We can safely assume that you are a coffee lover or you would not be reading this article at all. People who do not drink coffee are not interested in finding the perfect way to brew it. So, you love coffee and want to make a perfect cup at your home, are we right?
We have good news for you – you are at the right place. Simply read the following article as it offers 7 tips that will change the way you brew coffee at home. We do not guarantee that you are going to become an expert or a professional barista, but you will surely make a lot better coffee (especially if you check the SaltPGH’s article about single serve coffee makers) after you read our advice!
The best home-brewed cup of coffee is just 7 easy steps away!
Right to the Point: 7 Tips That Will Change the Way You Brew Coffee At Home
For starters, you have to own a coffee maker you can rely on, and then work on some other things that will help improve the quality of the coffee you make. We have 7 tips that will change the way you brew coffee at home and improve its taste and texture.
These are as follows:
1. Good Beans = Good Coffee
A cup of coffee can be only as good as the beans it has been made of. If you want to drink a high-quality, great-tasting cup of coffee at your home, you need to stop buying pre-ground coffee and switch your focus to fresh, whole bean coffee.
The commercial coffee you find packed in bags on your supermarket shelves cannot be as flavorful as the freshly roasted and ground coffee for two reasons. First, that coffee is sometimes roasted months before you get to open it and use it. That is bad as coffee has the best flavor only a few days after it has been roasted.
The second reason this coffee tastes worse is quite similar to the first one- the expiry date is often as far as one year from the date the coffee was roasted, and you should consume the coffee within a month after the roast date.
Finding the fresh coffee that is roasted on the spot can be quite hard, but the quest is well worth the effort. You can try at the local coffee shops as they often sell fresh coffee as well. In many neighborhoods, there are also local roasters that will roast the coffee in small batches and keep it fresh and tasty so that you can make a perfect home-brewed cup of coffee whenever you feel like it.
2. Proper Storage Is a Must!
Ok, you have bought high-quality fresh coffee and brought it home, what next? You are surely not going to use it all at once, and therefore you need to store it properly to keep its flavors fresh for as long as you can.
How to do that? First of all, make sure you have an air-tight container available. The best option is to put your coffee in a vacuum sealed container with a one-way valve; however, an ordinary Mason jar will do the trick almost as well.
There should not be too much empty space (air) in the container, so it is highly recommended that you transfer the coffee to smaller jars as you brew through it. Keep the jar in a cold and dry place.
3. Grind or Not to Grind?
Experts suggest that coffee loses its flavor and aroma only half an hour after it has been ground. This means that you should store your coffee in beans, and grind only the amount you are going to use immediately. In this way, all the flavors will be preserved, and your home-brewed coffee will taste better, and that is the point, isn’t it?
Timing is important, but size matters too! Grind size and consistency will make quite a difference when it comes to the end product- your cup of coffee! If you grind the coffee too coarse it will not infuse itself into the water well, and you will end up with a weak pot of coffee.
If you grind the coffee too much, the opposite will occur- the coffee will be over-extracted and therefore taste bitter. You can conclude it on your own – a medium to medium-fine grind is the way to go!
As far as the grinder is concerned, you can go all out and buy a high-quality burr grinder for more than a $100, or opt for a much cheaper manual hand mill. Manual grinding will take more time and effort, but the result will be quite satisfactory!
4. Good Measure = Pleasure
Most of the times, making good coffee depends on the taste and personal preferences of the person who drinks it. Some like it stronger than others. However, there is a perfect ratio you should not deviate too much from; it is 1 part coffee to 20 parts water (1:20; or approx. 15g of coffee to 300mL of water).
You can go as high as 1:15 or as low as 1:30- that is up to you! Once you figure out how much coffee goes into your perfect cup, you can use a digital scale and always get the it right!
5. Before a Conclusion, Mind the Infusion
The grounds have to be pre-infused as many automatic coffee makers on the market today are not able to prepare the coffee grounds for complete extraction. Pre-infusion is necessary if you own a manual pour over brewer as well.
Pre-infusion is easy- pour some hot water over the grounds, and that is it, in short at least. If you want a step by step guide here it goes:
· Preheat 50 milliliters (a quarter of a cup) of water in a kettle until it reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
· Insert a filter into the hopper.
· Add your coffee grounds.
· Slowly pour the hot water over the grounds so that all of them are well soaked.
· Let the grounds rest approximately 45 seconds.
· Start the coffee maker and brew your coffee as usual.
In this way, all the remaining carbon dioxide gas that came to be during the roasting process will be released. If you skip this step, the carbon dioxide will repel water during the process of brewing, and thus make it less efficient.
6. Set the Temperature Right!
Many cheap automatic coffee makers do not reach the optimal temperature needed for successful coffee brewing. The optimal temperature should be somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
For this reason, high-end models have a manual temperature setting. If you do not own such a machine, you should use a thermometer and measure the temperature during the brewing process. If the temperature is lower than 195 degrees, boil the water before you use it, being careful that you do not exceed 205 degrees as that would burn the coffee.
7. No Water- No Life- No Perfect Cup of Coffee
The water you use for brewing coffee needs to be of the right quality. Hard water is packed with minerals and cannot dissolve the coffee grounds well leaving you with a weak coffee. It will also create limescale deposits in your coffee maker.
Distilled or heavily filtered water is no good either. It lacks ions and mineral which can result in over-extraction. The best water to use should be in the middle of the spectrum. The easiest way to go is to use lightly filtered water.
That’s all folks! Enjoy your perfect coffee at home!