Brewing a great tasting cup of coffee does not require a lot of fancy equipment. With a few tweaks you can get great tasting coffee from any coffee maker.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you brew the best cup of coffee.

Use freshly roasted coffee.

Look for coffee roasters, like Red Cedar Coffee Co., instead of grocery store coffee brands. For some grocery brands it may have taken 6-9 months for the coffee to work its way through their distribution system from being roasted to being placed on the store shelf. By comparison, you can enjoy coffee from a local roaster just days after it was roasted.

Pay attention to water.

Start off with good tasting water since coffee is approximately 98% water. Filtered or spring water can improve the taste of your coffee.   

Clean your grinder and coffee maker from time to time.

Use specially formulated equipment cleaners to make sure your coffee maker brews good tasting coffee. Please, do not use vinegar to clean your coffee maker! Click here for more information on cleaning your coffee maker and grinder.

Weigh out your coffee beans. 

We are often asked “Do you use a measured or heaping scoop of coffee?” Using a digital kitchen scale helps to brew coffee with consistency and accuracy. It is a small step that is extremely helpful to make sure that you are replicating the same brewing recipe each time. Oftentimes a brewing recipe will show a brewing ratio such as 1:16 (one-ounce coffee grounds to 16 ounces water). We find that the brewing ratios of 1:14, 1:15, 1:16, 1:17 works well for most.

Using a pour over? Consider weighing your water, too.

The Chemex and Hario drippers are great ways to brew coffee but can be very difficult to eyeball the right amount of hot water. Place the pour over, filter and coffee grounds onto a digital scale and then tare out the weight. Then, you will want to weight the amount of water you are using (pour the hot water over the coffee grounds). Again, with the help of a digital scale you can with brew consistently.

Grind your coffee before brewing.

Did you know coffee begins to start losing some of its flavor and aromatics as soon as it is ground? Grinding your coffee beans fresh is one of the best ways to brew a more flavorful cup of coffee. Burr grinders are best because they grind coffee consistently.   

Use the correct grind style for the coffee maker you are using.

There are several grind styles when it comes to grinding your coffee. To name a few there is fine, auto-drip and coarse. You want to make sure that you are using the correct grind style for your brewing method. This is important because if the grind is too large, you will end up with a weak cup of coffee. If the coffee grind is too fine for your coffee maker then you end up with a bitter, over-extracted cup of coffee. Most drip coffee makers and single serve units work well on the auto-drip setting. If you are using a French press or Toddy cold brew system, you will want to have your coffee ground coarse.

Preheat your coffee carafe, Chemex or French press prior to brewing.

This is helpful especially during the colder months when heat loss is more noticeable. Heat up some hot water ahead to time and pour it into your coffee maker’s carafe, or your Chemex or French press before you brew. The hot water will take the chill out of the coffee maker and your coffee will stay hotter for a while longer. After sitting for about 10 minutes, pour out the hot water and then brew your pot of coffee. This trick also works great for travel mugs.

Carefully store your coffee. 

Coffee beans can be sensitive to temperature, moisture, and air. Keep your coffee in an airtight container at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Avoid storing your coffee in the freezer or refrigerator.

Happy brewing!

Did you know coffee begins to start losing some of its flavor and aromatics as soon as it is ground? Grinding your coffee beans fresh is one of the best ways to brew a more flavorful cup of coffee.

If you like to have the flexibility of grinding for different brewing devices or wish to get the most flavor out of your coffee, you may want to consider grinding your coffee before brewing.

BLADE VS. BURR GRINDERS

When it comes to choosing a coffee grinder you have two options.

Blade grinders are ones that have a whirly-style blade (like spice grinders) that spins to grind the coffee bean. These grinders can heat the coffee as they operate due to friction. Many blade grinders have a button that must be held down to grind; depending on who is grinding the coffee, it is harder to achieve a consistent grind on a blade grinder.

Burr grinders have two revolving abrasive surfaces (“burrs”). Burr grinders slice through coffee beans more consistently which is best for brewing flavorful coffee. Look for a burr grinder with numbered settings. This will help grind your coffee consistently.

ELECTRIC OR HAND GRINDER

Electric coffee grinders are plugged into an electrical outlet. These grinders take up more kitchen counter space, and most models provide the option to keep some coffee beans in the hopper. Some grinders have timers so you can replicate your grind time.

If you have the need to travel with your coffee grinder, or do not have the kitchen space, you may want to consider a hand grinder. These grinders are manual which means you are the grinder’s motor. Some brands, like Hario, have burr hand grinders.

WHY WE PREFER BURR GRINDERS

Burr grinders help you brew coffee-shop quality coffee at your home or office. They grind the coffee consistently which takes out any guesswork. These grinders are sturdy, and most will serve you for years to come. That is why we recommend burr grinders.

MAINTAINING YOUR GRINDER

Oils accumulate over time and using the Full Circle grinder cleaning tablet can help you get the most life out of your coffee grinder. If you are grinding dark roast coffees or flavored coffees, you will want to clean your grinder on a more frequent basis.

The grinder tablets have been formulated specifically to remove the coffee oils and residue on the grinder’s burrs and can also prevent jamming of the grinder.

Here is a short article that explains how jams occur and how a little cleaning can prevent them.

The Full Circle grinder tablets we carry in the Tasting Room are food-grade safe and are the same quality of cleaner we use for our grinders.

At Red Cedar Coffee Co. we consider the digital scale as the secret weapon in coffee brewing. Put away the tablespoons and little scoops, and instead use a scale.

Not only does a digital scale take the guesswork out when using a pour over brewer, it helps prevent issues of using too much coffee when using a drip coffee maker.

Weighing ingredients = consistency

Brewing using a digital scale helps to brew coffee for consistency and accuracy. Coffee roasts have different mass which makes measuring by scoop or tablespoon tricky. The digital scale avoids this problem.

Oftentimes a pour over brewing recipe will show a brewing ratio such as 1:16 (one-ounce ground coffee to 16 ounces water). The range for coffee brewing is 1:14 to 1:18. The less water used will brew a stronger cup of coffee, the more water used will brew a lighter cup.

When you find your preferred brewing ratio by using a digital scale you will be able to brew with consistency.

How to use a digital scale for pour overs and emersion methods

For pour over and emersion (French press, cold brew) brewing methods you will want to follow these steps:

  • Place the pour over brewer or French press onto the digital scale
  • Tare (or zero out) the pour over or French press
  • Add the desired coffee grounds into the pour over or French press
  • Tare (or zero out) the coffee grounds
  • Add the desired hot water into pour over or French press

Using the digital scale means you have more control in the amount of water you use. This can be helpful when using a 40 oz. Chemex to brew only 16 oz.

How to use a digital scale for drip coffee brewers

For a drip coffee maker, you can still use your digital scale:

  • Place your flat bottom coffee filter onto the digital scale
  • Tare (or zero out) the coffee filter
  • Add the desired coffee grounds onto the coffee filter

Grams vs. ounces

There are countless digital scales models on the market. Some digital scales, like the Hario brand, measure in grams. Other digital scales allow you to switch from grams to ounces.

Scales that measure in grams will give you a more precise weight when it comes to measuring the weight of water. This is particularly helpful for the Chemex.

Select a digital scale model with the unit of measurement that is easiest for you.

Happy brewing!

On Monday, November 23, 2020, Red Cedar Coffee Co. will launch a coffee named Yellow Jackets Java in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

Proceeds from the sale of Yellow Jackets Java will benefit the YJ4th Year Scholarship Fund. The fund provides support to students who have positively contributed to the BW community and who demonstrate financial need. It is typically awarded to seniors to help them finance their final semester of study at BW, ensuring they are on track to graduate on schedule with their classmates.

Yellow Jackets Java is available exclusively online through December 2021.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:

How the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program works: Earn one point for each dollar spent on a 14 OZ/16 OZ bag of coffee purchased directly from Red Cedar Coffee Co. Earn 200 points and receive a reward good on your next visit (expiration dates apply). Reward value is $15 off a 14 OZ/16 OZ bag of coffee.

  • In Store: Enter your phone number into our register’s keypad.
    • By providing your phone number you will start earning points towards a future reward.
  • Online: Opt in to order updates/marketing during the checkout process and provide your phone number.

Track Your Progress

Enter your phone number on this website to see your point balance.

PROGRAM RULES:

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Points and Rewards are linked to the participant’s name and phone number. Purchases (points and rewards) may not be transferred to another participant.
  • Points are not awarded on gift certificates when purchased (points are issued as the certificate is redeemed on qualifying purchases); sales tax; gratuities; gift sets; corporate and wholesale orders. Only valid on purchases made at the Red Cedar Coffee Co. retail store and at Red Cedar Coffee Co.’s online store.
  • Only one reward redemption can be made per visit. Reward redemption cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Our program may from time to time have certain other benefits and/or restrictions that apply.
  • We reserve the right to change or discontinue this program at any time without notice.
  • Employees are not eligible for our program.
  • Points expire 18 months after they have been earned. Rewards cannot be redeemed if expired.

Offers and Discounts

From time to time we may provide special discounts and/or offers outside of our Red Cedar Coffee Rewards Program offers to certain members who qualify for these benefits.  Offers are not transferable and cannot be combined with rewards or other discounts or offers. Offers have a limited time in which they can be redeemed.  Please check the offer for details and restrictions. If not specified otherwise all offers expire within 30 days of issuance.

Red Cedar Coffee Rewards FAQ

Does it cost anything to join the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

No, enrollment in the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program is free.

How do I enroll in the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

  • Online: opt into Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program on the online store to enroll and provide a cell phone number.
  • In store: Enroll by providing your cell phone number at the checkout.

What items qualify for the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards program?

14OZ and 16OZ bags of coffee purchased directly from Red Cedar Coffee Co.

How are points calculated?

Enrollees earn one point for ever $1 spent on a qualifying purchase. Example: 1-16 OZ bag of Guatemala Antigua is $15.25; earns 15 points.

Can I give my points/rewards to a friend or family member?
No, Red Cedar Coffee Rewards points/rewards are not transferable.

Can I share my Red Cedar Coffee Rewards membership with a family member or friend?

No, the Red Cedar Coffee Reward account is individual and non-transferable.

Can Red Cedar Coffee Reward enrollees be combined?

No, Red Cedar Coffee Rewards cards cannot be combined.

Where can I find my points balance?

To check your Red Cedar Coffee Rewards point balance, simply go to this website and enter your phone number. You will receive a code that will allow you to login and see your points.

What can I use my reward on?

Reward are good on a 14 OZ or 16 OZ bags of coffee purchased from Red Cedar Coffee Co. Your reward is available after your have accumulated 200 points and is good on your next visit.

Do points and rewards expire?

Points and rewards expire 18 months after they have been earned.

I made a purchase at the retail store and have enrolled in Red Cedar Coffee Rewards. Can I make a purchase online and receive points?

Yes, the Red Cedar Coffee Rewards is linked to the phone number you used to enroll. Provide the same phone number when you make a purchase online, opt in to “claim” your points and the system will update.

What is does it mean to “claim” points?

Claiming points means you want the points added to your Red Cedar Coffee Rewards profile. You must claim your points during your transaction for it to apply to you.

What does “redeem” mean?

You may redeem your reward when you have received 200 points. Rewards may be redeemed online and in store.

Rewards may only be redeemed in full ($15).

What happened to the Frequent Buyer Program?

Red Cedar Coffee Rewards was introduced in spring 2020 to replace the Frequent Buyer Program (paper card system). The Frequent Buyer Program was retired at close of business on June 30, 2020.

Have you noticed coffee has changed? Coffee has changed…specifically, the way the coffee has been processed at the farm/micro-mill.

Coffee has traditionally been processed one of two ways, washed process or natural process. Both provide unique flavor profiles.

When clean water is abundant coffee producers may use a washed process to separate the fruit from the coffee bean.

Where water is lacking, a producer would use the natural process and allow the coffee to dry under the sun naturally.

Times have changed due to innovations in processing equipment at the farm and coffee roaster’s request.

Costa Rica has led the innovation by combining elements of the washed and dry processes. This new process is called the honey process. By adjusting equipment such as depulpers at the mill, producers can choose how much fruit they want to remove off the coffee bean. These changes can also impact the way the coffee tastes once it’s been brewed.

Many ask if honey is used in the coffee process. The name “honey process” comes from the honey-like fragrance (called “miel” in Spanish) of the fruit drying on the coffee bean.

We are pleased to offer three outstanding honey processed coffees:

  • White honey: most of the fruit is removed off the coffee bean. (Example: Costa Rica Finca Dragon)
  • Red honey: partial fruit is removed from the coffee bean. It will have a bit more body compared to the white honey. (Example: Costa Rica Pie San)
  • Black honey: the coffee cherry is peeled but the fruit remains on the coffee beans. Depending on weather condition, it can take 7-14 days for the fruit to dehydrate off the coffee bean. Since the bean is absorbing sugars during this time the coffee will be full bodied, complex and with natural sweetness. (Example: Costa Rica Finca las Torres)

These honey processed coffees are available in the Red Cedar Coffee Co. Tasting Room and online.

In our retail store we are often asked about acidity in coffee. While there’s not a one size fits all approach to answering this question, we have outlined a few points to consider.

The term “acidity” is used a few different ways in the coffee industry.

  1. Acidity can be used to describe the bright and tangy sensation that differentiates higher-grown coffee apart from lower-grade coffee. Tasting notes may describe acidic coffee as sour, citrus, tangy.
  2. Acidity can be used to describe the unpleasant stomach irritant that some coffee drinkers may experience. Sometimes it is due to the reaction the body has to caffeine.
  3. Acidity can be measured on the pH scale, which uses 7.0 as an indicator of neutrality. Numbers over 7 are lower-acid and numbers under 7 are more acidic. Black coffee is considered low on the pH scale around 5.  By comparison, lemon juice has a pH around 2, water is around a pH 7, and baking soda is around pH 9.

There are a few ways to limit the amount of acidity in your coffee.

  1. Choosing coffees that are roasted as medium to dark roasts can reduce acidity in the coffee. However, the darker the roast the more it masks what makes the coffee unique (the origin or “terroir”) and the roast style becomes more noticeable. For darker roasts you may see tasting notes that describe the coffee as bittersweet and dark chocolate.
  2. Try coffee origins (regions) where the coffee tends to have less acidity such as Sumatra, Peru, Colombia or Mexico.
  3. Cold brew your coffee. There’s a reaction that happens when hot water hits the coffee grounds. But using cool or room temperature water and slowing down the brewing process (you need 12-24 hours to brew your coffee) you can reduce the amount of acidity in your coffee. By using the Toddy Cold Brew System that we have in our Tasting Room, you can brew a coffee concentrate that you can keep in your refrigerator. You can add milk, milk alternatives and water to the concentrate to make a ready to drink beverage. If you prefer hot coffee, add hot water to the concentrate and you can continue to enjoy a cup of hot coffee.
  4. Brew using a Chemex Coffee Maker. The paper filters are approximately 20-30% thicker than most paper filters. Chemex Coffee Filters are double-bonded and filter out acidity, bitterness, fats and sediments.

COFFEE RECOMMENDATIONS

A few coffees to consider that have lower-acidity:

  • Sumatran Mandheling (medium roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Mexican (medium roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Peru (medium roast)
  • Full Moon (dark roast)
  • Fair Trade Certified Organic Sumatran Italian Roast (dark roast)

BREWING EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Toddy Coffee Maker*
  • Chemex Coffee Maker*

*both models sold in retail store

World Coffee Research

Red Cedar Coffee Co. has been a proud supporter of World Coffee Research for years. We feel that it is important to support coffee producers who are the foundation of our industry and who work hard to provide a product that enriches our lives.

World Coffee Research (WCR) was founded in 2012 when Central and South America were experiencing an epidemic of coffee rust (“la roya”), which eventually put 1.7 million people out of work.

Part of the challenge of growing coffee is that across all varieties there’s very little genetic diversity. In addition, relatively few research dollars go to studying coffee which is why coffee is sometimes referred to as an “orphan crop.”

Some coffee producing countries have research facilities where coffee producers can contact for help. Other coffee producing countries do not have these research facilities. Typically, the information gained from these research institutions are not shared with other country’s research institutions. 

This is where World Coffee Research can help. They work with all coffee research institutions to help share their research worldwide.

World Coffee Research is currently conducting an international multilocational variety trial to understand coffee “genetics x environment’ interaction. The hope is that more information may be gained from these trials to see if coffee producers can choose varieties that are optimized for certain growing environments.  

As a result of our support for their study Red Cedar Coffee Co. had the opportunity to try several coffees from a trial in El Salvador which tested one coffee variety (F1 hybrid Centroamericano) from two environments with two approaches to fertilizing.

This is just one example of how our support for this cause helps us be on the cutting edge of coffee education.

More information on World Coffee Research may be found here.

Throughout the year we offer a selection of seasonal flavored coffees. These coffees are roasted in limited quantities for our retail store and online.

February—mid-March    Leaping Leprechauns

May-August                        Blueberry Cobbler, Campfire Memories

August—mid-November   Pumpkin Spice

September-October         Witches’ Brew

November-December       Jingle Bell Java, Elves’ Delight, Toasted Chestnut, Winter Carnival

We typically experience a spike in demand shortly before a seasonal flavored coffee is set to go “on vacation” or away for the season, which results in us selling out earlier than expected.

Each seasonal flavored coffee is available in regular and Swiss Water Processed decaf.

Red Cedar Coffee Co. roasts a selection of blends for retail sales at the retail shop in Berea and online.

Full Moon

Profile: Smoky, spicy, complex

Dark Roast

Le Bistro Espresso

Profile: Full bodied, European style

Dark Roast

Northern Lights

Profile: Strong, hearty, long finish

Dark Roast

Red Cedar Select

Profile: Complex body, smooth finish

Medium-dark Roast