Step by step: polished immersion brewing

Borrowing from the principals of technical cupping, polished immersion brewing is elegant in its simplicity.

Cupping is an industry standard process used to evaluate coffees. Just add hot water to ground coffee at a set ratio. After waiting a few minutes, break the crust, skim the oils off the surface and start slurping.

Polished immersion brewing follows these same basic step, then adds a “polishing step,” during which the coffee is decanted through a paper filter. There are, of course, any number of ways that you could polish an immersion brewed coffee. Here is the process I use, which is based on the recipe US Brewers Cup champ Sarah Anderson used to win the regional Southwest Brewer’s Cup competition.

Step 1: Add 300g of 204° brewing water to 20g of ground coffee in a flat-bottomed brewing vessel. I use a small Bodum press pot as a brewing vessel, and add water using a gooseneck kettle, pouring in a manner than ensures the coffee grounds are evenly wetted.

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Step 2: Relax and wait 4 or 5 minutes without disturbing the crust.

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Step 3: Break the crust. This effectively stops the brewing process. Now, use a cupping spoon to skim the oils off the surface of the coffee.

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Step 4: Polish the coffee by decanting it through a rinsed paper filter.

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Step 5: Enjoy!

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  1. […] identical cups of coffee using bottled water on the one hand and (filtered) tap water on the other. Polished immersion brewing is particularly well suited for this type of evaluation, since it is easy to duplicate brewing […]

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