NOT TOO FRESH
We rest drip coffee for one week and espresso for two weeks. Fresh coffee is volatile as it degasses CO2. Properly rested coffee is sweet, balanced, and has more articulate flavors.
Store coffee in a vacuum canister. Avoid temperature changes and direct sunlight. Never store coffee in the fridge. Freezing it properly is tricky, so we advise buying what you need.
USE A SCALE
Brew by weight instead of volume. It is more consistent. Get a scale that measures in 0.1 gram intervals and has a 2,000 gram capacity. Bonus points for water resistance and a timer.
1:16 coffee to water is a good jump-off point. If you want a heavier mouthfeel, up the coffee dose or decrease the water. Lower the coffee dose or add the water for a more delicate brew.
GRIND IT RIGHT
Get a burr grinder. They are a bit more expensive, but you grind coffee daily, so they’re worth it. A good grinder will allow you to control the flow rate and acheive great cups. Try Baratza.
Water is the biggest "bang for your buck" variable you control. Coffee is 99% water, so don't brew with water you wouldn't drink. Try a water additive if you want to dig deeper.
Brew water should be at least 195°F for proper extraction. Any cooler and the coffee will be flat and sour. If you don't have a variable temp kettle, let water boil and sit for 20 seconds.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Clean your gear occasionally with an enzymatic cleaner like Cafiza. Watch for water scaling. Filtered water will help prevent scaling, and a good descaling powder like Dezcal will remove it.
If your coffee tastes sour, the coffee is under-extracted. Try hotter water or a finer grind. If your coffee tastes bitter, it is over-extracted. Try a coarser grind and less contact time.
ENJOY THE RIDE
Have fun! If brewing an inverted Aeropress on top of a mountain floats your boat, then kill it. If any of the process stresses you out, scrap it. Coffee should be a pleasure, so have a blast!