The meal-ending cup of coffee might be the last chance you have to impress diners. Make it a memorable one by brewing coffee in large batches in the best way.
Brewing (and holding) high-volume coffee requires different practices than preparing a cup to order.
“When you can produce a really good, memorable cup of coffee, people will come back,” says Holly Bastin, a consultant with Licata Coffee Consultants.
Bastin, who has worked in the coffee industry for nearly two decades, offered some advice for big-batch coffee service:
Use enough coffee
For dark roast, the rule of thumb is to follow a 22-to-1 water-to-coffee ratio. For lighter roast, less coffee is needed. Typically, an 18-to-1 water-to-coffee ratio will produce the desired flavor. “Darker-roasted coffee is more soluble in water,” Bastin says. “That’s why the ratio is higher.”
Brew the right grind
The best way to check your grind size? Time how long it takes to fill the pot. A typical gallon batch of coffee should take about five minutes from the moment the water starts flowing through the filter to the last drop. “If you’re beyond that window, the coffee needs to be coarser,” she says. “If it’s too fast, it needs to be finer.” Coffee that takes too long to brew can become bitter and astringent.
Choose the proper brewer and dispenser
Look for a dispenser that will keep the brewed coffee warm without applying heat to it, or opt for a system that provides intelligent dispenser heating. Coffee brewed in a high quality stainless steel vacuum dispenser can be held for about two hours. Brew what you need. Waste equates to cost. Many brewer models, such as those made by Curtis, allow operators to brew partial batches to avoid costly waste.
Be sure to clean and filter
Always use filtered water for coffee brewing. A good cup of coffee is over 98% water. If the water is off flavor, the coffee will be too. In addition, unfiltered water can deposit minerals on the brewer parts, leading to mechanical issues. Change filters according to manufacturer’s recommendations, and be sure to follow proper cleaning procedures for your brewer. Bastin recommends soaking brewer parts overnight. “You can taste a dirty airpot after a while,” she says.
Pay attention to coffee age
Super-fresh roasted coffee can be too volatile for brewing. Allow it to rest at least a couple of days before brewing a pot with it. Beans should be stored in an air-tight container, ready to be ground fresh before service. Good coffee, Bastin says, can be stored for about a month before use.
Turn to Curtis for your high-volume brewing needs. Curtis sells a range of big-batch brewers with features like touch screens, self-diagnostic systems, full brew control, programmable recipes and more.
This post is sponsored by Curtis Coffee Equipment