If 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 Right
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!