Feedsee Beverages : Brewing Coffee : How to make good coffee at home
Home espresso and coffee machine maker Krups and the Specialty Coffee Association of America offer tips for making good coffee at home. First look at your machine. A clean, calibrated machine is necessary to brew the perfect pot of coffee or the best cup of espresso. For top flavor, grind your coffee immediately before brewing. In order to preserve the flavor of the coffee bean as long as possible, keep coffee away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light. Coffee should be stored in an opaque, airtight ceramic or glass container and not refrigerated or frozen, because moisture of the refrigerator or freezer deteriorates coffee. When grinding your beans, remember, larger grinds for coffee and smaller grinds for espresso. Making coffee with two rounded tablespoons of coffee per cup of water. The optimal water temperature for brewing coffee is 92 to 96 degrees. After coffee is brewed, the filter should be removed immediately. The coffee that continues to drip from the filter will be bitter and can ruin your fresh pot of coffee. Never re-heat a cup of coffee. Once brewed, coffee starts to lose its flavor, so drink it soon.
Ten tips to help you make a great cup of coffee at home:
- Fresh Beans: The quality of your coffee begins with the quality of your beans. Try to buy fresh beans from a local roaster or a reputable online seller. Freshly roasted coffee beans will generally have a roast date on them. Avoid buying coffee beans from supermarket bins as they've likely been exposed to oxygen and light, accelerating the staling process.
- Proper Storage: Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. Light, heat, moisture, and air are coffee beans' biggest enemies.
- Grind Your Own: Coffee starts losing quality almost immediately upon grinding. For the freshest taste, grind your beans just before you brew. Burr grinders are preferred over blade grinders as they grind coffee to a consistent size.
- Correct Grind Size: The grind size should match your brewing method. A general rule of thumb is that brewing methods with a short contact time between water and coffee require a finer grind, while those with a long contact time need a coarser grind. For example, espresso requires a fine grind, a French press requires a coarse grind, and drip coffee is somewhere in between.
- Use the Right Amount of Coffee: The general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water, but this can be adjusted to taste. A digital scale can help with accuracy.
- Water Quality: Coffee is 98% water, so the quality of your water matters. Avoid using distilled or softened water. Tap water is perfectly fine in most areas, but if your tap water has a strong taste or odor, you might want to consider using filtered or bottled water.
- Water Temperature: The water temperature should be between 195 degrees Fahrenheit (91 degrees Celsius) and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 degrees Celsius) for optimal extraction. If you don’t have a thermometer, after boiling let your water stand for 30 seconds before pouring it over the grounds.
- Clean Your Equipment: Coffee can leave an oily residue, which can accumulate over time and impact the taste. Clean your equipment regularly to prevent any buildup.
- Timing: The brew time is critical and will vary based on the brewing method. For example, a French press should be brewed for 4 minutes, while an espresso shot should take between 20-30 seconds. Always follow the brewing guidelines for your particular method to get the best result.
- Enjoy Immediately: Coffee begins to lose flavor as soon as it's brewed. For the best taste, drink it immediately after brewing. If you must prepare coffee in advance, use a thermal carafe to keep it hot rather than letting it sit on the burner, which can cause a burnt taste.
Remember, the best coffee is one that suits your personal taste, so feel free to experiment with bean types, grind size, water temperature, and brewing time until you find your perfect cup.