Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Coffee
If there is any single one thing capable of uniting humanity, surely it’s what makes a perfect cup of coffee. From east to west, the humble coffee bean is part of world culture as well as our stable diet however it is ground and prepared. For so many people, a coffee pod machine is the most important piece of appliance to have, as it allows them to enjoy instant coffee whenever they want. If you are looking for tips to bring your brew to perfection, grab a cup, sit back and read on.
The Right Roast
There is no hard and fast rule about what time coffee break time is and you can always rely on a fresh roast to feel the maximum benefits. Although freshly ground coffee can keep for years, the flavor deteriorates to become acidic and bitter as oils break down and tannins are released. The best results are from coffee beans that were roasted and ground within the last week. You can spot a fresh grind by the natural coffee foam that is produced when the water is added.
Getting The Temperature
Freshly ground coffee is never made with boiling hot water. This scorches the grind leaving the coffee tasting bitter. The National Coffee Association recommends 195°F to 205°F. Boiling water is 212°F. It is the water temperature that matters most when brewing the perfect coffee. At a low temperature, less of the bean’s fledgling flavor notes are released so the brew is weak on flavor and lacks punch or depth.
As you might expect, the water matters too. In hard water areas, water straight from the tap can be too heavy in minerals and affect the flavor. Water filters like the Brita are needed although, in some parts of Europe, locals believe their local hard water compliments the coffee flavor and adds a kick.
Whatever your choice of water, it’s important it’s fresh and not reboiled and has a neutral PH.
Get Your Grind On
Not all grinds are the same. There is no single-size-fits-all grind size. Instead, there’s a coffee lovers’ utopia of strengths, flavors and blends. The right grind is the one where you get all the flavor you want. Getting there depends on the kind of coffee grinder you use as much as on the beans you choose in your blend. As a general rule, fine grinds provide more surface area for the flavor compounds and oils to infuse into the water. If you are using an older roast, aim for a finer grind to release as much flavor as possible.
A coarse grind will generate a solid cup, as 90% of the caffeine released is in the water within the first minute and there’s a massive 6 mg of caffeine in a single roasted coffee bean.
Know Your Brew Methods
What you use to make your coffee in is one of the strongest factors that will determine how your cup ends up. With a good coffee maker, the water flow through the grind is slowed down allowing the brew time to develop a smoother texture. The flavors lift and become brighter. This is the preferred brew method for coffees with light citrus or floral notes.
With the right filter, this pour-over method enriches the coffee and the thickness and weave of the filter removes almost all of the elements that make coffee taste bitter. By contrast, a French press delivers an oiler, fuller-bodied cup of coffee.
Think velvet or silk because it’s a sparging process. Using a French press gets a clear clean flavor, regardless of the roast. This is a particularly suitable brew method for an earthier coffee. Percolators and batch brews offer a reasonably consistent outcome but there’s less control over the process. Using an aeropress or French Press is better if you want to give grinding and blending a go.
Make Your Coffee Taking The Steps Below
- Measure – The regular ratio is about two tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. But don’t be afraid to experiment. After it’s roasted, weigh the coffee out loosely.
- Grind – Okay, this is where the art of coffee making starts and it’s all down to your choice. Just before you get going make sure the grinder is clean and free from all signs of your last attempt.
- Prepare the Water – Make sure it’s fresh and unboiled. Remember 195 is your minimum. Whether you use a pan or a kettle if it comes to the boil you’ve gone too far. Ditch it and start again.
- Pour – If you are using the pour-over coffee makers, saturate the grounds uniformly with a steady pour that agitates the grounds.
- Stir and Soak – Allow the grounds to absorb the water for about 30 seconds and then stir making sure all the grinds are fully immersed.
- Brew – Since acidity rises the longer you leave the brew resulting allow the coffee to stand and infuse for no longer than 2-3 minutes.
- Plunge – There is no wrong way of pushing, just an even push down to avoid overspill.
- Pour – The stronger the coffee, the smaller the cup. Since you have gone to the trouble of starting brewing from scratch, it’s worth going the extra mile to get the presentation of the perfect coffee right. Serve straight away with a tasty sweet treat to nibble on.
Your coffee’s flavor changes as it cools so don’t be downhearted if when you try a blend you haven’t found your perfect brew. Just leave to sit and mellow for a while or try adding a little brown sugar to the next cup. That’s the best thing about knowing how to make the finest cup of coffee; once you have the brew sorted out, you can take things from there. You’ll know how well coffee goes with whiskey but a quick look at the beans available online and in stores means endless flavor combinations to try from maple bacon to weasel puke.