Coffee Making Tips

A good cup of coffee can make or break your day

Here at Ritual, we have put together a few tips we think you all should know to make your daily cup of Ritual sing.

General Tips

  • Always use clean equipment. There's an old tale that tea tastes better when it comes from an unwashed pot.
    We can tell you that coffee does not taste good if your gear isn't clean.
  • Store your coffee in a cool, dark place, sealed in an airtight bag or container.
    Don't put your coffee in the fridge! Unless you want it to taste like cheese or last week's leftovers.
  • Always use fresh coffee. Unlike wine, coffee doesn't improve with age.
    The coffee will be at its best for up to 14 days after roasting, so we recommend buying small quantities regularly.
  • If possible, grind your coffee just before use.
    As soon as coffee is ground it begins to lose its flavour and aroma, so if you're a coffee perfectionist, we'd advise getting a grinder for home.
  • The quality of your water will directly affect the quality of your brew.
    Clean fresh water from the tap is perfectly fine but if you have a water filter we definitely recommend this for taste and keeping your equipment from any scale build-up.
  • Remember to save your used coffee grounds, great for 101 uses in the garden or try making a face or body scrub or even candles.
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Using a plunger (or French press) is one of the easiest ways to enjoy fantastic coffee at home. This brewing style immerses the coffee in water for the entire brew time, producing a very full-bodied, flavoursome cup.

Start with freshly roasted and ground beans, clean equipment and fresh, cold water.


  • Boil your water, and pre-heat the plunger by using this water to rinse it. You can do the same with your cups. Make sure you discard this water.
  • Add 1 tbsp coffee for each 180ml cup you plan to make.
  • Make sure coffee is ground for a plunger (this is a courser grind than espresso or stovetop)
  • Pour boiled (not boiling) water in the pot to just cover the coffee grounds and then stir. Water should be off the boil for 1 minute before you add it to the coffee, otherwise the coffee may burn.
  • Pour in the remaining boiled water to fill the plunger to the desired level.
  • Place the lid on the plunger, and wait 4 minutes before pressing rod down slowly.
  • Allow the sediment to settle and pour into a pre-heated cup.
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A stovetop espresso maker (or a Moka pot) allows you to make a tasty espresso-style coffee.

This brewing method uses steam pressure to brew a strong coffee with some of the characteristics of espresso, such as added texture, viscosity and flavour.


  • Pour boiling water into the bottom of the pot, filling up to the inside line. We use pre-boiled water to prevent the stovetop from ‘cooking’ the coffee as it heats the water.
  • Insert the coffee basket into the brewer's bottom, and fill with coffee, rounded off to a slight mound. The coffee should be as fine as table salt - if you're using pre-ground coffee, make sure you ask for a stovetop grind.
  • Screw the top and bottom together, and place over medium heat, leaving the lid open. The coffee will begin to come out and will get progressively lighter in colour. When the stream is clover honey-coloured, remove from heat and close the lid.
  • Stop the extraction by running cold water over the bottom of the pot, or wrapping in a cool towel. This is done to prevent ‘over extracting’, and developing a burnt, metallic taste.
  • When the coffee stops extracting, pour into cups. You may wish to dilute with hot water to suit taste. Enjoy.
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Espresso Machine

Ah, the cafe-quality coffee - harder than your barista makes it look, right?

With this method, it's a clear case of practice makes perfect.

Extraction Instructions

  • Make sure the basket is clean and dry.
  • Dose your coffee generously ensuring it is ground for espresso around 3 tbsp, and round off with a curved index finger to form a slight mound in the centre.
  • Resting the handle on a hard surface (but still holding), tamp down the coffee with even, firm pressure. Your coffee should be packed into the basket flatly and evenly, as an uneven tamp can create problems during extraction.
  • Flush the group head for 3 or 4 seconds. This removes old coffee residue from the screen and ensures your coffee is brewed with fresh water. Preheat your cup.
  • Insert the handle into the group head, locking into position with the handle pointing directly outwards. Begin your extraction, paying careful attention to the shot as it pours. A perfect shot will last about 28 seconds, beginning slow, dark syrupy and finishing steady and lighter in colour.
  • When the extraction has finished, remove the handle and remove the coffee by knocking it into a dump box. Flush the group head again, rinsing the handle underneath.
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Espresso Machine Tips

Other than the machine's pressure and temperature settings, the 3 main things which control your extraction are the grind of the beans, the amount of coffee in the handle and the firmness of the tamp.

If your extraction comes out too quickly (a fast stream, light in colour and curving inward will taste bitter and weak), use a finer grind of beans, and make sure you're putting enough coffee in the basket and tamping with pressure.

Similarly, if the extraction takes too long to start (or doesn't start at all), try a slightly coarser grind, and be wary of over-filling and over-tamping.

  • Keep the water in your machine fresh, emptying and re-filling each time you turn it on (we recommend you use filtered water to reduce any scale build-up). Allow your machine to fully heat up before you use it - this can take up to 30 minutes with some machines.
  • Keep your machine clean (by yourself some coffee cleaner), as coffee oils and residue and lime-scale and calcium build-up can produce unwanted flavours.
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Milk Steaming Instructions

  • Pour cold milk into your jug (blue or high-fat milk works best), stopping where the pouring spout of the jug begins.
  • With the steam wand pointing in toward the machine’s drip tray, turn it on for 3 seconds to purge.
  • Position the wand in the jug, submerging the tip roughly 1cm below the surface of the milk.
  • With one hand holding the jug handle and the other on the steam knob, crank it on. Lower the jug, revealing more of the wand to allow air to enter. It will make a kissy-kissy sucky-sucky sound you will hear is the sound of froth being made, You should not be hearing a screaming sound or a deep dark rumble sound if this is happening you have the steam wand to deep in the milk.
  • You will notice the volume of milk grows as froth is produced. Try to let the air in early, so that the later steaming stage can be used to ‘smooth out’ the mixture, giving you a much silkier texture.
  • With your free hand, feel the jug temperature by placing your palm at the side of the jug. When it is too hot to touch, remove your hand, count to 4, and turn the steam crank off.
  • Purge the steam wand and wipe with a wet cloth immediately.
  • Groom your milk by giving it a light tap or two on a hard surface, and swirling to smooth. If necessary, use a spoon to remove excess froth. Swirl again, and pour slowly on top of your espresso shot.
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