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Equipment 101

“If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll have a cup of tea!” So sang the Sultan in Weston and Lee’s classic music hall song. If only he’d had an Internet connection—we’ve got a whole new range of copper coffee equipment online and in store (and we deliver internationally).

The Joy of the Home-Brew

With a whole host of different ways to go about it, brewing a delicious cup of coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen is surprisingly simple. However, some equipment is better suited to certain coffees—so it’s worth reading up on the best way to match the two.

We’ve got a handy guide to some of the equipment in our range, with hints and tips on how to get the best out of your brew.

Modern Chic: The Cafetière Method

It’s difficult not to love cafetières. They’re simple, they look smashing, and they brew a darned fine cuppa. They’re also extremely versatile—just about any coffee tastes good made in a cafetière, though it’s particularly good for coffees with a more balanced profile for easy drinking.

Cafetières have been associated with sophisticated chic since the fifties, when very early versions were made in a clarinet factory. We like to think of them as the musical instrument of coffee making: elegant and cultured, with the potential to create something truly beautiful.

Beauty is Truth: The Dripper Method

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Critics disagree, but it’s highly probable the Romantic poet John Keats was talking about the dripper method used for making coffee: it’s a beautiful process, and it’s perfect for bringing out the ‘true’ flavours of the bean. It’s also surprisingly simple: line the dripper with a folded filter paper, add a single scoop of grounds, and pour enough hot water over to wet the grounds, in a circular motion. (We recommend using water that’s been off the boil for 30 seconds, to avoid scalding the coffee.) Leave for half a minute, then pour again.

That little half-minute wait before adding the rest of the water? That’s to allow for something called ‘blooming’ to occur. Blooming is where carbon dioxide escapes the grounds, leaving space for water to soak them—you’ll notice blooming when you see a little foam appearing in the centre of the dripper after wetting the grounds.

If you really want to get the best flavour out of the dripper method, it’s important to wet the grounds evenly: this is tough to do using a conventional kettle, so it’s common to use a swan-neck kettle to pour the hot water into the dripper. We love the Hario Copper Swan-Neck Kettle —it gives a wonderfully even and flavoursome cup of coffee, and might just be the most stunning kettle ever made…

Grand Designs: The AeroPress Method

Invented in 2005 by an aerodynamics engineer, the AeroPress is a masterpiece of modern design. It’s quick: you can make a strong cup of coffee in a mere 30 seconds, which is far quicker than most other methods. It’s convenient, since it’s durable and compact enough to take caravanning across the Gobi Desert (if that’s your style). And—most importantly—it makes an outrageously good cup of coffee.

We recommend using the so-called “inverted method” of AeroPress brewing, as it allows you to leave the coffee to steep to your preferred strength. For this method, the plunger goes on the bottom (with the numbers upside-down) and the chamber fits into the top of the plunger, with the cap removed, and the rubber seal lined up with the number 4. You can then add your ground coffee and water, give it a stir and leave it to brew—before adding the filter and cap. Finally, you place your upside-down mug on top, turn the whole thing back the right way up (carefully avoiding spillage) and press the plunger down.

The AeroPress is an impressive bit of kit, and its technique of forcing hot water through the grinds really highlights the body and richness of a heavier coffee. Try using it to bring out the fruity and chocolatey notes in our medium-light Mocha Djimmah.

To Infinite Coffee, and Beyond

There are plenty of ways to make amazing coffee at home without the need for an electric coffee machine—from the Stovetop (ideal for an espresso) to the dazzling Hario Syphon Technica. Whatever equipment you use, we can grind your beans in store to the perfect consistency, giving you freshly-ground, fuller tasting coffee.

What’s your kit of choice? Got any tips to brew the perfect coffee? Comment below—we always love to hear your ideas.

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