When you taste a really fabulous cup of coffee you can be sure that a lot of care and effort has gone into its preparation. Great tasting coffee does not happen by accident, but represents the culmination of preparation, cleanliness and meticulous brewing methods.
The starting point for great tasting coffee does not come from choosing the right blend of coffee or even the type of brewing equipment to be used, but in the quality of the water used and the cleanliness of the equipment!
As coffee is more than 98% water is should come as no surprise that the quality of the water has a dramatic impact of the quality of the finished beverage.
Freshly filtered water should be used when making coffee. Many domestic and commercial water filters and calcium treatment units are available and most do an excellent job in removing heavy elements, impurities and odours from water.
Be sure to draw a little water from the system first, and pour it away. Use fresh clean cold water for starting off the process of brewing your favourite beverage.
The equipment used to brew the coffee should be clean and free of coffee stains and grounds. Coffee contains many complex compounds that can go rancid when left on equipment for a while and will adversely effect the quality of the coffee produced.
Choose a good quality roast coffee bean to suit your taste and make sure you buy it in a sealed bag or container.
Avoid buying pre-ground coffee – it may be more convenient but it will start to oxidise the moment you open the packet and even if subsequently kept in an air-tight container much of the damage will have been done. The flavour of freshly roasted coffee can deteriorate remarkably fast and within a week or so much of the flavour will be lost.
Whole roast coffee beans will also begin to lose some of their flavour once the seal has been broken on the coffee bag, but so long as you keep them in a cool dry place, out direct sunlight and not open to the atmosphere they will stay fresh for quite a while.
For these reasons you should only grind as much coffee you need for the brew in question and not be tempted to grind more than what it going to be used immediately.
Don’t be tempted to store you coffee in the refrigerator as it may become tainted by the odours of other products.
The grind of the coffee is very important to the taste of the final coffee brew. Always follow the guidelines of the brewing equipment used and grind your coffee beans to their specification. Grind too large and the final beverage will be too weak, grind too fine and it may clog up the system.
Typically a standard pour and serve drip method coffee brewer should take between four and six munutes to complete the brew.
Keep your grinder clean.
Grind a little coffee and then discard it, this should get rid of any old stale coffee within the grinder that you cannot see or reach after cleaning.
It is best to wait until the complete coffee jug has brewed before serving. Typically a drip filter machine will produce slightly weaker coffee at the start of its cycle as it comes up to temperature and slightly stronger towards the end. All good things come to those who wait!