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The Best Part of Waking Up: Brewing the Best Tasting Coffee
We’ve all had a good cup of coffee — the one that is rich, flavorful, tastes delicious, and gives you the right amount of caffeine. A good cup of coffee is the perfect way to start your day. And, a bad cup of coffee is definitely not. But, perfecting a good cup of coffee can seem like a tough task. What kind of coffee beans should you use? Should your coffee beans be freshly roasted? Do you need to grind coffee beans for every fresh pot of coffee? We’ll take a look at some of the tricks of the trade that baristas use to make the best tasting coffee, so you can enjoy that perfect cup at home.
Brewing Essentials: Equipment
When it comes to brewing the best tasting coffee at home, there’s a lot of opinions on the best kind of way to brew coffee. One of the most important parts of brewing the best tasting coffee at home is the type of equipment you use. Whether it’s an automatic coffee machine, a french press, or a coffee cone, each one of these pieces of equipment will affect the way your coffee tastes. Let’s take a look at the different types of equipment you might use.
- Percolators: A coffee percolator is what most people used before automatic coffee makers became popular in the 20th century. Percolators are pots that use boiling or near boiling water to heat and brew coffee. This is a sure-fire way to make really strong coffee. But, it might not make the most flavorful pot.
- Automatic Coffee Makers: This is a household staple that most of us own. An automatic coffee maker is simple to use and easy to clean. Automatic coffee makers will make you a solid pot of coffee with no fuss or muss.
- Vacuum Pots: If you’re looking to get really fancy when brewing your coffee, look no further than the vacuum pot. Using natural vacuum and vapor pressure, this is a pretty complex way to brew coffee. But, it’s been around since the 1800s and has a reputation for producing strong coffee with lower acidity.
- Coffee Cones: If you’re looking for a cheap DIY way to make a cup of coffee, the coffee cone is your best bet. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require you to make an entire pot of coffee. It’s perfect for a cup of coffee in the office or on-the-go.
- French Press: This type of coffee maker regularly gets high praise for making some of the best tasting coffee at home. A french press uses a pot with a plunger and filter that pushes hot water through ground coffee. The results produce a rich, flavorful cup of coffee. One of our favorite brands is the Kona French Press Coffee Maker.
Deciding on which coffee maker to use depends on the type of coffee you want to make at home. And, there are lots of different choices of coffee makers. Not sure which one is right for you? Check out our Buying Guide on the Best 7 Coffee & Espresso Machines of 2017 for some of your best bets.
Back to Basics: Coffee Beans
One of the most important parts of making the best tasting coffee is the type of coffee bean that you use. The right kind of coffee bean is subjective because everyone’s tastes can vary. But, here are some good rules of thumb for coffee beans.
- Type: Coffee beans come from all over the world. And the different countries and regions affect the taste of your coffee. On top of that, there are several different types of coffee beans — Arabica, Robusta, or a blend of the two. Look for coffee types that fit your personal preferences and flavor profiles.
- Freshness: The freshness of your coffee bean really can affect its flavor. Your best option is to purchase coffee as soon as it’s roasted. This will help ensure you have the best tasting coffee possible. Even better? You can roast your own coffee at home in small batches. Learn how Roasting Coffee Beans to Perfection at home can be a perfect way to have the freshest coffee beans.
- Grind: It’s easy to go to the store and pick up ground coffee. But, did you know that the type of coffee grind can really affect the taste of your coffee? If your coffee is a little too bitter, it can be due to a coffee grind that’s too fine. If it’s too coarse, the taste might be flat. It’s best to buy whole bean coffee and grind the beans as close to brewing time as possible. If grinding coffee beans at home isn’t feasible, ask your local barista to grind the bag for you when you buy your next bag of coffee at the coffee shop.
Water 101: Water Essentials for the Best Tasting Coffee
Besides equipment and coffee beans, the other most essential part to making the perfect cup of coffee is water. Water quality can be very different from one tap to another. So, we recommend that you use bottled or filtered water when you make coffee. This will give you the best, most pure flavor and produce a consistent pot of coffee. Another important piece is the coffee to water ratio. A good general rule of thumb when making coffee is to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Of course, everyone has their own preferences, so if you like a stronger coffee, you might want to adjust that ratio.
You’ll also want to check the temperature. The best tasting coffee is made in temperatures between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures bring out the most flavor. But, if you’re making cold brew coffee, these temperatures won’t apply.
It’s All About the Brew: Coffee Brewing Times
The final thing you’ll want to think about when making the best tasting coffee is the brew time. This is how long it takes for the coffee grounds to fully develop with the water. The amount of time that you brew your coffee will affect the overall flavor. If you’re using a french press, the brewing time will be different than an automatic coffee maker. One rule of thumb is that brewing too long with negatively impact the flavor while brewing for too short of a time will make your coffee taste weak. The key is to find that perfect brew time for you and your coffee preferences.
Coffee Perfection: Brewing the Best Tasting Coffee
Though it might seem like it’s hard to make the best tasting coffee, with just a few simple tips and the right kind of equipment, the perfect cup of coffee is easy to make. Of course, you’ll want to experiment with the brewing time, amount of coffee, and the type of beans that you use to help you make the best tasting coffee for you.