There are many methods for brewing a fine cup of coffee. No single technique is right for everyone and each day in America, we illustrate this through our waking up ritual. The method you choose for brewing your coffee is certainly based on your needs and your preferences. Do you want a hearty mug of coffee for breakfast? Do you want flavored coffee to start the day? Do you crave cappuccino as if you were starting the day in Europe? Do you use the higher priced coffees? Do you grind your own beans for freshness? Do you just head out to your neighborhood coffee shop after you dress and forgo drinking at home?
If you do your brewing at home, there are guidelines to follow that will give you the best cup of coffee possible. To enhance the excellence of every cup of coffee you prepare, learning and fine-tuning your brewing routine will help.
The Equipment. Make sure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned after each use by rinsing it with clear, hot water and drying it with an absorbent towel. Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of coffee oil. Such residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavor to future cups of coffee.
The Coffee. Purchase coffee as soon after it has been roasted as possible. Fresh roasted coffee is essential to a superb cup of coffee. And purchase your coffee in small amounts—only as much as you can use in a given period of time. Ideally, you should purchase your coffee fresh every 1-2 weeks.
The Grind. If you purchase whole-bean coffee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible. A burr or mill grinder is preferable because all of the coffee is ground to a consistent size. A blade grinder is less preferable because some coffee will be ground more finely than the rest. If you normally grind your coffee at home with a blade grinder, try having it ground at the store with a burr grinder. You may be surprised at the difference!
Do not underestimate the importance of the size of the grind to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it may be over extracted, or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be under extracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. Tell the professionals where you purchase your coffee exactly how you will be brewing it. For example, will you be using a plunger pot? A flat drip filter? A cone drip filter? They will grind it specifically for the preparation method you have chosen and the equipment you use.
Never reuse your coffee grounds.
The water. The water you use is VERY important to the quality of your coffee. People from all over the world feel that the water in Naples, Italy and Brooklyn, NY makes the best coffee on the planet. If you can’t run there for the morning Joe, use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not good or contains and passes on a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. Use only cold water. Do not use distilled or softened water.
Ratio of coffee to water. Use the proper amount of coffee for every six ounces of water that is actually brewed. Advice is generally to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences.
Water temperature. Water temperature during brewing is very important and many of our brewing devices do not meet the task!
Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction. Colder water will result in flat, under extracted coffee while water that is too hot also will cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not over boil. Turn off the heat source and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.
Never reheat. After your coffee has been brewed, drink it and never reheat the coffee.
Savor. Coffee connoisseurs (and there are many) say a great cup of coffee should be enjoyed as thoughtfully as it was brewed. Take a moment to smell the aroma. Take a sip and notice your coffee’s flavor and enjoy. No swishing and spitting like in wine tasting—just sit back and enjoy.
• We are paying more for coffee than ever before and it is a 20 Billion-Dollar industry.
• How much we pay for coffee has steadily risen since 2013, according to the Zagat survey. Overall, surveyors said they typically pay $3.28, on average, for their coffee drink, up from $3.05 in 2014 and $2.98 in 2013. 2015 numbers are not available yet.
• K-Cup is significantly impacting total pounds of coffee sales – people brew a cup, not a pot which is showing that coffee consumption is down when it probably is not at all. At home, we are making cups not pots, thus wasting less and buying outside the home more often.
• 43% still make their own or get it at work.
• Regular cup of Joe/coffee still leads all others, followed by Latte as everyday favorites.
• According to Harvard.edu.com, more than half of American adults drink coffee every day. Recent scientific studies suggest moderate consumption may help reduce some disease risks. These studies are observational, meaning that researchers draw conclusions based on differences between the numbers of disease cases in coffee drinkers versus non-drinkers.
• A 16% Grande Starbucks Coffee contains 330 mg of caffeine while the generically brewed coffee of 9 oz. average size contains 108 mg of caffeine.
• 54% of Americans over 18 drink 3.1 cups on average each day, again at an average of a 9 oz. cup.
recommendations from the experts at Wired Coffee and Bagels
Matt Michele who co-owns Wired Coffee and Bagels in Malta with his brother Marty suggests the following for home brewing great coffee.
When you love the type of coffee that you had at a coffee shop and you purchase a pound in the hope of recreating that great cup at home, play with the coffee grinder settings. Matt loves to use a finer grind for drip pots, for example. Wired roasts its own beans on the premises in small batches in accordance with the origin of the beans. The goal is to eliminate bitterness and acidity by controlling the smaller batches.
“Temperature is so crucial,” he says. It should be over 200 degrees to get the right cup you want. Some home coffee makers are hitting those temps now. He also recommends if you do not or cannot buy a high temperature-producing system, buy a French Press or Aero Press for home use.
Cold Brew Process of Iced Coffee
Cold Brewing is the process of brewing the coffee grounds in cold water. The process is long but the results are extraordinary!
The next step in cold brewing is Nitro Cold Brew. The creation and process is much like the technology of a beer keg. A kegerator with a spicket after being stored in the keg pours like a cold beer and creates unbelievable creamy coffee.
—Wired Coffee and Bagel
Touch Coffee Brewing system
FLASH HEATING and FLAVOR GROOVES – Have you ever used those words when thinking and talking about making a great cup of coffee at home? I doubt it. The patent-pending Rapid Brew Technology from Touch features both and the result is piping-hot water throughout a compatible K-Cup® portion pack. The Flavor Grooves swirl the coffee grinds to release bold aromas and flavors. In testing the machine, we found it delivered a fantastic and truly hot cup of coffee which is not always the case with some of the modern machines designed for cup by cup coffee making. The other thing lacking with other modern coffee cup by cup brewers is the ability to make a carafe of coffee that is still bold in flavor. Again we found that making a pot of coffee with their own carafe and jumbo red cup is easy and designed to pack with your favorite type of coffee. One cup or a pot, the flavor was excellent and the machine easy to use. Cup by cup is done with a compatible K Cup and most are compatible. The Carafe is done with ground coffee placed in the “big red cup.” www.touchbeverages.com.
Roasting coffee beans is a heat process that turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans that we love to brew. According to the National Coffee Association, before being roasted, the beans were stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste.
Roasting is a technical skill, which approaches an art form claims the association, but there is one company now promoting a Drum Coffee Roaster that claims you can unleash your inner “coffee geek” and roast your own beans easily! Does it take years of training to become an expert roaster with the ability to “read” the beans and make decisions with split-second timing as the association teaches or could it now be as easy as Behmor’s 25-lb. Drum Coffee Roaster that resembles a counter size toaster over? One thing for certain, the difference between perfectly roasted coffee and a ruined batch can be a very short period of time. www.behmor.com