Brewing the perfect cup of coffee isn’t rocket science – but sometimes it seems like it is. Have you ever been invited to someone else’s house and they offer you a cup of coffee that is so disgusting you have to struggle to finish? Well, just because your friend drinks awful sludge for coffee, doesn’t mean you have to. You are an adult. You can drink whatever you want, and I will be the first one to tell you that if you master the art of the perfect cup of coffee – you will never want your coffee any other way.
Great Coffee = Great Beans.
Sorry Folgers. While I will always appreciate you for your amazingly catchy marketing jingle – your coffee is not the best part of waking up anymore. With so many high-quality varieties of beans and roast types available locally and via the internet – I can’t go back to either the red tub or the blue tub. However, for those of you who are still dipping your fingers into a Folger’s tub to find the measuring cup – it’s time to expand your coffee pallet. Try some new beans. Light roast, medium roast, dark roast, Arabica blend, Robusta blend – the list goes on!
The closer to the roast date of your coffee bean – the fresher the coffee will taste. And before you ask, yes – you can taste the difference between fresh and stale coffee. Imagine this – the morning comes and off you go to make your morning cup of coffee and reach into the cabinet and…no coffee. None. Zero. Zip. But wait – that random bag folded over in the back. How old is that? It should be fine – right? Wrong.
We have all been the culprit of a stale cup of coffee, and it is to be avoided at all costs. For the freshest beans, check out local coffee shops in your area or companies that are coffee specific. Some local boutique cafes roast their own coffee in their stores, and larger companies like Black Rifle Coffee or Henry’s House of Coffee offer subscription coffee services that deliver coffee beans to your door. This way, you won’t ever have to drink the beans from that mysterious back-of-the-cabinet bag.
Ever had traces of last night’s dinner spices in your coffee? Somehow the use of spice grinders became the standard way to grind coffee at home. They are cheap, and you can get one at your local grocery store. But, hey, guess what? They are spice grinders. Not coffee grinders. These grinders have only one grind setting: pulverize. You are losing a lot of coffee flavor grinding this way and if you are still using these bullets – stop!
The best way to grind your coffee beans is with a burr grinder. This type of grinder will grind the coffee to a precise size of your choice where you can get a smooth and consistent flavor as the water percolates through. You can purchase a Burr grinder from anywhere from $40 – $399, but if you don’t want to grind your own at home, you can always try the grocery store grinder.
If the water you use to brew your coffee tastes funky – your coffee will taste funky. Period. Good, high-quality water is an often overlooked step in the coffee-making process. Most people assume that boiling the water will “remove impurities.” Well, yes, boiling your water will make it safe if there is anything unhealthy living inside of it – but boiling water doesn’t remove the funky taste or smell. Well-water will always taste like well-water. No matter how much sugar mom puts into that Kool-Aid…it will still be well-water kool-aid. You don’t want well-water coffee. Trust me. Filter your water.
Okay, so while the amount of coffee you put into your machine is entirely up to you and your flavor profile (some like it dark, some like it light), the amount of time that water is in contact with the coffee grounds is relatively standard.
According to the National Coffee Association (yes, it’s a thing) here are their recommend coffee brewing times:
- Drip system: 5 minutes
- French Press: 2-4 minutes
- Pour-Over: 2-5 minutes
- Espresso: 20-30 seconds
- Cold Brew: 12 hours – overnight
If you follow the brew times and are still not happy with the taste, you are brewing too long or too short. You may also have the wrong ratio of coffee to water. Typically the rate of coffee is one or two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This ratio can be adjusted. If you are someone who likes your coffee the color of hot tar, or the color of warm caramel, you must adjust your coffee to water ratio.
Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Coffee
However you like your coffee, we hope that this advice will help with brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Just keep your coffee snobbery to a minimum, and when your friend offers you that cup of sludge coffee – drink it and be thankful. You can brew your perfect cup tomorrow when you contact me to talk about your next content marketing project. Just beware that if you offer me any coffee, I’m likely to spill it.