Caribbean Coffee & Tea

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Scratch that, how do you make strong coffee? Good coffee?

Before we begin, let's clear some things up:

  • Strong coffee is thick, not watered-down. It's bold, dense, and rich to the taste. It has a full weigh to it. Think of brewing strong coffee as making a very flavorful, rich pasta sauce, or drinking a very full bodied Cabernet. 
  • Strong coffee does not mean super caffeinated or super bitter. If your coffee tastes bitter, it has much more to do with the raw beans or how it was roasted. Step number one is buying good quality coffee beans. Don't worry, we've got you covered.
  • Burnt coffee can come from leaving brewed coffee on heat too long, or using too hot of water in the first place. 

What coffee do we recommend starting with? 

Organic Hair Raiser: our strongest, smoothest, award-winning and best-selling roast coffee. This dark roast yields some of the best first-time brewer coffee, due to its flavor level and high quality beans that allow for great extraction. 

Buy Organic Hair Raiser

Organic Hair Raiser is our smoothest, darkest, award-winning coffee

Now, with Organic Hair Raiser, you'll need the right amount of water. The key to making strong coffee is high quality beans + a high coffee-to-water ratio. To make a strong cup of coffee, use more coffee grounds without with the same amount of water. Try tapering a higher and higher amount of coffee grounds (without going overboard or getting grains in your finished cup).

 

Step 1: Take Care of your Coffee

Fresher coffee = stronger coffee.

Coffee is best enjoyed within 2-14 days of roasting. So, the older the coffee in your pantry, the less strong and full it will taste once you brew it. 
This is because the roasting process chemically alters coffee beans to pull out the flavors and aromas we love, which naturally stay trapped inside an unroasted bean. As time passes post-roast, oxidation causes these desirable flavors and properties to be replaced with undesirable ones, resulting in staleness. If you want to make strong coffee, treat yourself to fresh beans.

Storing Coffee

Coffee beans are precarious creatures that hate heat, moisture, and oxygen, so your storage should minimize all three. Keep your beans happy in an air-tight container inside a dark cabinet.

We do not recommend freezing your coffee beans. Because of their porous nature, coffee beans are likely to absorb smells and moisture from your freezer.

If you have enough coffee beans to warrant freezing, get a bigger coffee mug 😉 

Grinding Coffee Beans

Roasting is the chemical breakdown of your coffee beans, and grinding is the physical breakdown. This means grinding further accelerates the oxidation of your coffee, so it's ideal to brew your coffee within 15 minutes of grinding.

If you prefer to buy pre-ground coffee, we recommend transferring it from its original bag into an air-tight container after opening it. Rest assured that at Caribbean Coffee, we grind all of our roasts fresh in house and ship immediately after. 

     

    Part 2: How to Make Coffee

    What is Coffee Brewing?

    Brewing is another name for extraction. Coffee extraction is the process of using water to pull out coffee's solids — caffeine, oils, acids, carbohydrates, and melanoidins (sugars combining with amino acids).

    Only about 30% of the coffee bean contains extractable solids (which is why you get leftover grounds), and the best taste is achieved with an extraction yield of 18-22%.

    There is a surprising amount of math and science that goes into brewing! The below instructions factor in these complexities, so that you can have your perfect cup (no science degree required).

    How to Brew Pour Over Coffee

    What is a pour over brewer: This cone-shaped dripper has spiral internal ridges to keep the filter from sticking to the walls of the cone, allowing the coffee to be filtered through the walls.

    Recommended grind level: Medium

    Best for: Bright, fruity, and floral coffees

    Methodology:

    1. Measure out as much water as you plan to use, plus a little extra for rinsing your filter, and bring it to a boil.
    2. Rinse the paper filter with a small amount of hot water then discard the rinse water. Rinsing eliminates the paper taste.
    3. Add ground coffee to the cone, roughly one ounce for every 16 oz. cup. For a pour over, you may want to use a fine grind, something similar in looks to that of granulated sugar.
    4. Pour water in the middle of the cone until all the coffee is wet. Wait for 30 seconds to give the coffee an opportunity to bloom and develop flavor.
    5. Continue pouring slowly, starting in the middle and moving in round circles, then enjoy!

    How to Brew Chemex Coffee

    What is a Chemex: The Chemex is a combination of a pour over filter cone and a glass decanter. It normally uses a thicker paper filter that highlights the brighter notes of coffee and results in a sweeter cup.

    The brew time is longer than other pour over methods, making it less dependent on the skills of the user.

    Recommended grind level: Medium

    Best for: Bright, fruity, and floral coffees 

    Methodology:

    1. Measure out as much water as you plan to use, plus a little extra for rinsing your filter, and bring it to a boil.
    2. Rinse the paper filter with a small amount of hot water then discard the rinse water. Rinsing eliminates the paper taste.
    3. Add ground coffee to the cone, roughly one ounce for every 16 oz. cup. For a pour over, you may want to use a fine grind, something similar in looks to that of granulated sugar.
    4. Pour water in the middle of the cone until all the coffee is wet. Wait for 30 seconds to give the coffee an opportunity to bloom and develop flavor.
    5. Slowly pour in the rest of the water.
    6. Take the filter away and give your chemex a slight swirl.
    7. Enjoy!

    How to Brew French Press Coffee

    What is a French press: The French press is an easy and convenient brewing method that allows the user to control the flavor through three basic variables: brew time, water temperature, and grind.

    French press brewing is less fussy than most other methods. Under this method, your cup will most likely result in a full-flavored brew with a deeper sweetness and strong body.

    Recommended grind level: Coarse

    Methodology

    1. Add ground coffee into the press and shake it mildly to even it out. For a French Press you will want a more coarse grind, resembling sea salt.
    2. Boil your water. You’ll want it close to 205 degrees, so after it begins to boil, let it go for about 30 seconds more.
    3. Gently pour half of your water over the grounds, saturating them.
    4. After 30 seconds, stir the coffee gently for 5 seconds.
    5. Pour the remaining hot water over the coffee and let the coffee brew for 4 minutes.
    6. Gently press the plunger down and enjoy.

    How to Brew Aeropress Coffee

    What is an aeropress: Different from the French press, the aeropress is a water piston device does not keep your coffee in contact with water for a prolonged period of time. Water and coffee are only in contact for about 90 seconds. Your final result is a full flavored, concentrated, yet low on acidity. 

    Using this brewing alternative, you will achieve a fast, mellow cup of coffee.

    Recommended grind level: Fine

    Methodology:

    1. Place the filter in the basket.
    2. Rinse the paper filter with a small amount of hot water then discard the rinse water. Rinsing eliminates the paper taste.
    3. Assemble your AeroPress with the cap off. Inverting the standard position keeps coffee from leaking through the filter before it is ready.
    4. Pour your ground coffee into the AeroPress chamber and gently shake to settle the grounds.
    5. Evenly pour half of your water over the grounds. Let it rest for 45 seconds.
    6. Fill the AeroPress all the way to the top.
    7. Stir gently for 5 seconds.
    8. Attach the cap with the filter to the top of the chamber. Wait for 40 seconds.
    9. Flip the AeroPress over and place it on top of your coffee recipient.
    10. Press the plunger down slowly.
    11. Remove the cap and discard the grounds and filter.
    12. Enjoy!

    How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

    What is cold brew coffee: Cold brew extracts coffee solids using cold water instead of hot water. The extraction process takes longer (several hours as opposed to minutes) and uses a higher coffee-to-water ratio. The longer brewing time creates a less acidic cup, while the higher coffee ratio results in a stronger caffeine hit in a single cup.

    Cold brew coffee is not iced coffee, which is simply pouring hot brewed coffee over ice.

    Recommended grind level: Coarse

    Methodology:

    1. Place two packets of Velvet Hammer Cold Brew in a large pitcher, and cover with 4 cups (32 oz) of filtered, cold water.
    2. Refrigerate for 12 hours (we recommend overnight, so you wake up to fresh brewed coffee).
    3. Add more water, if desired, for a more diluted cup. Enjoy!
      May 06, 2022