How to Make the Perfect Cafetiere
Coffee which is brewed in a cafetiere is infused, like a tea, rather than having high pressure forcing through it, like an espresso. This means coffee needs to be more coarsely ground, to resemble tea leaves. It also means the flavours which can be picked out are different to those which can be picked out of espresso; flavours tend to be slightly milder and evenly balanced.
The freshness of the coffee is just as important however, so if possible it is always recommended to grind fresh. If you do not own a grinder and wish to source one which is suitable for grinding for cafetieres, please check our Guide to Grinders HERE.
It’s all really down to personal taste so please feel free to experiment and find the coffee’s that you particularly like, but some of our favourites:
- Guatemalan HueHuetenango - pleasant rounded profile
- Dominican Republic - superb flavour with buttery notes
- Cuban Serrano – flavourful island coffee but with a little spice
- Colombian Supremo - stronger rustic flavour with nutty background
- Kenyan AA – superb & strong with acidity
- Malawi Pamwamba – Starts as a Kenyan then finishes with plum notes
- Sumatran Lintong – dark chocolate and lime
- Java Ijen – dark cocoa & smoke deep and flavourful
- Something strong? – Monsoon Malabar, or heavy French
The Cafetiere Vessel
Choosing a cafetiere is not as complex nor as expensive as choosing an espresso machine, but there are still certain guidelines which must be followed to ensure good results. Ensure you are buying a reputable make of a standard size, so spare parts are easy to source. Bodum and La Cafetiere are the best known brands.
Ensure you inspect the mesh before purchasing – if the mesh is not fine enough it will let coffee seep through, making a grainy brew. Can it be taken apart to wash? This is ideal otherwise the mesh inserts can get clogged with old coffee and cease to work.
There are several different types of cafetiere vessel on the market too – plastic, glass, Perspex and stainless steel. Glass is traditional, but make sure it suits your kitchen environment. It is worth spending more money on a stainless steel cafetiere (which is also insulated to keep the coffee warmer for longer) if for example, you have a clumsy housemate who drops glasses frequently!
- 1) Pre-warm the vessel with hot water.
- 2) Use the scoop provided (or alternatively, a dessert spoon full) and measure out one scoop per cup (this is approx 10g, use two scoops/dessert spoons per mug). But don’t be afraid to experiment here as you may like it a little weaker or stronger, find the dosage that suits your taste for each coffee origin!
- 3) Pour over water just off the boil onto the grounds. Pour slowly, and be sure to wet all the grounds to ensure all the flavour infuses evenly.
- 4) Leave to stand for 3-4 minutes.
- 5) Stir with a wooden spoon for 10 seconds.
- 6) Plunge down slowly. If you come up against resistance, gently lift plunger slightly then continue to push down.
- 7) Leave for a few seconds to stand, then pour and enjoy immediately.
Use one scoop of coffee per cup - So, if you have an eight cup cafetiere, use eight scoops of coffee (see note 2. Above), also pre-warm the cup and milk (if using ).