HOW TO BREW COFFEE
How To Brew Coffee
The key to a great cup of coffee is to start with high quality coffee beans. Coffee trees grow in the equatorial region of the globe, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. There are many countries that produce coffee, and each on has a taste of its origin, some more distinctive than others. Soil, climate, elevation, weather, and surrounding plants are some of the natural influences on a coffee’s flavor. After you choose your flavor; whether it’s a bright and lively Latin American coffee; a big bold, and smooth Indonesian; or a flavorful and exotic African coffee- it is time to brew. The four fundamentals are proportion, grind, water, and freshness.
The recipe for a flavorful cup of coffee is two tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. This proportion extracts the most flavors from your coffee without absorbing the negative flavors caused by over-extraction. This recipe remains constant for most brewing methods. One variation is espresso brewing. When brewing espresso, a higher grind, as well as a higher proportion – 7 grams to 1 ounce of water – is recommended to maximize the bean’s flavor.
The grind for your coffee should match your brewing method. What determines the grind is the time during which the water and coffee will be in contact. Espresso brewing is a quick – extraction method because the coffee and water are in contact for mere seconds. The grind should be fine. When brewing in a coffee press, water and coffee are mingling for 4 minutes or longer, and therefore the grind should be coarse.
The shape of the filters affects the flow rate of water through the coffee and therefore, the extraction rate. Automatic drip makers that have a flat-bottom filter require a grind slightly finer than a coffee press grind. And cone filters require an even finer grind than flat-bottom filters.
A cup of coffee is 98 percent water. A flavorful cup of coffee requires great-tasting water. If your water has off flavors, so will your coffee. Start with cold, filtered water and bring it to a temperature just off a boil, between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Water temperature is important and is constant for all brewing methods. If your water is not hot enough, the coffee oils will not be extracted into your cup of coffee, and its inherent flavor will be lost. When purchasing a drip brewer, make sure that the brewer heats to the recommended temperature. If the brewing temperature is too hot, the coffee flavor can be scalded.
Treat your coffee like you would produce; there is an expiration date. Coffee should be consumed within one week of opening the package. When fresh-roasted coffee is exposed to air, light, heat and /or moisture, its flavors starts to deteriorate. For optimum flavor, buy whole-bean coffee and grind it as needed. Once coffee is ground, more surface area is exposed and the flavor deteriorates more quickly.
Buy what you’ll use within one weeks time. When storing, keep your coffee in a cool, dark place, like a kitchen cupboard. Do not store coffee in the in the refrigerator or freezer. Coffee absorbs flavor, and in these environments it can absorb moisture. If you find a special coffee that won’t consume within 2 weeks and want to save for a later date, the freezer will extend the life of the unopened package for approximately 2 months for whole bean and 1 month for ground coffee.
Coffee is a universal pleasure with a diverse set of uses. It jump-starts a person’s day, it ends a meal, and it is enjoyed in venues around the world, from Austrian coffeehouses to Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, from a vending machine in Japan to your home or local coffee shop. Explore the world of coffee one cup at a time and relax. Cheers!