Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
  • Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

A deceptively simple and truly rewarding daily ritual

04 December 2017

By Allie Caran, Head of Toby's Education Department, NYC


Brewing an excellent cup of coffee at home is a deceptively simple and truly rewarding daily ritual. 

Here is a compilation of the most important choices you can make while brewing at home.

Start with quality coffee

Coffee begins its life as a seasonal fruit, growing in most equatorial regions of the world. Search for beans that are seasonally fresh, branded with a roast date rather than an expiration date - we think the freshest beans should always be consumed within 2 weeks of the roast date.

Great Roasters will also include important information such as Producer, Region, Variety and Processing method. This is always a good sign of transparency in purchasing practices and you can be assured that the quality will speak for itself in the cup.


If you’re serious about brewing great coffee at home, then your most important piece of equipment will be your Grinder and we typically suggest a conical burr grinder.

Conical burr grinders are easy to use and more importantly, create a consistent grind particle size, which creates a more even extraction in the overall brew, allowing for a balanced cup. Conical burr grinders also include many options for grind size, allowing you to experiment with all types of brewing apparatuses.


A gram scale and timer are two tools that we simply cannot brew without. They allow you to create a constant baseline every time and are an easy and effective way to choose and manipulate your overall coffee extraction.

For example, a manual pour-over method, such as a Hario V60 should take approximately 3 minutes to brew. If your overall brew finishes prior to the 3 minute mark, your grind setting could be set too coarse, resulting in a thin-bodied and slightly astringent tasting brew. If your overall brew finishes well over the 3 minute mark, then your setting could be set too fine, resulting in a bitter cup.

Using a scale will help you measure your coffee to water ratio, allowing you to increase or decrease how concentrated your overall brew is on a consistent basis. Our general recipe recommended for pour overs is around a 1:14-1:15 ratio meaning 1 part coffee to 14 parts water. Brewers can easily create their preferred recipe by taking the overall water ratio and dividing that number by the amount of coffee used.

With the right tools and attention, great coffee can be achieved anywhere. We wish you the best of luck in creating the perfect cup to be sipped at your own kitchen table.

Toby’s Estate Coffee V-60 Pour Over Recipe

23 grams coffee – medium ground
360 grams water
Pre-wet filter and discard water.
Add 23 grams medium ground coffee
Begin timer
Slowly pour 45g hot water in circular motions
Stir and let coffee bloom for 45 seconds
Slowly pour 315g water in small circular motions
Target Brew Time: 3:00 min 

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