Teach Me, Coffee Connoisseurs

I don’t know how many times I’ve tried googling an answer to how to make a good pot of coffee. Google usually doesn’t let me down in the cooking department, but I’ve yet to find a satisfactory answer to this simple question: How many scoops do you put in to make a full pot of coffee?

I didn’t enjoy coffee until I saw a demonstration by at a Bulletproof trade show very recently, so it’s a life skill I never learned. We’ve always had a coffee maker for when we’ve had coffee drinking guests, but after making a pot once, our friend kindly suggested he make another (I either made it too strong or too weak – can’t remember now). I now let friends brew their own or, since we live within walking distance of a Starbucks, our real coffee snob friends can just go buy their own. Problem solved.

Anyway, suddenly today I’m really in the mood for a cup of coffee. I just don’t know how to make it (nor do I want to pay $4 for a cup). Can someone help a girl out?

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15 thoughts on “Teach Me, Coffee Connoisseurs

  1. TheNormalMiddle says:

    I’m not much help on a pot of coffee. My mom bought us one of those travel-to-go coffee makers where we brew one cup at a time into our to-go mugs which is really nice for our lifestyle!
    But, for a large travel cup, probably 12 oz of coffee, I always use 2 and a half scoops of FRESH GROUND coffee in my brewer.
    So, I think it matters if you like your coffee strong or weak. I like strong coffee. I suggest using about 2 Tbsp or two scoops (those handy coffee scoops) per 8-10 oz you brew.
    Oh, and I whole heartedly suggest you buy whole bean and grind fresh. Coffee isn’t coffee unless it is freshly ground IMO 🙂
    You can buy a grinder for pennies these days. If you don’t grind, be sure to buy smaller bags of coffee of the automatic kind because they tend to go bad after awhile and lose their freshness and good-coffee-ness!!!!

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  2. Anne says:

    First, you need a French press. I reluctantly tried one out, and now I’m hooked. The best one I’ve found is the insulated one from Starbucks (click here and scroll to the second one). And you need a coffee grinder. We have one from Cuisinart, and it wasn’t too expensive. Put fresh beans (French roast or something similar) in until you cover the blades. Grind for only a few seconds (maybe 5) until you “bust” up the beans a little. Put them in the French press and fill with boiling water. Give it a stir, and let it sit a few minutes. Then push the press thingy down. And now you have some really good, rich coffee. I’m drinking some right now…

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  3. Candace Prosser says:

    Megan,
    Here is a quick run down from a Barista. I have been with the Bux for over three years now and I can not tell you how many times I have heard someone tell me the exact same difficulties with thier own home brewing.
    The reason Starbucks Coffee is so great is because 1) We grind our beans fresh periodically throughout the day. We never use yesterdays grind today.
    2) Our water is triple filtered. I cannot stress to anyone enough on how big of a difference this makes in the flavor of your coffee. When I lived fifteen minutes from my inlaws in Tx I would drink coffee at their house because they had really excellent well water and no added chlorine.
    3) RATIO!!!! Starbucks has coffee brewing down to a science not because we are snobs, quite the contrary, we want you to have the most consistent cup of coffee you have ever drank. We recommend 2 tbs of fresh ground coffee per cup (in your brewer) of water. You can put more or less to suit your tastes.
    4)GRIND- It is really important that if you do decide to brew at home and grind your own beans that you have the proper grinding equipment. Blade grinders basically pulverize the bean and after several pulses you end up with powdered grounds and an uneven particle size. It is not exact, but for some it is okay. I prefer a burr grinder. It is a little more expensive but the grinder will give you a uniform and consistent grind. And in that way a more consistent cup. If you have a french press yuo want a coarse grind because the water and the coffee are in contact for Four minutes befroe you plung the grounds to the bottom. If you have a paper cone filter it will need a finer grind that a round paper flat filter. etc. There is a really great affordable grinder at Target and Wal Mart that allows you to choose your grind.
    (THIS IS THE LONGEST COMMENT EVER!!!!)
    Drip Maker VS French Press.
    If you want quick and convienient and large quantity a drip maker is the way to go. There are so many different kinds and brands so what is a girl to chose. Go with a 10 to 12 cup if you and Craig have people over for Bible Study and get togethers. It is a shame when someone is the odd man out and has to wait for the secong pot to brew. That said buy a maker with a thermal carafe. You can find a really nice Mr Coffee at Wal Mart and Target in black or white. Yes, I did say Mr Coffee, It is what I have always brewed in. The Mr Coffee can also be set to brew in the morning when you and Craig get up.
    Drawbacks- you have to keep filters in stock unless you get a permanent filter, glass pots can break so go thermal.
    If you want the absolutely fullest, most completely flavorful cup of coffee go with a press. Thermal if you want it to stay hot for up to five hours, or glass if you like the look and are not worried about the warmth of your cup after time. You pour the coffee into the preheated press, then boiling water up to 2 inches from the top, place the top on and let it set for four minutes. Then plunge.
    Drawbacks- have to boil water on the stove, glass carafes can break, have to clean the press instead of just rinsing a pot and throwing away a filter of grounds.
    Also, I do recommend that you buy your beans from Starbucks because there is a human there to help you find a coffee that will suit your tastes nad what ever is on the menu if you are having people over for dinner. However, do not start with French Roast. I salute Anne for drinking French. It is one of the boldest coffees that Starbucks sells. It is also very dark and smoky tasting. I would recommend Gautemala Antigua or House to start. Both are medium orasted Lastin American Coffees. Also our new Pike Place Roast is fantastic nad is a medium smooth. I ahve not met many people that do not like it unless it is because they prefer really bold coffees.
    Please forgive the extremely long comment. Feel free to email me any questions.

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  4. Kathy/lessons from the laundry says:

    Wow. How nice of your readers to give such awesome answers. Forget google. I’m a French Press convert too. Although we don’t grind our beans fresh…we used to but then, well you know life got bigger than fresh-ground-daily could handle. Good luck.

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  5. Megan says:

    You all are amazing and hilarious at the same time. So then, until I get all the right equipment, can someone just say, dump this much of your pre-ground coffee in the filter and pour a whole pot of unfiltered tap water in the maker for a white-trash version of coffee?
    What would that be 1/4 C, 1/2 C?
    And yes, I’ll think about getting the other things. It’s just that I only really want a cup of coffee every 30-45 days or so, so I can’t justify it yet. If I learn to make what *I* consider to be decent non-snob coffee, then I might convert to the higher class version later.
    🙂

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  6. zellner says:

    my husband and I are laughing at this- He only started drinking coffeee when we moved to cold St Louis for seminary 🙂 He says do half the amount of coffee that you use in water- example, 10 cups of water, add 5 Tablespoons of coffee. We are not experts, but this is what we do.

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  7. Amy P says:

    This is when I wish you lived close again. I prefer a french press after working at starbucks too.
    I’ve noticed it’s easier on guests to err on weaker coffee than to make coffee too strong. You should keep a coffee journal each time you make it so you can mark your favorite day and know your recipe. I don’t think it matters how you make it if you really like it.
    Oh, using Brita water or something like that will definitely improve the taste!
    And yes, cup means what the water level goes to. 🙂

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  8. Char says:

    When you come to the farm, you drink coffee that is brewed according to these measurements: 1 scoop of Folger’s coffee per 6 cups of water — pure and simple.

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  9. Carrie says:

    Ok well sometimes I totally screw it up. But this is what I usually do and it works most of the time.
    I put in one heaping spoonful of coffee per 2 cups that I’m brewing. Most of my girlfriends (2 of which who work at a coffeehouse) always comment on how good it is. So it works for me!

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  10. JoAnne says:

    Hehe … If you’re into espresso, the Bialetti stovetop espresso maker rocks my husband’s world. I am still on the “non-coffee drinker” side of the great divide, but I applaud your transition to the dark-brewed side.

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  11. Hazel says:

    If you’re only going to want coffee every month or so then go to Starbuck’s — even unground beans will go off in a month. I don’t mean as in go mouldy but they’ll certainly not produce a good cup of coffee for you.
    Otherwise 1 heaped teaspoon to a mug with a permanent filter does me — all day, every day! Very bad for me but what the heck?

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  12. patty says:

    hi,
    i just bought my sister a french press, but i don’t know how much coffee to tell her to put in it. I bought her some pre-ground set on course texture specifically for the french press, for the sake of having some readily available when she received the press, but normally she grinds her own beans. I cannot remember how much measurement or quantity of the grinds to put in the press before adding the water?! It’s been a few years since I last brewed coffee this way, but I remember it’s the best! Any help is appreicated, thanks.

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  13. Bill says:

    Wow, I googled how to make a pot of coffee like starbuck does, This was the first search result, so I started to read. Megan asked a simple question, and the answers on here gave her what to use or buy but no measurements. I drink coffee all the time, I just wanted to know how starbucks measures the coffee when they brew it. French press, barista bla bla bla, doesn’t anyone have a simple measurement?

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  14. Megan says:

    That’s funny, Bill. I actually did get my answer embedded somewhere above. The one I go with the most came from Zellner – “half the amount of coffee that you use in water- example, 10 cups of water, add 5 Tablespoons of coffee” – totally working for me. I made two pots today. Both had 4 cups of water and I used 2 T of Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Coffee. Yummm. But as for how Starbucks does it, I can’t help. Maybe someone else will see this comment and come back and try to answer that one. 🙂 Good luck on your quest!

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