7 Tips For Brewing A Better Cup of Coffee
Good Coffee Doesn’t Happen By Accident, it’s the result of a harmonious relationship between coffee, water and heat. Put them together and you get coffee, put them together correctly and you get really GOOD coffee. Here are our tips for brewing a better cup of coffee, everytime.
1. Use an accurate digital scale.
Are you a “tablespooner” when it comes to measuring your morning coffee? You know the routine - dipping a spoon into a bag of pre-ground coffee and guesstimating an accurate scoop, dumping it into a filter and then pressing BREW. Hope you like variety, because with this method of brewing coffee, no two cups are ever going to taste the same.
There is a lot to be said for accurately measuring coffee. If you’re not convinced, try a little experiment. Take a handful of coffee beans and lay them on your kitchen counter. What do you notice? They are all different in size and weight. So, the amount of coffee you have after you grind the beans will never be the same. What you want to look for is consistency, and using a simple digital scale does that for you.
2. Use fresh roasted and fresh ground coffee.
Coffee is at its best within 4 weeks of roasting. After that, you run the risk of the coffee going stale. The two things that can cause your coffee to go stale are air and moisture. So, if your coffee did not come in a resealable bag, the best thing you can do is to transfer its contents to a air-tight container. Keep the container in a dry, dark place, at room temperature for long lasting results.
Ground coffee will not stay as fresh as whole bean, so it’s important to grind your coffee beans as you need them. If you grind more than you need for that day's brewing, you also need to store the ground coffee in an air-tight container.
We also want to add that not all coffee grinders are created equal. Grinders that use a blade, will produce a very inconsistent grind. Using a quality burr grinder, like a Baratza Encore, will help maintain consistency. If your grinder uses a blade, try a little experiment. Have your coffee ground at the store (they will use a burr grinder) and see if you can taste the difference.
3. Use correct water to coffee ratio.
After you have measured your coffee, now it’s time to measure the water. The correct water to coffee ratio can make all the difference in your coffee tasting experience. You want to make sure you get all of the flavor you can from your coffee beans, to make it taste as good as possible. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) recommends a water to coffee ratio of 16/1. So for 40oz of water you will use 2.5oz (70 grams) of coffee. This may vary slightly, depending on your brew method, but it’s a great place to start.
4. Use the correct steeping time.
Steeping is the amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee grounds. Steeping time can vary depending on which brewing method you are using. For a drip system coffee maker, steep time is roughly 5 minutes, whereas a french press (plunger pot) should be 3 - 4 minutes. The fastest time is with the AeroPress, which only needs a minute to steep. If you use an AeroPress, be sure your water is ready to pour at 205℉.
5. Use good quality water.
The flavor of coffee is a sensitive thing and can be easily influenced by contaminants in the water you use. The best rule of thumb is, if the water tastes bad - your coffee will taste bad too. I am not saying you have to use bottled water but if your tap water doesn't taste good, it's not going to make good coffee.
Also, if you're using tap water, a good filtration system will help. Avoid using “softened” water and distilled water. They do not contain the necessary minerals for the extraction process.
6. Clean your coffee equipment.
Dirty coffee equipment, whether it’s a French press or espresso machine, can definitely affect the taste of your coffee. The residual oils and stains, not to mention bacteria, that build up can cause your coffee to taste bitter. It’s not enough just to run hot water through your machine or it’s parts. It takes boiling water a full minute to kill harmful contaminants. A consistent cleaning habit ensures that you're getting the truest coffee flavor from your equipment.
7. Stay open minded. The final taste is what matters most.
Sound like a lot to think about just for a cup of coffee? We guarantee that taking these simple steps will provide you with the best coffee experience you’ve ever had. So, our final tip is to stay open minded and let the coffee speak for itself. You won’t be disappointed!