How to Make Coffee

How to Make Coffee

I’m going to be honest, I don’t drink
a lot of coffee because it freaks me out. And when I do drink coffee I drink decaf because
it actually has quite a bit of caffeine in it. But whether or not you have cultivated this
craving: knowing how to make coffee is a valuable skill. And to make your very own cup of Joe, you’re
going to need three things: you need coffee, you need water, and you need some brewing
method, like some way of heating them up together and then separating out the stuff that you
don’t want to have in the coffee. Coffee comes in a variety of roasts and is
either ground or whole bean. If it’s ground, you don’t need the added expense of getting
a bean grinder. However, if you have a bean grinder or you
want to get one, whole beans tends to retain more flavor because you can grind the beans
right before you brew. Most coffee aficionados recommend a burr-grinder,
but a blade-grinder is more affordable and the difference between the two is not going
to ruin your day. Either grinder might have some setting that
controls coarseness- to fineness of the grind. You might also find that this happens in the
grocery store. You can actually buy the whole beans and then grind them with the grocery
store grinder and you can also set the coarseness of the grind there. As a general rule of thumb, the longer your
coffee is in contact with the water, the coarser you’ll want the grounds. So your brewing
method usually dictates the coarseness of your coffee. If the intimidatingly hip coffee roaster asks
you what kind of grind you want for your beans, you can confidently tell them your method
of coffee-brewing and they will produce the grind that corresponds. Now let’s talk about roasts. These exist
on a spectrum that goes from light roast to dark roast. Maybe somewhat counterintuitively, light roasts
have more caffeine in them, and they taste more acidic, citrus-y, and ‘bright’. Light roasts will also retain a lot of what
they call the flavor information from the place where they were grown- so a light roast
from Ethiopia will probably taste different than a light roast from Guatemala. If you can tell the difference at all… which
I can’t. Dark roasts, not so much. The flavor of a
dark roast is much more dependent upon the roasting process itself than where the coffee
was grown. In general, a darker roast will be less acidic
and contain less caffeine. Think ‘dark’, ‘smoky’, and ‘bold’. Like, a lot of people will say that it’s
like… nutty, or chocolate-y, but if you’re expecting this to taste like a snickers bar,
you will be disappointed, unless you put a lot of sugar and cream in, which is what I
do. And as you might expect, medium roasts are
in the middle! Water is easy to overlook, but bad-tasting
water will result in bad-tasting coffee, so use the best-tasting water that you have available. That might be a water filter in the fridge,
or bottled water, or cold water from the tap if you live in a place where you really like
the tap water like I do… Many people believe that hard water, or water
with more minerals, helps bring out the flavor of the coffee, so keep that mind when selecting
your water source. Finally, you must select a coffee-brewing
method with all of its trappings. There are a bazillion ways to brew coffee.
Just… a Brazilian… Overnight steeps to make a cold brew, methods that involve fancy
espresso machines, but we’re going to focus on three methods that are relatively affordable,
and available to you when you’re in a hurry. Method 1 is drip coffee. It’s this one right
here. It uses an electrical drip brewer, or a filter coffee machine. It’s the automated
version of a pour-over. I call it a coffeemaker. This method is also going to need some coffee-filters
which you can get from any grocery store. We’re going to use the kind that you can
turn into a snowflake or compost, but there are reusable filters out there. Make sure that you get the right size for
your coffeemaker: a tiny-baby coffee filter in a giant basket will result in much sadness. To make the coffee, you first decide how much
coffee you want, and fill accordingly with water. Then you place the filter in the basket, and
the coffee grounds in the filter. A good rule of thumb is 1-2Tb of coffee grounds
per 6oz of coffee, but I’ve definitely just eyeballed this before, so I promise that it’s
not the end of the world if you just throw some coffee in and you’re like, that seems
about right. If you’re feeling, like, super fancy or
scientific you can take out a kitchen scale and measure out a ratio between the water
and the coffee of 1 to 15 to 1 to 18. So, like, we’re talking, one unit of coffee
to 18 units of water. Then all you have to do is turn on the coffee
machine and voila! You are the bathrobe person in that coffee commercial. Method 2 is called french press, or cafetieres,
or coffee press, or a bunch of other names depending upon your geography. For this method you will need this object,
which is basically just a cup with a piston and a disk on it, and the disk separates the
grounds from the drink-y part. You’ll also need a kettle, or some other
way of heating water. First, determine how much coffee you’d like
to make, and measure out the corresponding amount of coffee grounds to water. With the disk/piston portion out, layer the
grounds on the bottom of the cylinder. Then heat your water. If you’re feeling
extra fancy you can use a thermometer to get the water to about 195ºF or 90ºC, but if
you don’t have one, just boil the water, then turn off the stove and wait a little
while… like, 30-60 seconds for it to cool off some. With the water at the correct temperature,
pour about half of it in and set a timer for four minutes. 30-60 seconds into the four minutes use a
spoon or a chopstick or whatever sanitary utensil you have around to break up the crust
of coffee and mix it all up. Then pour in the rest of the water. And with
the piston pulled all the way up, put the lid on. Wait to plunge. Meditate. Take an instagram
photo. Practice your catchphrase. Whatever you need to do until you’ve made it to four
minutes. Now, slowly push that piston down, and savor
the moment. Once you have pushed it all the way down, pour into your mug or a carafe so
it doesn’t steep too long and get bitter. Our last method requires the least amount
of equipment, so very little investment, but you have to be careful or you’ll find yourself
with a bitter, and crunchy brew. If you have coffee grounds, and water, and
some way to heat water to boiling, you can make cowboy coffee. Grind your beans — or select your grind at
the store — somewhere between the coarse grind that you use for french press and the
slightly less coarse grind for electric brew. Then measure out your coffee to water ratio. Heat the water alone in your kettle or pot
or can to boiling and set it aside for 30-60 seconds just like you would for the french
press coffee. Set a timer for four minutes then add the
grounds to the heated water and stir thoroughly to get a good steep. Might want to give it another good stir when
you’re halfway through your four minutes. Finally, since you don’t have the french
press plunger, take a handful of cold water and sprinkle it on the grounds to encourage
them to sink to the bottom of the pot. Now carefully pour the coffee out of the pot,
and take care to avoid getting grounds in your mug. You’ll probably want to pour out all the
coffee you’d like to drink at this point, because if you let it steep in there any longer
it will ultimately result in jet fuel. But, like, I’m not here to judge. Regardless of whether you brew your coffee
over a campfire, or in the fanciest of machines, you are now participating in a ritual humans
have been performing for hundreds of years. If you have any coffee making tips or tricks
that you’d like to share, or have a topic you’d like us to cover, that’s what the
comments are for, they’re down there, we will also be in them seeing what you have
to say. And if you want to learn more about adulting with Rachel and me, you go to
and subscribe!

100 thoughts on “How to Make Coffee

  1. This is like a tutorial for people who have never made (or seen) coffee before. I'll send it to my parents to make them ready for when I come visit!

  2. I am so pumped how to adult is back and I am so pumped I'm finally learning the correct way to make coffee 😅😅

  3. Also I still can't believe dark roast has less caffeine than medium or light roast.. And it makes you have to pee more..

  4. When I clicked this video and saw Hank, I actually had to go back to check if I accidentally clicked on a Crash Course video

  5. Pour over is also pretty easy and the equipment starts out real cheap. Just be careful, because right after adding the water, you basically have caffeinated napalm. We don't need to go into details on how I know this… 😐

  6. Seems you are misinformed about the "Cowboy coffee" method. (Swe: kokkaffe, =boil-coffee)
     It should use waaay coarser grinds than the press, which indeed is coarser than (paper-)filtered varieties, but at first glance can appear similar.
    A common trait for good quality "Cowboy coffee" or indeed Press coffee is the absence of finer dust in the grounds which would end up in your mug.

    There is also no harm at all in keeping your next few cups in the pot while finishing the first as long as it's off the stove. I wouldn't re-heat it though.
    (all based on personal experience, I grew up on this stuff)

  7. Also worth noting – Instant coffee, in Europe most likely Nescafe – pour water over, let it dissolve with some stirring. But it tastes different from real coffee.. I need some milk to mask the "plasticky" taste.

    As for "cowboy" coffee, we here have "turkish" coffee (not authentic Turkish way) – just pour boiling water over an apppropriate coffee grind, mix up, let grounds settle and drink.

  8. A pinch of salt in my cold-brew will bring the flavor out. Also I use the Veranda roast for that, and Lavazza Crema é Gusto for my electric espresso pot.

  9. Personally I grew up with the Vietnamese coffee maker. I like it because it's compact and convenient. It also perfectly makes a single cup of coffee so no grounds go to waste.

  10. I really love cold brew!
    it tastes great and safes you the brewing time in the morning.

    you basically make a coffee extract with cold water. you need a lot of ground coffee like 200mg per 1 liter of cold water and then let it sit for about 12 hours. then filter it. the coffee extract is about 4 to 5 times stronger then normal coffee and less acidic (wich makes it better for your tummy). It lasts up to a few weeks in the fridge.
    when ever you want a coffee take a little of the cold brew and add as much hot water to it as it takes for you to taste good (3 times water to 1 brew if you like it strong up to 5 to 1 if you like it softer). In summer you can also use cold water to make your coffee more refreshing because cold brew is less acidic and bitter it really tastes good when drunken cold. and to make it even more delicious add some vanilla ice cream.

  11. Cowboy coffee huh? Haha I didn't know that's what people called it.
    That's the method my grandpa and dad use to make coffee and my personal favorite.

  12. OR… Use a "gravy separator" – just add a (paper) coffee filter to the top w/grounds & add water. Works awesomely!

  13. In my country, Slovenia, we make coffee in a totally different way. First you boil the water (with any sugar if you want to), then you put the kettle off the heat, put coffee in it, stir it, then put the kettle back on the heat until the coffee rises just a bit. Then you pour it in a mug including some of the coffee grains. With this method you also get a thicker cream at the top. It seems kind of funny to me how you americans make it.

  14. Coffee made in a Chemex using a good technique is similar to tea, but with a more intense taste profile

  15. light roasts having more caffiene isn't entirely accurate if measured with say a measuring cup light roasts will have more caffiene, because it is more dense. But if measured by weight dark roast will have more

  16. A brazillian thanks for more Hank!
    Plus, great info on making cafetiere coffee (I've been missing out the 'stir with half the water' stage) Good one.
    P.S. just found & subscribed to this channel via Hank's recommendation on SciShow.

  17. Subscribed. This is the perfect channel for me. I've always wondered why school teaches us all this worthless stuff we'll never use unless we specifically get a job in that field, but they don't teach a person how to make coffee, or fix a car, or cook a decent meal, or shave, or pay taxes, or knit, or thousands of other useful things that we will all need repeatedly throughout life.

  18. I actually think it is funny you didn't teach the easiest possible way, which makes me wonder if you guys in America don't use anymore.

    Heat water, get a plastic funnel, a paper filter (conic), pour the coffee and then slowly pour the water. It is just as fast if not faster than the coffee maker but way, waaay cheaper.

    I don't use any of the methods in the video, even though I really wanted the French press method since I own one but I don't have a grinder yet and there are no grinders in supermarkets in my small city in Brazil. All the groud coffee I can buy is not coarse enough to be able to filter on the press.

    (I also do cold brewing every now and then, but I understand that is not necessarily coffee 101…)

  19. I guess brewing coffee really is as simple as adding water and waiting. I brew all-grain beer, and you can let it rest at a few different temperatures to achieve different characteristics. I've been searching online for the coffee version of that, but this video pretty much covers everything I've ever been able to find. Ground coffee + water + some time = coffee.

  20. When I have zero time I use the "filthy savage" method, I put three teaspoons of coffee in a mug and just put boiling water on top, let it sit for five minutes and then mix it. You might feel like a wild animal doing it that way, but when you can barely operate a light-switch and sunlight hurts you so much you may start to believe you are a vampire it still works.
    Then you just st there, half drinking half chewing the cruel brew and scowling at the wall like it killed your family.
    Also known as ex-soviet block method.

  21. When making coffee with a French Press, you can also get the water to 90 degrees Celsius by first pouring the boiling water into your cup. Then you're also guaranteed to get the right amount of coffee.

  22. cafetiere, poor the water over the back of a spoon to cool it as it enters. DO NOT let the boiling water touch the coffee directly, use a spoon or let it cool first. then just fill it to the top, NEVER STIR this releases the bitterness and overpowers the flavour of the coffee. wait 4 minutes and slowly press down the top. source: British. we know how to do our caffeinated beverages.
    edit: also always use fresh water. dont use water that's already been boiled

  23. you can't be a true coffee aficionado when you drink coffee with added ingredients like sugar or creamer. lol

  24. All of this pertains to the Automatic Drip coffee maker (ADCM) basically/actually the Mr. Coffee Brand maker:

    If you find that the roast you have bought is too bitter ( aka dark roast) add just a pinch (actually 1/4 pinch) of salt to the grounds before using the ADCM. Use very little, no one likes salty coffee. This will "sweeten" the coffee.
    On a typical ADCM, a "cup" is 4 oz.. as in one of those tiny foam coffee cups (in reality a cup is 8 oz)
    I use a "coffee scoop" to measure for the ADCM. One scoop per 4 "cups" (aka 16 oz) of water. I generally make 8 cups of coffee so two scoops. My wife likes much stronger coffee, so 3 scoops per 8 cups.
    If the ADCM is next to the sink… just use the hand-held spray device to fill the tank to the desired amount.

    Older folks have taste-buds that are less "keen". Thus we actually prefer a bit of bitter. Using honey or raw sugar adds that bite along with the sweet, that I enjoy soo much.

    Lastly, I was not born with a "silver spoon" in my hand but I use one daily at work, to stir my coffee. The silver is anti-microbial, so as long as I do not touch the spoon to already sipped coffee (or my mouth), I seldom have to wash it. Its also kinda fun using a spoon made of coin silver in the USA from the 1800's.

  25. I usually use the pour over method. Not because I am a snob nor because I think it tastes better than other methods. It was the cheapest method I could lay my hands on outside of camping coffee, aka your cowboy coffee. I literally paid 1$ at my grocery store for a cone that sits on my mug. I use the same coffee filters that go in a drip maker. I use my tea kettle that I already had. Super easy and I like how mine comes out.

  26. If you use an esspresso machine and prefer a flat white to a frothy cappuccino, you can put your milk in straight cold then put in the microwave for about 30 seconds. This saves you from having to clean the steam wand later.

  27. Hank I must say I'm getting very Alton Brown vibes from you in this video. Felt like I was watching​ an episode of good eats

  28. There was some great information here:
    Main fact check:
    Whilst mineral content is important with coffee brewing – 'hard water' is probably not recommend especially for espresso machines. Hard water contains calcium which will precipitate out and form as a build up of scale inside your equipment, which can impact how it works.
    Some cafes go to the trouble of completely purifying the water through R.O., and then Remineralising to a specific water recipe which will produce great coffee. (pure water will produce 'flat' tasting coffee).

    Aside from that, a lot of the information in this vid was on point! You can certainly delve a lot deeper in to the points you made here (or perhaps check out my channel if you're wanting to learn more), but for a 'fundamentals video' you've covered coffee pretty well!

    DFTBA! P.S. if you want to do another coffee related video, I'd love to be involved 🙂

  29. My roommate accidentally broke our caraffe and left her old french press on the counter. It is before 8 a.m.. This video is saving my life right now.

  30. You can also use a basket strainer like you would for loose leaf tea. this is somewhere between the cowboy coffee and the french press

  31. You missed the most confusing part! How much is 6 oz of water? Is it 1 cup from the US measurement system? Is it the 1 mark on the coffee pot? Is it one mug? I always get frustrated after reading the brewing instructions on a new bag of coffee, because it is always ambiguous.

  32. My father told me that the way his grandfather in the old west used to make coffee was by boiling water putting coffee grounds in then cracking an egg, once the egg was done you pour out the coffee and take out the egg and there you have yourself a coyboy breakfast.

  33. if you do it right cowboy coffee is the best way. I think the trick to not getting grounds has more to do with the pour vs the water sprinkling thing. you have to pour off from the top, which means a super shallow pour going slowly is best. also somewhere around a third of the coffee will be sacrificed to the grounds so be ready for that.

  34. 2m dark roast is burnt coffee, you can burn bread and make coffee with it tastes similar burnt carbon lol, mostly low quality coffee is dark roasted so that you can't tell difference because it's burnt no flavour except flavour of burnt coffee. burnt coffee is usually a sign of low quality coffee. on the other hand they advertise French deep roast coffee being the best to fool people into believing the better coffee when it's burnt roast with low quality beans. which is actually the opposite. I usually go for medium or light roast cause you have more flavour even with lower quality coffee it's more flavour.

  35. We do it cowboy style in my house but we use a reusable fabric filter and put it on a thermal coffee bottle. This is common on Brazil's countryside where my mom was raised so we still do it this way.

  36. and here I was wondering how the hell will they make an entire video about making a cup of coffee. turned out to be very informative!

  37. I just wanted to know how to use a coffee maker but know Ive learned more ways to make coffe and the fact that there aperantly is a difference.

  38. I have no idea why people like coffee. It is like bitter sludge.
    Everyone, please watch my little nature videos. There is no talking in them. Shhh!

  39. Can someone recommend me a good coffee to purchase please. one that is not good bad stuff in there an tastes nice 🙂

  40. I'm interested to try French press brewing now, since I've only ever done drip at home and used an espresso machine at my coffee shop of employment 🙂 Nice video

  41. I don't drink coffee, because caffeine and my body are not friends, but I like the smell (unless it's stale). My sweetheart is a barista who always comes home smelling like coffee, so I associate the smell with snuggles. Hot apple cider (not the alcoholic kind) is more my jam when it come to hot beverages, or herbal teas.

  42. You didn't talk about the chemex on the shelf behind you. Thats my current preferred method but my roommates use a drip coffee maker. I also want to get a french press…

    I work at starbucks and coffee is eveeything…

  43. I'm new to the whole coffee thing, I've tried putting sugar and some half and half thing in but it always tastes weird, how do you make coffee taste good or a least drinkable?

  44. Discovered this channel this morning while I was doing the laundry. Then did some cleaning around the house today and had this channel's vids on playlist playing in the background. Love that the vids are fun and full of learnings 💖💖

  45. Anyone who wants something convenient but very low startup cost: look up Vietnamese Coffee Drips. You can get one for $3-4, is very small and light, and it's easy to use and clean.

  46. Get a glass siphon, you can thank me later. Put some brown sugar and Tulamore Dew in the cup then pour the coffee and stir. Put some cream on top if want.

  47. I love my moka pot. Yes moka, not mocha. For this of you unfamiliar with it, it's like a stove top espresso machine

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