It will come as no surprise that our team of coffee aficionados here at Pact are a total treasure trove of brewing wisdom. We’ve collated the best advice they have to give on maximising your coffee experience, with minimal faff. Read on for the very best tricks of the trade from those in the know.
Jackson gives us his lowdown on brewing basics.
Probably the biggest upgrade you can make is moving from instant coffee to brewing ground coffee. If you’ve made that jump already, the next one is moving from pre-ground coffee to whole bean and grinding yourself!
To improve your brewing to your tastes, you want to do 2 things - first, pay attention to what you’re doing - how much coffee you use, how much water you add etc - then pay attention to the end product (how does your coffee taste?) and do things slightly differently next time - this trial and error will get you to the best cup.
Care about the water, it makes up most of what you’re drinking! Consider using a water filter in your kettle.
Explore your brew fully by allowing it to cool as you drink it - you’ll be able to pick out more of the complexity, acidity and deliciousness.
Customer Service Manager Polly knows cafetiere like the back of her hand.
My top tip for a perfect cafetiere brew is to let the water cool for a minute after boiling, then “pre-infuse” with a tiny amount of water at the bottom of your cafetiere, giving it a little stir before adding the rest of the water. Most importantly, let the coffee brew for at least 3 minutes before plunging
To level up your cafetiere brew, I’d also advise using filtered water. This will give the tasting notes in your coffee the best chance to shine. Tesco Ashbeck is great for home brewing!
George gives us his top tips for AeroPress precision.
The Aeropress is an awesome brew method. It’s compact, portable, easy, quick and relatively faff-free! It borrows from other brew styles to create the perfect combo of immersion-brew, paper filter, and a touch of pressure. This gives you the perfect balance of cup characteristics - high body, clarity, balanced acidity and delicious clean sweetness.
My top tip for the Aeropress is to start brewing 1 min 30 seconds after your water has boiled. The more your water cools, the more sweetness and acidity you will develop in your brew. I prefer the regular brew method but ‘inverted’ is fine too.
Add 15g medium-fine ground Pact Coffee to your Aeropress, ‘pre-infuse’ by soaking the coffee grounds with a little hot water, swirl for 15 seconds, then fill up to the number ‘4’ on the chamber. Stir for 10 seconds, put the plunger into place, then pull it up just a bit to create a vacuum and stop any coffee dripping through the filter early. Wait 1 minute, then plunge. As soon as you hear the hiss, stop there.
Try the Aeropress next time you go camping or away on holiday, it’s very backpack-friendly!
Alex shares how to get the best out of the legendary V60.
Try this next time you brew a V60: The double swirl. After you’ve poured a small amount (50g or so) of water onto your coffee bed to ‘bloom’ the grounds, give the V60 a swirl to allow every ground to infuse evenly. There’s a good chance that some grounds will be untouched by the water and as a result, will begin extracting later than those that are soaked, unsettling the balance of your brew. We can’t have that.
Once you’ve poured all the water into your V60 (in circular, steady motions), give the V60 another swirl. This will help any grounds that are stuck to the filter paper to dislodge and join the rest of the coffee in a flat bed at the bottom of the funnel, resulting in an evenly extracted, perfectly balanced cuppa.
Take note of Tom’s Espresso insights.
My top tip for pulling the perfect espresso shot is to not tamp too hard! Instead, try adjusting your grind size first to find that sweet spot between a steady flow rate and the amount of coffee you extract. Try starting off with 18g of fresh (Pact) coffee in the portafilter and tamp only until you feel a slight push-back. Make sure the coffee bed is level, then lock the portafilter into the group head firmly.
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry too much about weighing the final cup - instead, just try to maintain a constant gradual flow over the course of roughly 30 seconds. Too fast (over extracted), and your espresso may taste bitter. Too slow (under extracted), and it may taste sour. If you end up with either of these scenarios, go back and try grinding either a bit finer, or a bit coarser to rectify the end result.
We hope these knowledge bombs help you become the best brewer on the block. Want even more tips, check out our Brew Guides.