We all know turmeric as that vibrant golden-yellow spice used in curry dishes. But did you know that turmeric is loaded with health benefits? Turmeric contains antioxidants that fend off diseases, slow the aging process, and reduce inflammation. Best of all, it makes a delicious herbal tea.
Let’s face it: sometimes we have to go off coffee for a while. If you overdo it, coffee and caffeine in general can be addictive and lead to withdrawal and headaches. For some, it can also cause heartburn and jitters if you’re drinking multiple cups a day. If you need to lay off coffee for a while, our Idle Golden Turmeric Latte powder could be the fix for you. Just mix it up in some hot milk or a non-dairy alternative, and you’ll have a perfectly sweet and savoury warm bevvy.
Turmeric contains high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances found in plants that reduce oxidative stress in the human body. Oxidative stress leads to cell damage, and over time, cell damage in our bodies can lead to disease. Oxidation is caused by free radicals that roam around our bodies. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals, halting the oxidation process.
If you live in the big city, trying to get antioxidant rich foods in your diet is a great idea. Big cities expose us to poor air quality, as we walk past traffic-dense areas and inhale second-hand tobacco smoke. Poor air quality is one of the biggest causes of oxidative stress. You can combat it, in part, by eating antioxidant rich foods.
The active ingredient in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant called curcumin. This particular antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory. While inflammation in the body is a natural occurrence, it’s chronic inflammation that we want to avoid. When we get an infection or we’re hurt, inflammation kicks in to speed up the healing process. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, causes a number of diseases over time. It can lead to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and regenerative conditions.
Health experts are particularly interested in the effects of turmeric on cancer patients. Early trials show that curcumin contributes to cancer cell death, reduced growth of blood vessels in tumors, and reduced metastasis (spread). While studies are still underway, there is evidence that curcumin neutralizes free radicals that cause cancer.
Curcumin may also promote brain health and reduce depression. It is shown to improve the levels of BDNF, a protein that repairs and regenerates neurons in the brain.
There is evidence that black pepper may enhance and activate the powerful antioxidants in turmeric. Black pepper contains the natural compound piperine, which itself has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Our Idle Golden Turmeric Latte powder also contains two other antioxidant rich spices: ginger and cinnamon.
Ginger contains a natural oil called gingerol, a known antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, ginger is known to help with tummy trouble, in particular indigestion, nausea, and intestinal inflammation. Ginger happens to be in the same plant family as turmeric, which may explain why the flavours complement each other.
Cinnamon also contains antioxidants in the form of polyphenols, which perform similarly to curcumin and gingerol. In addition, cinnamon contains the natural compound cinnamaldehyde, which may fight bacterial and fungal infections. It not only provides a delicious flavour, but it also provides sweetness without any added sugar.
This leads us to the final ingredient on the list: coconut sugar.
While coconut sugar has the same amount of calories, it has a few benefits over table sugar. Coconut sugar is the dehydrated sap of coconut trees, making it a natural, unprocessed form of sugar.
It’s also lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar like table sugar. It contains a fibre called inulin, which is responsible for keeping the blood
sugar low. This can be helpful for people with both types of diabetes. And, unlike table sugar, it contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. While coconut sugar has some benefits, it’s still sugar after all, so don’t go overboard with it.
Here are your health benefits in one neat package. Turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation, slowing the aging process and preventing disease. Ginger offers antioxidants too, and maintains a healthy gut. Cinnamon also contains antioxidants, it can help us fight chest infections, and it provides sweetness without any added sugar. Coconut sugar is a natural alternative to table sugar, and it won’t spike blood sugars as high as regular sugar.
Other antioxidant rich foods that fight free radicals include blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. You can also find them in dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. If you’re looking for another antioxidant rich beverage, try out our Idle Matcha Tea Powder.
Place 1 teaspoon of the Idle Golden Turmeric Latte powder in a mug, followed by 30 ml of water. Stir it together to make a syrup, and set aside. Heat 200 mL of milk or a non-dairy alternative to 160 degrees F (hot, but not boiling). Stir the hot milk into the syrup, and mix well. Sprinkle some more of the powder on top for garnish, and enjoy.
Our Idle Golden Turmeric Latte powder can be used in hot and cold beverages. You can easily ice your golden turmeric latte by pouring cold milk into the syrup instead. The powder dissolves well in frozen smoothies as well.
You can also use the powder as a health boost to baked goods. Just place a teaspoon of the powder into shortbread cookie dough, muffin batter and pancake batter, for a beautiful, golden hue.
Want to learn more about antioxidants and how they can benefit you? Check out our blog post about the benefits of matcha powder.
You may have heard the term “new crop coffee” in the specialty coffee sphere. But few people actually know what it means, and why it’s so important in the coffee world. Here at Fratello coffee, our work revolves around new crop coffee. While it’s important that our coffee arrives to you freshly roasted, it’s equally important that the green coffee we roast is of the utmost freshness, too. New crop coffee is essential for delivering fresh coffee with exciting flavour notes.
New crop coffee, “fresh crop” or “current” crop, refers to coffee from the most recent harvest. When we talk about new crop coffee, we’re not talking about coffee in the roasted form–we’re talking about green coffee.
For those who may not be aware, coffee is the seed of a cherry, which grows on shrub-like trees. The real prize of these bright red cherries is the green coffee seeds inside. Around harvest time, the cherries are picked ripe, with various different processes to remove the seed from the cherry. After processing, they’re dried to achieve an 11 per cent moisture content before they’re packed and shipped to roasters.
“Old” or “past” crop coffee, on the other hand, is simply the green coffee that’s leftover once the new harvest arrives. Let’s say a roaster has some extra Ethiopia Yirgacheffe kicking around from April of 2021. Once they get a new Yirgacheffe in April 2022, the one from 2021 is now considered “past crop.”
Ideally, the roaster would roast and sell these green beans within six months of harvest. Unfortunately, a lot of low-level roasters let green beans sit on the shelf beyond the 1-year mark before roasting them. This can be due to logistical errors, like ordering too much at a time, or a disorganized stock room.
Technically, green coffee takes many years before going bad. But the quality of the coffee begins to noticeably suffer about a six months to year after harvest. Roasted past crop coffee can have a vegetal, woody, or cardboard-like flavour. To retain its flavour, it’s important to roast the specialty coffee within 6 months of harvest.
To provide new crop coffee from all over the world to customers, roasters have to do a bit of planning. Most coffee producing countries only have one harvest a year, with the exception of Colombia and Kenya. Not all climates are the same, so harvest time is different for every origin. Countries North of the Equator tend to have harvests from September to March. Countries South of the Equator have their harvests from April to August. Crop to Cup has a handy tool for the harvest-curious. It tells you what coffees are being harvested as we speak, which are en-route, and which are available now.
To truly experience new crop coffee, try out our Bolivia Buena Vista, with delicate notes of apple and chocolate. This new microlot feature comes from the Caravani province, just North-East of La Paz. Specialty coffee production in Bolivia is rare and coveted. Coffee farmers face steep competition with neighbouring cash crops, making it difficult to survive. Bolivian coffee culture is growing, however, with improved agricultural practices and a bigger demand for specialty coffee.
For more new crop coffee, stay tuned for our Kenya offering!
While it’s important to purchase green coffee in season, it’s equally important to preserve its freshness in transport and in storage. At Fratello, we take freshness to a whole new level. We buy 100% of our green coffee in GrainPro bags to preserve freshness and to protect it from cross contamination. Once the green coffee arrives at our roasting facility, it goes straight into storage silos. This protects the beans from shifting temperatures and humidity, keeping them fresher for longer. We purchase our green coffee with new crop in mind, ordering enough to last 6 to 12 months.
Apart from delicious, complex flavour, it’s important to use new crop coffee because it’s easier to roast it to perfection. Freshly harvested coffee has a certain moisture content, usually about 11 per cent, that makes it predictable to roast. Roasting coffee well is certainly an art, but it’s also a science. Roasters need to know the moisture content of the bean to roast it to perfection and avoid burning it. If the moisture content falls below 8 per cent, this throws off the roasting process and leads to inconsistency.
What separates Fratello Coffee from many roasters is our finely tuned quality assurance process we have implemented. Our Q Grade certified head roaster ensures the roast profiles being utilized are enhancing the flavors we originally wanted them to. As coffee slowly ages, the moisture content changes which could mean a slight tweak or adjustment to the roast profile is required. We taste all of our roasts to ensure our profiles are always up to date.
While roasters in the specialty coffee world prefer new crop to old crop coffee, sometimes leftover old crop coffee is inevitable. The initial Covid-19 lockdowns left roasters with a surplus of unused green coffee, forcing them to roast more creatively. Though it takes more energy and attention to roast well, past crop coffee can still be delicious.
Past crop coffees can make delicious dark roast blends in particular. Some of the chemical compounds responsible for agey flavours found in past crop coffee can be roasted out. The downside is that you’ll inevitably lose some of the desirable flavours.
In a way, roasting new crop coffee is an homage to the hard work of coffee farmers. Great coffee starts with passionate producers. What happens during farming, harvesting, and processing has a huge effect on the ultimate flavour. It takes an incredible amount of farming and harvesting knowledge to produce delicious coffee. To mismanage green coffee and let it go stale would do a disservice to that hard work.
Great specialty coffee holds the same prestige as fine wine. When wine producers have a great crop, they are hailed as masters in their field. Just as with coffees, unique fermentation processes can instill bright, exciting flavours. Because there’s a disconnect between roasters and producers, many are unaware of the brilliance of coffee growers. Roasting is only half the battle. So next time you’re enjoying a cup of your Bolivia, make a toast to the incredible work of coffee producers!
Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest health trends to come out of the last decade. You may know someone who has tried it with varying degrees of success. It’s not just for bodybuilders and health nuts. Everyday people are trying it, for reasons including weight loss, improved sleep quality, better focus, and anti-aging.
You might be wondering how you’re going to go 16 hours everyday without eating. Those 16 hours can seem like an eternity at first. Your stomach will growl audibly, and you’ll likely feel irritable and “hangry.” You’ll need to find something other than calories to keep you preoccupied during the morning hours. Delicious specialty coffee, consumed black, can be a lifesaver. Drinking high-quality black coffee with complex flavour notes is a whole new experience. If you’re trying intermittent fasting, this can be a great opportunity to explore different origins with different flavour profiles.
Fasting can be tricky at first, but your body eventually adjusts, and there’s a good case to try it out. Think of it this way: it generally means no snacking after dinner, fasting during sleep, and skipping breakfast. If we fast after dinner (starting around 8 p.m.), and then for 8 hours during sleep, that’s 12 hours fasted. All you have to do is just add another 4 hours, and voilà–you’re intermittent fasting.
Before we get into coffee and fasting, let’s take a closer look at intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is less of a diet plan, and more of a lifestyle. You choose a window of time during the day, and you only eat during that window. A popular time frame is a 16-hour fast, followed by an 8-hour eating window (sometimes called 16:8). If your eating window begins at noon, you begin your fast at 8 p.m. Your eating window doesn’t open up again until the next day at noon.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting. The “18:6” fast is where you fast for 18 hours followed by a 6-hour eating window. In the “5:2” fast, you eat normally for 5 days of the week, followed by 2 days of caloric restriction. “OMAD,” or “one meal a day,” is where you eat one large meal with no caloric restrictions.
Most people turn to fasting for weight loss. The science on why intermittent fasting leads to weight loss is still unclear. Some experts say that 16 hours of fasting triggers the fat burning process, called ketosis. Other experts say the weight loss is simply down to less calories consumed. Shortening your eating window generally forces you to eat more nutrient-dense foods. It also makes you feel more full, and less likely to eat everything you’d normally eat in a day.
Many people prefer fasting to dieting because there are no restrictions on what you can and can’t eat. The only restriction is time. For people who hate counting calories and enjoy the odd slice of cake, intermittent fasting is the answer.
The most exciting science on fasting is something called autophagy. Autophagy is a natural bodily function that only occurs when we’re in a fasted state. It’s a self-cleaning process, triggered by low insulin levels, where our damaged cells are replaced with new, healthy ones. For this reason, autophagy has been associated with anti-aging, and can be a powerful tool to prevent disease. If intermittent fasting is not for you, fasting just once a month can be enough to reap the benefits of autophagy.
Aside from weight loss and autophagy, fasting comes with some other great health benefits. People who fasted for a few months reported improvements on their energy levels, ability to focus, and sleep quality. Science links fasting to significant brain function improvement. Other added benefits include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduced liver fat.
The key to drinking coffee while fasting is to drink it black. Black coffee contains a negligible 2-5 calories, which isn’t enough to break your fast. Drinking coffee with sugar and cream will break your fast, so if you’re going to drink coffee while fasting, drink it black.
Many people can’t fathom the idea of drinking coffee without the addition of sugar and cream. Poorly brewed coffee, whether bitter or sour, is unpalatable without sugar and cream. If your coffee is so bitter that you can’t enjoy it black, maybe it’s time to troubleshoot your brewing routine. Check out our foolproof pour over guide to get the best out of your cup each time.
Take this a step further and drink the smoothest, most flavourful brew known to mankind–cold brew. Cold brew is so smooth because the cold brewing method doesn’t extract any of the unpleasant compounds found in coffee. It only extracts the pleasant compounds, leaving bitter and sour flavours behind. Check out our incredibly easy, straightforward guide on how to make cold brew coffee at home. If iced coffee isn’t your thing, try heating up your cold brew.
When choosing coffee for intermittent fasting, go for specialty coffee with an emphasis on freshness and single origin offerings. If you browse the Fratello coffee collection, you’ll see coffees from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Congo, Nicaragua, and more. These coffees have exciting
flavour notes that you would otherwise miss out on if you added milk and sugar. You’ll get the true coffee experience when you drink it black.
If you must add flavours to your coffee, add a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg, but don’t overdo it. You can also add a zero-calorie sweetener like erythritol or stevia.
You don’t have to drink coffee while fasting. But a lot of people who try fasting say they aren’t willing to sacrifice their morning coffee routine. Black coffee can help if you’re finding that intermittent fasting deprives you of joy in the morning. It can be just the thing to get you through those difficult first hours of the morning when you’re “hangry.”
There is some scientific evidence that coffee’s own brain health benefits can complement the brain health benefits of fasting. Moderate caffeine intake may improve brain function and reduce your risk of long term mental decline. There are less cases of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s in people who drink coffee than those who don’t. Moderation is key, however–limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day to reap health benefits.
Trying out intermittent fasting and need something delicious to get you through it? Browse our coffee collection, read the complex flavour notes, and try something different!
Green Tea Matcha powder is a delicious and healthy caffeinated tea option that’s grown in popularity in recent years. Known for its emerald green hue and many health benefits, it makes for a healthy treat or a calming ritual.
Unlike regular varieties of green tea that are steeped, matcha powder is ground into a fine, pale green powder. The powder is then whisked into hot water, making a vibrant green, frothy tea. With matcha, you’re drinking the whole tea leaves instead of an infusion.
Many people who complain of jitters and heartburn associated with coffee turn to matcha tea as an occasional substitute. Matcha gives you a sustained caffeine fix that won’t give you that signature caffeine crash. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants that come with several health benefits.
Matcha tea powder is the centrepiece of the traditional tea ceremony in Japan, a tradition spanning over 500 years. The ceremony is centred around mindfulness, relaxation, purity, and simplicity. Matcha can be emblematic of a new habit in your life. It can be part of changing your diet, improving your work-life-balance, or decluttering your home. You can bring the traditional tea ceremony into your own home with a bag of Idle organic matcha powder.
Our Idle matcha tea is made from the Yabukita green tea variety. It is the largest cultivar in Japan due to being frost resistant and yielding a good crop size. It was originally cultivated in 1908 by tea breeder Sugiyama Hikosaburo, and has been the dominant cultivar ever since. The tea leaves are picked young, and a month before harvest, the crop is covered with a dark canopy. This helps retain the nutrients, and enriches the tea leaves with chlorophyll, which gives it that rich dark green colour. The stems and veins of the leaves are removed, and the leaves are stone milled.
There are two grades of matcha: ceremonial and culinary. Both are loaded with nutrients, but they differ in terms of their flavour and uses. Culinary matcha is mainly used for lattes or for baking. If had on its own, culinary matcha has a more bitter flavour, and as a result, it’s cheaper. Ceremonial matcha is meant to be had on its own, and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It has a sweet, grassy flavour, and is a bit pricier. Idle matcha is ceremonial grade.
The origins of matcha date back to the Tang dynasty in China during the 7th-10th century. Green tea leaves were steamed and formed into bricks, making them easier to transport. Chinese Buddhist monks later brought the tea to Japan. Today, Japan produces the best matcha in the world. Idle matcha tea is made in Nishio, a central region in Japan located southwest of Tokyo.
The Japanese tea ceremony is of huge cultural significance, dating back over 500 years ago and still practised today. The ceremony is always led by a host or a tea master. The room is sparsely decorated, and guests kneel on a tatami mat with good posture. The ceremony is centred around harmony, respect, purity, and tranquillity.
The host always starts by purifying all the utensils with a silk cloth, mainly as a symbolic gesture. Before the tea is prepared, Japanese sweets, called wagashi, are laid out. After this, the host prepares the tea. Hot water is poured into the powder, and the tea is whisked vigorously until frothy. The host uses a chasen, a delicate bamboo whisk made specifically for matcha. Both the host and the guests bow before slowly sipping the tea. The ceremony can take up to 3 hours.
Green tea in general contains antioxidants, but because matcha powder is the whole leaf, it’s loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free-radicals in the body, and free radicals cause damage to our DNA. Things that trigger free radicals in our bodies include air pollution, radioactive substances, tobacco smoke, and UV rays. Antioxidants undo the effects of these substances. Matcha contains a group of antioxidants called catechins.
Matcha contains EGCG, a type of catechin with several health benefits. Though more studies are needed, there is evidence that EGCG may prevent cancer and slow the rate of tumour growth. In addition, it may lower cholesterol, and speed up metabolism, leading to weight loss.
Matcha also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes alertness and helps avoid crashes. It also reduces stress and triggers relaxation in the brain.
Matcha is easy to prepare at home, and has many uses. If you don’t have a chasen, you can use a regular small whisk. Whisk vigorously to get a frothy texture. If you don’t have a small whisk, you can make it with a small spoon–just make sure to mix it very well. We recommend using a teaspoon of hot water, and mixing it well before adding any more hot water.
You can drink matcha on its own for a calming, healthy treat. You can also make a latte by heating up milk or non-dairy and pouring it over the matcha concentrate. In the summer months, iced matcha makes a delicious treat. Just pour the matcha concentrate over ice and your choice of milk.
You can also bake with matcha. Add a teaspoon of matcha powder to pancakes, sugar cookies and cakes for a beautiful pale green hue.
Matcha powder will stay good for a year if left unopened, but after it’s opened, we recommend consuming it within a month. After that, the flavour begins to deteriorate.
Need an alternative to your morning coffee? Check out our Idle organic matcha powder, and while you’re there, peruse the whole Idle tea collection.
As a restaurateur, do you ever stop to think about restaurant coffee from the perspective of your patrons? Bad restaurant coffee is a common complaint on Google reviews, and it can bring down an otherwise great experience.
Put yourself in the patron’s shoes. You walk into a beautiful restaurant, noticing the soft lighting and the wonderful aroma. You’re met with friendly service, and you enjoy a superb meal, which is paired with a great glass of wine. At the end of your meal, you order a coffee. And the coffee is a let-down.
The coffee tastes stale, weak, bitter, or all of the above. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth (in the literal sense) and makes you regret ordering it in the first place. Restaurant coffee can be so much more, so why is your 5-star restaurant serving disappointing coffee?
Shouldn’t your coffee be as good as your menu, your wine selection, your service, and your ambiance? Your kitchen is stocked with local organic produce and free-range eggs. You’ve worked with a sommelier to source excellent wine. You’ve hand-picked your team of talented kitchen staff and servers. You don’t skimp on quality when it comes to the big picture, so why skimp on coffee?
You may be faced with some challenges when it comes to serving better coffee. Maybe you don’t have the budget for the overhead costs of coffee equipment. Your fast-paced kitchen environment may make it difficult to make coffee with proper attention and care. But whether your budget is big or small, you can make huge improvements to your restaurant coffee program. No more serving instant coffee and generic coffee pods. It’s time to embrace specialty coffee for restaurants that stays in line with your food philosophy.
Specialty coffee is defined technically as coffee that scores at least 80 out of 100 on a cupping evaluation. In the general sense, specialty coffee fits a few criteria. The coffee company you source from should have an emphasis on freshness (ie. roasted within the last two weeks). You’ll want to buy from a provider who roasts and sources the coffee meticulously. A good roaster has a direct trade relationship with coffee farming co-operatives and pays a premium to protect their livelihood. The flavour of the coffee should be fresh and complex, with tasting notes from fruity to nutty to chocolatey. Lastly, the more local, the better.
While a $20,000 espresso machine tended by a barista champion would be ideal, that might not be affordable for you. We offer options of leasing equipment or helping to set up a monthly rental program like SilverChef offers you. The other option of purchasing an industrial automatic drip coffee machine is less costly. The trouble is that you’re brewing large volumes of coffee that can potentially sit in the pot for hours.
A great solution to costly equipment is going low-tech by offering pour overs or French presses. They’re very affordable, they’re straightforward to use, and they make a better tasting coffee than industrial drip machines can. Plus, your customers will be dazzled by the novelty. If someone wants steamed milk, you can offer a “café au lait.” Milk frothers won’t make proper microfoam, but they’ll emulate the Italian cappuccino experience, which many diners seek anyways. Keep non-dairy milks and quality sweeteners on hand. Offer demerara sugar and local organic honey to create a memorable experience for the customer.
In terms of restaurant logistics, you’ll want to put a restaurant staffer on coffee duty to avoid chaos. Servers don’t have time to drop everything they’re doing to make a pour over that takes upwards of 3 minutes. For equipment, you’ll need to invest in a burr grinder, pour over or French press hardware, and a weight scale. Hook up with a local coffee roaster to get fresh beans, and only grind them right before you need them. Make sure staff follow a straightforward recipe for maximum flavour and consistency. Check out our foolproof pour over recipe for a perfect cup every time!
This is a great starting point for restaurants to gauge specialty coffee enthusiasm with patrons. You can always upgrade later to an espresso machine if you feel the demand is there.
Now that we’ve gone over the “how,” it’s time to go over the “why.” Without further ado, here are our top 5 reasons why you should upgrade your restaurant coffee.
Don’t let customers have a great meal and glass of wine, only to be followed by a bitter instant coffee. The coffee will be the last thing they taste, so don’t make them regret ordering it from you. Your coffee offerings should complement the entire experience, not detract from it.
Word will get around quickly, whether it’s over Google reviews or word-of-mouth, if the coffee is good. Lots of foodies and restaurant goers are on the hunt for great restaurant coffee. They love it when they can enjoy their favourite coffee brand at their favourite restaurant. Serving great coffee will make you stand out from the crowd, and you can brag about it on your menu. When customers see that you’re serving an independent, quality product, they’ll be impressed by your good taste.
Supporting local small business puts more money back into the Canadian economy, improving infrastructure. In addition, you’re helping your neighbours stay in business and keep their livelihood. It also has an environmental impact–going local means less transportation of goods.
Because of their ease of use, many restaurant coffee programs are based on coffee pods. Unfortunately, the plastic pods are hard to recycle and create a lot of waste. Wholesale coffee from independent roasters comes in bulk bags, meaning less wasteful packaging. If you set your coffee program up wisely, you can knock out several pour overs at once. It may not be “press-of-a-button” fast, but it doesn’t have to slow you down if you play your cards right.
Your restaurant will become popular with the critics if you offer good coffee. Sustainability, quality, and organic farming are top-of-mind for modern restaurant-goers, so make sure to hit a home run. Make your clientele come for the food, and stay for the coffee. As the American silver screen actor Burt Lancaster aptly says, “I judge a restaurant by their bread and their coffee.”
Thinking about serving Fratello Coffee at your restaurant? Get in touch with our wholesale team for pricing and tastings. For more in-depth guidance on coffee service, book a consultation with us. Drop us a line at for more information.
Have you ever been in the frustrating position where you’ve made a bad Pour Over coffee, not knowing where you went wrong? We’ve been there too–that’s why we made a comprehensive guide to show you how to fix a bad coffee.
Pour Over coffee can be delicious. It can be the last thing you think about before bed, and the first thing you think about upon waking. Then again, coffee can also be not-so-delicious. It’s discouraging when you buy quality coffee, only to make an unsavoury cup. Even the best beans won’t make a good cup of coffee if you don’t know the basics. A poorly brewed cup of coffee can taste sour, bitter, flat, burnt, or cardboard-like. Read up on how to fix a bad coffee, and you’ll never have a morning-ruining cup of coffee again!
When we say “fix” bad coffee, we don’t mean that you can alter the cup after the fact. We simply mean that you can start over and make a new, delicious cup. There’s nothing you can do to a bad coffee but accept it and move on. So cut your losses, grab a new coffee filter, and let’s get to work.
First, it’s crucial to understand all the different variables that affect the flavour of coffee. Here are the main things you have control over. The main thing to start with, is fresh roasted coffee from your local coffee roaster of choice…..like Fratello Coffee Roasters.
Grind size is really important to making a good cup of coffee. A good cup of coffee is one that has been extracted enough–not too little, and not too much. Extraction refers to the amount of flavour and caffeine being pulled out of the coffee by the hot water.
Grind size plays a key role in extraction. When it comes to most coffee methods, a finer grind leads to a faster extraction rate. Conversely, a coarser grind leads to a slower extraction rate. For example, a pour over has a relatively quick brew time, which calls for a finer grind. You want to extract the flavours quickly. A French press, on the other hand, calls for a coarser grind, to slow down the extraction rate. Due to the longer brewing time and the immersion element, a fine grind would produce a very bitter French press.
The ratio of water to coffee will dictate the strength of your cup of coffee. The most popular, recommended ratio of water to coffee is 1:16 or 1:15. So, if you’re using 20 grams of coffee, you would use 300-320 mL of hot water. While you can play around with the amounts, try not to diverge too much from the golden ratio.
The water you use to brew coffee should be hot, but not boiling. Water straight off the boil can give your coffee a burnt taste. Ideally, it should be between 93-96 degrees C. To achieve this temperature, bring a pot of water to the boil, and let it rest for 30-45 seconds.
Changing up your coffee equipment slightly can immediately fix a bad coffee. If you’re using a cheap automatic drip machine, consider switching to a pour over dripper set. It’s inexpensive and low-tech, and it will make a better cup than your clunky old coffee maker.
If you can, purchase a gooseneck kettle. Not only do they look beautiful in your kitchen, but they also let you control the flow of the water. Pouring your water straight from a kettle can make the water flow too quickly, resulting in under extraction. If you don’t have one, consider pouring your water into a metal pitcher or a heat-proof container with a spout.
While optional, a weight scale is helpful for weighing coffee beans, and great for gauging how your coffee is going.
The biggest factor affecting the flavour of your coffee is the grind. Your coffee can be ground too fine or too coarse, and it can also be ground inconsistently. We hope that you’re not using a blade grinder, as this will result in an inconsistent grind. Blade grinders, while cheap and convenient, will most definitely produce a bad coffee. What you’ll get is a cup that’s both bitter and sour. It will also lead to a flat flavour, with not many distinctive flavour notes. As a serious coffee drinker, it’s time you invest in a proper burr grinder. If you’re not ready to invest in an electric burr grinder, consider purchasing a manual hand grinder.
If you already do have a burr grinder and you’re finding your coffee isn’t tasting great, you could be grinding your coffee too fine or too coarse. Does your coffee taste strong and bitter? Set your grinder a few notches coarser. Does your coffee taste weak and sour? Go a little finer.
Now that you understand extraction and its effect on the overall flavour, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Try our foolproof pour over, and you’ll be an expert going forward. Make sure to read the directions from start to finish before trying your hand at this recipe.
Tip: your pour over should take about 3 minutes and 15 seconds. If it takes longer than this, make your grind a little coarser. If it takes less time than this, make your grind a little finer. Use a timer for optimal results.
Want more tips to improve the flavour of your coffee at home? Check out our Coffee Storage guide!