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Our Favorite Coffee Brewing Tips & Hacks

For any home set up or situation, we're here to help.

by Maciej Kasperowicz | March 26, 2020

You won’t be shocked to learn that at Trade, view coffee as somewhat of a necessity, and very rarely start our days without it. In times of stress, brewing coffee at home becomes not just a chance to refuel, but a moment to focus on doing something nice for ourselves as well as we can.

No matter your preferred coffee brewing method, or where the act of brewing fits in your life right now, we’re here to help you make it taste as good as possible in any situation. Whether you've got all the time to fiddle with your recipe and experiment with different flavor profiles or want to maintain the consistency of the perfect cup in the morning, our brewing tips will get you there.

Work with what's available

It happens, you forgot to reorder coffee filters packs (or your favorite spot to order from is suddenly out) and you need to make some coffee.

In a pinch, you can totally brew coffee at home without filters, or even without any equipment at all. Just combine the coffee grounds and hot water, let them sit and cool down with a few ice cubes to slow extraction, and then use a strainer to get out the larger grinds (or just sip straight from the cup and avoid the bottom). Will you get as clean of a cup of brewed coffee as usual? Almost certainly not. Will the coffee taste good until you get to those grinds? Yup! The sky's the limit when it comes to brewing coffee without coffee brewing equipment.

Use whatever's left over

Say you're down to the end of your bag, but there's not quite enough ground coffee left for a full brew. Why not experiment a little? From single origin coffee to already mixed coffee blends, roasters blend together different coffees to create tastier things all the time. Now's your shot at doing the same. There are reasons that coffee beans roasted to different roast levels by different companies might be hard to work with when you use them in coffee blends, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to see what happens.

Measure when you can

Coffee pros love scales. We love timers. We love scales with built-in timers! Those tools help us brew coffee consistently, and they help us get better from roast to roast.

But just because you don’t have every tool you want doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Measuring the coffee grounds by scoop? Cool! Make those scoops level and count how many you’re putting in. Eyeballing water? Just try to find some marker that’ll make it easy for you to pour the same amount of hot water next time. And remember, there’s a timer on your phone. At the end of the day, learning how to measure coffee beans without a scale is simple, and even enjoyable!

Adjust as you go

The point of measuring isn’t just so you can do the same thing over and over. It’s so that when you want a change, you can actually make one. If you brew a coffee and the flavor is too sour, too weak, or too bitter, you can use that information to do it differently next time until you get the right level of flavor extraction for your cup.

Check out our articles on how to make strong coffee, how to make coffee less bitter, and ideal coffee grind size to determine the best coffee brewing method for you. There’s nothing better than sipping your favorite fresh coffee flavor in the morning, as an afternoon pick me up, or even in the evening hours following dinner.

Freeze any excess

In an ideal world you’re getting coffee delivered fresh and going through it quickly, but what if you bought a little more than you can handle (or bought a few extra bags to support your favorite roasters?

For a while, the coffee world seemed to mostly be against freezing coffee, but the general opinion now is that as long as you know how to store coffee beans by closing the bag pretty tightly (or putting it in a freezer bag), you’re a-okay. Just take it out of the freezer when you need it, remove the coffee beans you need, and pop it back in.