Posted on 4 Comments

Brew Guide: Syphon Coffee

Brew Guide: Syphon Coffee

The history of Syphon began with a french woman in the mid 1800s, who designed a beautiful coffee brewer that was intended to be displayed at dinner parties during the brew. Over the years, companies across the globe have designed and sold their own versions of the Syphon. The stovetop and burner versions, both of which are manufactured in Japan, are the most popular versions available today. For this brew, we’ve used the Hario 5 cup Syphon.

Syphon brewing is rather advanced, and takes roughly 12 minutes.


  • Coffee
  • Syphon
  • Coffee
  • Filter
  • Gooseneck Kettle
  • Burr Grinder
  • Water


  • 3 tbsp coffee & 15oz water (3 cup syphon)
  • 4 tbsp coffee & 22oz water (5 cup syphon)
  • 8 tbsp coffee & 40oz water (8 cup syphon)
  • 24 grams coffee & 443 grams water (3 cup syphon)
  • 32 grams coffee & 650 grams water (5 cup syphon)
  • 64 grams coffee & 1182 grams water (8 cup syphon)


You’ll need 1 tablespoon of coffee for every 5 ounces of water, ground on a medium grind (a #6 grind on an industrial machine).


To start, you’ll want to assemble your filter. We used a cloth filter on our syphon, but other options are available as well – such as glass, paper, or metal/mesh. If you are using a cloth filter, make sure to soak it in boiling water for a few minutes before your first brew. Drop the filter into the top chamber and use the chain to properly hook it on at the bottom.


Fill the “bulb” or lower chamber up with water to the designated fill line and assemble the syphon (don’t forget to put the lid on the top chamber). Slide your Syphon over the heat source. We are using the small wick burner that came with our Syphon, and have filled it with denatured alcohol (a clean burning fuel), which can be purchased from your local hardware store. You’ll need the wick to be tall enough that the flame touches the bottom of the Syphon.


As it heats, the water will start to move up the chain to the second chamber. When all the water has reached the top, pop off the lid and check the temperature. Adjust the heat source accordingly, so your water is approximately 190 degrees.


Place the grounds into the chamber and use a bamboo paddle or chopstick to give it a quick, gentle stir. Replace the lid and let the coffee steep.


For a smaller syphon (3 cup), wait 45 seconds. For a larger one (5-8 cup), wait just over 1 minute.


Give the coffee another quick stir and then remove the syphon from the heat source. Soon, the coffee will begin to be pulled back down into the bulb. You will know this process is complete when the grounds have formed a small mound in the upper chamber.


You can now remove the top components and use the bottom carafe to serve your coffee. Enjoy.

Posted on Leave a comment

Brew Guide: Iced Chemex Coffee

Brew Guide: Iced Chemex Coffee

There are a lot of ways to make iced coffee, but the Japanese Iced Coffee method is our favorite. It’s quick and easy. And, for cold-brewing, it gives you the brightest, fullest flavor possible. The full flavor is possible because brewing with hot water extracts maximum flavor while cooling instantly protects the flavor from acquiring off-flavors due to oxidization.

Making Iced Chemex is an intermediate brew, and takes about 14 minutes.

What You Need

  • Chemex
  • Pre-folded Chemex Filter
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Ice
  • Gooseneck Kettle
  • Grinder


  • 2 tbsp coffee for 4oz water and 4 oz ice
  • 4 tbsp coffee for 8oz water and 8 oz ice
  • 8 tbsp coffee for 16oz water and 16 oz ice
  • 16 grams coffee for 118 grams water and 118 grams ice
  • 32 grams coffee for 236 grams water and 236 grams ice
  • 64 grams coffee for 473 grams water and 473 grams ice

Note: For getting the proper volume of ice, we’ve found a 16 oz cup of ice is equal to a weight of 8oz. Remember this ratio if you’re measuring your ice without a scale.


Bring your water to a boil and then remove from heat. Never pour boiling water straight onto coffee grounds – it will scorch them and give your coffee a burnt flavor. Allow the water to cool for 30 seconds (the temperature should be between 195-205) before you proceed to the next step.

You need equal parts ice and water. We used 8oz water and 8oz ice in our Chemex. Make sure you measure out your proper water and ice amounts before beginning.


Additionally, you’ll want 4 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee (Set an industrial grinder to a #9, or “French Press” setting.

Before unfolding your Chemex filter place your Chemex filter over your sink and pour hot water (not from your pre-measured amount) over the filter. This will remove the papery taste from the filter.

Ice and How to Use the Filter

Dump your ice into the Chemex, and unfold your Chemex filter. As much as you’ll want to, don’t unfold it all the way. Instead, pull just one edge away from the three others. Now your filter will resemble a normal pour-over filter. There will be one edge on one side, and three on the other. Set it into the Chemex with the crease sitting in the pouring channel. Cone filters you use for pour-over, like a #4 or #6, won’t fit properly in a Chemex and are too thin to properly filter for Chemex. Only use Chemex filters.

Add Grounds and Bloom

Add the grounds into the filter and begin pouring your hot water over the grounds until they are covered. Let the grounds bloom for 30 seconds.

Continue to pour the rest of your 8 oz of water over the grounds in slow, circular motions. The ice will begin to melt – that’s okay.

Once the water has fully filtered through, remove the filter. Take care when pouring your iced coffee – the ice tends to slide out quickly.

Sit back, and enjoy your refreshing brew of Chemex iced coffee.

Here’s a quick video as well:

Posted on 4 Comments

Brew Guide: Moka Pot

Brew Guide: Moka Pot

Moka Pot was invented in 1933 when Italy’s economy wasn’t doing so swell. It was marketed as an affordable way to enjoy daily espresso at home, and thereby avoiding cafe prices. Today, many people still use the Moka Pot, and it’s known as one of the best ways to get “Stovetop Espresso.”

Moka Pot is a simple brew that takes about 15 minutes.

What You Need

  • Moka Pot
  • Coffee
  • Kettle
  • Grinder


The amount of coffee you need depends on the size of your Moka Pot. You’ll want enough to fill the funnel filter of your pot without packing down the grounds. Moka Pots come in all shapes and sizes, so measure how much water fills the bottom half of your pot before beginning.

Grounds: Grind your beans on a medium grind, which is a #6 or Drip Flat on an industrial grinder.

Water: It’s not recommended that you boil your water directly in the Moka pot, because it might give it a metallic taste, so heat it in a separate kettle before beginning. Carefully pour the boiling water right into the bottom of the Moka Pot, filling it until the water line is even with the screw on the side.

Assembly/Adding Grounds: Put the grounds in the funnel filter, using your finger to even it out and remove excess coffee. Place the filter on the base, and screw the top half on. Caution: the base will be hot from the hot water, you might want to use a towel or hot mitt while you do this step.


Begin Brew: Open the lid and set the Moka Pot onto your stovetop on a medium setting. To avoid burning your pot, don’t turn the burner any hotter than medium. Also be careful not to have the handle directly over the flame, as it could melt if it gets too hot.

Continue Brewing: After a couple minutes, steam will start to push the water up through the grounds and into the top chamber. As soon as this starts, place the lid onto the pot. (Note: Sometimes if the grounds are too coarse, the water will shoot up out of the pot. If this happens, be careful that you don’t get burned and try a finer grind the next time you brew).


Finishing the Brew

Once the lid is on, wait nearby and listen. When you hear a gurgling noise, remove the pot from heat – your brew is finished!

Enjoy: Pour into a separate mug and enjoy. If you find stovetop espresso too strong, dilute with a bit of hot water or cream. Lastly, be cautious when handling and cleaning your moka pot, as the metal will be extremely hot.

Posted on Leave a comment

K-Cups and Keurigs – What to know before you buy

Do You Have a K-cup Brewer?

If you answered yes, then you’re one of millions that can answer the very same way.

Every few years, a new coffee brewing method emerges from no-where to become the latest craze. From Pod espresso machines to Aeropress — the coffee industry continues to find new and creative ways to brew our favorite beverage. For the most part, the traditional methods will be around for years to come, but every so often, a new contender joins the ranks…

the Keurig Coffee Brewing System.

So the question is…

Should I buy one?

I’ve assembled a bullet-point Pro’s and Con’s list to answer these questions:


  • Super Fast
  • Incredibly Easy Cleanup
  • Small portions – well, assuming that’s a positive for you. It really isn’t for me! 😉


  • Huge Environmental Impact*
  • Atrociously Expensive*
  • Small portions — again, why?! 😉

Other than those reasons, it’s just a drip coffee brewer.

*Did you notice the stars in the “Con’s” section?

You see, the problem with Keurig Coffee Brewers is not the brewer itself — it’s the K-cups.  At the time of this posting, (who typically has the lowest prices for K-cups) was selling Folger’s brand Colombian for $44.99.  That’s for 80 K-cups.  Each K-cup contains 0.31 ounces of coffee. That’s a grand total of 1lb, 9.3oz of coffee.  That is expensive coffee.

Yup, that’s less than 2lbs. of really low grade coffee for $45.00.

The second problem with K-cups are the environmental impact. Take a lot at this article to learn more.

So, in summary . . .

The Keurig coffee maker is an easy way to make a single cup of drip coffee. The actual K-cups, however, are expensive and horrible for the environment.

The best way to enjoy the Keurig coffee brewer is to use a refillable filter like Solofill. You get the convenience at a fraction of the price. Not to mention — you can use freshly roasted Top 1% grade coffee instead of low quality coffee that’s bulk-roasted, and stored on a shelf for a long, long time!

Save yourself from stale, overpriced coffee, gain the convenience of the Keurig single serve machine and enjoy the Top 1% grade of coffee from Camano Island Coffee with the Solofill reusable filter.

Use the Solofill K-Cup insert and save over 50% off the price of K-cups filled with low quality, stale coffee grounds. Not only is the Solofill cheaper, it will also produce a better cup of coffee when used with freshly-roasted coffee — like Camano Island Coffee of course. 😉

Also, you don’t have to feel guilty about using your Keurig anymore. Solofill eliminates the negative environmental impact of K-cup’s, while still providing convenience!  Get a Solofill and purchase a coffee lover’s box!

-By Dan Ericson

Posted on 1 Comment

Perfect Espresso Shots – Make Great Espresso At Home [Coffee Brewing Guide] – Part2

Espresso is a touchy subject in the coffee industry. You can learn “the only correct way” from a ton of different sources and somehow, they always seem to differ. The honest answer is that there is no one way to make espresso that is universal and works for every espresso machine. Espresso machines are touchy and each one has a “best practices” list in order that you can make great espresso. “Make a Great Espresso at Home” – the second part of our “Coffee Brewing Guide” we’ll look at some of that important factors to help you make great espresso at home. In part 2, we’ll explore how you can extract perfect espresso shots at home.

Make Great Espresso At Home – Part 2 – Extract Perfect Espresso Shots

Make Great Espresso for Home!

At the end of Part 2, we mentioned a company that our barista’s use to perfect their espresso techniques. is actually very affordable at $10 a month for access to industry leading espresso training. You may want to check out the free trial and see if it works for you. Ultimately, whether you have a home espresso maker or a giant, 3-group, industrial machine… the basic principles of great espresso are the same.

The 5 most important factors to pulling perfect espresso shots are: Water Pressure, Extraction Time, Water Temperature, Grind Consistency, and Tamping. If any one of these are off, your shots will lose a lot of flavor and you won’t enjoy your end espresso drink. For perfect espresso shots, all of these need to be set exactly right. Some of these are out of your control, however. The goal is to strive for perfection in all of these things and get as close as you can – or, if you can justify it, find a new machine that will allow you to achieve that perfection.

Continue reading Perfect Espresso Shots – Make Great Espresso At Home [Coffee Brewing Guide] – Part2

Posted on Leave a comment

Make Great Espresso At Home [Coffee Brewing Guide] – Part1

Espresso is a touchy subject in the coffee industry. You can learn “the only correct way” from a ton of different sources and somehow, they always seem to differ. The honest answer is that there is no one way to make espresso that is universal and works for every espresso machine. Espresso machines are touchy and each one has a “best practices” list in order that you can make great espresso. “Make a Great Espresso at Home” – the second part of our “Coffee Brewing Guide” we’ll look at some of that important factors to help you make great espresso at home.

Make Great Espresso for Home!

Make Great Espresso At Home – Part 1 – Foundations

First off, if you have an espresso machine, you’re one of three kinds of people:

  1. 1.) a coffee connoisseur that wants the ability to enjoy espresso made from the beans of their choice at home, on demand
  2. 2.) a person that enjoys tinkering with gadgets and loves coffee and figured that this was the way to go
  3. 3.) someone that didn’t realize the first two kinds of people are the prime candidates for an espresso machine and purchased theirs for money savings or was given the one they have.

Continue reading Make Great Espresso At Home [Coffee Brewing Guide] – Part1

Posted on 2 Comments

The Best Coffee Grind

Getting the best coffee grind from your grinder is easy when you know how to do it.  Here is a really fast breakdown of how to get the best coffee grind for your coffee maker.

Burr Grinder (recommended) – A burr ginder (or even better, conical burr grinder) provides the best, most consistant grind for your beans.  This will lead to a consistently better cup than standard blade grinders will provide.

  1. #1 (finest) – Turkish
  2. #2 – Fine Espresso
  3. #3 – Standard Espresso
  4. #4 – Cone Filter Drip
  5. #5 (middle grind) – Universal Drip
  6. #6 – Flat/Basket Filter Drip
  7. #7 – Percolator
  8. #8 – Stovetop Percolator
  9. #9 (coarsest) – French Press

Blade Grinder – make sure to keep the grinder upright on the counter.  A common mistake is made in twisting and turn the grinder to “assist” in the grinding process.  This actually only hurts the grinder as the circular motion of the blades causes the force necessary to properly grind the beans.

  1. 20 seconds (finest) – Turkish
  2. 16 seconds – Fine Espresso
  3. 14 seconds – Standard Espresso
  4. 12 seconds – Cone Filter Drip
  5. 11 seconds (middle grind) – Universal Drip
  6. 10 seconds – Flat/Basket Filter Drip
  7. 9 seconds – Percolator
  8. 8 seconds – Stovetop Percolator
  9. 6 seconds (coarsest) – French Press

Questions or Comments?  Need a good grinder recommendation?  Please post below!

Posted on 2 Comments

How to Brew Coffee in a Drip Maker [Coffee Brewing Guide]

Thermal Carafe Coffee MakerOne of the questions we are asked most often at Camano Island Coffee Roasters is: “How do I brew the best coffee in my coffee maker?”. This series is designed to assist you in brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home.  When you know the optimal way of how to brew coffee at home and couple that with the top 1% of the world’s coffee, you’ll have a coffee experience akin to no other!

How to Brew Coffee in a Drip Maker

For many, brewing drip coffee at home is the only way to enjoy their morning beverage.  A drip coffee maker offers many conveniences such as ease of use, ease of cleaning, automated brewing, and a holding container for the coffee when it’s finished brewing.  There are many ways to brew your coffee and a lot of them can negatively affect the flavor of the coffee itself.  Our goal is to help you know exactly how to make the best coffee at home.

Continue reading How to Brew Coffee in a Drip Maker [Coffee Brewing Guide]

Posted on Leave a comment

Great Organic Iced Coffee Just in Time For Summer

“Blog Master”

The weather here on Camano Island has been amazing. Our ‘usual’ clouds and infamous rainy Seattle weather has left and the sun is out! This means the weekends and evenings are being more and more filled with beaches and walks outside… and coffee of course.

With the sun and the weather we are freed up to enjoy coffee in new “Cooler” ways. Iced coffee is a favorite, and a very simple treat that is perfect for at the beach or on the back porch during the bright hours of the day.

My Perfect Iced Coffee:

  • Pick your roast. (I like something Dark and thick, perhaps Sumatra)
  • Brew that coffee at double strength (just add twice the amount of coffee to your pot)
  • Fill a tall glass of ice for you and a friend, and fix to please. Raw sugar can be a great addition as well as your choice of milk or cream.

Posted on Leave a comment

How To Make The Best Coffee — Cone vs Flat Drip

how to make the best coffee

In the USA, drip coffee is the single most popular way to brew that morning cup of coffee. Most people brew coffee in a drip coffee maker because it’s easy and habitual. Many people, however, consistently prepare their coffee incorrectly. In this post I’ll show you how to make the best coffee.

We all make coffee differently

Depending on the individual, it can be misinformation or just the way they’ve been brought up to brew their coffee by their parents. Keep in Mind… everyone enjoys their coffee differently. My guide is to steer those who are unaware of the proper techniques towards enjoying a much better cup. There are a group of people who purposefully do things differently. While that may not be considered “the ultimate” way to enjoy coffee, for that person it may be.

Also, fresh coffee vs. ground coffee beans is going to make a HUGE difference in flavor.

I’m writing this post assuming you have a good burr grinder. I’m also going to assume that you are receiving whole bean coffee from CICR. If you’re currently getting it ground, you can skip over any steps that mention grinding the coffee. I do, however, strongly recommend that you purchase a decent burr or even a conical burr grinder and start grinding your own coffee. The flavor difference is huge… especially a couple weeks into your coffee shipment. The brewing process is simple and many people will find this part boring. In an effort to be complete, however, I’m going to spell it out briefly.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 1: The Water.

Fill the water tank on the brewing unit to the fill line (or to the level acceptable for the amount of coffee you’re brewing). Make sure you don’t use distilled water or unfiltered tap water as the water will severely alter the flavor of your coffee.


How To Make The Best Coffee Step 2: Grind your coffee.

Typical grinders will have numbers 1-9. Assuming 1 is the finest grind on your grinder, grind a number 4 for your cone filter or a number 6 for your flat filter. If your grinder isn’t numbered, put the dial in the center for a flat filter and make it a notch or two finer for a cone filter.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 3: Use Enough Coffee!

Many people have varying views as to the strength of their coffee. That is fine and totally up to personal taste. The problem lies in the extraction. Not enough fresh coffee grounds will give you over-extracted coffee. It’s better to make it strong and water it down afterward with hot water.

How To Make The Best Coffee Step 5: Start your coffee maker

Start your coffee maker and set a timer for the length of time it will take to remind you to come back when it’s finished.

If you have a thermal pot, you’re ready to go and your coffee will stay hot for a long while. If you have a glass pot, make sure you turn the burner off immediately or else your coffee will continue to cook and you’ll lose a lot of flavor.

Untitled-1.jpgThe Cliff Notes of How to make the best coffee!

– Use at least 1 tablespoon of grounds per 8oz of water (I prefer 6oz personally).

– If possible, grind the amount of coffee you need just before brewing it.

– Do NOT brew your coffee weak if you like it weaker. Instead brew less and add hot water.

– Cone Grind – #4; Flat Grind – #6 on a typical burr grinder.

– Use water that is purified but not distilled for the flavor. That will ensure your coffee tastes the best possible. Thanks for reading! Please ask any questions you may have. Either respond to this post or catch us on Facebook or Twitter! Dan – CICR

how to make the best coffee