HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COFFEE EXPERIENCE
Coffee is a necessary part of our morning routine, something to give us a caffeine kick with flavors that range from nutty to chocolatey, spicey to fruity, and lots more. You don't have to visit a coffee shop before you can have a delicious cup of coffee.
You can brew the coffee at home. Brewing delicious coffee at home doesn't need to be a difficult task. Using the right technique at home can give you the delicious brews that cafés offer. Follow these tips and you’ll be brewing better coffee next time.
USE FRESHLY ROASTED COFFEE BEANS
The main ingredients that make the coffee smell and taste so complex and delicious, is as a result of the presence of aromatic compounds that are produced when the coffee is roasted. When the coffee is roasted, some of these compounds begin to escape from the coffee beans. This process is called 'degassing'. After 2 to 3 weeks, about 70% of these compounds will be lost.
As time goes, the beans can go stale. What this means is that you have to buy only the whole coffee beans you need and store them properly. Read our guide on the best way to store coffee beans. If whole beans can lose aromatic compounds, imagine what happens when you buy already ground coffee.
Most flavors would have been lost when they are kept on shelves. This is because grinding coffee makes the degassing process happen faster; exposing more surface area of the beans and making it easy for the compounds to escape. Brew with only fresh coffee and grind just before you start brewing. It will help you brew the most flavorful cup out of your coffee beans. Ground coffee just has about 30 minutes to 1 hour of freshness before most of the aromatic compounds are lost.
Consider visiting our site to buy freshly roasted coffee beans, we also offer free shipping. We ship directly from our local roaster in Sydney.
Also, when you buy coffee to brew, don't leave the coffee pot on a warmer till it dries up or try to reheat the coffee in the microwave. If you really want to brew out the best from your coffee beans, always brew a fresh pot or cup. It's best to leave the coffee on the warming plate for just an hour, if it stays more than this, it can over extract. You can also use the cold brew method to brew concentrated coffee, store it in the refrigerator, and serve over ice.
USE THE RIGHT MEASUREMENTS
You must have heard of the simple rule of using 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 3/4 cups of water. While this is the basic ratio, there is no precision to take your brew to the next level (you can scale the ratio up and down).
Besides, coffees (blends and single origin) can have a wide difference when it comes to size and density, so a tablespoon of one type of coffee beans may weigh differently than a tablespoon of another coffee. Using a scale to know the weight of your coffee can help be you to be precise. No matter what coffee you are using, you’ll know exactly how much of it is going into your coffee maker.
Also, the amount of coffee you use and the amount of water you use can determine how strong or weak the cup of coffee will be. The more grounds you use, the stronger the cup, and the fewer coffee grounds you use, the weaker the cup.
The big question is, how do you know how much coffee to use? The answer to this question is to think about it as a ratio between the amount of coffee used to the amount of water used. For example, you can use a ratio of 1:12 (35 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water) or 1:14 ratio for our coffee blends and single-origin beans. Using this ratio can help you accentuate the chocolate sweetness, silky body, and acidity of the coffee beans.
USE A BURR GRINDER INSTEAD
A grinder is an essential tool in brewing coffee. The grind size of ground coffee determines how fast the essential flavors will be extracted from the beans. Grind consistency is very important, when you brew coffee, all the grounds should be the same size, so all the particles can brew at the same thing. Being able to control the size of your coffee grounds, gives you more control over the brewing process.
So, it's best to use burr grinders instead of blade grinders that give uneven sizes. The blade grinder divides the coffee beans into coarse and fine grounds or finer grounds. With a burr grinder, you can produce specific grind sizes each time you grind.
USE GRIND SETTINGS THAT FITS YOUR BREW METHOD
Different brewing methods require different grind sizes to produce a flavored cup. You may be wondering how you can know the right grind size, the answer is simple- there 2 ways to tell: time and taste.
For pour-over coffee, the brew time is about 3 to 4 minutes. If the coffee brews too quickly, it means the ground was too coarse, if it brews too slowly, it means the grounds are too fine. If your coffee tastes too acidic, and sour, it means the grounds were too coarse and the coffee is under-extracted. If it tastes too bitter or it’s too strong for you, it means the grinds were too fine.
Try adjusting your grind setting to fit your brew method. It will bring you one step closer to brewing a flavorful cup of coffee at home. Generally, finer grounds are used for espressos while medium grounds are used for drip machines and a coarse grind for French press. Check out our brew guides for a more detailed explanation.
ALWAYS USE FILTERED WATER
Brewed coffee is made of 98% of water, what this means is that the quality and taste of your water has a huge impact on the taste of your brewed coffee. If your water tastes bad or has a bad smell, your coffee will too. Brewing with purified water is one of the best things you can do to get your delicious morning cup.
Do not use tap water as it might contain dust and other containment that affect the taste of your coffee. It's better to use home filtration or bottled water. If you want to use bottled water, make sure it is not distilled. Yes, it is technically pure but coffee does need all those minerals to brew properly.
USE THE RIGHT WATER TEMPERATURE
If you want to extract the best flavors out of your coffee, the water you use has to be at the optimal temperature of 90 to 96 degree Celsius. The temperature not only affects the speed of the extraction but also affects what gets extracted. Cooler water brews coffee more slowly than hotter water.
The pleasant acidity and unique flavors we love in our coffee will not show up with water below 90 degree Celsius and using water above the degrees mentioned will cause more bitter flavors to be extracted from the coffee. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, if you don't have one, you can just wait for 30 - 60 seconds after the water boils before pouring it in.
PRE-HEAT YOUR EQUIPMENT
Before brewing, make sure anything the coffee will touch is as close to your brewing temperature as possible. If you don't do this, the brewing equipment will steal some heat from the water during the brewing process, thereby lowering the temperature of the water.
Also, if you are using the pour-over method, make sure the filter is rinsed, pour some hot water on the filter, and let it drain. This will bring the filter to the correct temperature and wash away paper flavors that can affect the taste of your coffee.
ALLOW THE COFFEE TO BLOOM
Have you noticed that while brewing, the first pour on the coffee grounds makes the coffee bubble (this is noticeable when fresh coffee is used). That bubble you see is called ‘bloom’ and it is caused by CO2 - a natural by-product of roasting that is expelled from the coffee. The bloom is considered an important step in coffee brewing because the process of CO2 can affect your brew negatively by pushing water away from the ground coffee and prevents extraction.
Just add a small amount of water at the beginning of the brewing process, wait for about 30 to 40 seconds for the coffee to bloom before you add more water. The amount of water used to bloom should be double the amount of coffee you’ve used. For example, if you’re brewing with 45grams of coffee, you’ll want to use 90grams of water for the bloom.
ALWAYS SATURATE THE COFFEE GROUNDS
If you want to brew delicious coffee, you have to make sure all the grounds are fully saturated- all the coffee should have contact with water at the same time.
With a French press or pour-over method, it may seem like all the grounds are fully saturated but you’ll still find pockets of dry coffee around. It's best to give the coffee a brief, lights stir when you add more water after the bloom phase. Stir for some seconds and allow the coffee to brew.
USE CLEAN EQUIPMENTS
Always clean your brewing equipment regularly. This is because residues left behind from the brewing process can diminish the taste of the new coffee you want to brew. For most brewers and stove top pots, you can simply hand wash it once a week or so. Some brewers can be cleaned in a dishwasher here.
Just read the instructions from the manufacturer before cleaning. If you are cleaning a drip brew machine, you need to clean even the inner parts to remove coffee and mineral left. Use vinegar to clean (one part vinegar, two parts water), run it through the machine. Then rinse it out with 2 or 3 passes of plain water to make sure the vinegar smell is gone
TRY DIFFERENT BREWING METHODS
The fun part about coffee is that it can be brewed with different methods, you may have been using a French press or Aeropress but have you tried drip coffee. Each of these brewing methods can create a flavorful cup. They may take more time to brew or even produce a few cups but it's often worth it.
You can also learn to make coffee shop drinks at home. For instance, you can make a latte using a whisk and a saucepan to froth your milk. You can also make a café Americano with a stove top espresso pot. You don't really have to go to the café.
Get creative! Add a small slab of butter rather than milk if you’re tired. Also, add cinnamon, they are an excellent sugar substitute.
Have some fun as you try different recipes and you’ll never have a boring cup of coffee again. All these tips can only brew delicious coffee when you are using fresh coffee beans. Click here to get the best.