How we Brew Coffee

How we Brew Coffee

The majority of the coffee we roast at Wood St is our Seasonal Espresso, always bang in season and always delicious! This is mainly because it’s our most popular coffee, due to all the venues serving it to you good people, day in day out, as well as those of you ordering it to enjoy at home

When it comes to making good espresso, there are a few things that are really important (apart from a reliable espresso machine). Delicious filtered water, a consistent grinder and a repeatable ‘recipe’ are key.

We love making an early morning flat white, or a mid morning spro to keep us going. Currently, our recipe for making a great double espresso is:

18.5 grams ground coffee in

26-30 seconds shot time

38 grams liquid espresso out

Recipes are important as they create consistency that can be easily repeated.

The recipe changes depending on which coffee we’re using, and can always be tweaked to personal tastes. It’s something we encourage all our wholesale customers to use, and by weighing and timing the espresso shots we can guarantee our coffee will taste spot on wherever it’s served. 

Dialling in

Recipes, however, aren’t always the easiest to nail! You might have heard a phrase ‘dialling in’ from your local barista – it’s simply the process of getting the coffee to follow the recipe. 

Often ‘dialling in’ requires changing the grind size so the espresso is pouring properly. Too fine a grind and the shot might be taking too long, leading to over extraction and bitterness; too coarse a grind and the shot will pour too fast, meaning under extraction and sourness.

Making small adjustments throughout the day will be necessary, as the changing heat and humidity of a cafe can affect the grinder’s performance. As coffee ages and de-gasses it will also behave differently. But when you hit that sweet spot, you know! And you’re rewarded with a creamy, rich, well balanced espresso.

Milk preparation

Our best seller at the cafe is a flat white, so milk preparation becomes just as important as espresso brewing. Getting beautifully silky ~ 65°C milk isn’t the easiest, but can often make or break the perfect flattie. Steaming too far over that temperature denatures the proteins in the milk, causing lack of texture and sweetness (maybe why your barista starts to die inside when asked for an extra hot coffee..!). 

Mastering the art of espresso brewing and milk steaming definitely takes some practice, and we’re proud to support all the places that serve our coffee with full training. We want to make sure that all the hard work of sourcing and roasting is rewarded with the best tasting cup of coffee possible.

Of course, we also love our filter coffee, and always have a batch on at the cafe and roastery. Again, good water and a reliable grinder, along with a solid recipe are vital to get the best out of our great range of filter coffees. 

For more info you can check out our filter brew guides here and experiment with our new Brew Pack.