195 Degrees of Separation

Making Good Drip Coffee Is Easy

There is not a great deal of mental ability required to make drip coffee.

The simple list of ingredients is quite short:

1.  Coffee, ground to a fairly course consistency… consistent grain size is more important that anything else with drip.
2.  A permeable membrane, better known as a filter.  A paper cone works; as does an athletic sock.
3. Gravity.  Fairly common no matter where you live.
4. Water.  But it must be the right temperature.  That’s what this entry is all about.

It is widely accepted by those who know their coffee that the perfect temperature for making drip is…

195 degrees Fahrenheit

A cloth filter device for making cuban colador coffee.

A cloth filter device for making cuban colador coffee.

The water that your pour over the ground coffee must be 195 degrees.  This is the temperature for properly releasing the flavors and oils trapped inside the grounds.   This is where the Mr. Coffee machines of the world fall down; they do not get the water hot enough to reach 195 degrees.  To be fair very few machines do, and those capable cost well over 250 US dollars tp purchase.  But you don’t have to spend a wad of money to get the water right, you just need to count.

Bring the water to a rolling boil on your stove.  Rolling, angry boil is what you’re after.  Simply take the vessel off heat, count to 5, and the water will have dropped from it’s 212 degrees Fahrenheit to just about 198-195 degrees.   Lift the container and simply pour.  Folks have found that this method of getting water to correct brewing temp is accurate and is consistent.   Fill your filter completely with the hot water, and let gravity do it’s job.  The idea is to have the water infuse with coffee as it passes through the filter.  I have found that the right amount of time for 2 cups of water to pass through my Chemex coffee system is about 5 minutes.  Longer than that means the ground were too fine and the filter clogged up.  To much less than that means the ground was too coarse and the coffee will taste weak.

So, when diving into the simple pleasure of making a cup of drip, shoot for the magic “five count” to target the perfect water temperature.  It is a time honored technique that will never let you down.

2 Responses to 195 Degrees of Separation

  1. Where can I get one of those cuban filters?

    Thanx

    • The Cuban filter can be purchased at an online store that specializes in Cuban groceries.
      They are very inexpensive….

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