Specialty Coffee: How to Brew the Best Coffee at Home

Specialty coffee lovers around the world don’t always have time to stop by their favorite cafe for a coffee on the way to work. When you love coffee, you need to learn to brew that perfect cup at home. There are many different ways to brew coffee at home. Each process produces a different finished result. From drip machines to pour overs, here’s how to brew the best cup of specialty coffee at home. 

Start With The Best Specialty Coffee Beans

While the brewing process makes quite a difference on the resulting cup of coffee, you still need to start with the best premium coffee beans. As specialty coffee roasters, the team at Orleans Coffee has spent the last 40 years sourcing and roasting high quality coffee that is enjoyed at coffee shops around New Orleans and at home.

hand holding roasted coffee beans photo. How to brew specialty coffee - tips from expert coffee roaster.

There are several types of gourmet coffee to choose from: 

Signature Blend Coffees

If you are just dipping your toes into the world of gourmet coffee, we highly recommend our signature blends. They’re a great way to experience the complexities of specialty coffee while producing a reliable cup of coffee you’ll love to drink. We love blending coffee beans because it allows us to take the best components of one type of bean and match them with another to create a well-rounded finished cup. We recommend starting with Bob’s Best Blend, a customer favorite for more than 25 years. It is a blend of medium and dark Central American coffees with slightly sweet and chocolatey notes. 

Fair Trade Certified Coffee

While we always source our coffees from established and reputable producers, it takes special consideration to become a certified Fair Trade Coffee. Our Fair Trade Coffees are produced to the standards set by Fair Trade organizations including Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International, World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Network of European World Shops, and European Fair Trade Association (EFTA). The goal of Fair Trade Coffee is to achieve greater equity in the international coffee trade, help to establish sustainable environmental farming practices, and prohibit both child and forced labor. Our Cafe Noir is a great place to start if you love full-bodied coffees. It has rich bittersweet coffee notes and a light floral aftertaste. 

Premium Small Batch Coffees

For the coffee connoisseur, you can’t go wrong with our Lantern Collection of Premium Coffees. This is a rotating collection of the best small-batch coffees from around the world. We purchase micro-lots of coffee from growers everywhere from Guatemala to Indonesia and perfectly roast them to bring out their unique flavors. We put a lot of thought, effort and expertise into ensuring that our Lantern coffees provide the very best specialty brew. 

How To Choose The Best Brew Method For You

We’ve gathered our 50+ years of coffee brewing expertise to describe how we recommend creating specialty brew coffee at home. These home brewing methods are in order from least time intensive to most time-consuming way to brew your own cup o’joe. Each coffee brewing method has a unique impact on the resulting cup. 

So how do you choose the best way to brew coffee at home? Think first about your morning routine. Are you a morning person who loves the coffee-making ritual? If this sounds like you, a french press may just be the perfect addition to your morning routine. If you’re scrambling to get out the door on time most days you are probably better off with a drip coffee machine. 

We’ll be honest with you – most of us coffee obsessives have more than one way to brew coffee at home. We pick and choose the method based on the day, and how much time we can dedicate to making that perfect cup. Leisurely Saturday mornings with a pour over are lovely, but maybe not as realistic at 6 am on a Wednesday. 

Drip Coffee Machine

Drip coffee is the easiest way to get your morning brew. Many coffee makers now come with the ability to schedule the brew the night before so you wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. 

photo of drip coffee pot that can be used in brewing of specialty coffee beans

It’s best to use a medium-coarse grind in your drip coffee machine. Course grinds will produce a weak cup, and fine grinds may create a bitter flavor. We offer a drip coffee grind option for all of our coffees so you can produce the best cup of coffee every day. While your drip coffee machine may vary slightly, you will typically need to fill a reservoir with enough water for your brew, and a separate catcher will hold your coffee and filter. 

For the best results with your drip coffee we recommend making sure to deep clean your machine every other month or whenever you see any buildup of residue or minerals from your water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and descaling. Also make sure to use filtered water, and use high quality filters to avoid a gritty cup. 

The Specialty Coffee Association has a selection of home brewer certified coffee machines. 

French Press

photo of french press or cafetiere being used to brew specialty coffee

It’s no secret that we love to use our French Press, also called a cafetière, coffee press or coffee plunger. These analog coffee brewing machines allow for unrestricted contact between the beans and the water producing a consistent extraction of the coffee. For French Press coffee we always recommend a coarse grind to ensure the cleanest cup. This course grind requires a slightly longer brewing time of about 4 minute plus boil time.

You can see our in-depth French Press Coffee routine here.

For the best brew in your french press, we have a few top tips you just can’t skip:

  • Preheat your french press and cup. Fill both with boiled water and allow to warm for a few minutes prior to use. This will keep your coffee warmer for longer. Discard this water before brewing your coffee. 
  • Use the right amount of ground coffee. We recommend weighing your coffee for the most accurate results. For every 5oz (660 mL) of water, use 2 tablespoons (8 grams) of ground coffee. Too much coffee or too much water will impact your final brew. 
  • Freshly boil your water prior to use. This will ensure that your coffee brew time is accurate. 

Moka Pot

photo of moka pot used to brew specialty coffee

We love espresso, but buying an espresso machine for your home it’s practical for many folks. That’s where the Moka Pot comes in. A Moka Pot is a small metal coffee pot that you brew on the stove. While it’s not exactly an espresso, the Moka Pot makes a strong flavourful coffee similar to Espresso. 

Just like the French Press, a Moka Pot allows for direct contact between the coffee and the water. We recommend an Espresso coffee and a fine grind for the Moka Pot, but feel free to try any type of coffee. Just ensure that it is ground fine.

Here’s how you brew in a Moka Pot:

  • Begin by pre-boiling your water to help avoid over-extraction. Fill the bottom chamber with hot water until you reach the fill line. 
  • Insert the filter basket and fill with your finely ground coffee. Level with a spoon, but do not press or tamp down. 
  • Dust off any loose grounds from the edge, and carefully attach the top compartment. Because the bottom will be hot you will need to use a towel or mitt.
  • Place on the stovetop on medium heat. The pressure of the water heating will force the coffee up through the spout and into the top compartment. The coffee is done brewing when it starts to sputter and the coffee is lighter in color. 
  • Pour into a cup and enjoy!

Pour Over

person brewing specialty coffee in a pour over set up - ceramic pour over on top of pot.

Pour Over coffee is a New Orleans favorite for good reason! The slow brewing process brings out the delicate notes in your specialty coffee beans. We recommend brewing Pour Over coffee with freshly ground beans to a medium-fine consistency.

Here’s how you brew a Pour Over specialty coffee:

  • Start by setting your water to boil and gathering your supplies including a pour over cone (like a Chemex) coffee filter, and a scale to accurately measure your water and coffee. 
  • Grind your coffee to a medium-fine consistency. We recommend 21 grams of ground coffee for 12 oz (350 mL) water. 
  • Rinse your filter with water to remove any dusty particles and set it in the cone, top with your ground coffee. 
  • Bloom the coffee by pouring a small amount of your boiled water over the grounds. Wait 30-45 seconds before pouring more water.
  • Start pouring your water slowly and in a circular motion over the grounds. Maintain a slow but steady flow of water over the grounds. This should take between two and four minutes. 
  • Remove the coffee grounds, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy!

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee pot

Turkish Coffee is a unique coffee brewed on the stove in a copper pot called a Cezve. This kind of coffee is ground incredibly fine and is not filtered out of the drink. We offer a turkish grind on all of our coffees!

To brew Turkish coffee follow these instructions:

  • Measure out 3 oz of cold water and 1 tablespoon of Turkish ground coffee per person. Add these to your Cezve and stir. Now is the time to add sugar if you would like! Turkish coffee is traditionally not stirred after this point. 
  • Place the Cezve on the stove over medium heat. After a few minutes the coffee with begin to foam and rise up.
  • After the foam begins to rise, spoon it out and into each cup. Return to the stove.
  • Allow the coffee to begin to foam again and remove from the heat. 
  • Pour from the Cezve slowly into each cup so the foam rises. 
  • Allow to cool slightly then enjoy! 

Orleans Coffee provides some of the best gourmet coffee online and in local Grocery stores in the Greater New Orleans area. Want to see everything we have to offer? See all of our coffees here

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