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Indonesian Specialty Coffee 101

by Jake Tibbe on December 28, 2020

The following is a beginner’s guide to coffee. It was written in a way that will make you feel good about yourself for getting in to coffee - rather than feeling intimidated. You’ve heard of the popular book “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat - well, this is your guide to speciality coffee. 


Step 1 - Water Matters

It is difficult to say how important the quality and purity of the water is to the process of making delicious specialty coffee. It all starts with the water since that makes up the majority of the taste profile. We recommend the Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water. You can get it in a 1 gallon or 5 gallon size. The water is purified in a way that includes less harmful chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. The Specialty Coffee Association's water standards give an ideal target as water with the following characteristics: no odour or colour; zero chlorine; a pH of 7.0; alkalinity of 40 ppm; and calcium hardness of 50-175 ppm CaCO3. This Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water matches this recommended profile. 


Step 2 - Brewing Stuff

There are many ways to make a great cup of coffee. We typically recommend the pour-over technique since it is simple to understand and requires less equipment. Get yourself the following items to start brewing:

  • DRIPPER: Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, Size 02, White
  • FILTERS: Hario V60 Paper Coffee Filters, Size 02, Natural, Tabbed
  • SERVER: Hario V60"Clear" Glass Range Coffee Server, 600ml
  • KETTLE: Bonsenkitchen 1.7L Cordless Electric Tea Kettle,Cool Touch 1500W Fast Heating Water Boiler, ETL Approved Double Wall Stainless Steel Water Kettle for Coffee
  • GRINDER: Bodum BISTRO Burr Coffee Grinder, 1 EA, Black
  • SCALE: Coffee Scale with Timer,Coffee Scale with Timer Small,Pour Over Coffee Scale Timer,Coffee Scales with Timer,Espresso Scale with Timer (Batteries Included)
  • TIMER: On your phone
  • MUG: Hopefully you have this covered already.

At Fertile Grounds Coffee, we sell an all inclusive kit for your ease of use. It is part of our starter pack. 

Step 3 - Brewing Technique 

  1. Start by heating your water to about 205°F. 
  2. Fold your filter into a cone shape and rinse it with some of the water you just heated. Then insert it into your Hario dripper. You can discard the rinse water. 
  3. Grind 21 grams (~3 Tablespoons) of coffee. You’ll want to grind this at the medium setting or about as fine as kosher salt. Once complete, add that coffee to your filter.
    TIP: If you have a lot of static in your coffee grinder, sprinkle a few drips of water in the grinder before grinding. This will remove some of the static. 
  4. Start to pour the water directly onto the coffee by saturating the grounds. Use just enough water at first to cover the grounds. Let us soak in for about 15 seconds. This is called letting it “bloom”. Coffee “blooms” when the coffee bed rises up a bit an starts to bubble and respond to the water. 
  5. Keep pouring the water in a slow, spiral motion. You’ll likely be adding water every 10 to 15 seconds. Pour the water in a circular motion over the grounds with an attempt to pour over the darkest spots. You may avoid the light areas of grounds. If you are using a scale, you’ll keep pouring until you pour about 360 grams of water. 
  6. Once you reach 3:00, you should have about 10 ounces of brewed coffee in your mug or server container. Remove the brewer and discard of the paper filter. Enjoy your coffee!

Hopefully this quick coffee guide will help you as you brew your first cup of specialty coffee. If you have any questions, feel free to text Jake. Thanks and enjoy. 

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