Making Great Coffee From Whole Beans: The Basics

If your way of making coffee has always been to scoop some pre-ground coffee into a coffee maker and turn it on, then you might feel a little mystified by specialty coffees like Colombian whole bean coffee. Making coffee from whole beans is different from brewing pre-ground coffee, but it does not have to be intimidating. There are only a few basic guidelines you need to know in order to make a great cup of java from whole beans.

1. Grind them evenly.

The first secret to good coffee is to grind the beans evenly. If all of your grounds are the same size, then you will get a more balanced, enjoyable flavor from the coffee. The easiest way to ensure an even grind is to use a burr grinder. You can find small, handheld burr grinders for a few dollars at most kitchen stores, although a nice, stand-up model is even better if you can afford it. For most methods you would use to make whole bean coffee, you want a medium grind. If you're planning on using a French press, you want a coarse grind.

2. Use near-boiling water.

This applies whether you're using a pour-over coffee method, a French press, or any other method that involves you introducing the hot water directly to the ground coffee. There are a lot of lighter, aromatic flavors in whole bean coffee. If you use water that is too hot — boiling —you will vaporize a lot of those flavors. So, you really want to use near-boiling water instead. Bring it to a boil, and then let it sit for two or three minutes to cool off just a bit.

3. Ensure plenty of contact time.

There are flavors that won't come out of the coffee until it has been in contact with the water for a minute or two. So, your brewing method must allow for this. If you're using a pour-over, make sure you moisten the filter before adding your beans. This slows down the flow of water a little. If you're using a French press, wait a few minutes after adding the water, but before pressing down the plunger.

If you follow the advice above when making coffee from whole beans, the result should be delicious, regardless of your exact brewing method. Making great coffee from whole beans is all about taking your time and being careful. For more information about Colombian whole bean coffee, contact a local supplier.