7 Affordable Steps Can Enhance Your Coffee From Good to Great
Many coffee drinkers would agree that starting the day with a great cup of java is a definite must have!
But, is it considered to be your everyday average coffee, or does it have gourmet quality?
Something that tickles the taste buds and puts a smile upon your face.
What if I told you that it's possible to enhance the flavor of coffee from the convenience of your own home?
Steps to Improve Coffee From Good to Great
If you've always enjoyed a fresh cup of gourmet coffee only without paying an arm and a leg at the local cafe to do so.
Then here are some tips on how to improve the flavor of your average everyday Java.
Buy Fresh, Whole Coffee Beans
If you are purchasing bags of coffee that's already grounded, switch over to fresh, whole beans.
The main reason coffee manufacturers do not put dates on their products is due to how long it sits on a store's shelf.
In most cases, they've been sitting there for several months.
For the freshest cup of coffee, buy fresh beans from your local coffee shop.
Some, even roast them right at that location, providing you with the freshest coffee beans.
Important Points To Remember:
- Only buy whole coffee beans.
- Look for a bag with the date printed on it of bean roasting.
- Try to find a local coffee roaster in your area for the freshest possible coffee.
- Only grind coffee beans when planning on brewing it within one week.
Proper Bean Storage
To ensure the freshness of your coffee, you must first place it in an airtight container.
Though one that's vacuum sealed and has a one-way-valve is usually what's recommended. Most people find a mason jar to also do the trick.
If there are various sized mason jars inside of your home, then locate one that's about one quart.
Which is ideal for storing 12 ounces of coffee. And as you use it, down-size to a smaller container.
Related Post: How To Store Coffee Beans?
Important Points To Remember:
- Store in an airtight container.
- Exposing coffee to oxygen makes it go stale.
- Storing in a ceramic container that's airtight works the BEST.
- Make sure to store your coffee away in a cool place that's darkened, but not in the refrigerator. This is due to moisture seeping through.
- For best results, only store coffee which you're using within the first week of grinding.
Weigh Coffee Beans With A Scale
Creating a new and improved cup of coffee includes removing the variables.
To do this you''ll want to have equal amounts of both coffee and water.
One way of ensuring correct measurements is by doing so with a digital scale.
Using roughly 7 1/2 milliliters of coffee to 150 milliliters of water will produce a nice robust cup of Java.
But, for something a tad weaker, try using more water and less coffee!
Important Points To Remember:
- Digital scales are more accurate than measuring spoons.
- Base your measurements on preferred coffee strength.
- When using a 6 cup auto-drip coffee maker, measure out 90 gm of fresh, whole bean coffee before grinding it up.
Invest In A High Quality Coffee Grinder
Grinding plays a major role in the flavor of coffee and should be immediately ground before you brew it.
Coffee tends to lose flavor thirty minutes after grinding and tastes the best when you grind it up at time of brew.
In the (Grand Scheme) of things, it comes down to both size and consistency.
Which are essential for great tasting coffee.
When your grind is too coarse you'll end up with a weak tasting pot of coffee, and when over ground it has a bitter taste to it.
Depending on your own personal budget, top of the line grinders start out at hundred dollars and work their way up.
Yet, for those looking to spend as little money as possible, try using a hand-mill coffee grinder!
It is easy to use and grinds beans with consistency.
Important Points To Remember:
- Coffee beans have special oils which help to preserve the natural flavor of coffee.
- During the grinding process oils escape and evaporate as time goes on.
- By purchasing a coffee grinder you'll have the ability to drink fresh coffee at any time.
- For those considering getting a bladed Burr grinder, these adjustable devices work great. Grinding beans up within no time at all and provide the right amount of consistency as well.
- Only grind up enough coffee beans for each brew, this ensures freshness.
Grind Excellent Tasting Coffee At Home
There are certain elements that help to determine the quality of your coffee. Such as, using the correct grinding method.
When you grind coffee beans it helps to bring out both their flavor and aroma.
This is done through the grinding process, breaking apart the bean's cell structure. Thus, enhancing the flavor of coffee.
Below are the different types of grinding methods according to specific coffee brewer.
Grind According To Your Brew Method
1. Very Coarse
This particular grind consists of larger particles that're broken apart. And are ideal for making cold brewed beverages.
This type of grind has more distinct particles and is a preferred method for cold pressed drinks.
3. Medium Coarse
This grind is somewhat gritty and contains no particles. It is fine to use in both automatic and Chemex coffee makers.
Related reading : Cuisinart DCC-3200 Coffee Maker Review
Is a smoother grind that consists of smaller particles. Which works best with drip methods including machine drip.
A nice smooth grind whose particles are smaller than a grain of salt, but not powdery. Which you can use with Aeropress and espresso machines.
7. Extra Fine
A particle-free grind with a consistency like baking flour. This grind is a must need for Turkish coffee.
The Pros & Cons For Each Method
Also known as the press pot, the french press has a round container made of either glass or plastic.
Atop of the unit is a tight fitting plunger lid that acts as a filter. To activate the french press brewer, you push down the plunger and the coffee comes out of the bottom. You can also make cold brew in French Press.
- Nice strong cup of coffee.
- It puts you in control of the coffee helm. Thus, providing you with an opportunity to determine strength and taste.
- Allows to make up to 8 cups of coffee at a time. Which is convenient when having visitors over.
- Is somewhat more complicated than a common drip coffee maker.
- Unless you've a garbage disposal, you will have to find somewhere to put the coffee grounds. And it can be a pain to try and clean.
- Tends to leave sediment at the bottom of your coffee mug.
A brewing method that falls between the french press and auto-drip is the pour-over.
They have a round pot made of glass with a plastic filter insert on top where you pour in the water. Which flows through to the coffee grinds and into the pot.
- Creates an AMAZING cup of Joe without the need for added flavors.
- Gives you the ability to be creative and expand your mind to various types of coffee.
- Its bonded filters help catch oils and sediments, creating a smooth, rich cup of Java.
- The many special features and accessories look nice, but can be quite confusing.
- For proper cleaning you're going to need a wide variety of brushes and tools.
- These units generally brew only one cup of coffee at a time and also come with a high price tag as well.
Drip-Brew Coffee Machines
The drip-brew is a common and preferred method of brewing. Which involves an automatic coffee maker that requires paper filters for the grounds.
They are easy to use and some even come equipped with timers.
Place coffee grounds into the filter, pour in water, and you have a fresh brewed pot of java.
- Have programmable controls for pre-setting brew the previous night. Giving you the ability to wake up to a fresh cup of Joe in the morning.
- You'll be able to control the amount of water, coffee, and brew strength.
- Most come with the option of brewing up to twelve cups of coffee at one time. Which is perfect for large quantities of guests during the holiday seasons.
- Have unique features like a hot water spout for brewing a hot cup of tea.
- After the years go by it loses the ability for making great tasting coffee.
- It requires vinegar run through it for cleaning and leaves an odd smell and taste to your next coffee brew.
- If you forget to remove coffee grounds from filter, it can promote mold growth and be unhealthy for you.
Another popular coffee brewing device is the Aeropress.
Which you can use paper or disc style metal filters with. The unit has two nesting cylinders, one of which is for an airtight seal and fits within the other cylinder.
Placing a paper filter in the cylinder, you then add hot water that's between 79 and 85 °C, wait a few minutes and enjoy.
- Is very efficient and can go with you anywhere. And makes for a great camping accessory.
- Very easy to clean, pop out the old coffee grounds and voila, you're ready for a fresh cup of Java.
- Brews coffee within minutes due to the high pressure involved with brewing.
- Requires special filters, which is no big deal thanks to the worldwide web.
- Creates single servings of coffee and is ideal for those who don't want pots of unused coffee.
Also known as the vacuum coffee maker, the siphon is more involved method of brewing. Which involves two chambers, a bottom carafe and the top coffee brewer.
Water goes in the carafe and coffee grounds go into the top brewer. When the water heats up and vaporizes it creates pressure within the carafe. And pushes through the upper chamber and begins the brewing process.
- Makes a wonderful cup of coffee that's very flavorful. Which will be the talk of the town when entertaining guests.
- Allows you to control the temperature of heat and steeping times.
- With its full immersion of coffee grounds, you'll get a total spectrum of flavors from your coffee.
- It is hard to store away and not ideal for those planning on moving soon.
- Requires a lot time to clean.
- You have to stay near unit while brewing.
- The unit itself along with the special filters and butane heater can be quite costly
Pro Tips For Better Coffee At Home
Using The Proper Water
Water quality is something overlooked by many coffee connoisseurs, and tap water is a BIG no no!
Yet, distilled water is as bad, if not worse to use for brewing coffee.
Plus, it can end up degrading the machine itself.
Thus, you'll want to use water with a mineral balance of at least 150 parts per water.
Purified water is the best water to use for brewing your daily cup of coffee hands-down.
Important Points To Remember:
- Your daily cup of Joe contains over 90 percent water. Thus, it's of the utmost importance to use only the purest of water when coffee brewing.
- Common household tap water contains various chemicals and minerals. So, to avoid coffee that tastes nasty and has a bad odor, it's best to steer clear of using water from your tap.
- Get a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter for testing out its purity. This enables you to check its mineral content.
Cleaning Your Coffee Maker
Another thing that's essential for great tasting coffee is cleaning your machine daily.
By following these 3 simple steps, you'll have an amazing cup of coffee that taste better than at the cafe.
Related: How to Clean Any Coffee Maker?
- Remove your coffee pot and do a thorough cleaning of it every day. This ensures the removal of any built-up oils from coffee beans.
- Never use a dirty coffee put when brewing, this prevents it from tasting burnt and unsavory.
- Even though it's optional, pre-rinsing paper coffee filters also help enhance coffee's flavor.
Cleaning Your Coffee Grinder
It is also important to clean your coffee grinder as well. This quick and easy process will ensure the flavor of your coffee without any remnants of old grinds.
Related: How To Clean A Coffee Grinder?
Here are the steps to take for cleaning your grinder:
- Using about 1/4 cup of dry rice that's uncooked, place it into the grinders hopper.
- Next, turn on your grinder until the rice grinds down to a fine powder. When done, dispose into trash receptacle.
- Unplug your coffee grinder and wipe it out with a dampened paper towel.
Creating Your Very Own Coffee Shop At Home
Why settle for drinking coffee in a plain, old kitchen when you can turn it into the ULTIMATE sidewalk cafe?
It'll make enjoying your cups coffee all the more enjoyable.
Below are some ways to help you get started.
- Using your imagination, create a marvelous coffee bar that's fully-equipped.
- Set up a full blown coffee station with all the bells and whistles. Including coffee makers, drinking mugs, your favorite sweeteners, and coffee beans.
- Put up a side shelf or coffee cart, or dedicate a corner of your kitchen counter for coffee equipment and such.
- By placing an added shelving unit you can place mugs upon it. Thus, creating more space in your personal cafe.
- Last, but not least, add a colorful sign to your little coffee shop.
Something that's unique and adds the perfect touch.
Did the above guidelines help to give you some insight on improving your coffee?
They're guaranteed to transform your everyday cup of coffee into a heavenly brew.
When turning the kitchen space into the coffee shop of your dreams, take your time and have fun with it.
After all, this is a place where you want to go to relax and unwind.
Somewhere to enjoy that cup of Java and read a good book.
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