How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee
Making coffee is simple. But brewing a perfect cup of coffee is an art. With a few simple tips you too can learn how to make a perfect cup of coffee every time!
The subject of coffee is layered, complex and connected to memories. For me, just thinking about the savory smell of morning coffee brings back wonderful childhood images of cousin sleepovers at Grandma’s house. In the morning we’d awake to the sumptuous aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Grandma would be standing in her kitchen wearing an apron preparing a delicious breakfast. There would be fried potatoes with golden-crispy edges, eggs sunny-side up, thick slices of bacon cooked to perfection, and freshly-made flour tortillas. Here’s how to make a perfect cup of coffee and trigger some good memories of your own.
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How to Make Coffee -Step #1: Start With the Right Equipment
If you’re a real coffee lover, it’s worth investing in a great coffee maker, good quality filters, and a coffee grinder. Bunn coffee makers are some of the best on the market, and they have a cult-like following. When using paper coffee filters select ones that are oxygen-bleached or dioxin-free. A great money-saving option that’s also great for the environment is to purchase a permanent reusable coffee filter. When selecting a coffee grinder, choose one that has great reviews for particle uniformity to deliver a consistent quality grind.
How to Make Coffee – Step #2: Select Fresh Coffee Beans
Always start with the freshest coffee beans possible. When purchasing beans locally select beans that have been recently roasted within the last three days and have been packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. At home store your coffee beans in an air-tight container that’s kept in a cool dry place away from light. Storage containers with a rubber-gasket seal are a great choice. But there are also special coffee containers with freshness valves that continuously vent away CO2 gases which result from the roasting process. Optimally, fresh coffee beans should be used within a week after roasting.
How to Make Coffee – Step #3: Get the Right Grind
Coffee should always be freshly ground. If you’re using a flat-bottom coffee filter use a medium grind that’s close to the texture of sea salt or sand. For cone coffee filters use a finer grind, just a bit finer than granulated sugar. For reusable coffee filters use a medium grind. If your coffee lacks flavor experiment with a finer grind. If your coffee tastes bitter, try a coarser grind. When grinding coffee beans keep this in mind: coffee begins losing flavor and quality the very instant it’s ground! Oxygen, light and moisture are bitter enemies of freshly ground coffee. The moment coffee beans are ground the clock for freshness starts ticking. So start brewing coffee right away.
How to Make Coffee – Step #4: Use Bottled Water
As coffee is primarily water, the type of water you use will have a great impact on taste. Always use either filtered water or bottled water. Never use tap water! The chlorine in tap water can ruin the flavor of your coffee. Distilled water can also ruin coffee as it has no mineral content which is important for producing a flavorful cup of coffee.
How to Make Coffee – Step #5: Measure the Coffee
For an awesome cup of coffee, measure it out. It’s essential that the water-to-coffee ratio is correct. For six ounces of water use two level tablespoons of coffee. For 8-ounces of water use 2-3/4 tablespoons of coffee. If there are too many coffee grounds the coffee will be under-extracted and will not achieve its full flavor potential. If there are too little coffee grounds the coffee will be over-extracted and taste unpleasant and bitter.
How to Make Coffee – Step #6: Heat the Water
The optimum temperature for brewing a perfect cup of coffee is 200 degrees F. This is the temperature needed to release the coffee’s full spectrum of flavors. If the water is too hot then compounds will be extracted from the coffee and it will taste bitter. If the water is too cool the full flavor of the coffee as well as its aroma will be greatly diminished. For percolated coffee, after the water begins to boil (about 5 minutes) turn down the heat to medium-low and perk the coffee for about 7 minutes. If you use an automatic coffee maker then there are no heating and timing worries! Automatic coffee makers are automatically programmed to deliver the right amount of heat for the proper amount of time.
How to Make Coffee – Step #7: Enjoy Freshly Brewed Coffee Right Away!
Coffee can lose its taste and become bitter if not enjoyed right away. Never reheat a cup of coffee or allow the pot to sit on a warming platform. Poor treatment of brewed coffee will destroy its beautiful flavor and dull its aroma. Instead, store brewed coffee in an insulted thermal carafe to lock in temperature and preserve its flavor.
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Share Your Tips on Coffee
In the comments below share your favorite type of coffee and the way you prepare it at home. Let’s learn great tips from one another on how to make a perfect cup of coffee!