How to make a perfect cup of coffee: What you need to know about coffee beans, grind size and water temperature. Plus recipes for iced coffee drinks.
How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee: A blog on making coffee at home.
Making a perfect cup of coffee is not only easy, it’s also within the reach of pretty much anyone who can boil water.
We will be making a pour-over style coffee. That means that we’ll be steeping the grounds in a paper filter in our coffee cup. This is a great way to make coffee but it’s slow so you won’t see it at your local diner or in most grab and go cafes. These places tend to use inexpensive commercial machines that kick out cups of coffee at lightning speed.
On the other hand there are many reasons why home-made coffee is usually better than store bought. You can control the freshness and quality of the beans, you can grind them just before brewing for optimal flavor, and you can tweak for your tastes.
There are many ways to make pour over style coffee, but this is my favorite method…
This is a coffee blog, launched to celebrate the perfect coffee cup. This is where I’ll update you on the progress of my own coffee journey and share some tips and recipes.
I should start by explaining that I’m a little bit obsessed with coffee. I started drinking it regularly when I was 22. At first, I didn’t really like it; in fact, I hated it and found it really bitter. But I kept at it and now one of the things that makes me happiest is a perfectly made cup of coffee.
Start with freshly roasted whole bean coffee (preferably something dark and oily). The beans need to be ground immediately before brewing; this is because, without exposure to oxygen, the oils in the beans don’t oxidize (become rancid). The time from grinding to brewing should be as short as possible. Ideally you want to brew with water just off the boil and use a filter (not paper). The amount of grounds should be two heaped tablespoons per cup (about 30ml) but use less if you like your coffee weaker or more if you like it stronger. After pouring over boiling water wait three minutes then stir then wait another three minutes then stir again before serving.* If you follow these steps, you should be able to
Making a perfect cup of coffee is an art rather than a science. I am proud to say that I have it mastered. I can consistently produce a cup of coffee that is at once strong and smooth, with a layer of crema on top and no bitterness or sourness.
I will share with you my secrets to making the perfect cup of coffee.
The most important part is the beans. Buy fresh roasted beans and grind them yourself before each use.
Freshly roasted beans are extremely fragrant, and should have some oil on them when you buy them. You can test them out like this: if you rub the beans between your fingers, they should feel oily, kind of like rubbing your fingers over the surface of a grapefruit or an orange peel. If they don’t feel oily, then they are old or have been subjected to heat (this dries them out). This will lead to a burnt flavor in your coffee, which is an indication that you should get new beans (or perhaps stop drinking coffee).
You may be able to find pre-ground beans at your local supermarket or convenience store, but for the best flavor you want to grind the beans yourself just before brewing your coffee. It’s easy to do: just put in your burr
The result is a thick, velvety brew. If you grind your beans just before brewing, it will taste even better. After tasting this coffee, you will forever be ruined for life and never be satisfied with the rubbish they pass off as coffee in restaurants.
The world of artisanal coffee is full of snobbery (actually, so is the world of wine), but to me the difference between a cup of supermarket coffee and one from a roaster like Blue Bottle comes down to one thing: freshness. Coffee that has been ground and brewed within hours of roasting tastes completely different from ground coffee that has been sitting around for weeks or months. It’s fresher, brighter, livelier—more like the coffee I tasted on my trip to Kenya. As soon as we started roasting our own beans here in Brooklyn, my friends started remarking on the quality of my coffee at home.
I think this is the best way to make French press coffee:
Use fresh-roasted beans. Grind them right before you brew your coffee. Use about 1/4 cup of beans for every six ounces of water.* Boil water in a kettle or pot (don’t use a microwave). Pour water into a French press pot and let it
The first step is to grind the beans. I use a blade grinder, but if you’re lucky enough to have access to a burr grinder, use that. Burr grinders produce a more uniform grind and don’t generate as much heat, which can damage or alter flavor.
In either case, you want to grind your beans as close to your brewing time as possible. If you’re grinding right before the pour, it’s okay if the grounds are still slightly coarse. But if they’re still quite coarse when the coffee’s ready to drink, it will be over-extracted and bitter. And if they’re fine or powdery when the coffee’s ready, it will be under-extracted and weak.
Which leads us to our second step: choosing your brew ratio. The most common ratios are 1:15 (e.g., 15 grams of coffee per 150 grams of water), 1:16 (16 grams per 150 grams), 1:18 (18 grams per 150), and 1:20 (20 grams per 150). A lot of people have strong opinions about what ratio is ideal; I like 18 or 20 because I think that it makes for a nice balance between extraction and strength.
The third step is to heat your water correctly
A good cup of coffee is the result of science and art blended into one. A good, fresh roast combined with a clever mix of beans, water, temperature and time will result in a perfect cup each and every time.
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