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How to Brew Perfect Coffee

  • October 28, 2011
  • 6:01 pm
  • 1 of 3
How to Brew Perfect Coffee
You don’t need portion-controlled pods and digital touchscreens to make great coffee at home

By the Editors of Men’s Health

“Brewing a single cup with a cone filter is a simple, bulletproof technique that lets the flavor of the beans shine,” says 2010 World Barista Champion Michael Phillips of Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Follow his method.

The Beans
Coffee begins to lose flavor from the moment it’s roasted, so find the freshest beans you can, says Phillips. “If there’s no roast date on the bag, it may be because the roaster doesn’t want you to know it,” he says. Find a local roaster, or order online from an artisanal roaster (see below). Aficionados often prefer single-origin brews, but a blend offers a more consistent cup. By mixing beans from several regions, the roaster downplays off-flavors and boosts the best tastes from each bean.

Like coffee? You won’t like the extra calories in the world’s worst new beverage.

The Grind
Exposure to oxygen destroys the volatile oils that give coffee its flavor, so buy your beans whole and grind them yourself. But don’t use a spice grinder; it chops unevenly, yielding coffee that’s both over-and underextracted. Upgrade to a burr grinder, which pulverizes beans uniformly as they pass through the grinding elements. Models go for as low as $30, but for a truly solid burr grinder, Phillips recommends the Capresso Infinity ($90,; it offers precise control over your grind. For the pour-over cone, a medium-fine grind–between flour and kosher salt–is ideal.

The Cup
The brightest, cleanest flavor comes from using a simple pour-over cone lined with a paper filter, says Phillips. A bonus: It’s easy to clean and takes up almost no counter space. He recommends the Japanese-made Hario V60 02 ($21,

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Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
8:31AM PST on Dec 4, 2013

I'd feel more like a barista if I could figure out how to decorate with the steamed milk. mine never turns out like the ones at the cafes.

3:44PM PDT on Aug 18, 2013


3:14AM PDT on Jul 4, 2013

Thank you :)

4:44AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

Thank you :)

5:38AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

nice article, not sure i agree with it all though! i much prefer the french press than a farty cone that i then have to dispose of, whilst the coffee rinds, i can throw in the compost bin, no problems! each to their own for taste. i prefer a deep blend, nutty in flavour. it's much better if you can support your local coffee shops, we have one in our town centre [in wrexham, wales, uk] and she sells beans of all varieties and at a good price

3:44PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

To each their own

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting and delightful. Most of the time at home I drink tea but on occasion will make coffee. Good tips. Remember my Mom making coffee in the old style percolator.

7:35PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012


6:42PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Coffee is awesome

1:24PM PST on Nov 17, 2011

Good to know, thank you

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