Nothing helps the day get started quite like a fantastic cup of coffee. However, most people's first cup of the day doesn't taste nearly as good as it should. That's because a few simple brewing mistakes prevent the brewing process from happening correctly.
These mistakes are often easy to correct--if you know what to look for. By keeping a few key points in mind, you'll be able to consistently make great tasting coffee to help start your day off right.
Choosing The Right Coffee
The right coffee bean for you is largely a matter of personal preference. If you're serious about your coffee, though, there are a few things you should look for, including:
- A printed roast date
- Whole-bean instead of ground
- Organic or "green" certification
Roast Date--No matter what type of roast you prefer, coffee tends to lose its flavor after it is roasted. High-quality coffee will typically have a roast date printed on the container, so you can be sure that it will be as flavorful as possible when you drink it.
Whole-Bean--It's certainly convenient to have your coffee ground for you. That said, grinding is similar to roasting because you lose flavor slowly after grinding. Spring for a grinder and purchase whole-bean coffee if possible.
Organic--This isn't about the environment or farming practices as much as it is about taste. Coffee is very sensitive to impurities, and organic methods ensure that your coffee is as free of external toxins as possible.
Using Proper Water
Aside from the coffee bean itself, the variable that influences coffee flavor the most is the type of water used. Unfortunately, most municipal water supplies are not suitable for high-quality coffee. That's because there are a variety of filtration agents and regional impurities in most water supplies.
You can avoid this problem by using a home filtration system. That said, a much simpler way to get the proper water is to use bottled spring water. As a rule, choose water that has very little flavor by itself--you don't want any characteristics to interfere with the flavor of your coffee.
Grinding Your Coffee
There are many options for personal coffee grinders. Further complicating matters is that many grinders have different coarseness settings. As a result, it's difficult to achieve a perfect grind if you don't know what to look for.
Coffee extraction is based on the coffee's surface area. Basically, when more surface area is present in the grounds, water has a better chance of extracting more flavor. This means you'll want to grind the coffee as finely as possible. Coarse grinds, while aromatic and appealing to the eye, don't provide as much flavor as finely ground coffee.
Heating Your Coffee
The final element to consider is your water temperature. Water boils at approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't want to use boiling water in your coffee, since it will burn your beans and produce bitter coffee. However, heat plays a major role in the extraction process.
That's why vendors have been sued for serving coffee that is entirely too hot for human consumption. The best tasting coffee tends to be brewed as hot as possible. If you have a coffee maker with a temperature setting, 205 degrees Fahrenheit is a good choice. It will prevent burning while offering a good extraction and great flavor.
Those are the major ingredients found in the perfect cup of coffee. Certainly, brewing coffee to these specifications requires more work and planning than simply tossing a container into your machine and pressing a button. While there are no shortcuts to morning coffee perfection, you can click here for more info on more ideas for better coffee. The results are absolutely worth the extra effort.