5 Fool-Proof Tips On Brewing the Best Cup of Coffee
5 Fool-Proof Tips On Brewing the Best Cup of Coffee
Have you ever had coffee so bitter that your tongue wants to jump out of your mouth or upsets your tummy?
It’s easy to blame the coffee beans. After all, that’s what coffee is… roasted and brewed beans. However, there is much more to brewing coffee than ground coffee and water. We’re going to reveal the five secrets to brewing the best cup of coffee, so you’ll never have to tolerate a lousy cup again!
The bean’s quality and origin undeniably make a big difference in the taste, but there is more to the story. Coffee is a symphony of skilled handling and timing, from harvesting to brewing. Equally essential to creating the perfect cup of coffee are the quality of the roasting, grinding, storage, and water.
Let’s examine these components so you can create the best cup of coffee… every time.
Secret #1 – Choosing the Right Coffee Bean
Did you know that ripe coffee beans are a deep cherry-red color, grow in tight clusters along the plant stems, and smell like blueberries? Buying from small farmers who pick only the ripest beans means you get a rich flavorful bean.
There are two primary varieties of commercially grown coffee beans globally, the Arabica and the Robusta. Here’s the difference:
Arabica Coffee Beans
Robusta Coffee Beans
Arabica beans are the most abundant, with Brazil producing the majority. Due to its fragile nature, Arabica costs more to produce, but the smooth flavor makes it the bean of choice for coffee lovers. The secret to a fabulous cup of coffee is 100% Arabica beans, preferably grown organically.
Secret #2 – Roasting Enhances or Obliterates the Bean’s Flavor
Once you’ve found quality Arabica beans, you need to roast them. Roasting coffee beans is an art. Like brewing beer, it takes practice, skill, and knowledge to get it right every time. Roasting brings out the flavor and aroma we love so much. Doing it wrong can ruin the beans, create inconsistencies, or eradicate the delicate flavors.
Mega coffee producers like Starbucks must roast millions of pounds of coffee and store it in warehouses to keep their stores supplied without interruption. One of their five plants roasts over three million pounds of coffee every week!
For proper consistency, control and freshness, nothing beats micro-roasted coffee. Micro-roasting means small batches of 150 pounds or less. A master roaster is responsible for roasting the beans to exact specifications.
For coffee-lovers, micro-roasted coffee in small batches is one of the best-kept secrets to drinking fantastic coffee.
Secret #3 – Freshness and Preventing Oxidation
If you’ve ever brewed ground coffee from a can and tasted the same coffee a week later, you’ll notice a distinct drop in the flavor. Oxygen is coffee’s enemy and corrosive gas. Look at what it does to iron, steel, and raw apples. It also neutralizes the flavor elements in coffee, turning fresh ground coffee into a bland, bitter brew within a few days.
The beans must be sealed as soon as possible after roasting to prevent oxidation. That’s one of the advantages of micro-roasting and buying from smaller roasters. They can generally roast, pack and ship the same day. You’re not buying grocery store beans that have traveled and sat in warehouses for weeks.
Once you open the bag, you should only grind what you need for that serving. Always store the whole beans in an air-tight container. The grounds begin to oxidize immediately, so individual batches are the secret to preserving the aromatic oils.
Secret #4 – How You Grind the Coffee Makes a Difference
You might think that your high-speed coffee grinder does a great job. It reduces beans to espresso powder in seconds. You would be amazed at how much flavor you lose when grinding this way.
Coffee purists know that one of the best-kept secrets is the grinder. It’s not the size of the grind but how the grinder breaks the beans that matter. A hand-held manual ceramic burr grinder has a few advantages over their electrically powered cousins.
It’s quiet. You don’t wake up the entire house at 5 am when you grind fresh beans with a manual grinder. The conical ceramic head funnels the beans down through spiraling lines or burrs that crush the beans like a peppermill. You can change the grind’s size depending on how you like to brew, and it’s incredibly uniform.
Blade grinders chop the beans like a lawnmower. It creates fine dust and larger pieces in the same batch because you can’t adjust the size.
Only a reliable burr coffee grinder can offer you the full-flavored and fresh coffee you want. Once you try coffee ground by hand, you’ll never go back to your blade grinder or pre-ground again.
Secret #5 – The Water is More Important than the Brewing Method
Water is the solvent that extracts the flavor compounds from the beans and into the drink. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a French press, pour-over, drip machine, or other coffee brewing device. Water is the agent that makes or breaks your brew’s flavor.
Excess minerals and chlorine will negatively affect your brew. If you can, always use cold filtered water. Never use distilled or reverse osmosis water as it has no minerals. You need some minerals for flavor.
A cup of coffee is 98% water. As the primary ingredient, it’s critical to have quality water at the PERFECT TEMPERATURE to brew the best cup of coffee. The best temperature is 205°F (96.1°C). It’s a slow simmer in a pot, not a rolling boil. Boiling water tends to create too much steam, evaporating some of the volatile oils and aroma from your brew.
How Clean is Your Mug?
What’s the point of going to all the trouble of making the perfect cup of coffee if you’re going to serve it in an unclean mug? Just like a beer glass must be “beer clean” to preserve the foam all the way to the bottom, your coffee mug must be very clean. Excess dish soap or old coffee stains will ruin a good cup of coffee.
Simplify Your Quest for Perfect Coffee
Now that you know to look for 100% Arabica beans roasted in small batches, where do you find a bag that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf of a specialty shop for ages?
The easiest and best solution is a subscription coffee service. One company, 205 Degrees, takes care of everything except brewing it for you. Vince Smith, owner and roastmaster, is a coffee fanatic. He sources 100% Arabica beans from organic farms around the world. Then he micro-roasts it in one of four varieties, Breakfast Blend (lightest), Paradise Blend (Medium), Beyond (Dark), and Espresso Roast.
He bags and ships most of the coffee the same day while it’s still warm! It doesn’t get fresher than that. With a subscription, you’ll have guaranteed fresh coffee delivered to your door every month. To learn more, visit Coffee205.com.
Use these secrets and Vince’s beans to make coffee so good it will make baristas blush.