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Hello, How Do Ya' Brew?

by Josh Lindstrom on

One of the most common questions we get here at Fika Coffee is “How should I brew my coffee?” That’s a simple question with an unfortunately complicated answer. Why? Because brew method is all about context. The way you brew your coffee should be dictated by the context of your day and as we all know, no two days are the same. In other words, while Chemex might be the best way to brew your coffee on a slow day, some days are better described as rush-out-the-door-with-breakfast-in-your-hand-and-your-shoelaces-untied days. It’s pretty obvious that though it might produce a delightful cup of coffee, Chemex is the worst brewing method for that kind of day.

At Fika Coffee, we believe in producing a cup of coffee in line with the context of the day. Coffee should enhance life, not complicate it. In our house, when it’s a lazy Saturday and we can linger around the breakfast table eating roll-up pancakes and telling silly jokes, we’ll brew our coffee accordingly, usually with our Chemex or our Aeropress. But when the kids are late for school, the dog hasn’t been fed and someone drops an open gallon of milk on the kitchen floor while trying to get a bowl of cereal, a fast and efficient brewing method becomes a necessity. When you need coffee stat, you need it stat.   Coffee is not (and should not) be immune to real life. When you get up in the morning, you pick clothes appropriate for the day’s work. Do likewise with your brewing method.

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Back to the question at hand—Since school starts for us Minnesotan’s in just over a week (and we’d be remiss if we didn’t admit mornings take on a bit more urgency during the school year), we thought it best to answer the “how should I brew” question in the context of a typically hectic Fika Coffee morning. Rest assured, with a few pro-tips, you can have a fabulous cup of coffee on even the craziest of days.


Fika Coffee’s “Monday Morning” Brewing Tips

As far as the brewer itself is concerned, we recommend a Bonavita 1800 Brewer but any automated drip brewer certified by the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) will do. Ideally, get one with an insulated carafe; it keeps the coffee at an appropriate temperature for a long time making it easy to bring along to share with coworkers.


In the case of the Bonavita, a full pot is 40oz of water or 8 cups of coffee. We almost always brew a full pot. The general rule of thumb for bean to cup ratio is 1 to 10. So if you’re going to brew 8 cups of coffee, you’ll need 80 grams of beans. The math is simple—just add a zero to the number of cups you’d like to brew (3 cups = 30 grams of beans).

As far as beans go, we strongly recommend grinding your coffee right before you brew. This will ensure the freshest cup of coffee. You can save yourself time by measuring the beans the night before and placing them in your grinder hopper. (We use a small scale and a Baratza Virtuoso grinder but any kitchen scale or burr-style grinder is suitable). You can also measure the water out the night before and pour it into the brewer reservoir. (We recommend water that is 4 parts distilled and 1 part spring or water filtered by a Brita filter but again, choose what works best for you.)


Come morning, grind your beans on a medium to medium-fine setting. Fold your coffee filter inward at each of the corrugated edges (assuming your using a cone filter); this will give the filter the widest surface area, allowing the water to better access the grounds. Fill the filter with grounds, place it in the brewer and press start. About one minute after the water is first released, turn the machine off for 30-45 seconds. This gives the coffee a chance to bloom and release. **Fair warning on that tip: if you’re having a particular hectic morning, don’t try this last tip. We’ve been known to turn the machine off and walk away. 20 minutes later, mug in hand, we’ve been very disappointed! Just press start and save yourself the trauma.


If all goes well, when the brewer finishes its work, you should have a fika-worthy pot of coffee to accompany you wherever you’re off too. Just make sure you don’t trip over your untied shoelaces on the way out the door. Fika Coffee might be good, but it doesn’t defy gravity.


(P.S. Make sure you clean your pot out as soon as you’ve finished the coffee. This helps prevent residue build-up of coffee oils, which can taint future pots of coffee.)

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