A few months ago, we caught up with our friends at Counter Culture Coffee to share their top tips for brewing better coffee at home — from choosing your coffee beans to brewing at the optimal temperature.

Because there are so many nuances to learn about turning up the flavors of your morning brew, we decided to also tap into the knowledge of GH Grinding & Brewing Solutions to share more. Josh Kimbrough talks about the ideal ratio of coffee to water, the importance of cleaning your machine, and more tips to achieve great-tasting results consistently.

8-cup coffee brewer sitting on a kitchen counter top next to fruitboard.

Bonavita: What things do you consider when choosing the best coffee beans for your home coffee brewer?

Kimbrough: I look for freshly roasted beans. I look to purchase from roasters who source great green and know how to bring out sweetness in the roasting process. I’m looking for more soluble coffees for my home stash because I want high extractions and more forgiveness in the brewing process.

Bonavita: Does grind size matter? If so, what is the ideal grind size for drip coffee?

Kimbrough: Very much so. I’d say particle size distribution matters. A relatively uniform grind size distribution allows you to dial in more precisely, can help the clarity of your cup, and can help you get the most out of your coffee (flavor-wise and extraction-wise).

Woman is pouring coffee grinds into brewer filter.

Bonavita: Is there an ideal ratio of coffee to water for achieving the best-tasting coffee?

Kimbrough: The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) tells us ‘yes’. 1 part coffee to 16 parts water is where I start.

Bonavita: Does water quality matter, and does it really affect the flavor of coffee?

Kimbrough: Water matters because a cup of coffee is mostly water. So the taste and mouthfeel inherent in brewing water will affect your cup of coffee. Also the mineral content of your water will affect extraction in terms of flavor and overall extraction percentage.

Bonavita: Do you recommend any other equipment to use alongside a brewer?

Kimbrough: I recommend using a scale and a burr grinder.

Bonavita: How important is it to clean your machine?

Kimbrough: It’s never good to have old coffee in the path of the fresh coffee you’re about to grind or brew. Each time you grind or brew, coffee grounds or brewed coffee will inevitably stick to the walls of your grinder spout or carafe. Therefore you’ve got to clean reasonably often if you want your coffee to taste the best it can.

Bonavita: Are there other tips you would like to share on how to achieve great-tasting results consistently?

Kimbrough: As you’re brewing and tasting, take a moment to commit to memory what you perceive aroma-wise and taste-wise. This is how you build your pallet and learn to love the nuances of delicious coffees available from specialty coffee roasters out there today.