This is a guest post by Lisa Brown from Ekuep, with 10 steps to brewing better coffee.
For most of us, coffee is something we begin our day with, and then continue to fill ourselves with more doses throughout the day. While some people don’t really care about how it tastes, others are passionate about it and can’t seem to compromise on how it tastes, smells or makes them feel after every cup.
Preparing a cup of coffee may seem like an easy and effortless task but a few little things are capable of making a huge difference to your daily dose. If you start practising some basic steps when making your coffee, you will never ever look back. That’s the kind of difference it makes!
Here are 10 steps to ensure better understanding of ways to buy, store and brew amazing coffee.
Find the Right Coffee
If you want to take your coffee experience to the next level, you can’t just do it with any coffee.
When you use older and outdated coffee beans, you will end up with a bitter and tasteless cup of coffee, as the gases responsible for adding flavour, have already escaped.
Research on the best roasters in your area and buy from a company that sources their products ethically. Take a look at your local coffee shops. Some roast it then and there while others source from local roasters who roast in smaller batches as coffee tends to reach its maximum flavour just days after it has been roasted and should be consumed within a month of the roasted date.
Start with Whole Beans
For a good coffee, you need good beans.
Start with fresh, whole beans, instead of pre-ground coffee available at supermarkets, that has probably been on the shelves for months.
You may never realize there’s a difference of flavour in a freshly ground coffee, if you’ve never had one. Whole beans, when ground minutes before brewing up a pot of coffee, give a flavour that is not only much stronger but also allows subtle tastes of your specific type of bean to be noticeable.
All of the coffee’s natural flavours are in the essential oils of the beans, and once the coffee is ground, the oils start to evaporate quickly, so it’s vital you keep it fresh.
Ditch those grocery store pre-grounds and move on to whole beans for better, fresher flavour and aroma.
Invest in a Good Grinder
Now that you’ll be buying whole beans, you’ll need the right grinder. A conical burr grinder will turn out be the best investment when setting up your own home brewing station (Get high quality kitchen equipment, restaurant equipment, and food service equipment at affordable prices at ekuep.com).
Burr grinders surpass blade grinders in a lot of ways, but the most principal difference comes from a burr grinder’s consistency and adjustability. A blade grinder does not have the ability to adjust its grind from espresso (very fine) to French press (very coarse), while a burr grinder enables you to match your grind to your brew method to deliver consistently ground coffee.
If you are on a tight budget, opt for a manual hand mill as it is the most affordable way to achieve a nice, consistent grind, but they do require some manual labor.
When to Grind
Grind your beans immediately before brewing for utmost flavour. Sure it’s going to seem like a lot of work but it’s totally worth it.
Grind only what you’ll need. Don’t grind all of your beans at once. Keep your coffee as fresh as possible by only grinding the amount you plan to use.
Coffee starts to lose its flavour within 30 minutes of being ground. So it’s best to grind on spot, just before brewing a pot.
Store Coffee properly
Have you been storing your coffee in the fridge? Take it out immediately.
To keep coffee fresh for longer, make sure you’re storing it properly. Coffee needs be stored in an opaque, airtight glass or ceramic container in a dark and cool location.
Storing it inside the fridge or freezer gives rise to a constant freeze/thaw cycle when you remove your coffee and put it back, causing moisture to build up inside the package, affecting its taste and consistency. Store your beans in a ceramic jar with an airtight lid on your kitchen counter or in a cabinet.
Scoops and measuring spoons are usually good enough to brew an average cup of coffee, but for a reliable and repeatedly brilliant one, knowing a precise weight of coffee is best.
Measure your coffee by weight instead of volume.
Eliminate all variables and invest in a scale so that you use the same amount of coffee per unit of water each time you brew. Using a digital scale to measure takes just a second and allows you to keep the coffee to water ratio always right.
A ratio of 1:20 (that’s one part coffee and 20 parts water, or about 7.5g of coffee to 150mL of water) is ideal for a fairly strong cup of coffee. Some people might like it stronger upto 1:14 or lighter as 1:30. A scale removes all of the guesswork about calculating those ratios and makes it all so much easier.
Brew at the right temperature
Know the type of brewing method that suits your taste buds. Automatic drip coffeemakers usually brew a mild pot of coffee while a French Press offers a bolder, stronger flavour.
Most automatic drip machines don’t reach the optimal brewing temperature.
The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 90.5 – 96.1 C / 195 and 205 F.
High-end models usually offer a manual temperature adjustment, whereas the cheaper ones don’t.
To make sure your coffee maker heats up enough, try measuring the temperature during the brewing process, as the water temperature will drop when it passes through the hopper and in the carafe. If it never reaches optimum temperature, try pre-boiling your water in a kettle. Make sure you do not exceed 205 degrees, as it can burn the coffee.
A Pour-over Setup
Taking absolute control of your brewing process is crucial for taking your brewing skills to a whole new level.
To extract all that locked flavour in your beans, consider a pour-over setup. Brewing with a pourover device gives you full control over every aspect of the brewing process. It also gives you the ability to try a variety of water temperatures, grind size, and water-to-coffee ratios.
Brewing by hand also provides a much even oil extraction from the beans than an automatic brewer.
The most underestimated ingredient in a good cup of coffee has to be water!
A genuinely extracted cup of coffee is 98 percent water, so if the water you’re brewing with isn’t good, your coffee will taste awful.
Tap water having any odours or tastes of chlorine, lime or rust will add their flavour to your coffee too.
Use only purified, filtered water (or as close to purified as you can get). But never use distilled water. Without any minerals your coffee will taste blander.
Clean it often
Coffee beans have oil so if you don’t wash your coffee pot enough, the oil will stay. The oil build up will affect flavour and your coffee is probably going to taste like it’s burnt because of all the oil that’s been depositing.
Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with Ekuep, which is the first online store in the Middle East that caters to the foodservice industry. It sells kitchen equipment, restaurant equipment, and food service equipment that are made by leading brands from all over the world. These machines and tools are trusted by all restaurant and cafe owners from across the world.