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  1. Wealth
May 10, 2013

Spear’s Coffee Guide: How to brew the perfect cafetiere

By Spear's

The cafetiere is cheap, easy to use, needs little maintenance and, if you follow the simple rules within, makes a great cup of coffee

This week we have part two of our guide to coffee from Stephen Rapoport of YourGrind. As inspired by our first part, I’m sure you’ve all now carefully selected your chosen coffee, so it is time to move on to brewing. We don’t really associate cafetieres with a great – or even a passably good – cup of coffee, but with a little care and patience you can win over the boardroom. Here’s how to make a great cup without the expensive hardware.

Cafetiere Brewing Guide

Since its invention in the mid 1800s, the cafetiere has been a common fixture in kitchens and coffee shops around the world. In fact, over 40 per cent of YourGrind members ask for coffee that’s perfect for a cafetiere. And it’s hardly surprising; the cafetiere is cheap, easy to use, needs little maintenance and, if you follow the simple rules below, makes a great cup of coffee.

Many people (think of the chaps behind the counter at your local, achingly trendy coffee shop here) will tell you that you can’t make a good cafetiere without a thermometer, stopwatch, digital scales, silver spoons, a papal blessing… but you can.

Scales and a timer, while they enable you to keep consistency from one pot to the next, meaning that you can accurately compare different specialty coffees, have little place at the breakfast table. The purpose of this guide is to help you drink great coffee every day with ease.

If you’d like a more detailed guide, email me on or tweet @yourgrind.

Want to put Stephen’s methods to the test? Claim a free bag of YourGrind coffee by logging on to and entering voucher code ‘spear’ when you sign up.

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–       Cafetiere

–       Coarse ground coffee

–       Kettle

–       A tablespoon helps!

Step 1

Make sure your cafetiere is clean.

Old, large-molecule coffee oils tend to hang around, especially in the mesh of a cafetiere. If left to linger they will give your coffee a stale, woody taste.

Step 2

You’ll need 60g-70g of coffee per litre of water.

That equates to about one heaped tablespoon of coarse grounds (15g) per cup of coffee (250ml). But everyone’s different – try different strengths until you find the one that’s right for you.

Step 3

Boil the kettle, but make sure to leave it for 90 seconds before you pour.

This will cool the water to roughly 93°C. Coffee’s flavor is imparted by 600-700 different compounds, all of which extract (or indeed evaporate) at different rates. While there’s much debate on the topic, 93°C tends to stop over-extraction of bitter compounds, while preserving brighter top-notes.

Step 4

Pour evenly over the coffee, ensuring there are no dry grounds floating. There’s no need to stir, which can waterlog your grounds and lead to a bitter, over-extracted coffee.

Step 5

Brew for four minutes before plunging and pouring. Sip & smile!

Serving Tips

The coffee at the bottom of your cafetiere will be stronger than that at the top. If you’re good enough to share your coffee, half fill each cup in turn and then top up.

Coffee will keep on extracting once you have plunged. If you’re not pouring the whole pot at once (and are feeling extravagant) invest in a thermal jug to decant your coffee into – it will stay hot too!

Give it a minute to cool. Serving coffee lava-hot has the same effect as serving beer or white wine very cold – it knocks out your taste buds and masks the flavor of what you’re drinking.

Want to put Stephen’s knowledge to the test? Claim a free bag of YourGrind coffee by logging on to and entering voucher code ‘spear’ when you sign up.



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