It’s a fact. Coffee and “coffee culture” are a thing. Gone are the days when freeze-dried coffee and hot water were accepted as “real” coffee. In today’s world, we recognize coffee-making as an art and our top baristas as its masters.
But what about that all-important morning pick-me-up? It’s something you’d like to enjoy in the comfort of your home, and quite possibly even in bed. There’s good news. You CAN make the perfect cup of coffee. All it takes is a little attention to detail. Use these coffee-making tips to make coffee that’s so good, you might just end up preferring your home-brew above all others!
1. Grind Your Own Beans
There’s a very noticeable difference between freshly-ground coffee and ready-made coffee grounds. Experts agree that the best flavor and aroma comes from coffee that is used within 30 minutes of being ground.
The longer you wait before infusing it, the more flavor leaves the grounds, so your first step towards the perfect cup of coffee is to invest in a coffee grinder. Electric coffee grinders are super-easy to use and deliver fabulous ground coffee within seconds. Early risers will hardly notice the extra step in the coffee-making process.
2. Use a Coffee Scale for the Precise Measurement you Need
If you’re used to using scoops to measure out your coffee, this recommendation may make you raise an eyebrow. But remember, we’re talking about the perfect cup of coffee, and the smallest variations can make all the difference between a brew that’s ideal, and one that’s just OK.
Even if you’re a real coffee connoisseur, you may need to play around a little to find the perfect measurement for your favorite beans. But once you have it, you can be sure of repeating that delicious result every time you make a brew. Love your coffee? Dial in the perfect cup with a coffee scale.
3. Filter Your Water – or Mineralize It
I was surprised to find that rainwater (which equates to distilled water) doesn’t result in the best possible cup of coffee. Hard water is even worse. Here’s why. Particles of coffee need to “bond” with the water in order to extract flavor. If there are already too many minerals bonded into the water, you get under-extraction – the flavors of the coffee won’t come through as they should. If, on the other hand, you use water with absolutely no mineral content, you can end up with over-extraction and a flavor that’s actually overpowering.
Luckily, the solution to this problem can be fairly simple. Filtered tap water will usually have the balance you’re looking for. If you use filtered rainwater, on the other hand, you should look out for a mineralizing additive to get the balance just right or choose bottled mineral water (which is prefiltered).
4. Get the Temperature Just Right
What’s the right temperature to brew that flavourful cup of coffee you’re craving? The National Coffee Association of the USA recommends a temperature no lower than 195 degrees Fahrenheit, and no higher than 205 degrees.
Some coffee making machines will allow you to adjust the temperature to achieve this. If your machine doesn’t have this feature, you may want to use a thermometer to check that the water you’re using to infuse the grounds is exactly the right temperature.
Worth a Little Effort to Discover the Ideal Process
Coffee-lovers are passionate about coffee. If you’re among them and are still finding that your homebrew isn’t up to your standards, it’s well worth going to a little extra effort – and investing in the right tools. When you’ve found the sweet spot, repeating your results is simply a matter of precision. Once you’ve been through the learning curve, making the perfect cup of coffee will soon become a near-effortless process that produces wonderfully satisfying results.