Thursday, December 5, 2019

How to Get A Better Cup of Coffee

You know you want it, though you may not have any new ideas lately aside from trying a new shop.

 Coffee shops aside, this post is focused on getting more flavor from your home brewed java.

For starters, while it may save you some time, never buy ground coffee again. To get the freshest cup of joe, invest $30 in a decent burr grinder. Not all grinders are the same; cheaper grinders simply destroy the beans for an inconsistent mess that will brew an unreliable flavor. Look for a burr style grinder with selectable size grind.

 Coffee beans begin losing flavor as soon as they are ground, so if you must buy preground beans, check the grind date and buy within 3 weeks of the grind.  If like me, you choose to buy whole beans with a roast profile to suit your taste, then you can grind within minutes of brewing.

I generally grind about 10 cups worth of beans to a batch, and keep the excess grind in a quality vacuum bottle for the next few days. For the french press, I grind a medium-course size that keeps a bit more of the natural oils intact (a 5 on a scale of 10 grind size, with 10 being a fine powder) that gives me a rich and flavorful cup from my medium body roast beans.

 For the single cup drip machine, I go to an 8 out of 10 finer grind that works best with drip brewers. I also like to mix a handful of espresso beans in the 12 cup batch for an added flavor kick.

 My current Columbian whole bean choice is from Amazon.  The subscription price is solid proof that you don't need to pay through the nose for a great cup of coffee.  These Arabica beans have a smooth flavor profile, and are roasted immediately before being vacuum sealed for ultimate freshness.  I get a very good consistency from both the drip and press.

 For the espresso machine, I grind a dark roast bean to a medium-fine 7 out of 10 for a rich and bold two-cup brew. As with all single-cup machines, the portion control for ground beans is a tablespoon per cup. Adding a light tamping to every basket helps to pull an extra kick from the brew, regardless of machine style.

 Filtering is a personal choice; For the Ninja single cup drip machine, I use a permanent filter that allows the natural oils to mix with my brew for added flavor, but this also allows some grit and bean dust through that will stain your teeth. This isn't for everyone, but for me the flavor is priority one.
 The same applies to my pour-over single cup dripper; Flavor trumps needing to brush again before leaving the house, and it's still less gritty than a french-pressed cup.

 For the pot brewer, paper filters keep the flavor profile smoother and less acidic, and this keeps the rest of the family happy in the mornings, when their tolerance for acids is lowest.

 The primary change every connoisseur should make is water quality. Bottled spring water is a staple for all of my brews, and the only flavor enhancer that is superior is distilled water. Decades ago most java aficionados owned a stovetop distiller that captured the steam vapors from boiling tap water in order to get the best taste from their home brew, but these are nearly impossible to find now.

 You can buy distilled water by the gallon jug at any major retailer, but this secret has been out for a long time, and it sells out fairly quick compared to spring water.

Copyright 2019
JB Stran