Coffee. The nectar of the gods. There are many different names for that warm cup of caffeine in your hands.
For millions of Americans, a day can’t be good if it doesn’t start out with the perfect cup of coffee. About 64% of Americans drink at least a cup of coffee every day.
Most of those people make their own cup at home. There’s a difference between making your own cup of coffee and getting it at a local coffee shop. Bringing the café to your home starts with knowing how to make coffee.
Are you ready to learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee?
Let’s get started!
It Starts With the Coffee
You can’t cook a great meal without the best ingredients. The same goes for a good cup of coffee.
There are countless blends and roasts of coffee. Each one will give you a certain flavor. Here are some of the basics to know so you can pick the right coffee to suit your tastes.
Light roasts keep the full flavor of the bean and tend to have a blonde look. They’re more acidic than other types of roasts.
Medium roasts retain most of the original flavors of the coffee bean. They tend to have a bit more balance between acidity, flavor, and aroma.
Dark roasts tend to lose the flavor of the beans and have a burnt or smoke flavor. Dark roasts tend to bring the oils of the coffee bean to the surface.
Coffee and Caffeine
Do you know why coffee beans have caffeine? It’s actually a defense mechanism. These plants have caffeine to overstimulate predators. Think of a small animal or insect on a lot of caffeine. It would hurt them.
Since humans are larger, we use caffeine to wake us up or to keep us awake.
There are a lot of misconceptions about coffee and caffeine. Many people think of a dark roast as strong coffee. They also think that the stronger the taste, the more caffeine is in the cup of coffee.
That’s not really true. The difference in caffeine actually lies in the type of coffee bean. Some beans will have more than others.
Since the caffeine levels will vary from bean to bean, the other influencing factor in the amount of caffeine you’ll get in coffee is the amount of coffee vs. the amount of water. The more water a brew has, the less caffeine you’ll consume.
The Beans and Grinds
The source of the coffee beans and the grinds used will also have an effect on the flavor of the coffee. Beans exhibit certain flavor profiles. For example, beans from Ethiopia have a fruity flavor profile, like a blueberry muffin.
Those profiles will change when different beans are blended together.
It can be hard to get good coffee beans where you work. Try to get the best office coffee where you work because the quality will make a big difference in your enjoyment of coffee.
How you grind the coffee matters, too. You’ve probably seen very fine coffee grinds for espresso and rough grinds for brewing in a French Press.
The type of grind determines how much flavor is extracted from the coffee bean. A rough grind can cause very little flavor extraction, leaving the coffee to taste weak.
A coffee grind that’s too fine will cause too much extraction, giving your coffee a bitter flavor. You want to get it just right.
The Brewing Methods
Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is no longer confined to getting the perfect ratio in your drip coffee maker. There are a lot of different methods for making the perfect cup of coffee.
Drip Coffee Maker
The drip coffee maker is the most common form of brewing coffee at home. There are some coffee makers on the market that take the mystery out of brewing coffee. They have the precise measurements and amount of water to add to get the right number of cups of coffee.
The right ratio is 2 tablespoons of coffee per 8-ounce cup. Your coffee should be a medium grind.
The Italian espresso maker has a lot of names. It’s called a percolator, a Moka pot, or a stove-top coffee maker.
A Moka pot requires a fine grind of coffee. Take three tablespoons of an espresso roast and fill the water in the water container to just below the valve. Put the pot on the stove and wait until you hear the glorious sound of brewed coffee.
To brew coffee in a French press, measure out a half cup of beans. Grind them to a medium grind.
The key to having a good French press coffee is to use water at the right temperature. You should never pour boiling water over your coffee. That will burn the beans and make your coffee bitter.
If you want to try making a cold brew, put the right amount of coffee and water into the carafe. Stick it in the refrigerator overnight and press the coffee down in the morning. That will give your coffee a nice light flavor that’s refreshing on a hot day.
Some coffee purists believe that a good cup of coffee takes time. The pour over is a method of brewing coffee that brings out the full flavor of the coffee.
You’ll need a cup and a cone filter for this method. You may want to rinse your filter before using it.
There is no set ratio for pour-overs. You can experiment with this method to get the best brew for your taste. A good starting point is 2 tablespoons of coffee to 2 cups of water.
When you pour that water over the coffee, take your time. Start from the outside and work your way to the center. Pour a little bit of water at a time to maximize the extraction.
How to Make Coffee That Is Perfect Every Time
There are several things to learn when you want to know how to make coffee. You need to know the bean, the grind, the roast, and the brewing method.
Once you start to learn about the ways that flavor is affected, you’ll begin to experiment on your own to make the best cup of coffee.
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