The recipe for a great cup of coffee proportion, grind, water and freshness. Understand and follow the guidelines for each of them, and you’re on your way to brewing a great cup of coffee every time.
1. The right GRIND
The shorter the brewing process, the finer the grind. Each specific brewing method has a specific grind requirements, be sure you grind your coffee for the brewing method right for your brewing equipment. The time the coffee and water spend together greatly affects the flavors that make up your cup of coffee, and the design of your coffee maker dictates how long coffee and water be in direct contact during the brewing process. For instance, coffee ground for a French press pot should be very course, in part because the brew cycle is four minutes. long. For an espresso machine the coffee should be ground very fine, because the water and coffee are in direct contact for only 20 to 35 seconds.
2. The right PROPORTION
Using the right proportion of coffee and water is the most important step in making a really great cup of coffee. For the most flavorful brewed cup of coffee, i recommends two tablespoons of ground coffee for each six fluid ounces of water. I also recommend that you use a little hot water if coffee brewed this way is too strong for your taste.
3. The right WATER
Use fresh, cold water heated to just below a boil (195° to 205° F) is the right way to prepare water for a great cup of coffee. Remember that a cup of coffee is 98 percent water so the water you use to make coffee should taste fresh & clean when you drink it. If the water does not taste good when you drink it cold it won’t taste any better as coffee. Use a water filter to clean your water so you will be able to taste the coffee’s full range of flavors.
Use freshly ground coffee Think of coffee as fresh produce. Coffee should be no more than 21 days old after roasting. As coffee ages the enemies are oxygen, light, heat, and moisture. To keep coffee fresh, keep it in an opaque, airtight container while storing it at room temperature. Many people think that storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer will prolong the freshness of coffee for daily use. Cold or freezing storage however will damage the coffee as warm, moist air condenses to the beans over and over as the container is opened. Again, for the very best results, coffee should be stored dry at room temperature and ground just before brewing. Coffees kept as whole beans stays fresh longer because there is less surface area exposed to oxygen. Additionally, one of the best parts of making coffee is the aromas the grinder releases from inside the bean.
5. The right EQUIPMENT
Enough can’t be said for using high quality brewing equipment. You can not expect coffee brewed in a cheep off brand (or brand name) to have the same deep aroma as coffee brewed at best restaurants. Best coffee is brewed in equipment costing in excess of $3,500.00 and a commercial espresso machine is typically over $5,000.00 Water must be delivered at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time. Cooler water can’t adequately do the job. Water temperatures to low can are not able to draw out the flavor of the coffee, leaving it bland tasting. Make sure the coffee pot you use gets the water hot enough water so you will be able to extract the coffee’s full range of flavors. The same way however water delivered at near boiling temperature, with long contact with the coffee draws out the bitterness of the bean. For many people the French Press offers a great deal of control in their coffee making process and allows a full bodied cup of coffee predictably for a very reasonable price.