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Tuesday
Jan102012

Make a Better Cup o' Joe

We have all had good cups of coffee, and we have had some bad cups.  We all want that great cup of coffee and there are steps that you can take to make sure that the coffee you brew always tastes great.

  

Start with a Clean Coffee Maker
Think about it...when was the last time you cleaned your coffee maker? If you don’t know, or if it’s been a few months, clean it. You’ll notice a difference. 

Freshly Roasted 
If possible, buy freshly roasted coffee.  The best tasting coffee is from freshly roasted coffee beans.  

Use A French Press
Drip coffee makers brews your coffee quickly and efficiently, however there’s a more flavorful cup of coffee waiting for you with a French Press.  Even if you don't want to always use a French Press, you will enjoy having one around.

Grind Your Own Beans 
Yes, if you’re buying pre-ground coffee, you are drinking stale coffee. Coffee starts to lose it’s flavor within fifteen minutes of being ground. A simple, inexpensive grinder is better than buying pre-ground. If you really want to a grinder that does a better job, try a burr grinder.  As with your coffee maker, remember to clean your grinder often.

The Water Matters
Since water is the is the largest ingredient in your coffee it does affect the taste. If you don't like the taste of your water, that same bad taste will be in your coffee. If you are using tap water, consider using a filter - either attached to your faucet or the pitcher type.  You will taste the difference.

Don’t Let Your Coffee Sit
After brewing, don’t let your coffee sit around in the coffee pot or the french press after you brew it for too long. When using a coffee maker, the heated plate that the pot is sitting on will cook the flavors out of your coffee, leaving you with bitter tasting coffee.  Although it isn't sitting on a heated plate, the same applies for a French Press. After your coffee is done brewing, pour it into your mug right away and store the extra in a thermos or travel mug.

The Correct Grind
The grind of coffee for the type of brewing matters.

  • Coarse Grind – Distinct, chunky pieces of coffee beans, like heavy kosher salt.  Best for: French Press, Plunger Pot, Percolator and Vacuum Coffee Pot.
  • Medium Grind – Gritty texture with visible flakes, like coarse sand.  Best for: Drip Coffee Maker with a flat bottom filter.
  • Fine Grind – Smoother texture, like table salt (or even a little finer).  Best for: Drip coffee makers with cone shaped filters or Espresso moka pots.
  • Extra Fine Grind – Coffee grains barely discernable, finer than granular sugar.  Best for: Espresso machines, pump or steam.   

Only grind what you need for right then. If you grind more for use later, it’ll be stale by the time you use it.

Use The Right Amount Of Coffee
One tablespoons per four ounce cup is the standard, however experiment with amount to get the taste that you like.  Check out "How Much Ground Coffee for Brewing?"

Do you have any tips for making better coffee?  We would love to hear yours.

Reader Comments (2)

Quality of coffee is important. My preference is 100% Kona.

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoffee Lover

Quality is very important - we are partial to Kona coffee too. Mahalo for the feedback.

January 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterEnergy Dude

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