One of the most basic joys in life comes in waking up in the morning and making the perfect cup of coffee. The smell of the beans, the thick, rich liquid, the warmth that hits your soul when you take your first sip. It?s like sunrise for your taste buds, and we believe every sunrise should be as beautiful as possible.
Making good coffee is a matter of practice and precision, and it?s worth the time to learn how. Not only will you save hundreds going to the coffee shop every day, but you?ll also discover a whole new love for everyone?s favorite brew. Read on to learn how to make good coffee right in your kitchen.
1. Get Fresh Roasted Coffee
Coffee, just like food, gets stale with time, and stale coffee does not make for good brewing. If your coffee has been sitting in the cabinet for months, it?s time to repurpose those coffee grounds and get fresh coffee. This simple step can go a long way towards making your homebrew taste better.
If possible, try to buy fresh-roasted beans from local vendors. This does a couple of things; for one, it makes sure you get the coffee when all those roasting flavors are still strong and intact. And for another, it ensures that you?re buying from an ethical source and supporting local business.
2. Use Whole Beans
If you usually use pre-ground beans, it?s time to make the switch to whole beans. Like the roast, the fresher you can make your grind, the better. The best way to keep those flavors in peak condition is to grind right before you brew your coffee.
A lot of the flavor of coffee comes from oils that come out in the roasting. Before grinding, those oils are trapped in the beans, but once you grind them, they start to evaporate. The closer to brewing that you grind them, the more of those flavors you get.
3. Keep Them Airtight
Once oxygen hits coffee beans, it immediately makes their flavor start deteriorating. The beans oxidize, undergoing the same process that causes rust on metal. This is the process that makes beans go stale and robs them of their flavor.
When you?re buying coffee, look for bags that have an airtight seal or, better yet, a ?roasted on? date. When you get the beans home, be sure to store them in an airtight container that you keep as full of beans as you can. This will help prevent too much oxygen from stripping the flavor out of your beans.
4. Take It Out of the Fridge
A lot of people keep their coffee beans in the fridge or freezer with the idea that this will help keep them fresher. If you freeze the beans and leave them frozen until you take them out to use them, this can work fine. But you don?t want to routinely store your beans in your freezer.
The problem with freezing or refrigerating your beans is it causes moisture to gather on the inside of the bag. This will start to deteriorate the beans and strip the flavor. Your coffee should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge. Keep them in a glass or ceramic container in a pantry or on your counter.
5. Get a Good Grinder
Having the right tools is the name of the game when it comes to making good coffee. This whole process starts with having a good grinder. To get the most out of your coffee, you should be looking for a high-quality conical burr grinder.
Burr grinders offer a number of great benefits to coffee drinkers, starting with their adjustable grinding size. You can match your grind size to your brew method and ensure a consistent grind on your beans. If you don?t want to spend the money to get an electric grinder, you could get a hand grinder that?s pretty affordable.
6. Use a Scale
One of the biggest areas for human error in your coffee brewing is the number of grounds you use. Too little and the coffee will be too weak; too much and it?ll be bitter. To get that perfect, smooth brew every time, try using a scale to measure your coffee grounds.
The industry standard for coffee is to brew at 18 parts water to one part grounds. So if you use one ounce of coffee beans, you can use eighteen ounces of water to get a standard brew. Using a scale will allow you to more carefully experiment to find the ratio you like.
7. Use Purified Water
We spend a lot of time looking at the 2 percent of the coffee that is the beans, and we often forget about those other 98 percent. The water you use in your coffee can do an enormous amount to affect the flavor of your final brew. If you live somewhere where the water is especially mineral or chlorinated, this can make it hard to get a good cup of coffee.
If your tap water is no good, brew your coffee using purified water. You can use a filter pitcher or install a filter on the tap to pull out minerals and rust. But don?t use distilled water; with no minerals whatsoever, your coffee will be bland and tasteless.
8. Brew Hot
One of the biggest factors that affect how coffee extracts is water temperature. Most of us tend to brew coffee at boiling temperature, but this can actually damage the beans. If water is too hot, it will burn the grounds, and if it?s too cold, it won?t extract the coffee fully.
The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is 198 to 202 degrees Fahrenheit. If you boil your water, let it sit for a few moments before you pour it over the grounds. And if you use an automatic coffee maker, check the temperature of the water right after it brews; if it?s not within that ideal range, see if there?s a way to adjust the temperature on your maker.
9. Get a Gooseneck Kettle
One easy way to make sure your water is always at the right temperature is to get a gooseneck kettle. These kettles feature a long, skinny spout that comes up from the bottom of the kittle. They come in electric or traditional varieties, depending on your preference.
The advantage of the gooseneck kettle is that the long spout gives your coffee a chance to get cooled off on its way to the grounds. For those who brew pour-over style, it also gives you good control over where the water hits the beans. This can help you ensure every single ground makes contact with water and infuses properly.
10. Pre-Infuse Your Grounds
If you use an automatic drip coffee maker, you may not be getting the full flavor out of your beans. The water runs through as fast as gravity will let it, and the beans may not have a chance to infuse fully. Pre-infusing your grounds can be a great way to get as much bang for your buck as possible.
To pre-infuse your grounds, put a filter and the grounds into the hopper like normal. Use a kettle to slowly pour about a quarter-cup of 200-degree water over your beans. Make sure you get all the grounds wet, let it sit for about a minute, and then start your coffee maker.
11. Get a Pour-Over Setup
If you really want to get the best possible cup of coffee, it?s worth investing in a pour-over setup. Tools like Chemex, Hario V60, Clever Dripper, or a French press will give you more precise control over your morning brew. This will allow you to change up the variables to suit your taste in coffee.
Which setup you choose depends on your coffee preference. If you like the automatic coffee, but you want to get the perfect cup every time, a Chemex or similar coffee maker will give you the needed control. If you find you can?t get a strong enough cup of coffee out of an automatic coffee maker, you may like a French press that allows you to control how long the grounds spend infusing.
Learn How to Make Good Coffee
Good coffee is an art ? from selecting the perfect roast to grinding the beans to the right consistency to making sure those beans infuse under the right condition. The more you can control that process, the more you?ll be able to turn out a perfect cup of coffee every time. Knowing how to make good coffee is about being careful every step of the way.
If you?d like to discover how to experience all the best tastes of life, check out the rest of our website at?Intentional Flavor. We are dedicated to helping you find the best tools to make your life delicious. Check out our best indoor cuisine tools and start cooking better today.