Brewing coffee at home doesn’t have to be hard. These simple tips will help you make a better cup of java.
1. Buy Fresh Beans:
As with most foods, freshly roasted beans offer the best flavor. Look for roasts that are bold and oily on the surface (if possible). A good roast will also emit a nice aroma while it’s brewing in your cup.
2. Don’t Store Roasted Beans:
Once you’ve brought home your beans, put them away properly so they retain their freshness and optimal taste.
Do not leave your roasted coffee sitting out or in an open container where oxygen can get to them and let them oxidize.
This process will change the flavor of your beans, rendering them stale or giving them a harsh “bite” on the tongue. Store your roasted coffee in an airtight container at room temperature.
3. Keep Your Beans Fresh:
Stale beans are not only unpleasant to drink but they can ruin an otherwise good cup of java. You can extend the freshness of your beans by keeping them in an airtight container.
Oxygen, humidity and moisture all contribute to staling, so try to keep your coffee stored away from these elements as much as possible.
4. Grind it Right:
Once you have opened your bag of freshly roasted beans, you need to grind them before brewing them into espresso or French press coffee that’ll give you the best flavor and most robust taste.
You can use a burr grinder or a blade mill to grind your beans, but burr mills will give you the finest grounds and produce a consistent cup of coffee.
5. Measure Properly:
If you’ve ever been disappointed by a weak cup of coffee, chances are you didn’t measure the amount of water and coffee correctly in the first place (but I bet that was never the problem).
A good rule-of-thumb is that one tablespoon of ground coffee should yield 2–4 ounces of brewed java.
6. Use Quality Water:
Using fresh, clean water for brewing your java is extremely important if you want it to retain its natural flavors and oils (which add great depth and richness to your coffee).
7. Keep Your Machine Clean:
Once you’ve purchased a new machine, clean it thoroughly before using it the first time (or if you happen to get one second-hand).
You don’t want anything but coffee in your maker or French press. If there is residue from an old brew inside the pot, try boiling some water and emptying it out completely before making a fresh cup of java.
Another method that can be used is running 3 full pots worth of hot water through the machine if its dishwasher safe (some aren’t) and then dumping them into the sink.
8. Use Good Water:
Never use distilled water when brewing your coffee—it has no mineral content, which means your beans won’t release their full flavors when brewed into espresso or French press.
If you live in an area that has hard water (assuming you don’t already know this), use filtered, spring or bottled drinking water instead. Although mineral content is important when it comes to making coffee, if your tap water is terribly chlorinated it can change the taste of your beans and ruin the flavor completely.
9. Watch Your Temperature:
Both warm milk and boiling-hot coffee are equally damaging to the flavors in your cup of java—so avoid extremes when you’re steaming or heating up your milk for that latte or cappuccino.
You’ll get the best taste by using just-off-the-boil water for brewing espresso, which should be somewhere around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Fresh is Best:
If you’re of the opinion that just-brewed coffee tastes best, then this rule won’t matter so much to you since freshly roasted beans are usually more flavorful.
But if you get your cup from a shop or restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask them when their beans were roasted and how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf (which could be anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months).
With proper storage these beans should still have their essential oils intact though it’s always nice to know when your java was roasted—and buy some fresh ones while you’re at it!
Source image: Nathan Dumlao | unsplash.com