Is your office coffee in the dark ages?
So your employer is still living in the dark ages and provides a jar of instant coffee in the cupboard and a kettle for the team. You’re understandably frustrated, so how to make good coffee at work and what are your options?
Well if you can’t convince them to speak to amamus to bring all your office coffee up to speed then here’s some of our advice for you personally.
Great coffee at work should be accessible to everyone as part of a healthy, happy working environment. There’s just no reason to drink instant ‘coffee’ as the difference between a bad coffee and a good coffee is only about 3 minutes but the improved satisfaction in the cup and therefore your working day, will be huge.
Great office coffee isn’t difficult
There still seems to be a misconception that good coffee must be complicated or you need a very expensive barista set-up. This simply isn’t the case as over the last decade a whole raft of brewing materials have been developed that help you control the extraction process without too much knowledge or kit required.
What you will certainly need is a good independent roaster who can provide great advice on the types of speciality coffees available and ensure that you’ve got the correct grind for your method if you’re not grinding yourself. The good news is that there are around 430 independent roasters across the UK and most will deliver via the internet. Just don’t buy from the Supermarket as the coffee will most likely be commodity grade, factory roasted and stale.
In this article we help you to understand some of the options available to create great coffee at your desk.
What are my options for better office coffee?
Here’s two options to create a single cup that are made of plastic so won’t break, are nice and cheap, won’t take you longer than 3 minutes to make and area easy to clean in the sink. Most importantly these two options are very highly rated by the coffee community.
Option 1. Hario V60 01 Drip coffee
What is it?
This looks like a strange V-shaped cup as it also has a handle to make it easy to use. It behaves just like a small version of a filter coffee machine as it allows the coffee to slowly drip through directly into your mug, whilst the small filter paper holds back the grinds.
What you need:
A Hario V60 01 drip brewer, some cone filter papers and 250g of ground coffee from your local roaster.
The drip brewer set up with correct filters will cost you about a tenner from Amazon. Thereafter you will pay around £8 for 250g of coffee and your cost per cup will be about 50p. Assuming two large mugs of coffee per day your coffee will last for about 7 days. Which means it won’t get too stale either.
V60 brewing method:
Sit the drip brewer atop of your favourite mug, pop a filter into the Hario and use the included scoop to add 16g of your ground coffee. Bring up the kettle temperature so it’s not quite boiling and carefully and slowly pour the water over the coffee in a circular motion. Hey presto, three minutes later a delicious freshly brewed coffee. Don’t forget to carefully seal your bag of ground coffee to slow staling.
Top tips for your Hario V60:
Your grind consistency controls the speed at which the water moves through the grinds. Too slow and you need to ask for a courser grind next time. Too fast, ask for a finer grind. Don’t fill the V60 to the top in an effort to speed things up otherwise you’ll lose some of the bright fresh flavours. Add water little and often ensuring all your grinds get a similar soaking. A gooseneck kettle will make your pouring process easier
Option 2. Aeropress
What is it?
Remember the Aerobie – a circular orange plastic frisbee from the 80s. Well their team decided to do a monumental brand jump into coffee makers. The Aeropress was launched in 2005 and is a sort of hybrid between pressure extraction and brewed coffee.
What you need:
An Aeropress set, which comes with everything you need including filters (except a kettle) for around £25 on Amazon. Then just buy some great coffee
Aeropress brewing method:
There are so many different techniques of making coffee using this tool – in fact there’s even the Aeropress World Championships. But quite simply you add coffee and (non boiling) water into the larger cylinder. Allow to brew and then plunge the inner cylinder, which forces the brew through the filter paper directly into your cup. You can make longer drinks or shorter espresso style drinks.
Top tips for your Aeropress:
Detailed instructions on using your Aeropress are provided in the box. Use a fine grind for shorter drinks and a medium fine grind for longer drinks. Play about with your volumes of water and coffee and brew-time-before-plunging to find your preference.
Pimp your brewing set-up
If coffee brewing excites you then like the rest of us, you’ll start seeking ways to make your brew even better.
Step 1. Buy a hand grinder
Put yourself in control of your grind consistency plus your roasted coffee will remain fresher. You can then buy larger packs of whole beans, which will save you money in the long run. Hario do a range of hand grinders from £25 – £40. We use a Made By Knock hand grinder that is made by hand in Edinburgh but costs more at around £100
Step 2. Filter your water
Unfiltered water likely contains calcium and other dissolved solids, which will certainly taint the taste of your coffee. Given 98.75% of your cup of coffee is actually water, this is a great step forward. Brita Water Jugs are around £20 – simply fill with tap water then fill the kettle at work with the correct amount of filtered water for your brew.
Step 3. Create an accurate and consistent pour
A gooseneck kettle with a long slender spout makes pouring your water easier and more enjoyable than from a domestic kettle. This means you can accurately pour into a V60 ensuring a consistent extraction. Simply decant heated water from the kettle into the gooseneck kettle. If you go for the Coffee Gator Pour Over Kettle it even comes with a thermometer to check the temperature of your water.
Best of luck making better office coffee!
We hope this article has given you some helpful advice on how to make good coffee at work. If you would like a commercial solution that offers similarly high quality to the ideas above then do get in touch with us at amamus or call us on 0330 133 0281 as we have all the advice to create exceptional coffee for all working environments from small to large offices and hospitality and leisure.