There's a lot of information out there about coffee. Some of it is right on the money and some is just totally wrong. Here are a few tips we've learned over the years that we think will help you achieve the best cup you possibly can. We understand brewing tremendous coffee can be tricky and sometimes frustrating, but if you stay the course and enjoy the journey, the fruits of your labor will be totally worth it.
Drink It Fresh
Once you open your coffee, if you've stored it properly, it will taste great for a month or two. However, it's at its most brilliant for the first 15 - 20 days so we recommend drinking it down and grabbing some fresh stuff as frequently as possible.
Not Too Fresh
Fresh coffee is filled with CO2 and the flavor is volatile for the first few days. As the coffee degasses, the acidity will mellow a bit and the sweetness and body will round off nicely. We recommend resting 4 days for filter and 6 days for espresso.
Store your beans in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to avoid temperature changes and direct sunlight. A kitchen cupboard is nice! Avoid the fridge or freezer at all costs! Air, moisture, heat, and light are the enemy of freshness and you’re too fresh to drink stale coffee.
A consistent grind particle size is crucial to making outstanding coffee. Burr grinders are a little more expensive than whirly-blades, but well worth it. Investing in a good burr grinder is the easiest way to dramatically improve your coffee experience.
Brewed coffee is almost 99% water, so you gotta use the good stuff! They say when you're cooking with wine, use wine you would enjoy drinking. Well, this is the same kind of deal. If you wouldn't enjoy drinking the water, don't use it to make coffee.
Use a scale to weigh your water and coffee. We usually use a 16:1 water-to-coffee ratio. Divide your target yield by 16 to get your dose. Example: 320g of water to 20g of coffee. If you don’t have a gram scale, try using two tablespoons of coffee for every six fluid ounces of water.
Brew your coffee with water that’s between 200°F-205°F to achieve the proper extraction. Any cooler and the coffee will be lifeless, flat, and sour. Any hotter and the coffee will be bitter, caustic, and harsh.
Rinse your filter thoroughly with hot water and discard the rinse water. This will help remove any papery taste the filter brings to the party and will also serve to preheat your brew device as well as your mug or decanter.
Pour a small amount of water onto the grinds to allow the coffee to bloom. Fresh coffee is full of carbon dioxide, so the coffee bed will expand as it degasses. Wait about 30 seconds for the grinds to settle. This will provide an even brew bed.
Pour in small spirals from inside out. Start just off-center being careful not to pour all the way to the filter. Try to maintain a consistent brew level, focusing on wetting the bed evenly. Because nobody is too cool to fully wet the bed.
For most brew methods, water should contact the grounds for three to four minutes. If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, you may be over extracting or under extracting your coffee. Experiment with the contact time by adjusting your grind until you get a perfect cup.
Dudes, make sure you're enjoying the process of making great coffee. If brewing an inverted Aeropress on top of a mountain floats your boat, then kill it. However, if any bit of the process stresses you out - scrap it straight away. Coffee should be a pleasure, so have a blast and enjoy! :)