One of the first rules in making a perfect cup of coffee is to not go to science. Scientists have never been accused of being great cooks or great coffee makers. If you want to make the best cup of coffee possible, you go to coffee experts.
Why them and not science? Because coffee experts know coffee from A to Z. They know what it takes to make a great tasting cup of coffee. What follows are what coffee experts say are the keys to a good cup of coffee.
How to Make a Good Cup of Coffee at Home
All those common factors contribute to a perfect cup of coffee. Here are those 8 rules:
1. Always Buy Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans
If you can, and it is not always possible, buy your coffee beans as close to their roasting date as possible. This enables you to get every ounce of flavor and aroma from the coffee beans.
You may think you are saving money by buying bulk coffee from your favorite grocery store. But those stores do not usually protect against coffee’s enemy-light and oxygen. Coffee has four enemies, and each contributes to the demise of flavor and aroma.
Plus, when coffee is stored in bins, there is a high risk that the beans or grounds will be contaminated. For great coffee, it is best to buy coffee beans or grounds that are packed in vacuum sealed bags that do not let in light or contaminants.
2. Store Your Coffee Carefully
Once you bring your coffee home, it is important to store your coffee beans and ground coffee properly. Some experts say air-tight clear glass jars are the best. But clear glass lets light in and that will ruin the flavor of your beans.
Airtight ceramic or metal containers designed for food are the best ways to store your coffee and keep it fresh. Even though some people say it is okay to put your coffee in a fridge or freezer, avoid this as well. Coffee is porous.
This means your coffee beans or coffee grounds will absorb the flavors and odors of the food around it. Your coffee then becomes contaminated by your other favorite foods or leftovers.
3. The Brand of Coffee Matters
There is a difference between brands and quality. You cannot make a perfect cup of coffee is you are using cheap or badly ground coffee. The cheaper coffee usually includes the Robusta coffee bean. This coffee bean contains higher amounts of caffeine and more bitter flavors. It is recommended that you buy those packages of coffee that only contain the Arabica coffee bean.
The Arabica coffee bean has more flavors and is the preferred bean by coffee growers. If you are buying whole coffee beans, then you should choose only the Arabica variety for great tasting coffee.
Also, you should opt for a lighter roast over a darker one. The lighter roasts allow you to taste all the rich flavor coffee has in store for you. The dark roast removes many of those enriching flavors.
4. Your Grind Size Matters
To get a perfect cup of coffee you have to be aware that each coffee variety needs different grind sizes. Espresso needs extra-fine while French press needs more coarsely ground coffee. Your drip coffee maker may be able to use a variety of grinds.
Instead of buying different types of ground coffee for each variety of coffee making, simply learn how to grind your own. One problem with buying different grinds is that you will have to store them until they are needed. The longer they are stored, the more flavor they lose.
The best way to get the best grind for the coffee style you want that day, you need to grind your own beans. That means you need to buy a good burr grinder. A blade grinder may be cheaper, but it cannot achieve the same results as a burr grinder does. A good burr grinder will meet your coffee variety’s specifications.
5. Avoid Bad Water and Inexpensive Filters
By bad water, the coffee experts mean tap water. They claim that the chlorine and other water additives will contaminate your coffee. They recommend that you use bottled water or charcoal filtered water.
The temperature of the water should be cold. That cooler the temperature the better the flavor of your coffee.
This goes for cheap white filters as well. The experts say the bleaching process will eventually contaminate your coffee. They prefer the brown filters or the new gold style filter.
This is because the brown colored filters are not bleached, nor do they have other chemical additives to their construction.
6. Use Coffee
In other words, some people want to save money, so they skimp on the amount of coffee grounds they put in their coffee maker. You may save some money doing this, but you will not obtain that perfect cup of coffee.
You will get different ratios from different experts. Some like 70 grams to a liter of water while others prefer 2 level teaspoons per 6 ounces of water. A third option is 1 unit of coffee to 17 units of water.
The amount of coffee you use is ultimately up to your preferences but do not skimp. Try to use more coffee when brewing your next pot of coffee.
7. Brewing Time and Heat are Important
The amount of time you brew your coffee can influence the taste of your cup of coffee. Too long or short will result in either a bitter taste or a very weak tasting pot of coffee. Your brewing time depends on your coffee to water ratio.
Then heat plays a factor in your coffee results as well. A water temperature that is too high, will extract the bitter-tasting compounds found in coffee beans. Other temperature influences are heating, boiling, or leaving n the keep warm function for too long.
All of these factors play a role in ruining your perfect cup of coffee.
8. Clean Your Coffee Making Equipment
Dirt, coffee oils and other contaminants can creep in when you are not looking. Thus, it is important to clean all of your coffee equipment regularly. From your coffee storage containers to your grinder to your coffee machines.
They all need to be cleaned so that past coffee does not influence the taste of your current coffee. One way to clean your coffeemakers is to use a vinegar and water solution. This will break down any build up inside the coffee machine.
Make sure you rinse thoroughly. For storage containers, you can use soap and water or the same vinegar solution. But make sure you are actually getting the oils, the build-up and other contaminants out
How to Get the Right Grind
We have talked about grinding your own coffee. We mentioned that different varieties need different grinds. What we haven’t talked about yet is how to get those different types of grinds for different varieties of coffee.
Here are the instructions to achieve each level of grinding:
How to Make Instant Coffee Taste Good
Not everyone is satisfied with the regular, out of the jar taste of instant coffee. There are several things you can do to spice up the flavor and make instant coffee taste like the gourmet variety from your local coffee shop.
Here are some of those ways:
One step we left out that you should consider following is how much to buy. It is recommended that you only buy enough for 1 to 2 weeks at a time.
This keeps your coffee beans fresher and protects them from losing all of their flavors. Achieving the perfect cup of coffee is not difficult. It may take a little work, but the effort is worth it. You will have the perfect cup of coffee every time, or so we hope.
What we have given you are only the common elements of making the perfect cup of coffee. Your perfect cup will depend on your personal preferences and your personal additives.
These rules will provide you with a solid foundation to build on as you strive for the perfect cup of coffee.