True coffee lovers need a piping hot, steaming fresh perfect cup, usually to start their day or as a pick me up in the afternoons. While your local barista probably has the brew process down to a science, you probably can’t bribe them into brewing your first cup in your kitchen each morning.
Whether you favor the Americano, espresso or a mug of Arabica or Robusta, the same steps to preparing a truly tasty brew apply. The beans and machine may change, but the methods leading up to a remarkable brew remain the same. Steps to the Perfect Black coffee.
1. Carefully choose your brew.
You’ll get a smoother, subtler taste from Arabica, but a higher caffeine content with Robusta. Robusta leans toward a bitter taste. Espresso beans carry a different slightly bitter taste.
2. Purchase fresh coffee beans.
Going to a local roaster works best, but you can roast your own, too. The bulk beans at the supermarket may seem convenient, but bright lights and oxygen exposure harm the beans’ taste. As a happy medium, choose coffee beans packed in vacuum-sealed bags.
3. Store the beans in an airtight container.
If you’re tight on funds, a Mason jar with its rubber-gasket seal works great. To get a decorator look, choose ceramic crockery with the same type of seal.
4. Store them at room temperature.
Forget putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Whether they’re beans or grounds, this harms their flavor. Beans absorb food odors and moisture.
5. Buy a week’s worth at a time.
The optimal amount ranges from a five- to seven-day supply.
6. Grind the beans just before brewing.
Use a burr mill or an electric grinder. Set it for the finest grain available because finer grains deliver more flavor.
7. Use the best available water.
This usually outs using tap water or well water since they have chlorine and other chemicals added that taint the flavor of the brew. Many coffee connoisseurs use bottled spring water or install filters on their faucets that use an activated-charcoal or carbon filter. Avoid distilled or soft water since these remove the minerals that add to the water’s taste.
8. Use better coffee filters.
Purchase filters marked dioxin-free or oxygen-bleached. You can also obtain a permanent filter, such as a gold-plated filter. They let all the flavor through, but can result in sediments in your cup if you use too fine of grounds.
9. Measure coffee properly.
An appropriate strength coffee requires two level tablespoons of coffee for a six-ounce cup. If you make larger cups of eight ounces, use two and three-quarters tablespoons. Tricks like using less coffee and hotter water to extract more cups per pound tend to make for bitter brews.
10. Set your coffee maker to the appropriate temperature.
Water that’s too hot extracts bitter tastes. The perfect brew temperature is 200°F. While some coffeemakers automatically use this temperature, some units such as Keurig models, let you set the temperature.
11. Clean your filter between each brewed cup or pot.
Clean the storage containers and grinder every two weeks to remove oil build ups. Once per month, clean your coffeemaker by running a vinegar and water solution through it. This washes out mineral deposits. Rinse it with pure water before using it to brew again.
Although you may love the taste of coffee house brews, two or three cups per day could get pretty expensive. You can brew just as delicious a cup at home with some simple equipment and a couple of extra minutes in the morning to grind your beans. If you buy only one cup of coffee house brew a day now, costing about $2 a cup for regular coffee, your brewing at home would pay for itself in less than two months. That’s the cost of a grinder, plus a mid-range coffee maker. You probably already buy coffee grounds. Simply replace that cost with beans.
You can really enjoy every fresh brewed cup each morning knowing you saved yourself $50 a month. That’s $500 in your first year of home brewing and $600 every year thereafter. What will you do with all that money?