A good cup of coffee gets many people moving in the morning, and for the true coffee lover, the coffee needs to be just right. The right beans, the right temperature, and the right brew are essential.
Quality Roasted Beans
Always use quality coffee beans, like those from The Golden Roast, to ensure the most delicious brew. If possible, purchase coffee beans as soon as they have been roasted. They will brew the best cup of coffee.
There is a variety of coffee roasts from which to choose. Consider the country or region of origin and the type of bean. Is it arabica, robust, or a blend of the two? Some people think that because of their rich flavor, darker roasts contain more caffeine. In reality, lighter roasts have a slightly higher concentration of caffeine.
Light roasts usually are preferred by people who enjoy mild coffee varieties. These beans are not roasted long enough for oils to break through to the surface. Medium roast coffees are medium brown and often are called American roast. It is what many Americans prefer. Dark-roasted coffee produces shiny beans with an oily surface. Dark coffee usually has bitterness, and the darker the coffee is, the less acidic it will be. Purchase coffee in small amounts, and store it tightly to preserve its freshness and flavor.
Always grind coffee beans as close to the brew time as possible. Mill or burr grinders are best because they grind the coffee to a consistent size. Blade grinders will grind some coffee more finely than the rest. Consumers who only have blade grinders may want to ask the store to grind it in their burr grinder for consistency. Grind is essential because coffee that is too fine may be over-extracted and taste bitter. Coffee that is too coarse may be under-extracted and may taste flat.
The Importance of Water
Always use filtered or bottled water if the tap water has a strong smell or taste. If using tap water, allow the water to run for a few seconds, and always use cold water. Typically the best ratio of coffee to water is to use one to two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water, but people can adjust this to fit their tastes.
For best extraction, a coffee brewer should keep the water between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder water will yield under-extracted coffee, and water that is too hot will decrease the quality of the coffee. Once it has been made, the temperature at which a coffee drinker likes their coffee is their preference. Some people will add creamer or milk, which cools the coffee off. Others prefer to drink theirs black, but to let it sit for a few minutes to cool off.
The flavor of coffee is directly affected by the amount of time the coffee grounds are in contact with the water. For a drip system, aim for approximately five minutes of brew time. A French press will only take two to four minutes. Espresso usually only takes twenty to thirty seconds of contact with the water. Consumers can experiment with the contact time to get the perfect taste.
Coffee begins to lose its best taste just minutes after brewing, so a coffee drinker should only make as much as they will drink. Brew it freshly, enjoy the aroma, and notice the flavor in each sip.