Tips for brewing amazing coffee

How to brew amazing decaf coffee

Brewing coffee can be a bit overwhelming; what type of equipment should you use, does water hardness affect the taste,  what is the shelf life of a roasted coffee bean, how much coffee do I put in or does any of this really matter? 🤔

TLDR: If you get the basics right you can certain brew an enjoyable cup of coffee. It's all up to you on how far into the weeds you'll want to go. 

In this article, we'll share some of the basic decaf coffee brewing basics to get you started. Don't worry, we're here to help you out along the way. Have a brewing question, drop us an email to and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction. 

1. You'll need to start with a good bean. 

As with most processes in life, if you start with bad you'll get bad. If you start with good, well your chances of ending up with good are higher. ;) Always choose a bean that has a roast date on the package, nuff said. Typically you'll prefer to grind & brew your coffee bean within two weeks of it's roast date.  

2. Grind your own beans, it's not that scary

A simple blade grind is better than not grinding your beans at all. Though if you're looking to have fine control over the taste of your coffee a burr grinder is the way to go. We'll get into grind settings in another article for our level II home brewer's. 😎

3. Be sure to use good water for your body coffee

Humans are made up of ~60% water, so it's a big deal on the type of water we consume, AND brew our coffee with. So what is good water? 

  • Does your water taste good? If so you're likely in good shape. If not, then some other interventions may be needed.
  • Water with a charcoal filter is a good start, but be careful of full RO (Reverse Osmosis) water systems that don't put back some of the tasty minerals, 
  • Hot water - Should be around 195-205F, if you don't have a thermometer, boil the water in a kettle, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 30 sec. You should be in the right temp zone then, 
  • Considering Bottled Water? While you may think this is a sure bet, not all bottled water is made the same. Read up on mineral levels within your water of choice. 

We honestly could spend a whole article alone just on water for coffee, and we just may do that. 🤓

4. What tool do you have for the job? 

Thankfully, as with art there are multiple ways to approach the work. It's truly an individuals journey of exploration, so have fun with it. If you're brewing manually you'll be able to have control over nearly every aspect of the process; grind, water temp, amount of coffee and more... 

If you're just getting started we'd recommend these essentials; 

  • Grinder, blade is OK but a burr grinder is recommended, 
  • A way to heat the water/brew; chemex or your simple home coffee brewing machine, 
  • Filters, 
  • A scale, 
  • Amazing coffee from Sad Cow and or FreshGround Roasting.  

5. How much coffee to use? 

This is the scary part of being a coffee roaster. 😅Sourcing a fantastic bean and roasting it to a tasty profile is ~50% of the process to make a great cup. The rest is on you. No pressure. ;) 

The ratio of coffee and water varies greatly depending on your personal preference. A good starting point is 6grams of coffee per 1liter of water. 

⭐️If you don't have a coffee nerd scale, generally 3/4 cup of coffee per 12 cups of water is also a good starting point. 

Keep in mind, this is a starting point. If you don't like the taste of the coffee, adjust your coffee to water ratio. Once you love the taste but you feel it could just use a little more is when you can start to really nerd out with your grind settings and brewing methods. 

Have questions on how to brew an amazing cup? Drop us a line at


Sad Cow Coffee