5 Tips For Making The Best Cup Of Coffee Ever
Everyone deserves only the best coffee to perk up their mornings. But how do you get the perfect cup without having to queue at your favorite coffee shop? Baristas and coffee experts have their own take on how to make the perfect cup of hot Joe. One has to realize, however, that the word “perfect” is very relative. What you may think as perfect may not be so to someone else. There are certain steps, nonetheless, that can help you make the perfect coffee according to your tastes. Here are 5 very important steps to making that perfect caffeinated brew you’ve always wanted.
Choose The Right Coffee Beans
Making the perfect cup of brewed coffee starts with the best beans to grind. It doesn’t make sense wanting to have an excellent hot brew when you have mediocre-quality coffee beans to begin with.
Always start with the two main categories of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica has a mild acidic and smooth taste. These coffee beans are larger than the Robusta, too. These are grown in high altitude areas. Many consider the Arabica to be superior to the Robusta, although everything depends on the cultivation and treatment processes it undergoes. On the other hand, Robusta coffee beans are very strong and can come with a bitter taste. These beans grow in low altitude areas and are perfect for those who want a stronger coffee.
You may also want to check the individual tastes of coffee beans based on their color. Lightly-colored beans provide a smoother coffee taste with varying levels of acidity. Dark-colored coffee beans provide a stronger coffee taste.
It is also important to determine the amount of caffeine that you want in your coffee. People have this notion that the darker the coffee beans, the more caffeine they contain. This is not true. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Lightly-colored coffee beans contain the highest concentrations of caffeine since they underwent very minimal processing or roasting. Dark-colored coffee beans contain the lowest concentrations of caffeine. The longer roasting process somehow removes some of the caffeine from the beans.
Always get your coffee beans from a reputable company or coffee roaster. It is also imperative to check the date of roasting. The nearer the roast date is to the purchase date the better it is for you.
Use The Correct Coffee Grind That Is Appropriate For Your Brewing Method
Very few individuals know that different coffee brewing methods require different coffee grinds. For example, the French Press method works best with coarser coffee grounds. If you want an Espresso to perk your mornings, then you should go for very fine coffee grind. Fans of pour-over coffee or brew from an auto-drip machine should use medium to medium-fine coffee grinds.
Knowing the correct coffee grind to use on your brewing method is one thing. An equally-important matter is to ensure consistent grinding. You don’t want some grounds to be coarser or finer than others. Consistency is the key to having the perfect cup of coffee on your breakfast table.
Since we’re talking about grinding your coffee beans, the right coffee grinder is also crucial. It’s better to use high-quality burr grinder than imitation burrs. There are also coffee grinders that use blade attachment to grind beans. These may not give you a consistent grind. Cheap or imitation burrs can shatter the beans or they can wear down very fast. These can also give you an inconsistent ground.
Inconsistent coffee grounds mean some are larger than others. Some of these will extract very fast which can lead to an astringent and bitter flavor in your cup. Others will extract too slow, giving you a cup of weak and sour coffee flavors. The right size of coffee grounds will give you amazing flavors. But the inconsistent sizes can affect this flavor in a negative way, dominating the coffee taste.
It is, therefore, imperative that you use only the best coffee grinder you can find. This helps ensure you get consistent grounds all the time.
Observe The Correct Ratio Between Water And Coffee
Like every other beverage, your cup of coffee depends on the right proportion of water and coffee grounds. If there is more coffee, then you will have a stronger coffee taste. If there is more water, then your cup of Joe will be very mild.
As such, there is no right or wrong way to achieve the perfect cup of coffee. Everyone has his or her own preferences as to the strength of the coffee taste. You want it stronger? Then you have to put in less water. If you’re not into strong coffee taste, then you can put in more water in relation to the coffee grounds.
But, how do you know that you’re using the right proportion of water to coffee grounds?
You can start with a ratio of 16:1. This means you can put 16 parts of water to every part of coffee ground. You can start with 6 ounces of water and 10.5 grams or 0.37 ounces of coffee grounds. This is also equivalent to about 2 teaspoons of your coffee grounds. You can then work your way from there.
If you want a stronger coffee flavor, then you can either increase the amount of coffee grounds or reduce the amount of water. Conversely, if the resulting coffee is strong to your taste, you can reduce the amount of coffee or increase the amount of water.
It is best to have a digital kitchen weighing scale so you can measure the precise amounts of coffee grounds. It may also help if you can document your coffee-making measurements. This is to help you determine your coffee sweet spot.
Brew Your Coffee At The Correct Water Temperature
In addition to using the right ratio of ground coffee to water, it is also imperative to observe the right temperature of the water. If it is below the ideal temperature, you may have a drink that is watery, sour, and weak. This is because the low temperature of the water may not extract all of the flavors of the ground coffee.
On the other hand, if the water temperature is too hot, there is a tendency of producing coffee that has toned-down sweetness and complexity. It can also be bitter, unclear, and muddled. This is brought about by over-extraction of ground coffee.
Getting the water temperature right is crucial to making the perfect cup of coffee. The National Coffee Association says that the optimal water temperature for brewing coffee should be anywhere between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature range where the flavor compounds of coffee get dissolved in water at the ideal rate. If the water is too hot, these flavor molecules get dissolved very fast. If the water is cold, the molecules may not dissolve at all.
It is often wise to have a kitchen thermometer to help you maintain the correct temperature of the water. A better solution will be to brew your coffee in a machine that already has a built-in thermostat. There are also kettles that come with variable temperature functionality. At least, you can be sure that the cup of coffee you’re making is going to be perfect.
Since we’re talking about water temperature, it is a good idea to be choosy about the water you use. The taste of your water can have an impact on the taste of your coffee. As such, you may want to filter your fresh water before heating it to the right temperature.
Brew Your Coffee In The Correct Length Of Time
The last step to making the perfect cup of coffee involves brewing it in the correct length of time. If you have a high-tech coffee maker, then this is not an issue. It will monitor the correct temperature and the right amount of time to give you the perfect cup. But if you’re using the old, manual method of brewing coffee like Pour Over coffee or French Press, then you have to keep tabs on time.
Here’s a trick. The coarser the ground coffee, the longer the amount of time you will need to extract all of that coffee goodness. As such, if you’re using finely-ground coffee beans, you can have the perfect cup in a shorter amount of time.
For a conventional French Press coffee, you may want to start at 4 minutes. If the product comes out watery, sour, or weak, then you may want to increase the brewing time. If your coffee is too strong or bitter or lacks flavor clarity, then you may want to shorten the brewing time.
For finely-ground coffee beans, you can start at 2 minutes. If you’re into espresso, you can start with 25 seconds and work your way from there. Of course, different coffee makers will have their own recommendations, so it’s best to keep these in mind.
Making the perfect cup of coffee is all about brewing the right coffee grounds at the right temperature and length of time. You may not have the perfect cup the first time you make coffee. With perseverance, you will.
- 5 Steps to Brew the Perfect Cup, Simply 55+
- 6 Tips for Choosing the Best Coffee Beans, Coffee Makers List
- The Five Scientific Steps to Your Perfect Cup of Coffee, Forbes