We get this question often. There are many aspects of what the coffee industry calls third wave coffee. It includes the ethics of sourcing coffee and the methods of trying to create the best coffee possible with all available resources and processes. It might sound a bit dull and dry, but when you experience the wizardry yourself, you won't go back. Here are some fun methods to start with:
1) Find fresh locally roasted craft coffee • less than 1 week old is preferred.
2) Choose your brew method • experiment! There are so many great brew methods available today, this is a great time to be a fan of coffee. Chemex, V60, Kalita Wave, Aeropress, American Press, French Press, etc. NOTE: paper filters remove oils and can add brightness to your coffee, so make sure you experiment!
3) Grind your coffee • use a burr grinder for a consistent grind and throw your paddle/blade grinder in the trash please.
4) Heat up your water • Add a Third Wave Water capsules to a gallon of your distilled or RO water to create the perfect balance of minerals, enabling all of those delicate aromas and vivid acids to shine through. Temperatures vary with your brew method, but start by heating from 195 to 205 degrees F.
5) Rinse your filter • If you chose a method that has a paper filter then this step will remove unwanted paper pulp still trapped in the paper filter, which adds a touch of bitterness. Toss the rinse water in the sink.
6) Add your ground coffee • Zero out your scale before tossing the coffee into your brewer. Remember this number [in grams] because you are about to create some wonderful trickery. Take that number and multiply it by 16. This is a ratio of 16:1 and is now the magical number you need to remember when you measure the amount of water you brew with.
7) Bloom your coffee • Zero out your scale before blooming. Poke your finger in the middle of the coffee to create a divot to help the water stay centered as you add just enough water to saturate the coffee...then STOP and wait ~60 seconds. Watch and breathe in the aroma as the bubbles unlock the first stage of flavor. CO2 is trapped inside the cell structure of the bean. Blooming removes the gases and prepares the coffee bed for even extraction.
8) Finish brewing • Remember that number you multiplied times 16? Make sure that you STOP when the scale displays this number and prepare for a third wave coffee experience...at least the brewing step.
These steps are only the beginning for you true coffee fanatics. We know who you are as we proudly wear the Third Wave Coffee merit badge ourselves. Once you discover great coffee it is impossible to turn back to the mud and mire you previously were forced to endure. Welcome to Third Wave Coffee and welcome to Third Wave Water!