If you’re a java lover, here are a few tips to improve your morning brew.
Since the first Starbucks store was introduced in Seattle, coffee has become part of our social scene. The coffee shop is a place to socialize, to meet friends, to study or get some work done. We have espresso, lattes, mochas, flat whites – add flavors, cream, steamed milk poured 4 different ways. But what happened to the traditional cup of Joe?
The Coffee Beans
The most common types of beans are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans tend to be less bitter than Robusta. So the best cup of coffee will come from 100% Arabica beans.
Any professional roaster will tell you that the beans are best when they are fresh, generally within seven to 21 days of being roasted. Buy them in small quantities each week and store them in a jar or other air-tight container in a cool, dark place such as the pantry. A basic mason jar works great.
Don’t store your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer, as it will absorb moisture, odors and tastes from its surroundings.
Pour Over Filter
Most people use tap water and don’t even think about how it might affect the taste of their coffee. However, tap water is filled with chemicals to keep it clean such as chlorine and fluoride. These chemicals will interact with your coffee and alter the taste. Instead of tap water, try using filtered water or, at the very least, purchase a filter for your tap that will remove the chemicals before you brew your coffee. Bottled spring water is also an option.
When using an automatic drip maker, cold water will brew a better cup. Try using water that has been refrigerated or at least water that is cool. Never add warm or hot water to your coffee maker, because they are designed to warm the water to an ideal temperature.
And while you’re adding water, pre-wet the filter. It will wash off any paper dust that might influence the taste of your coffee.
French Press (cafetiere)
Ahh, the smell of freshly-brewed coffee! But there are still a few things you can do to make that cup even better.
If it turns out bitter, add a pinch of salt.
If you add milk, warm it up first. Warm milk has more flavor, is sweeter, and can counterbalance any bitterness.
If you’re an iced coffee fan, make coffee ice cubes to prevent the ice from watering down your brew.
We all know that a good cup of coffee is entirely personal. So the real trick is in exploring alternate brew methods. Having control over the temperature, coffee to water ratio, and brewing time will allow you to produce amazing coffee, unmatched by the mass produced, automatic drip machine.
You should instead begin looking into other ways of brewing, like the French press or cafetiere, which boasts a thick body, and intense flavor. Or maybe the moka pot, a stovetop espresso maker, is more up your alley. Don’t forget about the pour over cone, which will create a light body, sweeter cup.
This video shows how to use each of these methods. The equipment required for any of these methods is inexpensive and can be found at coffee shops or online. Enjoy!