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Hi! Your grind questions answered.

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

We hope everyone is coping with lockdown and still managing to get hold of your Two Dogs Coffee. You can of course ORDER ONLINE with FREE delivery during lockdown and we have also started a SUBSCRIPTION service so you don't even have to remember to re-order, it comes automatically! Obviously we have been unable to attend the usual Markets and Festivals this year but we have been keeping busy at HQ revamping the Roastery and converting our van so that we can now serve you a cup of delicious Two Dogs Coffee when we get back out there.

One of the disadvantages of not meeting customers face to face is not being able to answer any questions you may have. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is "Which grind do I need for my coffee maker?" So I thought I'd write a blog will some basic guidance on this subject.

There are so many different devices for making coffee and it seems more are being invented all the time but basically there are four methods of brewing coffee:

Boiling or decoction - The aromatic oils in coffee are released at 96 °C (205 °F), which is just below boiling, while the bitter acids are released when the water has reached boiling point. This method is mainly used in making 'Turkish coffee' in the Middle East where extra fine ground coffee is boiled up a couple of times in water until the grinds drop to the bottom. This results in a small strong coffee with a froth on the top and a thick sludge of grounds in the bottom of the cup which the drinker houldsavoid. 'Cowboy Coffee' is made in much the same way but with extra coarse ground in a jug, often left on the heat and strained before drinking.

Steeping - The most common of these is the Cafetière, or French press, a narrow cylindrical jug with a plunger that includes a metal or nylon fine mesh filter. The coarse coffee grounds are placed in the jug, and near boiling water is then poured into it. The coffee and hot water are left in the jug for a around 4–7 minutes and then the plunger is gently pushed down, leaving the filter immediately above the grounds, allowing the coffee to be poured out while the filter retains the grounds.

The Vacuum brewer or Siphon consists of two chambers: a pot with a bowl or funnel above, it's siphon descending nearly to the bottom of the pot. A filter of glass, cloth or plastic blocks the bottom of the bowl , and the bowl and pot are joined by a gasket that forms a tight seal. Water is placed in the pot, the medium coffee grounds are placed in the bowl, and the whole apparatus is set over a burner. As the water heats, it is forced by the increasing vapor pressure up the siphon and into the bowl where it mixes with the grounds. When all the water possible has been forced into the bowl the infusion is allowed to sit for some time before the brewer is removed from the heat. As the water vapor in the lower pot cools, it contracts, forming a partial vacuum and drawing the coffee down through the filter.

The latest craze is for Cold Brew Coffee which involves a glass or plastic Cold Brew Jug with a gauze basket attached inside the lid. Coarse ground coffee is placed in the basket and reattached to the lid, the jug is filled with cold water and the lid screwed on. This is placed in the fridge for 24-36hrs then the coffee basket is removed the lid screwed back on and the coffee concentrate can be stored in the fridge for around 2wks.

Filtration - Drip brew or filtered coffee can be made through a number of apparatus but the basics are the same. Near boiling water is dripped through medium coffee grounds held in a basket or filter cone (some very fine metal or using a paper filter) into a container below. These can be electric or manual and include Electric Filter machines and Percolators, Pour-overs & V60s , Vietnamese Phin, Chemex and Cold Drip Brewers.

Pressure - Espresso is made by forcing hot water at 91–95 °C (195–204 °F) under a pressure through a lightly packed matrix, called a "puck," of finely ground coffee usually in an Espresso machine.

The Moka pot, also known as the Italian coffeepot or the caffettiera, is a three-chamber design which boils water in the lower section. The generated steam pressure forces the boiling water up through fine coffee grounds held in the middle section, separated by a filter mesh from the top section. The resultant coffee (almost espresso strength, but without the crema) is collected in the top section. Moka pots usually sit directly on a stovetop heater or burner.

The AeroPress is another recent invention, which is a mechanical, non-electronic device where pressure is simply exerted by the user manually pressing a piston down with their hand, forcing medium-temperature water through fine coffee grounds in about 30 seconds (into a single cup).

So hopefully this helps. We sell Coarse, Medium & Fine Ground coffee and if you want your coffee extra fresh we can supply Whole beans and either electric or hand grinders. But don't forget you can always contact us by phone, email or message, with any questions you may have. 

Look out for another blog next month.

Sian x

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