Start with the best (whole bean) coffee. Of course, this may go without saying, but let us explain. By choosing the best quality coffee, you are starting at the point where the best flavors and notes are going to be retained until you brew it. Depending on the origin of coffee you prefer, choose freshly roasted 100% Arabica beans. The beans should not look greasy (except dark roast) and it should not smell stale. The bag should have a valve that lets the gases release from the beans. Buying coffee from a local roaster ensures that it is fresh, but also supports the local economy and that you will always get the freshest beans.
Use the right coffee maker. Not all coffee makers are created equal. If you are looking for an automatic drip, make sure it guarantees to consistently brew at between 195 and 205 degrees F and includes a thermal carafe. Do not use a brewing system that keeps the brewed coffee on a burner that stays hot. This actually continues to cook the coffee and ruins the flavor and aroma that you want. If you haven't already, we suggest experimenting with other brew methods such as a french press or pourover brew method. They are fairly inexpensive and very simple to use on a regular basis. Not to mention they produce an amazing cup of coffee. More on these at a later date...
Use a grinder. Even though it is convenient to buy pre-ground beans, you are cutting yourself short of a better coffee drinking experience. Grinding the coffee with your own grinder not only lets you select the quality of the grind for the brewing method you choose, but it allows the coffee beans to retain the oils inside of them longer. Once the beans are ground, the protective shell around the oils that harness the aromas you want to experience and taste, are released and will not end up in your cup. (There's other reasons, but this is the main one.)
Use the right coffee-to-water ratio. We suggest using a 2 TBSP to 8 OZ water ratio. A 'cup' is technically 8oz, but a lot of coffee makers use the European cup size which is 5oz. It's not a huge difference in size but will amount to a difference in full flavor and taste of the final brewed cup. Of course you can always adjust to taste.
Keep it clean! Always wash containers, utensils and equipment to get the oils off. Rinse with clear, hot water and wipe down thoroughly. It's important to note that if any grounds are left on the surface, the oils will contribute to a build up and eventually cause your future cups to taste bitter and rancid.
- Use filtered water. It may seem like we are going overboard on this one, but the water you use is very important to the quality of your coffee. Always use filtered water since this will remove strong odors or taste, such as chlorine. Be sure to avoid using distilled or softened water. Making sure that your water is free of 'other' ingredients means that you will only taste the coffee. It's also a good habit so as to avoid contamination which can alter the true flavor profile of the coffee. After all, you want to brew your best coffee, right?
We hope this answers your questions. If you want to learn more or want to find out something in particular about your brewing process, don't hesitate to ask us!
Full Bloom Coffee Roasters