Easy Tips for Better Coffee at Home
Ever wonder why the coffee you buy at the Cafe tastes better than your coffee at home? Why does the coffee sitting on the burner at your local gas station taste so acidic and bitter? There are dozens of factors that determine the taste of coffee. However, you can take a few easy steps at home to ensure the best brewing results. Proper storage and brewing methods are the keys to a consistently great cup of coffee.
First, let’s discuss storage. It is crucial to store your coffee away from light, moisture, and heat. Your best bet is an airtight glass or ceramic jar, kept away from ovens and other heat sources and stored in a dark place out of direct sunlight. Ensure that you are only purchasing coffee in a 1-2 week supply. Coffee begins to lose its freshness a few short hours after roasting and much faster once ground. Remember that sunlight, heat, and moisture are the enemy.
The most common brewing gaffes are easy to prevent. Clean your coffee machine regularly by running a batch of warm water and vinegar through the machine. This will prevent the build-up of oily residue inside your machine. Ensure you are using the correct coffee/water ratio. A general rule of thumb is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Make sure you are using good-tasting water. Bad-tasting water makes bad-tasting coffee. Try a Brita Machine or bottled water if you don’t like the taste of your tap water. It is important that the water you are using to brew coffee is around 195-205°F. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the water through your coffee machine once before adding the grinds. When the water has fully run through the machine, put the hot water back into the top and begin brewing the coffee. A typical countertop model takes about 5 minutes to brew a pot of coffee fully. This is important to monitor, as it can alter the taste of your finished product. After brewing, try to enjoy your finished product within 20 minutes.
There are many other ways of improving your coffee experience. Several more advanced methods can become very expensive and time-consuming. The majority of these tips and best practices are extremely affordable and only take a few extra minutes to your coffee brewing routine. Interested in what else you can do to learn more about coffee and the art of brewing? I recommend trying this:
- Learn about the different blends of coffee and find one that suits you the best
- Visit your local coffee roaster to ensure you are using the freshest possible coffee
- Invest in a Grinder and grind fresh
- Roast your own beans
Most of this information can be found on the National Coffee Association USA. To read further, please visit www.ncausa.org.