4 Tips to Make Better Coffee
A good cup of joe should be be rich and bold, with a crisp, smooth taste. Sadly, a lot of home brewed coffee is either weak and insipid, flavourless, or overly bitter. If you find that your coffee is not all should be, these four tips will go a long way in helping you make better coffee.
1. Use Fresh Coffee
When it comes to making great coffee, the fresher the beans, the better your coffee will taste. This is because coffee beans begin to lose their flavour almost immediately after they are roasted. Coffee beans might not go bad like perishable food items, but over time, they become stale and flavourless due to oxidization. It is a matter of debate how long this takes. but beans will always give their best flavour within 1-4 weeks of being roasted.
Coffee roasters have created special packaging methods that slow down the process of oxidization, but this only lasts until the moment you open the package. When you are buying coffee, check to see when it was roasted. The best roasters always put the roast date on the packaging. Be aware that some of the coffee you get in the grocery store can be months and months old, definitely past its prime. Once you have purchased coffee, you can help keep it fresh by properly storing it. But no packaging or storage solution is a substitute for freshness. The fresher your coffee is, the better it will taste once brewed.
2. Use Whole Beans & Grind Right Before Use
Once coffee has been ground, it looses its flavour very quickly; within a matter of hours. This is because more surface area of the bean is exposed to oxygen, significantly speeding up oxidization. Consequently, freshly ground coffee will always taste better than pre-ground coffee. Buy whole coffee beans and grind them at home immediately before brewing. This will improve your coffee miraculously.
3. Use Good Tasting Water
An often overlooked aspect of making good coffee is water quality. Simply put, you can’t make good coffee from bad water. If your water is high in chlorine or other unpleasant flavours, using bottled water or a carbon filter will make a huge difference in how your coffee tastes. Read more about water here.
4. Use the Proper Technique for Your Brewer
There are many different ways to brew coffee. They all have their die-hard fans, but most methods are capable of making excellent coffee; if you do it right. Bad technique, such as scalding or over-extraction, will always result in terrible coffee, no matter how fresh your beans are. If you want to make excellent coffee, take the time to learn how to use your brewer correctly. A good place to start is our coffee brewing guides.