Life is too short to drink bad coffee. No one should have to, and with some great tips you will learn how to make great coffee every day for the rest of eternity. Coffee gadget shops will want to sell you hundreds, of essential tools and fancy coffee makers. None of this would be needed if you follow the following six guidelines.
- Freshly Roasted Beans
Buy recently roasted whole coffee beans in small batches -not more than a week’s supply- and store them in an air-tight container just big enough for that quantity of coffee. Store it in a fairly cool place, but don’t freeze it like some websites would advocate. The essential oils in roast coffee change their character when frozen. If your house gets hot in the summer, store the beans in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. It can be very important to get to know your local coffee vendor. Ask him or her when the beans were roasted. It is ideal to find a vendor who roasts their own on site or even on request.
A fanatical purist may want to invest in a home roaster. Simple ones can be bought for less than $35. Fancier, automatic coffee bean roasters can go for hundreds of dollars.
- Fresh, Cold Water
A cup of coffee is 99% water, so good water is a must. If you like the taste of your tap water, it will probably make a decent cup of coffee. If not, you probably already have a water filter device or jug. Get one if you don’t. We would suggest you avoid bottled water. Aside from the environmental implications, it is better to have a filter so you never run out of a good water supply.
- Grind the Beans Immediately Before Brewing
Air is the enemy of roast coffee. Grinding increases the surface exposed to air and multiplies twenty-fold the speed that the ground coffee goes stale. A consistent grind is important, especially with a French Press. For that reason, the fanatical purist will want a conical burr grinder. The ubiquitous electric blade grinders tend to grind “boulders and dust.” This isn’t so critical for drip coffee where a paper filter will keep out the dust. On the other hand, the coffee tastes like cardboard. The French Press uses a steel or nylon screen to filter the coffee. The finer dust particles will end up in your coffee and create a bit of sludge in the bottom of your cup. If that doesn’t bother you, carry on, but avoid drinking the last eighth of an inch of coffee in your mug.
Size matters. Espresso makers want a very fine grind. Drip coffee-makers are best with a medium grind. French Presses work best with a coarse grind, about the size of sea salt or kosher salt.
Learning how to make great coffee? You could make your life easier too. There are coffee makers with grinders built-in available. It might be worth checking them out if you prefer an all in one solution to your coffee habits.
- Brew Only as Much as You’ll Consume Immediately
Air is also the enemy of brewed coffee. Fresh coffee has a lifespan of maybe twenty minutes. Drink it right away. Make a fresh pot for your second cup. If you have a good coffee maker than this is very easy and it doesn’t take that much time. Award yourself with freshly brewed coffee, we are sure you deserve it! Don’t make coffee ahead to serve your guests with dessert and never reheat coffee. Your coffee will never taste the same. Yuck.
- Don’t Re-Use Coffee Grounds for More Coffee
When you are looking how to make great coffee it is important not to be frugal. Coffee grounds are incredible as a soil additive, but not very useful for making more coffee. Acid loving plants like rhododendrons and azaleas thrive on coffee grounds. Alternatively, you can mix it in with your compost.