into your composting bin, rinse out the portafilter and replace into the grouphead. Every few shots, take the portafilter apart, wash in hot water with a mild dish soap, rinse and let air dry. Also ensure to wash the drip tray and the water reservoir.
- If the shot flows faster = the grind size is probably too coarse. And vice versa
- The stream should be the thickness of a spaghetti noodle
- The stream should be tiger red/ deep caramel in colour
- The total yield, including crema should be 2oz.
How to Brew the AeroPress method
- Boil fresh, cold, clean water. And let sit while you prepare your AeroPress.
- Set your grinder to grind fine.
- Add beans to your hand grinder hopper.
- Grind a hopper full of beans – put some arm power into it!
- Push plunger out of your AeroPress chamber.
- Put a filter in the cap and twist the cap onto the chamber.
- Stand chamber on a sturdy mug.
- Pour a bit of water through the chamber to rinse filter and preheat mug.
- Dispose of the water.
- Add one heaping scoop of finely ground coffee in the chamber.
- Give the chamber a shake to level the coffee.
- Add hot water to the number 2 on the chamber.
- Stir 10 seconds.
- Insert plunger into chamber and press down steadily for 20 to 60 seconds.
- Drink as is for an espresso-like drink or add hot water to make a total of 8oz (225ml) an Americano-style drink.
- Remove cap and push plunger through chamber to eject used coffee grinds.
*don’t forget to bring home your grinds & compost.
Make sure to use clean, filtered water. If you’re using water from a stream, be sure it comes from a clean source and bring to a heavy boil. Boil double the water you plan on using for brewing so you have enough to dilute if necessary. For guidance, we use a ratio of 1.25 Tbsp (18g) of coffee per 8oz of water.
The grind size should be fine. Similar to espresso grind.
Remove cap, push plunger to eject used coffee grinds and rinse rubber seal. Rinse with water at camp and wash with warm water and a mild dish soap when you get home. Let air dry.
Always eject the used coffee right after brewing (yes, before enjoying your cup) and store your AeroPress with the plunger pushed all the way in. This keeps the seal free of compression for long life.
Want more info on brewing coffee? Head over to Upstart, our resources & blog with tons of info about how to make a perfect cup, and what makes our coffee so incredible.