Coffee drinkers consider drinking coffee the best part of waking up. It’s not just a routine or a beverage to perk up the morning. For some, it is art. There are various ways of brewing coffee. There are different types of coffee beans you can buy, different brewing equipment, and different techniques. If you want to make the best coffee, you need to put together the right combination of elements.
Don’t just settle for buying the ready to brew ground beans and shoving them into your coffee maker. It’s a matter of choosing the right beans for your taste, the right water, brewing equipment, the right grind, and the right brewing techniques. Whether you want a simple pour-over coffee, an Americano, or coffee shop drinks, these secrets will work like a charm.
Essentials of Brewing Great Coffee
Before we go to the methods, here are the essential tips to make the best coffee.
To make the best coffee, the first and most essential secret is fresh beans. For best results, it’s important to buy fresh whole beans and grind them yourself right before brewing, instead of buying the pre-ground coffee beans.
Most coffee companies don’t put the date for when the coffee was roasted on the label. This is because most bags of coffee you find on the shelf of grocery stores have been there for months. Coffee reaches its peak flavor only a few days after it has been roasted and it’s best to consume them within a month of roasting.
You’re better off finding fresh coffee at local coffee shops. Some even roast their coffee on the spot if you go to local roasters. They roast in smaller batches and you get fresher coffee.
Proper Storage of Beans
The next secret to making the best coffee is storing your beans properly so they remain fresh for as long as possible. You would need a vacuum sealed container that is designed with a one-way valve. You don’t have to buy anything expensive. You can use a standard Mason jar to store your beans.
It’s also important to choose the right size of jars. As you consume more coffee and your coffee beans go low, you can transfer them into a smaller sized jar to keep them fresh for longer.
Techniques to Make the Best Coffee
Once you’re sure that your beans are fresh and properly stored, here are the techniques to make the best coffee each time.
How you grind your coffee is also very important to make the best coffee. It’s important that you grind your coffee right before you brew it so that you get the maximum flavor. Don’t grind hours in advance because the coffee will lose its freshness. Coffee starts losing its flavor within 30 minutes after it has been ground according to experts. So, it’s best to grind on the spot before you brew.
The grind size and consistency also matters a lot. If your ground is too coarse, you will end up with a weak flavor. And if you grind too fine, you will over-extract the beans so your coffee will end up tasting too bitter. If you are using a standard drip coffeemaker, it’s best to use a medium to medium-fine grounds.
You can use different types of grinders for this. An automatic burr grinder is expensive but if you do it properly, a manual hand mill is the most affordable way to do it and you can achieve a nice, consistent grind. Blade grinders are the most convenient but they tend to produce inconsistent grounds which can over-extract your coffee.
There is a right way to measure your coffee to make the best coffee. It’s best to measure your coffee by weight instead of by volume. For best results, use the same amount of coffee as the water when you brew. You can use a digital scale to measure it. It’s ideal to use a ratio of 1:20 which means you will use 1 part coffee per 20 parts of water. Or 7.5 grams of coffee for 150ml of water. Adjust it according to your taste and preferences.
Here is another secret that makes a big difference if you want to make the best coffee. If you are using a drip coffeemaker, this is very important because the coffeemaker skips this step. It will make the carbon dioxide repel the water during the brewing process so your brew will be weaker.
To pre-infuse your coffee grounds, you can insert a filter into your hopper before pouring the grounds. Preheat some water in a kettle and slowly pour it over the grounds. Make sure that all of them are wet and let it sit for 45 seconds before you put them into the brewer or coffeemaker.
The Right Temperature
You need to brew at the right temperature to make the best coffee. Most automatic drip coffee makers don’t reach the optimal temperature. Some newer models may have manual temperature adjustment features but the cheaper ones do not. The ideal temperature to brew the best coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have manual temperature control, what you can do is to run your coffeemaker with just water and without coffee before brewing. You can also use pre-boiling water from a kettle when you brew to help achieve the ideal temperature. But make sure that you don’t exceed 205 degrees because it will burn the coffee. If you are not good at assessing the temperature, it’s best to just upgrade your coffeemaker.
The Right Water
You also need to use the right water to make the best coffee. Do not use hard water because it’s full of minerals that do not bond well with the dissolved particulates of the coffee. This will under-extract your coffee so it tastes too weak. You will also have to descale your coffee machine more often.
It’s also not good to use distilled water because it will lead to over-extraction. The best water to use lightly filtered water which you can get from your fridge’s filter. You can also use a water filter pitcher.