Coffee is a personal thing; the best method to make it is, the way you like it.
Having said that, knowing a few fundamentals will assist you in perfecting your technique. We invite you to experiment with different roasts, origins, and preparation methods from here.
Here are some pointers on how to make a classic cup of coffee.
1. The Instruments/Equipment’s
After each usage, ensure that all of your instruments, from bean grinders and filters to coffee makers, are fully cleaned.
Rinse with clear, hot water (or thoroughly wipe down) and dry with an absorbent cloth. It’s critical to ensure that no grounds have accumulated and that there hasn’t been a build-up of coffee oil (caffeol), which can make future cups of coffee taste harsh and rancid.
2. The Coffee Bean
Great coffee begins with excellent beans. The quality and flavor of your coffee are impacted not only by your preferred brewing method, but also by the sort of coffee you choose. There can be a world of difference in roasts, so read our guide to roasting types.
Some of the flavoring elements are as follows:
- The origin country and region
- The type of bean – Arabica, Robusta, or a Hybrid
- The sort of roasts
- The consistency of your grind
While there are many options, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer – for example, you can buy a dark, rich espresso roast coffee and yet have it ground for a drip system. Have fun experimenting with and appreciating different combinations.
Buy coffee as soon as possible after it’s been roasted. Fresh-roasted coffee is crucial for a decent cup, so buy in small quantities (ideally every one to two weeks). Check out our helpful coffee storage techniques to keep your coffee as fresh and tasty as possible.
Please do not re-use your coffee grinds to create coffee. After brewing, the desired coffee flavors have been removed, leaving just the bitter ones. Instead, look at these six ideas for reusing your old grounds.
4. The Grinding
If you buy whole bean coffee, ground it as close to the brew time as possible to ensure optimal freshness. Because the coffee is ground to a constant size, a burr or mill grinder is ideal.
A blade grinder is less desirable since some coffee will be ground finer than others. If you regularly grind your coffee at home using a blade grinder, consider having it done at the store using a burr grinder – you’ll be shocked at the difference! (Regardless of the choice you choose, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when operating your grinder, and be careful of any essential safety precautions.)
The size of the grind has a significant impact on the flavor of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it could be because it was over-extracted or ground too finely. If your coffee tastes flat, it may be under-extracted, indicating that your grind is too coarse.
If you want your coffee ground to order, tell the pros where you buy it exactly how you intend to brew it. Will you be making coffee with a French press? Is it better to use a flat or a cone drip filter? Is that a gold mesh filter? They will grind it precisely for your way of preparation.
5. The Water
The water you use has a significant impact on the quality of your coffee. If your tap water is contaminated or has a strong odor or flavor, such as chlorine, use filtered or bottled water.
If you’re using tap water, let it run for a few seconds before filling your coffee maker, and make sure it’s cold. Water that has been distilled or softened should be avoided.
5.1. Coffee-to-Water Ratio
The “Golden Ratio” is a common guideline that states one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Individual taste preferences can be accommodated by adjusting this.
Examine the cup lines or indicators on your brewer to determine how they truly measure. Also, keep in mind that some water is lost due to evaporation in various brewing processes.
5.2. Temperature of the Water
First and foremost, safety! Of course, if you are working with heat and hot beverages, take all required measures for everyone involved, from those preparing coffee to those serving and drinking coffee.
For optimal extraction, your brewer should keep the water temperature between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit. Colder water results in flat, under-extracted coffee, while hot water results in a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. (However, cold brew requires no heat.)
If you’re brewing the coffee by hand, bring the water to a full boil but don’t let it boil too long. Turn off the heat and let the water sit for a minute before pouring it over the coffee grounds.
Depending on the container from which it is served, coffee usually cools quickly after being served. In addition, many coffee drinkers add cream or milk, which has a cooling effect. Finally, the temperature at which any individual coffee drinker prefers their coffee, like so many other aspects that distinguish coffee, is a matter of personal preference. These are some of the reasons why it is preferable to serve coffee immediately after it has been brewed, while it is still fresh and hot. Cupping quality standards recommend brewing at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures should be considered when serving hot beverages, particularly in retail or clinical care settings where there is a risk of burning or scorching. Coffee lovers frequently want to add cold milk or cream, or just let the hot beverage to cool to a drinkable temperature. According to one study, coffee users typically consume their coffee at temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
6. Brewing Period
Another major flavor aspect is the amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee grinds.
The contact time in a drip system should be around 5 minutes. If you’re using a French press, the contact time should be between 2-4 minutes. Espresso has a very short brew time – the coffee is only in contact with the water for 20-30 seconds. Cold brew, on the other hand, should steep for at least 24 hours (about 12 hours).
If you’re dissatisfied with the end product’s flavor, you’re probably either:
- Excessive extraction – the brew duration is too lengthy
- Under-extracting – the brew duration is insufficient
Experiment with contact time until you find the ideal balance for you.
When preparing and serving any hot beverage, whether for yourself or a customer, safety should always be a top consideration. We encourage you to explore our Food Safety Plan Templates and Workplace Safety resources for industry-specific information, and to always consult with internal counsel before making any safety-related decisions, as NCA cannot provide specific advice regarding any particular working environment or situation.
7. Relax and enjoy your coffee!
Prepared coffee begins to lose its optimal flavor shortly after brewing, so just make as much coffee as you intend to drink. Coffee can also be placed into a warmed, insulated thermos and consumed within one hour.
Try to appreciate your coffee as attentively as you prepared it – inhale the aroma and taste the nuances with each sip. Many people have contributed to its arrival in your cup.
Don’t worry, old coffee is probably not hazardous, just unappealing. No matter what you read on the Internet, always exercise your best judgment before swallowing anything.
This artical was written for our community site [Ceylon Coffee Federation] and thought to share with you too.