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Brewing on the go guide

Are you spending the holidays away from your beloved coffee setup this year? Facing the prospect of a substandard brew or even the dreaded instant?!

It is not news that coffee has become technical. The perfect temperature water, weighing every gram, weighing your water, timing your brew - the lengths we go to to remove variables from our brewing and create consistency in our cups can be pretty mind-blowing, particularly for your non-coffee-loving friends and family. But fear not, it is possible to brew well out in the wild, separated from all of your gear in a kitchen that is not your own!

Read on for our top tips on how to safeguard your morning coffee this festive season....

It all starts with the humble French Press (aka cafetière).

If you are accustomed to taking your coffee black, you might have written off this traditional metal filter method as it is generally more associated with full bodied coffee enjoyed with milk. Don't disregard it though! First of all, most kitchen's (even airbnbs) will have one hidden away somewhere in a cupboard and secondly, they are a fantastic way of brewing for a crowd! Forget your fancy espresso machine or your lovely Chemex, all you need is this immersion brew method and you are 5 minutes away from an exceptionally tasty coffee...

NS* Top Tips
  1. First of all, there is nothing to be ashamed of using pre-ground coffee that has been freshly roasted. Usually, grinding on demand is best practice to cram your cup with as much aroma as possible. But sometimes, it just isn't feasible - particularly if you don't fancy having the mick taken out of you as you stand there with your manual hand grinder working up a sweat. Order your Festive Blend (insert link) ground for French Press no later than the week commencing 11th December and we will ensure your coffee is with you in time for the festivities.
  2. Give it a really good clean! Most cafetières haven't been taken apart to remove previous ground coffee and oils from the metal filter. Simply unscrew the plunger and take apart the mesh to gently scrub away any remnants of coffees from Christmases past...
  3. Boil your kettle and use a bit of water to pre-warm the French Press, pushing the plunger in and out of the water to clear any remaining grounds. Be sure to empty this water out into the sink before you take another step!
  4. Determine how much coffee you want to make. If it is a 'small' 1-2 cup French press, it will likely brew no more than 250ml of coffee. If it is a larger one, we think the most you can squeeze out by filling almost to the brim is around 800ml of coffee. We recommend using this brew ratio: 65g coffee : 1L of water. So either 16g or 52g depending on the size of French press you have.
  5. Ditch the scales! I know, we never thought we'd say this either...! But you have some real room for error with this brewing method and we are assuming you are staying somewhere without access to scales. Instead, revert to the traditional heaped dessert spoon to represent around 15g of coffee. For a small cafetière, this is one heaped dessert spoon (and a bit!) and for a larger one, try 3 and a half (up it to 4 if you fancy a coffee with a higher perceived strength).
  6. Time...! We think this is the one variable you can control out in the wild because you are likely to have your phone with you at the very least. The French press is an immersion brewing method which means the extraction of coffee flavour happens solely from the contact time between the coffee and water. Regardless of the size, we recommend a brew time of 4 minutes before you plunge.
  7. For a cleaner cup, once your 4 minutes is up, simply break the crust on top rather than plunging and then skim off the grounds and crema before pouring through the plunger into your cup.
  8. For a full bodied brew, plunge with the crust intact before serving either with or without milk.
  9. Enjoy!
Be sure to tag us in any posts this festive season and, of course, let us know how you get on with our top tips for brewing out in the wild!

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