Coffee Tip of the Day: Grind your way to better coffee!

Thursday, 18 January, 2018

If there's one tip we probably give the most to people to improve the quality of their coffee at home, it's this: start buying whole beans and buy yourself a burr grinder.

Why a burr grinder, specifically, you may ask? 

Well, any coffee professional will tell you that in coffee, to get the best out of your brew, consistency is key. This can get very technical and include using scales to weigh your beans and water, but in this instance, if you choose the right equipment, you don't have to do any of the hard work.

This is what burrs look like (conical on the left and flat on the right):

The two parts lock into one another and the beans are crushed between the two plates. This results in a much more consistent grind than you would be able to achieve with a blade grinder (one of those ones that doubles as a spice or nut grinder, eek!). A burr grinder also allows you to adjust your grind size for the method of coffee you've chosen to brew. So if you want a coarse grind for a plunger you adjust the burrs to be further away from one another to increase the particle size and if you want to pull an espresso shot, you move the burrs closer together to get that powdery consistency needed to extract all the goodness under immense pressure.

Recently conversation in the coffee industry has highlighted that even the best grinders in the world can't ensure complete consistency in particle size. So contraptions like the Kruve Sifter have found a niche in the market to separate the different sizes, look out for our review on that soon, we've been playing around with one!

But I digress, the point is that freshly ground is best and the best way to achieve that at home is to invest in a burr grinder, either a hand grinder option or an electric one. We've listed a couple of our favourites below.

We haven't even mentioned the magical aroma that will hit you when you start grinding at home! You will never regret making the move to freshly ground.

Hand Burr grinders:

Porlex Mini - We've had ours for years and it has yet to let us down.
Rhinowares Hand Grinder - Also a fantastic option for coffee on the go.

Electric Burr Grinders:
Severin Coffee Grinder - Great starter grinder for home use
Baratza Sette 270W - If you're really serious about your coffee at home!

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World AeroPress Champion Recipe with The Coffee Magazine

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017

Paulina "Panda" Miczka - WAC winning recipe

35 g of coffee for 320 ml of water.
0-15 s pour 150 ml of 84°C water.
15-35 s stir 35 times.
Put a lid on top with a pre-wet filter.
1:05 min flip the AeroPress and start pressing.
1:35 min stop pressing, you should have 90 ml of the brew.
Add 170 ml of hot water and enjoy!

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Coffee Tip of the Day: How to Perfect your microtexturing without wasting milk

Friday, 27 October, 2017

Steaming your milk for the perfect cappuccino can be one of the most frustrating skills to master on your journey to home barista extraordinaire! There are lots of tips on how to do it better, but the thing that will ultimately take your milk to the next level is practice as you get to know your machine.

Especially at home, you only get to practice a couple of times a day.

But there is a trick, that we originally heard from professional barista trainers, that help you practice without massive wastage. It's a little dishwashing liquid in some water, simple as that! This helps you get used to the angle of your steam wand, the depth it should sit in the liquid and the sound you need to listen for, without even using milk! Try using cold water from the fridge so that it doesn't heat up as quickly and you have time to play around.

This solution mimics the texture of milk and you can easily see if your technique needs tweaking by checking out the size of the bubbles. 

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Summer Loving: Choc Hazelnut Iced Coffee

Friday, 20 October, 2017

This idea is amazing for when you're entertaining, because you can do all the prep beforehand. Just add some flourishes at the end and you have a summer crowd pleaser.

Thanks to the team at Online Beverage Store and Monin for this great recipe! We can think of some fun variants to this: how about some cream liqueur (we're thinking Amarula!) as a substitute for milk for a party cocktail. And if you're not a dairy drinker, you can use an alternative like Almond Breeze (now that would be an almighty nut punch!).

What you will need

Ice tray
Monin Choc syrup
Monin Roasted Hazelnut syrup
Whipped Cream - Cream gun would be awesome so we could do a flavoured cream

Ingredients (to make 2)

60 ml Espresso
50 ml Water
25 ml Chocolate syrup
100 ml Milk

Cream gun for final flourish!
Add 250 ml fresh Cream
50 ml Monin Roasted Hazelnut syrup
Charge with cream bomb


Extract espresso shots, add Monin Chocolate syrup and water into cup. Pour into ice tray and freeze.
Once frozen place ice cubes into glass and top with milk.

Garnish with a dollop of Monin Roasted Hazelnut infused cream. 

We know you'd love to try this at home! All you need to do is like this post and tag a friend in the comments below. If you win, we'll contact you via social media by 31 October 2017. 

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Exclusive: The Oomph Portable Coffee Maker

Tuesday, 3 October, 2017

The Oomph Portable Coffee Maker
is the latest coffee brewing device to hit SA through the Moreflavour company (for those who don't know Moreflavour, they are the folks behind the wonderful Aeropress, Baratza grinders, Brewista scales, Minipresso and other wonderful coffee goodies!)

The Oomph arrived at the Coffee Magazine offices and we were intrigued by the white cannister, the simple branding and the very intricately moulded 3-part device inside.

We immediately wondered what the best way to showcase this little beauty would be, and after one attempt at making coffee, the answer was clear - to simply to video the fun and let you see for yourselves.

So here is our esteemed Editor, Ms Melanie Winter brewing delicious coffee on the Oomph! Enjoy.

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VIDEO: How to Brew an AeroPress

Thursday, 28 September, 2017
The AeroPress is one of the most successful coffee inventions in recent times. It has gained its position within the coffee world by being SO accessible. Anyone can make a good coffee with an AeroPress. It is made of virtually indestructible plastic and it so light and travel-friendly.

So yes, we love the AeroPress. All the same principles to make a good coffee apply, the right water temperature, the right grind size, the correct ratio of coffee to water, but don't take our word for it, just listen to the wisdom of All Africa Barista Champ and Franke Ambassador, Craig Charity of Lineage Coffee. He's the expert!

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Coffee Tip of the Day: How to Store Your Coffee

Thursday, 14 September, 2017

This topic is often up for debate (yes, coffee people debate such things), but in our opinion the safest and easiest way to store your coffee is in an airtight container in a cool part of the kitchen. If you're using a glass container (which we'd advocate for over plastic) then we'd keep the coffee in the bag it came in and pop it straight in the container before closing that lid up real tight. Most coffee beans come in packaging that protects them from light and heat to prevent sweating, so we think it is probably best to respect that.

The main thing you are trying to combat through proper storage, apart from exposing the beans to excess oxygen, is moisture. A few coffee companies now offer bags with mechanisms to store once opened, like the new Terbodore Coffee Roasters packaging (pictured below), but whichever method you choose, keep the bag/container away from moisture. Storing the beans next to the kettle or close to the stove where there is likely to be heat and steam could mean that your beans deteriorate quicker and we don't want that! This hot environment along with storing the beans in your fridge or freezer are key players here not only because they're humid environments, but also because they create temperature changes, which cause even more moisture by creating condensation.

There has been research done into freezing beans to keep them fresh and actually get the most out of the beans (You can read more about that here: This is an academic peer reviewed article, fair warning), but this has a lifespan and there are so many things that could go wrong with your beans, again moisture is the main culprit. Of course, if you are freezing your beans at home be sure to keep them in a truly airtight container and for no more than a week, as freezer burn and other foods can change the coffee's flavour.

Coffee beans continue to surprise us though, despite all academic discussion around the pros and cons. I recently discovered a bag of beans we used in a shoot for the last edition (which means the beans are 3 months old), and we opened the bag and made some delicious, nuanced coffee. 

Happy Brewing!

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