After you have selected your fine specialty coffee beans and have learned how to grind your beans, on to the next important phase of brewing. The basic principal that is common to all types of brewing methods is to soak ground coffee in hot water to extract the flavor and aroma. Since the drip coffee method is the most popular method, this article will focus on brewing the best cup from your drip coffee maker.
1. Use only freshly roasted specialty coffee beans.
2. Store your coffee beans in an airtight container.
3. Grind your beans just before brewing
4. Use only fresh filtered water.
5. Use a quality coffee maker that is clean.
6. Drink your coffee soon after the brewing is completed
Water is the largest ingredient (98%) so it is important that you start with only using fresh filtered water. Only use cold water as your coffee maker is intended to make the water hot and adding hot water to the receptacle may actually ruin your machine. Water can be drawn from a faucet if it is filtered but let it run for a few seconds. If your tap water is not filtered or is still not up to par after filtration then use bottled water.
Make sure your coffee maker is clean. Water sediments and coffee oils build up and need to be cleaned out regularly otherwise these may add an unwanted taste. Use warm soapy water and rinse well. If you live in an area with hard water the soapy residue may be hard to remove leaving an unwelcome taste, so in these areas we recommend you use a solvent purchased at your local Wal-Mart. Some customers have reported success using baking soda as a cleaner.
Measure out the proper amount of coffee for your brew. The simple rule of thumb is to use two level tablespoons for every six ounces of water. This will need to be adjusted for your taste to make your coffee either darker or lighter. Do not trust the measurements on your coffee pot as these are often wrong and sometime the manufacturer's cup is four ounces instead of six. The type of gourmet coffee you use will also affect this measurement. The Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee for example has traditionally brewed lighter so a larger portion of coffee grounds will need to be added. This adjustment may take a few days to perfect when you try a new variety of gourmet coffee.
Brew only the amount of coffee that you will be immediately drinking over the next half hour. Coffee cannot sit on a burner for more than 30 minute, after that the flavor becomes bitter, loses flavor and becomes stale. An alternative to this is to brew or pour your coffee into insulated thermal carafe. If you do use a thermal carafe you can heat up your carafe before brewing by pouring hot water in it first then dumping it out. Your coffee will not lose as much heat pouring into a warmed carafe as a cold one.
If you are making only 4 cups or less you will need to use special coffee maker that has a setting for this amount. The standard 10 to12 cup coffee makers do a poor job brewing smaller amounts.
Before serving you will want to stir your coffee. This is the mix the heavier oils that sink to the bottom of the pot. When your coffee is brewed the coffee at the beginning of a drip cycle is usually stronger than coffee brewed ate the end. Stirring your brewed coffee ensure consistency by distributing the oils throughout the pot.