A good cup of coffee in the morning can lift your mood for the day. But when coffee shops are closed, relying on a barista to serve your daily cup can be impossible. If this is the case, you may want to brew an unusual beverage yourself. Depending on how much coffee you drink per day, this could also be a way to save some cash.
It’s easier than you think – simple things like storing the beans properly and using the best filters will prevent unwanted bitterness or aftertaste from coffee cup. Whether your morning beverage consists of plantation-grown beans and a sophisticated brewing process, or you like a supermarket blend from a pour-over machine that you pour into coffee mugs, follow these basic rules to get a delicious, satisfying cup of coffee.
There are three popular methods for brewing coffee at home. The classic pour-over machine has long been a favorite, but ways like using a roaster are starting to gain a lot of followers, too
Before you start, you should know that weighing your ground coffee gives better results than using a measuring cup, measuring spoon or coffee measure. A digital kitchen scale is very useful. As a rule of thumb, about 15 grams (1 tablespoon) of ground coffee per 240 ml cup of coffee is recommended. For 4 cups of coffee, that’s about 60 grams (4 tablespoons) of ground coffee. In addition, coffee drinks even better with the right tableware, so if your budget is sufficient, opt for tableware made of materials such as porcelain.
Without a doubt, coffee is best when used within a few days of roasting. Buying from a local roaster (but you can roast the coffee yourself) is the surest way to get the absolute freshest beans. Be careful when buying coffee in bulk from bins at the supermarket. Oxygen and bright light are the worst agents for ruining the flavor of roasted beans, so if the store isn’t conscientious about selling fresh coffee, the storage tubes get coated with coffee oils that go rancid. Coffee beans packaged by quality-conscious roasters and sold in durable, vacuum-sealed bags are often a better option.
Always store opened coffee beans in an airtight container. Glass canning jars or ceramic storage vessels with rubber seals are good choices. Never store in the refrigerator (roasted beans are porous and easily absorb moisture and food odors). Flavor experts strongly advise against freezing coffee, especially dark roasts. Optimally, buy fresh beans for five to seven days and store them at room temperature.
Nothing can ruin a pot of coffee more than tap water with chlorine or other “flavorings.” Serious coffee lovers use bottled spring water or activated carbon filters of their taps. Softened or distilled water produces terrible coffee – minerals are essential.
Experts say inexpensive paper coffee filters yield an inferior product. Look for “oxygen bleached” or “dioxin free” paper filters. Alternatively, you can invest in a long-lasting filter. These are believed to provide maximum flavor, but may let sediment through if the coffee is too finely ground.
The standard measure for brewing coffee at the right strength is 2 flat tablespoons per 180 ml cup or about 2 3/4 tablespoons per 240 ml cup. Tricks, such as using less coffee and warmer water to fill more cups, usually result in bitter brews.
Water that is too hot brings out compounds in the coffee that are bitter rather than pleasant. The correct temperature for brewing water is 90-95 degrees, which is about 45 seconds after it has fully boiled. Don’t expect coffee to retain its best flavors for long after brewing. Reheating, boiling or keeping it on a heated platform for a long time will make even the best coffee bitter and unpalatable.
Clean storage containers and grinders every few weeks to remove greasy deposits. Run a strong solution of vinegar or coffee equipment cleaner through your coffee maker at least once a month to dissolve any mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly before using again.