Dutch English
4 - 6 april 2024 / Westergas
17 augustus 2018
The at-work brewing bible

What’s in the pot? We explore four brewing devices to help you make the perfect cup al desko.

Original content from The London Coffee Festival's Journal.

CAFETIERE (also known as the French press) 
For a morning stand-up meeting that needs perking-up. 


Difficulty: Quick and simple. There’s nothing more fool-proof than this trusty plunge brewer.  

Tools: Cafetiere, 60g coffee (medium to coarse ground), 1 litre of freshly boiled water (filtered or bottled water that’s just off the boil, ideally 91-94° C), a grinder, digital scales, a spoon and a timer. 

Method: Grind the coffee to a medium to coarse grind size. Place cafetiere on scales, add coffee, reset the scales to zero and gently pour in water to achieve the right ratio (1 litre in this case). Leave to steep for three to four minutes, stirring the crust on the surface with a spoon half way through; this will make it fall back down. Scoop off the floating grounds (if necessary), put the lid on and plunge.  


Insider tip: “Play around with how long you let it brew for; a shorter time (such as 2-3 minutes), will result in a sweeter and slightly fruiter taste” -  Ozone Coffee Roasters UK.  

The coffee: “Colombia Matambo” from Ozone Coffee Roasters 

The damage? Brew kit starts from £70 

The golden ratio: 60g of coffee per litre of water or 1/17 ratio  


For the noble coffee geek who doesn’t do sharing. 



Difficulty: Doable with a degree of accuracy; it’s also great for travelling and easy to clean.  

Tools: AeroPress coffee maker, AeroPress filters, 16g coffee (fine ground), 250ml freshly boiled water (91-94° C), a grinder, scales, stirrer, timer and a pouring kettle (optional). 
Method: Lock filter paper into the brewer and run hot water through to rinse and remove paper taste. Place mug on the scales, and sit the AeroPress on top, filter side first. Add the coffee and tare the scales. Let the boiling water sit for 30 seconds after the kettle has boiled, start your timer, add the water and stir vigorously for a few seconds. Insert the plunger to create a vacuum. After around one minute, remove from the scales and slowly press down for thirty seconds.   

Insider tip: “If the strength of the coffee is too weak, grind the coffee finer, or if it’s too strong for you, grind it more coarsely” – Caravan Coffee Roasters UK. 

The coffee: “Special-Bru” filter by Caravan Coffee Roasters 

The damage: from £85 

Interesting fact: The AeroPress was invented by Alan Adler, the American inventor who also invented the Aerobie flying ring.  


Top client to impress? Your new Chemex skills will do the trick.  



Difficult: It’s all about practice; the grind, contact time and weight of coffee are key to success. 

Tools: 6-8 Cup Chemex, Chemex filters, 40g coffee (coarse grind), 680g water (91-94° C), a grinder, scales, stirrer, timer and a pouring kettle. 
Method: Add the filter to the Chemex neck, rinse with hot water and discard. Place on scales, add the fresh coffee and tare. Start the timer, add just enough water to cover the coffee (approximately 50ml), and take a break while ‘the bloom’ happens. After 30 seconds, carefully pour in rest of the water in circular motion, avoiding direct contact with the filter. Give the Chemex a gentle swirl and leave to drip until the coffee grounds look dry. The whole process should take less than 4 minutes, otherwise the grind is too fine.  Bin the filter, pour and enjoy.  

Insider tip: “Once you have poured your water, give the brew a stir to avoid ‘high and dry’ coffee grounds up the side of the filter paper. This will help give a more balanced taste in the cup” – Square Mile Coffee Roasters 

The coffee: “Hartmann Estate Geisha” from Colonna Coffee. 

The damage: from £100 


Oh boy, you want an espresso at work? Here’s some tips to tide you over.  


Difficult: Yes.  

Tools: A good quality espresso machine (such as the La Marzocco Linea Mini), 18g of coffee (fine espresso grind), an espresso grinder, filtered or bottled water, a tamper, scales and milk or nut milk (optional). 

Method: The best way to start is by asking your roaster for suggested measurements. It all starts with mastering the art of dialling in your espresso grinder, which requires a masterclass in itself. Once clued-up, clean the espresso basket with a dry cloth. Place the handle on the scales to weigh the coffee as you add it, then tamp to make sure it’s even. Flush water from the machine and add the cups on top of small scales. Lock the handle in brew for around 28 seconds. When dripping has finished, the espresso is ready.  

Insider tip: “If you want to add milk, the trick is to stay controlled when steaming it; make sure not to heat above 65 degrees Celsius, then swirl the milk in a circular motion around the jug to blend into a silky-smooth texture, ideal for pouring” – La Marzocco UK 

The coffee: “Sweetshop” from Square Mile Coffee Roasters 

The damage: Just under £4,000 for a dream kit.

Illustrations via Courier Magazine, by Valero Doval 

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