5 Quick Tips for Better Tasting Coffee

coffeecupIf you’re a beginner to coffee making, it can often be confusing to wade through the wealth of information available online when it comes to making your coffee better. Every website or blog has their own methods, everybody you talk to has a different opinion. But there are a few core things which really matter when it comes to brewing better tasting coffee for yourself. Today I aim to share with you some of the things that will inevitably increase your enjoyment and make you a better coffee brewer.

Use Fresh Coffee

If you want the best tasting cup of coffee, freshness is perhaps the most important factor. If you’re somebody who drinks store bought coffee from a supermarket or a grocery store, it’s likely that the coffee has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of months at least. This is a huge no-no if you’re really serious about good tasting coffee. Coffee generally has a shelf life of somewhere around six weeks and if left any longer than that the good flavors will deteriorate from it quicker than you can say home brew. For the absolute best results you want to purchase the freshest beans possible. The absolute best place to purchase coffee beans from is a local roaster – do some research for roasters in your area and your taste buds will definitely thank you for it.

 

How You Grind the Beans is Important

There is an art to coffee grinding. For myself and many other coffee enthusiasts there is only one “proper” piece of equipment to use when grinding and that is a good, high quality conical burr grinder. The other popular type of grinder is known as a blade grinder and it’s generally agreed that these don’t touch burr grinders when it comes to making the finest coffee. You don’t have to break the bank for a decent burr grinder – a decent hand grinder can be purchased for around $50 – although for the best quality automatic burr grinders you could be looking to fork out a couple of hundred dollars at least.

 

Only Use Filtered Water

It’s a very simple tip, but it’s surprising how many people I know that don’t use filtered water to make their coffee. The taste of the water you use has EVERYTHING to do with the taste of the coffee and if you use poor quality water the funky tastes from it will absolutely still be detectable after the coffee is added. Use only well filtered water or bottled water as a suitable substitute.

 

Pre Infuse Your Coffee

Before you begin extraction, wet your coffee grounds first. This is a really useful tip and when I first discovered it so many years ago it really changed the way I drank coffee. A lot of my favorite coffee makers have a pre-infusion feature. Wetting the coffee first gives the extraction process a little head start and can really bring the flavor of the coffee to the forefront. You don’t have to use a lot – no more than 1oz – and it works wonders for bringing out extra little flavors that wouldn’t usually be present. As I mentioned, many modern coffee makers come with a function to do just this.

 

Get the Temperature Rightcoffeepour

A complaint from many people especially with some single serve coffee makers is that they simply don’t heat the water up enough when brewing. When you don’t get the temperature of your water right, your coffee suffers, and it’s something a lot of people will notice when they don’t notice anything else. You always want your coffee maker to be brewing at a consistent temperature of 195-205F and if it isn’t this could very well be the reason why you’re not satisfied with the coffee it produces. Extraction simply doesn’t work properly when the coffee maker is trying to brew at below this temperature and it results in a watery flavor with little of the essential oils and compounds which are vital in making coffee rich, full-bodied and delicious.

 

If you’re an experienced coffee drinker, you’ll undoubtedly know all of these things. A regular drinker wouldn’t dream of forgoing any of the tips mentioned on this list. However, if you’re new to the game hopefully you’ve learned a couple of useful things and I would strongly encourage you to go and put them into practice. One of the most fun things about coffee drinking is that as you experiment with different techniques and coffee types you’ll notice new flavor profiles and it really becomes enjoyable to pick them out and decide what it is you personally prefer.

As always, if you want more tips or just want to chat never hesitate to get in touch with me on my Contact page!

How to Use a French Press

Coffee made with a French press is one of the more traditional ways to brew coffee, and produces a wonderfully consistent rich flavor every time. The charm of the French press is that it’s a manual, electricity-free coffee maker that is very quick and delivers an outstanding cup of coffee.

Grosche Madrid Best French Press

Many people swear by the French press and refuse to purchase electronic coffee makers and gadgets and it’s easy to understand why when you drink a perfectly brewed cup from a good French press, made by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. The problem is, there’s often a learning curve when it comes to mastering the French press. I’ve written this blog post to inform you on how I make coffee with my press, which I believe to be the optimum way.

Step 1 – Ensure that your French press is clean since the last use. Remove the plunger and give it a rinse with hot water, making sure that there are absolutely no old grounds trapped in the filter. I can always tell when somebody has used a press without thoroughly cleaning it first as there is an unmistakable bitter aftertaste to the coffee.

Step 2 – Preheat the press by filling it with hot water. This will help keep your coffee hotter for longer.

Step 3 – Grind your coffee beans (I always use a burr grinder for this.) You don’t want to grind the coffee any sooner because the freshest grounds always contain the maximum amount of flavor. Depending on the capacity of your French press, it’s a good idea to only grind the exact amount of beans you’ll need. This can take some experimentation, and I actually use a scale to measure nowadays for optimum accuracy. Make sure not to grind the beans too fine, as this increases the chance of them getting through the filter.

Step 4 – Pour your freshly ground coffee into the French press.

Step 5 – Fill the French press up about half way with hot water to “bloom” and degas the coffee. Many people neglect to do this – while it’s not essential, there is absolutely no doubt that to release all the flavors and essential oils you should bloom the coffee first. Wait roughly 30 seconds after this step.

Step 6 – Stir the coffee and water in the press for a couple of seconds as you’ll usually find that some of the grinds have coagulated slightly. Then pour in the remaining hot water to the fill line.

Step 7 – Place the lid on the French press (with the plunger pulled up) and allow the coffee to brew for a few minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger the coffee will be. I usually wait around 3-4 minutes. Do not use the plunger yet as this interferes with the brewing process and will ruin the coffee.

Step 8 – Very slowly and carefully push the plunger down, filtering the coffee and pour immediately for best taste.

Again, this is how I personally use the French press to brew coffee to my own preference. There are indeed variables involved which can be changed to create a different flavor and I suggest that you experiment yourself to find out which way you enjoy it the most. As a general guide however, this is, I believe, a very fine way to enjoy coffee made from a press.

 

Welcome to The Hottest Coffee!

My name is Stephen and welcome to my blog, The Hottest Coffee. I’m a 37 year old medical professional from Boston, Massachusetts and have been obsessed with and addicted to coffee since I was in high school. I discovered my father’s coffee press when I was probably around 17 years old and ever since then coffee has been one of my primary passions in life.

During my 20s I worked as a barista in several highly respected coffee shops in Boston and the surrounding area and this helped me gain a huge amount of expertise about coffee and I was also lucky enough to experience using a huge array of different coffee makers and machines during this time. Since leaving that trade and pursuing medicine, coffee and the tools used to make it have remained a massive hobby of mine and I have become a collector of all kinds of coffee makers and related gadgets.

As such, I do see myself as somewhat of an authority on the subject. Although I approach everything with the beginner’s mind and still have many things to learn, I decided to start this blog to share my wisdom about coffee makers to hopefully help potential buyers make the right purchase.

Friends and coworkers of mine who know about my hobby (I won’t keep calling it an addiction!) often come to me for advice, tips or comparisons when they want to buy a coffee maker for their home and that’s how I got the idea for this site. I feel like it only makes sense for me to compile all of my knowledge into one place so I can direct them here and hopefully reach out to people from all over who are in a similar position.

If you want to ask me a question personally, or even just wish to chat about coffee with someone who’s definitely interested in listening, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line using my Contact Me page!