Know Your Coffee & Tea

Learn coffee, tea and espresso brewing secrets and protocols.

French Press

Also known as a press pot, a French Press is the easiest way to brew coffee at home:

  • Fill a kettle with freshly filtered cold water and set to a boil.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee per 6 oz. of water. Adjust proportions for a stronger or weaker brew.
  • Pour hot water in circular motion into the pot, being sure to saturate all the grounds evenly. Fill pot to the desired level.
  • Stir the grounds to further ensure even saturation and then cover the pot with the lid.
  • Allow four minutes for steeping time. When time is up, slowly press straight down on the plunger until all the grounds have reached the bottom of the pot.
  • You are now ready to enjoy your freshly brewed coffee! Be sure to transfer any remaining coffee into a thermal carafe to prevent over-extraction.

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Single Cup Dripper

A convenient way to brew a single cup at a time:

  • Fill a kettle with 12 oz. of freshly filtered cold water and set to a boil. Meanwhile, place a filter in the cone and run hot water through the filter.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of medium-fine ground coffee per 6 oz. of water. Adjust proportions for a stronger or weaker brew.
  • When water has come to a boil, remove kettle from heat and let cool for 30 seconds. Slowly pour 6 oz. of hot water on top of grounds in a circular motion to ensure even saturation. Wait 15 seconds and then repeat using another 6 oz. of hot water.
  • When you have 8 oz. of brewed coffee in your mug, move the cone to a waste cup and let it drain completely.

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Siphon Brew

  • First, rinse the siphon filter. If using a cloth filter, run it under hot water for a few minutes. If using a new filter, let it sit in boiling water for a couple of minutes. The filter is then placed in the top vessel.
  • Pour freshly filtered cold or hot water into the lower bowl to the desired level.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of medium-coarse ground coffee per 6 oz. of water to the top vessel. Adjust proportions for a stronger or weaker brew.
  • Position the top vessel at a tilt on the lower bowl before boiling. Apply a heat source underneath the lower bowl and when the water starts to boil, fully insert the upper vessel into the lower bowl by pressing down gently.
  • When water from the lower bowl rises to the upper vessel, mix the contents in the upper vessel. Continue to apply heat for another minute.
  • Move the stand away from the heat source and allow the coffee to drip into the lower bowl.
  • Once the coffee has completely dripped into the lower bowl, remove the upper vessel. Your freshly brewed coffee is now ready to be enjoyed!

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Espresso Brew

Follow these espresso settings for making an ideal espresso:

  • Brew (extraction) time: 18 – 25 seconds
  • Finished brew volume: 1.5 ounces (single) or 3 ounces (double)
  • Coffee quantity: 7 grams (single) or 14 grams (double)
  • Make sure that the porta filter is warm before use. If not, attach the porta filter in place and run 1 brewing cycle.
  • Tamp fresh, fine ground espresso in the porta filter with firm, even pressure. Make sure to create a leveled, even bed of coffee.
  • Attach porta filter in place and begin brew cycle.
  • When brewing, the coffee will bubble and form a crema on the top of the espresso shot. The crema should start out a rich golden color that becomes paler as the brewing process continues.
  • If the coffee does not bubble or if the crema is not exact, check your coffee, brew settings, grind, and tamping techniques and make any required changes.

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Steam Milk

When steaming milk, you always want to start with cold milk, a chilled steaming pitcher, and a thermometer that is to be attached to the inside of the steaming pitcher to monitor steaming temperature.

Low fat milk is easier to foam; however, whole milk develops foam with more body. Avoid using heavy, high fat milks as they are difficult to steam and will scald easily.

  • Once the espresso machine has come up to temperature and pressure, drain the steaming wand by releasing the pressure.
  • Submerge the steaming head to just under the surface of the milk. Do not let the steaming head touch the bottom of the steaming pitcher.  Then, slowly turn on the steam. You should have a strong, but not explosive steam.
  • Move the steaming pitcher in a circular motion. You should hear a hissing or bubbling noise. If you do not, the steaming head is too far under the surface of the milk. If large bubbles start to form, the steaming head is not far enough under the surface of the milk.
  •  The ideal temperature for steamed milk is between 150°F and 155°F. Once the milk has reached this temperature range, turn off the steaming wand while it is still submerged in the milk.
  • After removing the steaming wand, vent and wipe the steaming wand to prevent clogging.

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Toddy

  • Add 1 pound of coarsely ground coffee to the brewing container.
  • Slowly pour freshly filtered cold water in a circular motion over the grounds, ensuring even saturation. Fill the brewing container to within a ¼ inch of the top.
  • Do not stir the mixture. Lightly tap the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure that all the grounds are wet.
  • Cover the brewing container and leave the toddy maker on the counter during the brewing process. Allow to cold-brew for 12-24 hours before draining.
  • Remove the stopper and let coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter. Peerless’ cold-brew process should yield 48 fluid ounces of coffee concentrate, yielding 12-16 oz. of cold-brew iced coffee.
  • Cold-brew coffee can be refrigerated for up to 14 days

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Iced Tea

Brewing in a Tea or Coffee Brewer:

  • Place one tea bag in the brewing funnel. A paper funnel is not necessary.
  • Fill the brewer with 3 cups of freshly filtered cold water. Brew as normal.
  • Pour brewed tea into a pitcher and add 3 cups of freshly filtered cold water.
  • You now have 1.5 quarts of tea that can be served over ice.

Pitcher Brewing Method:

  • Place 3 cups of hot water in a heat proof pitcher.
  • Add 1 tea bag and steep for 3 minutes or as recommended on packaging.
  • Remove tea bag and add 3 cups of cold water.
  • You now have 1.5 quarts of tea that be served over ice.

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AeroPress

  • Fill a kettle with 12 oz. of freshly filtered cold water and set to a boil. Meanwhile, place a filter in the AeroPress chamber cap and stand the chamber on a coffee mug.
  • Place 2 AeroPress scoops of fine-drip ground coffee into the chamber.
  • When water has come to a boil, remove kettle from heat and let cool for 30 seconds. Slowly pour hot water into the chamber up to the number 2 mark.
  • Stir the water and coffee mixture for 10 seconds.
  • Wet the rubber seal of the plunger and then insert the plunger into the chamber. Gently press down on the plunger until the plunger bottoms on the coffee.
  • The end result is a double espresso. For regular coffee, top-off the mug with hot water. For a latte, top-off the mug with hot milk.

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Espresso & Brewer Cleaning

Espresso Cleaning:

  • Remove basket from porta filter handle. Remove excess coffee grounds from the basket and then clean. Clear any clogged holes with a thin, straight pin.
  • Run the espresso machine without coffee or handle in place for 5 seconds.
  • Place the porta filter handle in place. While running the machine, tighten and loosen the porta filter handle in place so that the screen and gaskets can be cleaned. Continue doing this until the water runs clear and no grounds remain.
  • Place “blank” in porta filter handle with espresso cleaner in it. Run espresso cleaner through espresso heads following directions on cleaner package or using manual switch. Run 10 cycles of 10 seconds each.
  • Rinse espresso heads thoroughly after cleaning by letting water run until clear.
  • Fill a large steaming pitcher with hot water and submerge the steaming wand for 10 seconds. Remove from water and wipe clean. Repeat until wand is cleaned. Do not submerge steam wand for intervals longer than 10 seconds.
  • Turn on steam and let the steam clear out of the steaming wand. If it is clogged, clean with a thin pin.
  • Remove and clean the drip tray. Pour hot water slowly into drip tray to flush the drain line.
  • Wipe the head gaskets and head with a clean cloth or cleaning brush.
  • Wipe all surfaces with a clean cloth.
  • Never use harsh cleaners that will leave an after taste.

Brewer Cleaning:

It is recommended to wash and clean the brew funnel and decanter after each use. The brewer itself should be cleaned at least every 3 months.

  • Place an empty decanter and empty brew funnel in position on the brewer.
  • Pour 1 quart of white vinegar into the brewer. Empty the decanter when the liquid stops flowing and remove the brewer funnel.
  • Let the brewer sit plugged in for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, unplug the brewer. Remove the sprayhead and clean with a dry cloth and mild detergent.
  • Pour a decanter full of freshly filtered cold water into the brewer. Place decanter and brewer funnel in position and allow the water to run. Once the water has stopped flowing, empty the decanter and repeat this process 8 to 10 times.
  • Reattach the sprayhead and repeat the above process until the water and brewer are free of vinegar taste and smell.

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