In this current economy there are more people who are visiting Starbucks less and slowly becoming their own Barista. The savings that this approach offers, as well as the overall enjoyment of creating your own perfect cup of coffee, makes it a very rewarding experience. In this post we will look at 3 large tips to help you in your endeavor of making great coffee at home!
One of the most important ingredients of coffee is water. As a matter of fact, coffee is 98% water. It doesn’t take much explanation to understand that great coffee starts with great water. Some people have great water in their home already, but more often than not most water that runs into people’s homes is more than just water.
Items such as Chlorine, Calcium, Fluoride, Iron and more can drastically change the taste of coffee. If you are striving for the perfect cup of joe, then take the time to start with the perfect cup of water. That might mean investing in a small filter for as needed use, or installing a whole system for your entire home. Whichever you choose, you will notice a difference in your coffee.
The other important factor that water has on coffee is its temperature. A properly brewing temperature of water exists in the range between 200F – 210F. In this range the grounds of the bean are heated to a perfect temperature to allow maximum release of flavor. If you get too hot, say boiling, then you will end up burning the bean and creating a more bitter flavor. The important thing to remember is that you want to get as close to boiling without actually allowing the water to boil for the best temperature.
This is a very subjective area, whether your tastes lie in mild, medium or dark roasts you are sure to find your perfect flavor with some experimentation. I would recommend going to your local coffee shop and grocery stores and asking for some samples of different flavors. Once you find the perfect flavor, you can also ask them to grind it for you as well.
The bean, much like any other organic material is best at the peak of its ripeness. And the flavor is kept best when the coffee is still in bean form. Once it is ground, the coffee has a limited life, and that life is more rapidly depleted when it is exposed to air. So, if you are going to get pre-ground coffee make sure you have a way to keep the air out of its storage container.
The other option is to buy whole beans and grind them as you need them. A typical coffee grinder will work fine, but you will want to make sure that you are grinding the bean to the correct size. If the grind is too course you won’t get the right flavor, and if it is too fine you may get a poor flavor. The trick is to learn the right grind, through guidance and experience, and then stick with it.
Method of Brewing
There are many ways to brew coffee, the percolator, typical home coffee maker, french press, and many more. The main purpose of the brewing of coffee is to extract as much flavor from the bean as possible. There are definitely methods which are better than others at this process.
The most successful method of achieving that goal is using french press. The french press allows for the ground beans to float in the perfect temperature of water to fully extract all the flavor of the bean. A good french press could easily run you $50 and will only brew 2-4 cups at a time. Obviously, there are times when you need much more coffee than that, and creating it all in a french press is just not practical.
In those cases where a french press is not practical, your next best solution is the conventional home coffee maker. I am referring the Mr. Coffee and Bunn line of coffee makers. When it comes to these lines of machines, there is a clear leader in extracting the flavor of the bean. The drip method doesn’t allow the ground bean to dwell in the perfect temperature as long as it should, so the taste won’t be as great. Some coffee maker companies, however, have devised methods to increase the flavor released from the bean. One of the best in this area is the Bunn.
Bunn uses a special process, where it introduces 210F degree water into the basket with a swirling motion. The swirling motion allows for the beans to float and release as much flavor as is possible with a conventional coffee machine. Additionally, the Bunn offers one of the fastest brew times available. If you are going to buy a conventional coffee maker, try to steer towards a higher end model that is focused on doing the job right!
No matter what, savor and enjoy the experience of making great coffee at home!