Achieving the dream cup of coffee at home doesn't have to be difficult. Use these easy tips to quickly get a better brew.
While there is more science in coffee that we ever imagined, getting good coffee at home doesn't require a PhD in rocket science. Implement these easy first steps and you'll be on your way to achieving your dream cup in no time!
Tip #1 - Use Fresh Coffee
Get your coffee from a roaster rather than the store. Store-bought beans can stay on store shelves for long periods of time where the flavorful oils can go rancid. Also, pay attention to how the coffee is stored and transported. High heat in warehouse storage or unwashed dispensers with old oils can reduce the fresh coffee experience before it ever gets to your kitchen. Once you purchase your beans, use them within 15-20 days of the roast date, ideally avoiding the refrigerator. Additionally, ensure your beans have had a chance to properly degas after roasting. (2-7 days, depending on the roast level).
Tip #2 - Grind Before You Brew
The delicate oils in coffee exponentially degrade after grinding. The best rule of thumb is use within 15 minutes of grinding. If you are not ready to financially commit to a conical burr grinder like this one on Amazon, which will afford you a wide range of settings and ensure uniformity, you can grab this one for a fraction of the price (but lose the consistency and precision.)
Tip #3 - Experiment with Various Methods of Brewing Coffee
Whether its drip, French Press, Aeropress, Moka Pot, pourover or espresso, each way of brewing coffee uses different ratios, grind size and extraction times. Furthermore, the resulting cup can have differing body, acidity, boldness, bitterness, and aftertaste. A bean used to make drip coffee may taste completely different in a French Press or espresso. Furthermore, through experimenting with various brew methods you will be able to better discern nuances as well as understand your preferences better.
The Storage Debate
There are several "camps" regarding the best way to store coffee. Some will say to refrigerate, others prefer to freeze, and others still prefer to store at room temperature. For us, we prefer room temperature. The frightening potential for condensation and invasive, potent food smells keep our precious coffee out of the fridge. Plus coffee is best fresh, so we recommend purchasing in sync with your caffeine needs.
A Word On Degassing
We have a more thorough blog posts that explains degassing in more detail. Basically, the darker the roast, the quicker the degassing and therefore the sooner the beans’ oils go rancid. Aim to begin brewing dark roast beans around 2-3 days after roasting. For lighter roasts, expect up to a week for enough CO2 to escape before effective extraction can begin. Happily, because light roast beans release the CO2 slower and less damage has been done to the cell structure of the bean, the oils take longer to lose their flavorful punch. This will give you a slightly longer window to have them on hand. Check out the very informative link below to learn more about degassing/coffee resting.
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