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How to Make a Good Cup of Coffee

Updated on February 3, 2011

Cannot Function Without My Coffee


Coffee Talk

Coffee is often referred to as a bean when in fact it is a seed that comes from inside the coffea berry or cherry. The coffea cherries grow on the coffea plant or shrub which thrives in warm weather so growing them here in New England would be difficult.

Coffee's magical power to put a little pep in your step comes from the naturally occurring caffeine that the plant produces to protect it's seed from herbivores. The most widely used coffee beans come from the robusta and arabica genus but there are other types that produce coffee beans that can be used for consumption, and more types are being discovered.

Traditionally coffee is shade grown but with the high demand for consumption many more coffee shrubs are being grown in the sun. This method better suited for commercialization speeds up the ripening of the coffea cherries but is associated with increased use of pesticides. Also controversial is the need to cut down trees to clear space to grow more plants in the sun.This has left many people wondering about it's effects on the environment.

Most coffee beans are roasted before they are sold and the degree to which they are roasted determines the strength of the coffee with darker roasted beans being more stronger tasting.

Lastly with the concern for the methods of growing coffee and it's impact on the farmers who grow it, many people are buying coffee labeled as fair trade certified. Coffee that is fair trade means that it has been grown under international standards designed to protect the environmental, social, and economic well being of the community from which it came.

Coffee Bits

Do you Grind Coffee?

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To Grind at Home or Not Grind

Many people insist that grinding your own coffee is essential to brewing that perfect cup of coffee. I have had coffee both ways and feel it can be good both ways. I buy ground coffee simply because it is easier and the coffee tastes good but if you really want to be sure you have the best cup of coffee you may want to try grinding your own.

There are two different types of coffee grinders the most widely available best priced grinder is a traditional blade grinder. Most people will tell you that the grinding the beans evenly affects the taste as well as how fine you grind it therefore the more recommended grinder is the burr type which of course is also more expensive.

Tip: I do agree that grinding your own  coffee would contribute to better overall freshness. Some grocers allow you to freshly grind when you are buying. Just make sure you only buy for a week at the most and store in an airtight container to maintain that superior freshness.

How to Make A Good Pot O' Coffee

For purpose of this article will we talking about making coffee in a common coffee maker.

Things to Consider First:

  1. Roast: Light, Medium, Or Bold
  2. Fair Trade? Organic? Famous Name? Pick whichever one you like, try different kinds to find just the right one for your taste. You'd be surprised how different tasting all the brands are. I recommend trying to buy Fair Trade Certified since it helps ensure the environment is cared for as well as makes sure farmers and their families aren't exploited.
  3. Grind at Home or Bought Already Ground? (See above for some info)
  4. Storage- Cool, Dry, and Dark, container should be airtight to preserve flavor. Some stores carry coffee jars that seal whenever you close them.Tip: I used to refrigerate my coffee until I learned that was a myth. If you refrigerate the coffee it will acquire moisture.
  5. How will you brew- coffee maker(medium grind), press(coarse grind), boiling(Turkish Method beans must be ground very finely), or you can go espresso

Making Your Coffee:

  • Measurement is key. You should used 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 5-6 ounces of water. I can't tell you how long I under measured coffee for except to say it was a while.
  • Water should be spring water or filtered ( on your own or through a filtered coffee maker). My coffeemaker uses a water filter so I use tap. I use cold water also.
  • Coffee is the best when it is freshly brewed so try to find the right amount that you will drink right away since it doesn't taste well overheated or reheated.
  • Periodically clean coffee pot and replace filter, a dirty or shall we say well used coffee pot will alter the taste of the coffee.

I also like to keep coffee maker on the newer side since they are always improving the features like the filter. Some people are like my dad where they never throw or donate anything away and he had his coffee maker so long it was no longer possible to get it clean. I don't imagine that was too good for the taste or quality. I always donate stuff that is in good shape but that is for another hub.

For Flavored Coffee(I haven't tried all of these yet): try adding a teaspoon(or tablespoon for a lot of coffee) of cinnamon to the grinds before brew for a subtle hint, or you can try adding vanilla extract (or other extracts) to the pot before brewing. There are also flavored coffee mixes such as hazelnut and instant coffee mixes, but I am not a big fan of instant coffee myself.

Do you have any tips on how to make flavored coffee? Please sure in the comment section below I would love to know.

Anyways, I will leave you with one parting tip- If you can get a black coffee pot or stainless steel with black the oils will stain the white.


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