in Africa
in Wales
in History
the Beans
the Grind

Brewing the Grind ...

Lets for a moment get back to basics ... A cup of coffee needn't be complicated ...

In the 18th century when the brave American Pioneers sat, or maybe stood if they had been on a horse all day..... around their camp fire, after a hard day trying not to get lost,
they would enjoy a plate of cured meat and stewed dried beans. To help digest dinner, they would inevitably finish off with a nice mug of hot
coffee, brewed from beans they had roasted themselves.
The roasted beans would be pounded
 in the bottom of a sturdy metal coffee jug, cold water added, then the jug would be put on the campfire and left to brew.

And this is what people did all around the world at that time, that is enjoy a cup of freshly roasted coffee, not the camp fire bit.
And before they could enjoy a cupper, the green coffee beans had to be roasted first and then ground before they went into the pot.
The early pioneers carried with them green coffee beans. These took up less space in their tucker-bag. Although coffee beans are around 20% lighter after they are roasted, they also double in size, they don't keep their freshness and they can become moldy.
Up until the 1870's most coffee was roasted at home in a frying pan over a charcoal fire.
Today the mechanics have changed but the principle remains ...
'Fresh Hot Water extracting the maximum flavour from Fresh Coffee Grind

Coffee Brewing Equipment is as ingenious as varied, from the simplicity of the Middle Eastern Ibrik to the modern state of the art, computerised, push button “Bean to Cup” Espresso Machines.
However, “you will only get out of a brewer what you put into it … !”

A quality cup will only come from a quality bean correctly ground & brewed.

Further more.....unlike what they say," there is no bad beer just some better than others...!" ... there IS some dreadful coffee around ..!

Timing is also essential, that is, the amount of time the coffee grind is in contact with the hot water.
The pioneers would have made a course grind as the water could be in contact with the grind for quite a while, where the modern espresso machine allows around only twenty seconds of contact time, therefore a fine grind is required.

Coffee Brewed in a Cafetiere (aka Press-Pot, French Press, Jug with a plunger-thing)
The Method

This guide I've compiled is for a 350ml size Cafetiere usually sufficient for two 6 ozs cups, my breakfast treat..!

          Roasted Coffee Beans should be stored in a dark air tight container and kept in the environment the coffee will be consumed in as they will deteriorate quicker when moved from the cold into the warm ..!

If you intend to brew & drink your cup of coffee in the fridge or freezer, then I say, store the beans in there…! 

A note on Water ...
Where we live, the local Water Board, I understand, have increased the level of chemicals added to the domestic supply. Hence it can sometimes smell like swimming pool water, I now BOIL the water in an effort to steam off those chemicals. Then I allow the water to cool down to around 88 deg C, before adding it to the grind.

And for that "Fresh Brew" flavour, always grind your Coffee Beans FRESH to order.

  • The best grind setting for Fresh Preseli Bluestone Blend is a grind a little coarser than ground black pepper. Our Single Bean is best a little coarser again.
  • Use ¼ ozs / 8g of Fresh Ground Coffee for EACH cup   66 beans..! (Remember 66 beans for a 6ozs cup, “666 the devil’s dark brew”)
  • Use a  Level Table Spoon size measuring spoon for a traditional brew  
  • And Heaped for a stronger brew
Use a Table Spoon measure and 
put 2 scoops of
Ground Roasted Coffee Beans into the Cafetiere

Gently pour in Hot Water -
not boiling
as boiling water will “scorch” the grind
Stir the brew
until well combined
a “chop-stick” is great for the job

Insert the Plunger-Filter on the top of the brew
With the Plunger Rod UP
let it rest for 6 minutes
depress the plunger to the
bottom of the po


 Tamping for a perfect Espresso
          This guide is for a  Double Portafilter,  sufficient for delivering 2 shots of Espresso

          To extract the best flavours your Coffee Bean has to offer, grind your Coffee Beans fresh to order
              The following measurements and step by step guide should help you well on your way to getting that perfect espresso
     Imperial  Metric
   Water Measure 2 x 1 ½ ozs 2 x 40ml
   Water Temperature  185º to 203ºF  85º to 95ºC
   Water Pressure  116 to 145 psi  8 to 10 bar
   Double Dose of Ground Coffee ½ ozs   14g
   Duration of Delivery  18 to 22 seconds  

Hand tamping is best
         Tamping should be carried out on a FIRM & SOLID surface
       I use our bathroom scales to remind me what 10 lb and 30 lb pressure "feels" like

The Grind
Start with a grind, the size texture of table salt
heaped into the Portafilter Basket

Scrape off the surplus grind
leaving a flat level surface and the correct dose

The 10 lb Tamp
Keeping the Tamper level then
gently apply a bit of pressure to the grind

Give the Portafilter a tap with the Tamper to
release grind stuck on the Basket edges

The 30 lb Tamp
Then wipe the rim of the Basket to
protect the rubber seal in the Espresso Machine

18 to 24 seconds


 Under Extracted
Showing pale "puddles"
Giving a thin taste
Grind should be finer

 Over Extracted
Very dark areas
giving bitter taste
Grind should be coarser

 A nice even Crema
Traces of pale and dark
"tiger stripes"
Take a note of the settings for future brews

All these Coffee brewers make excellent coffee and to the individual, some make better coffee than the others, it's just a choice thing ...!

My mother's method of making coffee for herself and my dad, was to heat the water in a lipped saucepan then stir in the fresh coffee grind
keeping it warm with the lid on for around 6 minutes, she then poured the brew through a fine-mesh metal tea strainer directly into their coffee mugs


Ibrik from the Middle East  Enamel Coffee Pot  Arabic Coffee Pot   Louisiana French Drip Pot Cafetiere or Press Pot 

Old Electric Percolator  Stove Top Percolator  Modern Percolator  Filter Machine  Urn Percolator 



Stove Top Espresso Pot  Retro Espresso Machine  A Classic  Bean to Cup  Two Group Espresso Machine