A “How To” for the Perfect Brew

TheWake and Bake’ blend is one of the newest additions to the Macro Mixes family and a delicious way to start your day! This medium roast coffee boasts yummy notes of dark chocolate and caramel, making it a great accompaniment to your morning rusk, breakfast, baked treat or any of our Macro Mixes range.  

We believe that these beans don’t need much work to create a beautiful beverage. But we’ve heard that technique can be key to getting the most from your cuppa! With the right brewing method, you can enhance the coffee’s flavours and that fabulous fragrance1

So, to help make your sipping sublime, we looked into recommendations and tips to get that ‘perfect’ brew. These guidelines are for the use of a coffee plunger. If a plunger is your brewing vessel of choice, this one’s for you 1

Gather the goods

Besides your trusty coffee plunger, you may want to get your hands on the following 1:

  1. A kettle: to boil your water
  2. A stirrer: it is warned that a metal spoon could scratch the plunger glass, so opt for something else if you want to avoid scratches 
  3. A kitchen scale: if you would like to measure the weight of your ingredients OR
  4. A measuring cup and spoon: if you don’t have a kitchen scale 
  5. A timing device: to monitor your brewing time
  6. A coffee grinder: if you are using coffee beans
  7. Your chosen coffee beans or ground coffee: vital when making coffee
  8. Water: I don’t think this needs explanation
  9. A thermometer: this an optional extra, but possibly important if water-heat-precision is your thaang 1

Do some minor calculations

The maths behind a great brew is reportedly a coffee to water ratio of approximately 1:17 2.

Before you dust off your scientific calculator, this means: 

15g coffee: 250 ml water (for one cup)

30g coffee: 500ml water (for 2 cups)

45g coffee: 750ml water (for 3 cups)

60g coffee: 1 L water (for 4 cups) 1

If you are using a kitchen scale to weigh things out, its useful to note that 1 ml of water weighs 1g 3.

If you’re using measuring cups and spoons to figure out your quantities, 1 heaped dessert spoon should hold approximately 10g of ground coffee 4.  

All of our preferences vary though, so feel free to adjust these ratios according to your tastes and the strength of your chosen roast.  

Pop the kettle on

Having calculated how much water you’ll need, top up the kettle. You can double this quantity if you would like some extra hot water to pre-heat your plunger and mug 1.

Pre-heating your plunger and mug is reportedly a jolly good idea. A warmed plunger pot helps to maintain temperature whilst the brewing is underway1,5. And a pre-heated mug keeps things toasty whilst you sip and enjoy! 

If you’re going the pre-heating route, pour some of the hot water into the plunger pot once the boiling is done. Let it stand whilst you do the next step 6

(The remaining boiled water can just sit in the kettle…. for now)

Get your coffee beans prime for plunging!

If you’re using coffee beans, and love them freshly ground, measure them out and start up the grinder 1. Most suggest that a medium to coarse ground will help you achieve the best flavour 1, 2, 5, 6. If you grind a little more than you need for this particular brew, you can store the extra grounds in a glass jar for next time. 

If you’re using pre-ground coffee, it’s a good time to scoop out and measure your quantities. 

You’re now ready to empty the water from the plunger and add your grinds to the pre-heated vessel. 

Allow the boiled water to reach ideal brewing temperature

Most agree that boiling water is a hazard to your precious coffee grounds. It can burn them and spoil their taste 1,2,5,6. If you’re using a thermometer, let your boiled water drop to about 93°C to 96°C before pouring it over the grounds 1,2,5. If you’re not using a thermometer, allowing the water to stand for a minute or 2 after it has boiled should help it get to about the right temperature for brewing 1,2.  

Get the brew going

Once your hot water has reached that perfect temp, it’s time to get brewing! 

Most agree that 4 minutes is the ideal overall brewing time 1,2,5,6. This is apparently sufficient for all the rich flavours to infuse 6, whilst not being so long that your coffee goes bitter 1,2,5

Suggestions vary however, for how the water should be added. We’ll share some of the common strategies and you can choose which suits you best:

One approach is to add the water slowly. 

  • Start with covering the grinds with some of the hot water: 

Pour in about 1/3 – ½ of your required water quantity. You can then stir immediately, or allow it to stand for 1 minute before stirring. As you stir, you’ll witness the beauty of creamy, coffee foam! This is called blooming, and is a sign that some of the gases are escaping 1,5 #science

  • Thereafter, you can either: 

Slowly add the rest of your water. Pop the lid on (with the plunger pulled up) and let it stand for the remainder of the 4 minutes 5.

Or, add the rest of the water. Stir again and continue to gently stir every minute or so, until the 4 minutes are done 1

Another approach is to add all the water at once. 

  • If the above sounds like a chore, you can add all the water to the plunger at once. When its full, put the lid on (with the plunger pulled up), and let it stand for the full 4 minutes 2,6.

Coffee time! 

Having worked hard, and waited patiently, its finally time to enjoy your (hopefully) perfect brew! 

When the 4 minutes have passed, slowly plunge (avoid pressing down on the grounds too hard, as this could make things bitter 6). 

If you have some hot water left in the kettle, use it to warm your chosen mug. Then discard this water, and fill the mug with your carefully, crafted coffee. 

Add your favourite milk, cream, sweeteners, or enjoy as is! 

Now sit back, relax and relish this delicious, comforting treat. 

Written by: Claire Willows


1. Cape Coffee Beans. (Date unknown). How to get the best out of your French Press/coffee plunger. Retrieved from: https://capecoffeebeans.co.za/blogs/how-to-make-great-coffee/34792836-how-to-get-the-best-out-of-your-french-press-coffee-plunger

2. Espresso Workshop: Coffee roasters. (Date unknown). Plunger brewing guide. Retrieved from: https://www.espressoworkshop.co.nz/pages/plunger-brewing-guide

3. {convert to}. (Date unknown). Water volume vs. weight converter. Retrieved from: http://convert-to.com/conversion/water-weight-volume/convert-ml-of-water-volume-to-gram-g-of-water-weight.html

4. Guide 2 Coffee. (2015, May 12). Plunger and French press brewing guide. Retrieved from: https://www.guide2coffee.com/guide-2-coffee-1/2015/5/12/french-press-plunger-brewing-guide

5. Yuppiechef. (Date unknown). How to get the best coffee from your French press. Retrieved from: https://www.yuppiechef.com/spatula/how-to-get-the-best-coffee-from-your-french-press/

6. Nisbets Australia. (Date unknown). Articles and case studies: How to use a coffee plunger. Retrieved from: https://www.nisbets.com.au/how-to-use-coffee-plunger