Beginner or expert alike, there are some tips and tricks for us all on how to make a cup of coffee that can take an average cup of coffee to an entirely new level with some very simple ideas and changes.
Starting with the Right Beans
The first thing to consider in the process of making your own coffee is the coffee beans. To really make a “good” cup of coffee, you should purchase whole beans and grind them yourself. This is because all coffee beans have essential oils that add to both the aroma as well as the flavor and feel of the coffee, and those essential oils begin breaking down and evaporating within just an hour after grinding time. When you purchase whole beans, search for packages that have a one-way valve in them. After roasting, beans need time to de-gas, and if they are placed in a bag and sealed without any means for that gas to escape, the bag can explode.
Packaging with venting systems means that the beans can be packaged as soon as they cool. Tip: As soon as you open the bag of coffee beans, remove just the amount you need for that day, and immediately place the rest in an air-tight container to lessen the time the beans are in contact with air. Also: purchase only as much as you can use in one week. We have more information on how to buy coffee and offer charts by origin to determine what flavor, feel and acidity level you might prefer.
The Correct Grind for Your Coffee Maker
You will need to grind your coffee beans according to the type of coffee maker you use. This is a basic breakdown that’s easy to follow
Fine: Ideal for espresso machines
Medium: Ideal for drip coffee makers
Coarse: Ideal for French press coffee makers, percolators and stovetop espresso makers
Your coffee maker should come with an instruction manual that recommends the best grind for it’s specific design. Overly fine coffee can make coffee bitter, and an overly course grind can cause coffee to taste flat. Be sure to be careful of grinding coffee to finely for coffee makers like a French press or percolator, when grounds that are too fine will clog your filter and make it difficult to brew a good cup. Tip: with each grind setting you switch to, study the grind and run a few grounds between your fingers so you can easily remember what the grind felt and looked like next time you want to repeat and re-create that grind. Never use coffee grounds more than once. The proper coffee flavors are extracted the first time around, any extractions to follow will develop into very bitter coffee.
Quality Water at the Right Temperature
It seems simple, but it’s very important the coffee making process. The most expensive, perfectly ground beans in the best coffee maker on the market will be ruined when combined with poor quality water. If your tap water is from a well, you are probably okay. However, if you live somewhere where your tap water is processed and chlorinated, then you should seriously consider filtering your water or purchasing bottled water. Tip: the optimum water temperature range for brewing coffee is 195 to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that’s too cold creates flat, underextractions, and water that is too hot will destroy some of the flavor’s coffee. Your coffee beans will thank you, and you’ll thank yourself when you taste the difference. Tip: never use distilled or softened water.
How Much Coffee to Use?
Aim for 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for ever 6 ounces of water.
How Long to Brew Coffee
Try to stick to the following time frame to brew the best coffee:
Espresso: 10-30 seconds
Plunger pot: 2-4 minutes
Drip Coffee: 5 minutes
Enjoying Your Coffee
Immediately pour your brewed coffee into an already-warm cup so that the coffee stays at the optimum heat for even longer. Aim to maintain a temperature of 180-195 degrees Fahrenheit if you won’t be drinking the coffee right away. Tip: never leave on a burner for any longer than 10-15 minutes; you will notice a burnt taste after this. When you’re ready, take in the wonderful aroma, and enjoy the fruits of making your own coffee. It’ll be the best coffee you’ve had!