How to brew a better cup of coffee
How do you brew your morning cup of coffee? Automatic drip, percolator, French press, pour-over, espresso machine or the single-cup machines like Keurig®? There are a number of ways to make a cup of coffee but there are a few important elements to make an OUTSTANDING cup of coffee. This includes the type of coffee you use, the grind, water quality, water temperature and time are all factors that may affect the taste of your coffee.
Fresh is Best! When possible start with fresh roasted coffee. If you purchased your coffee from Bason Coffee Roasting, you are off to a good start. The fresher the coffee beans, the better your coffee will taste. Whole bean coffee will keep its fresh taste for about two weeks after roasting. Ground coffee starts to lose its peak flavor in about two days. Think about that container of ground coffee you bought at the grocery store…Do you have any idea when it was roasted or ground??? More than likely it has been more than two days.
It is also a good idea to know your roaster. While this may not always be feasible, it is important because some roasters may add fillers to their coffees to stretch their inventory and keep operating costs low. We at Bason Coffee Roasting supply 100% Arabica and specialty coffee with no fillers. Top scientists from The United States Pharmacopeial Convention, a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for food ingredients and medicines has reported that such fillers like roasted corn, twigs and acorns have been found in coffee. You can find one of their reports here: http://www.foodfraud.org/fraud-report/1971
More information can be obtained from this ABC News report: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/food-fraud-watchdog-group-raises-concerns-18290097
Once you have fresh beans the next important step is grinding. (We could have an article just on grinding but for now we will keep it simple.) There are two main types of grinders for home use: The food chopper style, or whirly grinder and the burr grinder. The whirly grinder has blades which spin around to break up your coffee beans. The challenge here is achieving an even grind unless you pulverize the beans to powder. The burr grinder will give you consistent size grind. Inside a burr grinder are two plates that can be adjusted to select your grind size, the closer the plates, the finer the grind. The benefit of a burr grinder is a more uniform grind size giving you better coffee extraction. Although a whirly grinder is less expensive typically costing about $15-$20, the burr grinders, costing around $49 and up, tend to be the better product for the most even grind and ultimately the better cup of coffee.
One obstacle a few people struggle with is how coarse or fine should I grind the coffee beans? This is dependent on how you plan to prepare your coffee. For instance, if you are using a French Press, you need your coffee to be ground coarse so that when you press down on the plunger, water can easily pass through the filter while keeping the grounds to the bottom of the press. Other types of coffee makers include: vacuum pot- coarse grind, percolator- coarse grind, pour over- fine grind, single-cup machine (i.e. Keurig ®)- fine grind, and espresso machine- very fine grind. Many of the traditional coffee makers are automatic drip and are best with a grind in between coarse and fine. True coffee connoisseurs will tell you that once your coffee is ground, it should be brewed within 15 minutes.
Once you have your beans and have decided on the appropriate grind, the next question is, “how much coffee do I put in?” The rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons for each cup of hot water. When referring to a “cup” of coffee, it may not be the 8 oz. cup with which you are accustomed. Most coffee makers have the cup graduations on the side of the pot. The standard for a cup of coffee in most makers seems to be 6 ounces. As far as an answer to the question of exactly how much coffee to put in, you will have to be the judge of that. As it says on just about every bag of coffee out there, “adjust to taste.”
Just add water. The vast majority of what you will be drinking is water (about 98.6%). It is best to use good water, clear and free of chlorine. Ph should be between 7-8. Spring water or really good filtered water will work great. Soft water can be a challenge for decaffeinated coffee and a few regular coffees because these coffees may not absorb the soft water as well.
If you use an automatic drip coffee maker and have coffee grounds in your coffee, one challenge may be soft water. As the water drips into the filter basket, the coffee may not absorb the water and float. This lends to the coffee then overflowing the filter and grounds show up in your cup. Another reason you may have grounds in your coffee is if the coffee is ground too fine and it clogs the paper filter. The coffee will then overflow the filter and end up in your cup.
Water temperature is also very important to make sure your coffee brews and extracts the solubles to give you the taste and caffeine you are looking for. The best temperature is just off boil. Between 195°-205°F is the optimal temperature. If your water is too hot, it can give you a burnt taste. If it’s not hot enough, it won’t be able to extract all of the solubles to give you the great taste you are looking for. Once you have your hot water applied to your ground coffee, you should allow about 4 minutes for the coffee to brew and extract the wonderful rich flavor. A drip coffee maker should take about 4 minutes to complete the brew process.
Once you have completed these steps, it is time to pour a cup, sit back in your favorite chair and enjoy! (Or, snap on the lid of your travel cup and head out the door.) Either way, enjoy your coffee!
Bason Coffee Roasting is a family owned artisan coffee roasting company located in Danville, PA where you will find over the top customer service. We strive to serve outstanding fresh roasted coffee to central PA and throughout the country. Bason Coffee Roasting specializes in wholesale coffee to coffee shops and churches. High profit fundraising for schools, organizations and sport groups is also a specialty at Bason Coffee Roasting. For more information, you can call 570-764-2740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on the web at www.BasonCoffee.com
Written by: Bradford Bason – Owner, Bason Coffee Roasting, LLC