8/13/2019 How to Brew Coffee
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
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
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.
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
8/13/2019 How to Brew Coffee
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 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 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!
8/13/2019 How to Brew Coffee
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 http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=72