How to Create the Best Cup of Coffee, Every Time.
A good cup of coffee is one of the simple joys of our day. But it is not always simple to achieve! Even when we have vetted and researched to find the best coffee in town, with a barista we can trust, sometimes we are still left disappointed. Making a good cup of coffee is not as simple as it sounds, but there are steps every good barista will take to produce the best cup each and every time. These tricks of the trade are not a secret, and we can apply them in our own kitchens to produce quality gourmet coffee without getting out of our pajamas!
Here are 7 simple steps that you can take to produce the perfect cup of coffee every time.
- High Quality Beans.
The coffee beans you use form the foundation of your drink, so choose wisely. Experiment by sourcing your beans from different countries, remembering to choose fairtrade when you can. Pay attention to how they are roasted, do you like a dark roast (a more burnt bean), or a light roast? Perhaps you like a different roast depending on the time of day. If you prefer flavored coffee, try buying beans that have the flavor added in the roasting process. Always buy whole beans for the freshest brew.
- The Perfect Grind.
This starts with a good coffee grinder. Choose one that allows you select the grade of your grind. Some methods of brewing prefer a coarser grind, while others need to be very fine. Only grind what you need. The best flavor is released right after grinding, so grind and brew in quick succession.
- Store It Right And Tight.
Keeping your coffee fresh will keep is tasting best! Store unused coffee beans in an airtight plastic or ceramic container, out of the light. Air oxidizes the coffee and that leads to a bitter taste. Metal canisters sometimes spread the metallic taste with the beans, so avoid this when you can. There is lots of controversy over where to store your beans. Some believe that freezing your beans keep them fresher longer, others believe they need to stay at room temperature. If you store them in the freezer it will keep the flavor ready for when you grind them, but don’t be tempted to refreeze unused grounds, as this could alter the flavor.
- The Coffee Machine.
Whether you use a traditional coffee pot, an espresso machine, or an aeropress, the fundamentals are the same. Only use it for coffee and keep your flavored coffee beans separate. If possible, use a different machine entirely for your flavored beans. The flavor will linger. Rinse it after each use, but don’t use detergent, or you may find a soapy taste in your next cup.
There are lots of varieties on the market, and all will give you a very different style of drink. Do your research, many are quite affordable so if possible, try out some new ones. Give that old filtered coffee pot a break and treat yourself to some gourmet coffee!
Always fill your pot, reservoir, or press with filtered water. Each method will require a different heating temperature, so read the instructions. Often you need to start with cold water and let it heat up slowly to get the best brew.
- The Correct Ratio.
Every coffee brewing method has a different sweet spot for the best outcome. The ratio of water to beans is a delicate balance that can significantly alter the flavor. However, may have your own preferences for strength and flavor, so although it’s always best to follow the recipe the first time, each time after that is to your own taste!
- Drink up!
Coffee is made for drinking. The Italians make their coffee deliberately lukewarm so they can drink it down straight away. No matter how you like to drink it, don’t leave it sitting there in the pot all day. Savor a hot cup, or quickly down a lukewarm one, but drink it while it’s fresh or your will lose that gourmet flavor.
The next time you walk into your favorite coffeehouse, pay attention. How do they source their beans? Where do they store their beans? How frequently do they top up their grinder? Does their machines look clean and in good repair?
Learn from the experts and put their good practices into effect in your home.
A cup of gourmet coffee is achievable anywhere, anytime, so learn from the best to produce the best.