Coffee is an integral part of every household in the world. For every family or circle of friends, there is one particular individual or two who is an avid fan of this bitter brew. Unknown to many, coffee drinking is an everyday art that holds a special place among coffee drinkers. However, this warm brew seems to have warmed its way to non-coffee drinkers as well.
Yet there is more to drinking coffee than just savouring its aroma and its full bodied taste. To get the most out of a cup of coffee, coffee drinkers swear by these important rules to best enjoy your simple cup. If you are a first time coffee drinker, here are important notes to live by when you prepare your own batch.
Get them fresh.
Coffee is best enjoyed when brewed within the first few days after being roasted. Purchasing coffee beans from a local roaster is the best way of acquiring fresh coffee beans for you to brew. Should there be no local roaster available in your area, you can visit your nearest supermarket. However, be wary of purchasing coffee beans placed in display bins. Bright lights and oxygen are two of the worst flavor busters for freshly roasted coffee beans. The worst part is the fact that the bins will be coated with coffee oil that turns rancid over time.
When it comes to purchasing fresh coffee beans from a supermarket, coffee beans sealed in sturdy vacuum-sealed bags are the best option when purchasing from a local supermarket.
Keep your coffee beans fresh.
Maintaining the freshness of coffee beans is easier than what most people think. Keeping your coffee beans fresh contributes to a good cup of coffee. The best way to maintain its freshness is to store it in an airtight container. Glass canning jars or ceramic storage crocks with rubber gasket seals are deemed as the best choices where you can safely store your coffee beans.
Experts strongly advise against placing your coffee beans into the freezer. Due to the beans’ porous nature, it readily absorbs odor and taste from its surroundings. Purchasing coffee beans for a 5 to 7 day supply is enough to satisfy your cravings for a fresh cup of coffee.
Grind them before your brew them.
Coffee experts strongly advise that coffee is best brewed shortly after grinding. The best tasting coffee are those made from ground beans made shortly before being brewed. Grinding coffee beans are often done with either a blade grinder or a burr mill. Burr Mills are highly recommended as it creates the perfect consistency that is right for brewing coffee. There are commercially available burr mills that can be purchased for home use, which makes it a good investment to have for long term use.
Water, water, water.
Another important ingredient that completes the formula of a good cup of coffee is the water. Use only good quality water when brewing coffee beans. Tap water can contain chlorine and other water treatment chemicals that can overpower the coffee’s flavor. A bottle of spring water is often used instead of softened or distilled water as it creates an unpleasant taste. Should tap water be the only option available, use activated-charcoal/carbon filters on the tap.
Cheap filters is a waste of time and money.
Investing in a good coffee filter works wonders in releasing your coffee’s full taste. So, think twice about purchasing bargain-priced coffee filters. When it comes to shopping for top notch coffee filters, buy only those that are “oxygen bleached” or “dioxin free.”
Caution: Extreme Heat!
Extreme heat extracts coffee compounds that are bitter and unpleasant. For first time coffee drinkers, it is important to note that the proper temperature to brew coffee is 200°F or heating up water for about 45 seconds to a full boil. Reheating coffee is also a big no-no as the prolonged exposure to heat for a number of times can make coffee bitter and putrid.
Cleanliness is next to a good cup of coffee.
Besides storing them in an airtight container, another sure fire way to maintain the quality of your cup of coffee is by cleaning the coffee equipment every week. Coffee oil and mineral deposits build up over time and can cause coffee to taste unpleasant when not removed. A monthly wash with a strong vinegar solution or a specialty coffee-equipment cleaner and a good rinse is one habit that should not be ignored.
The Golden Ratio of Coffee
Standard measurements are an excellent guide on how to properly make a good tasting coffee. To get the most out of your coffee, mix two level tablespoons per 6 ounce or 2 ¾ tablespoons per 8 ounce cups. Measurements can vary from a person’s taste to another, so such measurements might be too bitter for one’s liking.
Enjoying a cup of coffee does not start and end with the brewing process. It starts from storing coffee beans properly to cleaning coffee equipment for another fresh batch of coffee.