Brewing the perfect cup of coffee can take some practice to really nail down. Consistency is key when it comes to making the same cup of coffee every time, no matter what the brew method is. Today, we will go over a few things that help contribute to the perfect cup every time.
One of the essentials is using the right water. Filtered water will always be the best option. It is best to stay away from brewing with water that contains a high mineral content, as it can alter the flavor, but a small amount of natural minerals is needed in most brewing machines. Using water that has been purified using reverse osmosis is a bit of a debate. Some say that it can leech excess flavor out of the coffee and actually cause damage to coffee machines. I make it a point to avoid this type of water, just to be safe.
Another key aspect of making fantastic coffee, is to use the proper grind for the chosen brewing method. Almost every brewing method uses a different grind, so it is important to make sure it is the right one. To use super coarse ground coffee to make espresso would be a pretty bad idea, as it would lead to severe under extraction. It is also ideal to grind your coffee just before using it, and only grind what you need to avoid waste.
Making sure you have the correct proportions of coffee to water is also very important. Too little water could lead to bitter and underdeveloped coffee, and too much water can lead to a flat and tasteless brew. A great way to make sure the proportions are always the same, is to use a scale to weigh the water and beans, to insure you are always using the same amount after perfecting a recipe.
Temperature is a big part of brewing coffee. Like correct proportions, water that is too hot will burn the coffee and give it a burnt and bitter taste. Whereas water that is too cool, will make tasteless coffee. The ideal temperature for most kinds of coffee is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but no higher than 205 degrees. Some type of brewing can call for lower temperatures, for example, I have seen an Aeropress recipe that called for water that was 175 degrees.
If you have ever consumed coffee made with stale beans, you already know that freshness is important. The vast majority of coffee is put into some form of disposable airtight packaging after roasting, such as one-pound bags, but once opened, there is no way to get an airtight seal back on the bag, unless the bag has a recloseable seal. After opening a bag of coffee beans or grounds, it is best to pour them into an airtight container to maintain freshness. These containers can easily extend the life of your coffee beans. Most coffee lasts for about a week or two opened, but the right container can extend that lifespan.
And now the absolute most important part of brewing coffee: brew it how you like it, because what is the point of making your own coffee if you don’t like it? If you like to use twice the amount of coffee beans, then go right ahead. Everyone’s taste buds like different things, and coffee is too amazing to miss out on, no matter how you prefer it.
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