an easy guide to making your own filter coffee

by eileen kenny, photos by andrea mclean

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Sure, it can be a treat to meet friends for a cuppa at your local café, but there’s also something special about taking the time to brew your own coffee at home. (Your bank account probably thinks so, too.) Read on below for some nifty tips on whipping up a glorious hit of caffeine, hot or cold. We used Royal Doulton’s swish Coffee Studio range, which helps you replicate a café-quality coffee experience without having to change out of your pyjamas. High five for that!

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roasted coffee beans
coffee grinder
hot water
coffee filters (pour over methods only)
kitchen scale
milk and sugar, to taste


The raw materials – coffee, water, and even milk and sugar – are key factors that influence the quality of your final brew. Try to buy fresh, well-sourced and appropriately roasted coffee, and use filtered water and fresh milk (from a cow or an almond tree!).

Your choice of coffee beans will influence your enjoyment of the brew (though at 6am, you might only care about pumping the caffeine straight to your veins). If you like a strong, milky coffee, look for something fuller-bodied like a Brazilian bean or an espresso roast; on the other hand, if you prefer lighter, fruitier flavours, look for filter roasts and coffees from places like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Bolivia.

The key to consistently delicious filter coffee is following a recipe: the golden ratio is 60 grams of coffee to one litre of water, so dust off those kitchen scales and put them to work! When heating up your water, try to aim for a couple of degrees cooler than boiling – 94 to 98 degrees Celsius should do the trick.

When you get into the groove of brewing coffee at home, it’s worth investing in a quality coffee grinder (those all-in-one coffee and spice grinders probably won’t cut it), and a pouring kettle so you can better control the flow of water while brewing.

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French press

This process involves pressing the coffee grounds to extract every drop of deliciousness, leading to a rich, full flavour.

1. To begin, weigh and grind your coffee beans, then heat up the brew water till it reaches the temperature range noted above.

2. Pour the ground coffee into the French press, then add a small amount of water to properly saturate the grounds (this is called the ‘bloom’, as the grounds gently rise up). Allow to sit for 20 to 30 seconds.

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3. Pour in the rest of your brew water and gently stir, then set a timer for four minutes.

4. Once your timer finishes, pop the top on the French press and slowly plunge down, using steady, even pressure. Pour your plunged coffee into a mug and start sipping!

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Pour over

The pour over method takes a wee bit longer to complete, but allows you to better control factors such as taste and strength of your coffee.

1. Place the pour over cone on top of the jug or mug with a paper filter in, then give it a quick rinse to get rid of any paper taste and warm everything up. Weigh and grind your coffee, then heat up your brew water to the temperatures specified above.

2. Pour the ground coffee into the filter, then add a bit of the brew water to make the coffee bloom. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 seconds.

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3. Slowly begin to add the rest of the brew water, making sure to pour in a spiral motion from the outer rim to the centre of the cone.

4. Once all the water has been added, allow it to drain through and drip for about 30 seconds, then pour into your cup and enjoy!

Iced pour over

For this method, the coffee is brewed hot like a normal pour over, but half the water will come from ice blocks placed in the jug below, which will instantly chill the brew.

1. Pre-rinse the cone and filter paper as above, then weigh and grind your coffee. (A finer grind will work better this time.) Preheat your brew water and fill the jug with the appropriate amount of ice cubes (50 per cent of the brew water amount, give or take).

2. Pour the ground coffee into the cone, then add a bit of the brew water to make the coffee bloom. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 seconds.

3. Slowly add the rest of the brew water (50 per cent of what you’d use in a hot pour over), pouring in a spiral motion from the outer rim to the centre of the cone.

4. Allow the water to fully drain through, then give your jug of freshly iced coffee a quick stir. Pour into your mug and gulp down that refreshing caffeine. 

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Royal Doulton’s Coffee Studio collection will help you discover your inner barista, whether you’re more of a slow-brew fan, espresso enthusiast or cappuccino connoisseur. Get your home-brewing setup sorted over on the Royal Doulton website.

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