Did you know that more than half of the people living in the United States drink coffee on a daily basis? We just can’t get enough of it. After centuries of making it and enjoying it time and time again, we’ve discovered many secrets that have helped us arrive at a better-tasting cup of coffee.
The best-practices have been honed by coffee specialists across the country, and over time they’ve permeated out into the general public. While the most sophisticated and advanced techniques will remain trade secrets to the coffee shops for years to come, the fundamentals are likely to remain the same. Implement them today and your daily brew will reward you.
Grind Your Beans Fresh
Everybody knows that the quality of the beans that you use matters, but what might be even more important is that you grind your beans fresh. After just a single day your beans can lose a noticeable amount of its aromatic compounds, and why start off on the wrong foot when it’s completely avoidable? Get into the habit of grinding your beans right before you use them, and don’t look back.
Use Tasty Water
When we think of flavor in coffee we often think of the beans, but it’s important to be keen on the fact that a cup of coffee is mostly water. Start using water that tastes good and the flavor of your coffee will improve accordingly. Tap water is fine if it tastes good, just make sure to filter it to remove off-flavors from chlorine and other compounds. Remember that foul flavors are exaggerated at warmer temperatures.
Get a High-Quality Coffee Maker
Your coffee maker can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, but at the end of the day, the brewing process ought to be sound. Careful attention must be paid to the ratios of coffee beans to water, as well as the balance of water temperature, extraction pressure, and time during the brew. All of this can be done manually with good equipment if you are handy and offer attention to detail, but for those not interested in the nitty-gritty you can always get yourself an automatic espresso machine.
What You Add To It Matters
There are times when people drink their coffee or espresso straight up but usually we’re stirring in some form of dairy or perhaps something sweet. Don’t shy away from using higher quality ingredients, even if they do cost a bit more money. Your coffee is worth it, right? Using well-made local milk can make a world of a difference in your cup of coffee. It’s not always available though, but try to do the best with what you have.
Keep Your Equipment Clean
Built-up residues on your coffee brewing equipment can definitely contribute off-flavors to your cup of coffee. Whether they are noticeable now to you or not, over time they will get more and more pronounced so it’s best to stay on top of maintaining your equipment. Make sure all metal components are scrubbed thoroughly, and any buildup from the high-temperature bean oils gets removed. Also, make sure that whatever you’re using to boil the water gets routinely cleaned or at least descaled to avoid mineral deposits.