How to Brew Coffee

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    ncausa.org http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=

    How To Brew Coffee

    The Definitive Guide

    There are many methods f or brewing a f ine cup of cof f ee -- no s ingle technique is

    right f or everyone. The method you choose f or brewing your cof f ee should be

    based on your needs and your unique cof f ee preferences. Do you want a hearty

    mug of cof f ee f or breakfast? An af ternoon cappucino? Or a dessert espresso?

    Do you prefer a milder cof f ee or a more robust cof f ee f lavor?

    The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by the brewing process

    you prefer but also by the type of cof f ee you select. For example, what count ry is

    the cof f ee f rom, what region and what variety of cof f ee tree? Or is it a blend from several countries, regions

    or varieties? Do you favor a dark roast cof f ee, a light blend or something in between? What kind of grind

    have you selected? Remember to be creative -- you can choose a dark espresso roast cof f ee and st ill have

    ground to be brewed in a drip system.

    But no matter how you choose to brew your cof f ee, there are guidelines to f ollow which will give you the best

    cup of cof f ee possible. To o ptimize the quality of every cup of cof f ee you prepare, fine-tune your brewing

    routine by incorporating these suggestions.

    How to Brew Coffee

    The Equipment

    Make sure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned af ter each use by rinsing it with clear, hot water and

    drying it with an absorbant to wel. Check that no grounds have been lef t to co llect on any part o f the equipmen

    and that there is no build-up of cof f ee oil. Such residue can impart a bitter, rancid f lavor to f uture cups of

    coffee.

    The Coffee

    Purchase cof f ee as soon af ter it has been roasted as possible. Fresh roasted coffee is essentialto a

    superb cup of cof f ee. And purchase your cof f ee in small amountsonly as much as you can use in a given

    period of time. Ideally you should purchase your cof f ee f resh every 1-2 weeks.

    The Grind

    If you purchase whole bean cof f ee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible . A bur

    or mill grinder is pref erable because all of the cof f ee is ground to a consistent size. A blade grinder is less

    preferable because so me cof f ee will be ground more f inely than the rest . If you normally grind your cof f ee at

    home with a blade grinder, try having it ground at the store with a burr grinder. You may be surprised at the

    difference!

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    Do not underestimate t he importance of the size of t he grind to the t aste of your coffee . If your

    cof f ee tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too f ine. On the other hand, if your cof f ee tastes f la

    it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. Tell the prof essionals where you purchase

    your cof f ee exactly how you will be brewing it. For example, will you be using a plunger pot? A f lat drip f ilter? A

    cone drip filter? A gold mesh f ilter? They will grind it specif ically for the preparation method you have chosen

    and the equipment you use.

    Bef ore using the cof f ee, try rubbing some of the grounds between your f ingers so that you can 'f eel' the grin

    and become acquainted with t he diff erences in size.

    Never reuse your coffee grounds.Once brewed, the desirable cof f ee f lavors have been extracted and only

    the bitter undesirable ones are lef t.

    The Water

    The water you use is VERY important t o the quality of your coffee .Use f iltered or bot tled water if your

    tap water is not good or imparts a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. If you are using tap water let it run a

    f ew seconds bef ore f illing your cof f ee pot. Be sure to use cold water. Do not use distilled or sof tened water.

    Ratio of Coffee to Water

    Use the proper amount of cof f ee for every six ounces of water that is actually brewed, remembering that

    some water is lost to evaporation in certain brewing methods. A general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of

    ground coffe e f or every six ounces of water.This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences. Be

    sure to check the 'cup' lines on your brewer to see how they actually measure.

    Water Temperature During Brewing

    Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 - 205 degree s Fahrenheit for optimal

    extraction. Colder water will result in f lat, underextracted cof f ee while water that is too ho t will also cause a

    loss o f quality in the taste of the cof f ee. If you are brewing the cof f ee manually, let the water come to a f ull

    boil, but do not overboil. Turn of f the heat so urce and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over

    the grounds.

    Brewing Time

    The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee groundsis another important f actor

    af f ecting the taste of your cof f ee. In a drip system, the contact t ime should be approximately 5 minutes. If yo

    are making your cof f ee using a plunger pot , the contact time should be 2-4 minutes. Espresso, as t he name

    implies, means that the brew time is shortthe cof f ee is in contact with the water f or only 20-30 seconds. If

    the tast e of your cof f ee is not o ptimal, it is poss ible that you are either overextracting (the brew time is too

    long) or underextracting (the brew time is too short ) your cof f ee. Experiment with the contact time until you ca

    make a cup of cof f ee that suits your tastes perfectly.

    After Your Coffee Has Been Brewed

    Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately!

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    Pour it into a warmed mug or cof f ee cup so t hat it will maintain its temperature as long as possible. Brewed

    cof f ee begins to lose its opt imal taste moments af ter brewing so only brew as much cof f ee as will be

    consumed immediately. If it will be a few minutes bef ore it will be served, the temperature should be maintained

    at 180 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never be lef t on an electric burner for longer than 15 minutes

    because it will begin to develop a burned taste. If the cof f ee is not to be served immediately af ter brewing, it

    should be poured into a warmed, insulated thermos and used within the next 45 minutes.

    Never reheat your coffee .

    Enjoy Your Coff ee !

    A f inely prepared cup of cof f ee should be enjoyed as thought f ully as it was brewed. Take a moment to smell

    the aroma. Take a sip and notice your coffee's flavor. How does it compare to other coffees with regard to

    body, acidity and balance? If it is a cof f ee that is new to you, not ice how it is diff erent. If it is what you

    normally drink, note its degree of f reshness o r how simple changes in preparation af f ect the cup's f lavor.

    A st eeping cup of cof f ee will not last long, but every s ip is meant to be savored and enjoyed!

    The Value of Cof f ee

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