Coffee is a highly personalized experience, and everyone likes their coffee prepared in a slightly different way. Still, it is important to master the basics. Once you have these techniques down pat, you can begin to experiment with tweaks to make your coffee your own. Here are the secrets to brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
Start with scrupulously clean equipment, from grinders and filters to coffee makers. Rinse each item with clear, hot water and thoroughly dry it with an absorbent towel. Check your work to ensure that there is no buildup of oil or grounds, which can add a bitter, even rancid taste.
The coffee beans you select have a dramatic impact on the quality and flavor of your coffee. At Oceana Coffee, we sell only the highest quality coffee beans from around the world. Yet each bean has its own unique flavors and properties. Carefully read the descriptions to determine which beans appeal to you, and never be afraid to experiment.
Freshness enhances quality, so purchase coffee in small amounts and try to use it within two weeks. You can maximize freshness by storing your coffee beans in an opaque, airtight container that is kept in a cool, dry location. It is possible to keep beans fresh for longer by freezing them, but only if you use a truly airtight container. Otherwise, they will absorb moisture, as well as the smells and tastes of other products nearby. When removing some of the coffee from the freezer, work quickly to get the remainder back into the freezer before any condensation forms.
Grind your beans as close to brewing time as possible. Choose a flat burr or conical burr grinder to ensure that all grounds are the same size. Be careful with the size of the grind, as grinding it too fine (over-extracting) will add bitterness, while grinding it too coarse (under-extracting) will make it taste flat and acidic. The ideal grind size for drip brewing is around the same size as coarse salt.
If you are having your coffee professionally ground, explain how you will brew it. There are different grinds for French Press, cone drip, gold mesh, and so on.
The quality of your water affects the quality of your coffee. Do not use softened or distilled water, but do choose bottled or filtered water, especially if your tap water has a noticeable odor or taste. Always use cold water. When using tap water, let it run for a few seconds before filling your pot. The ideal temperature for brewing is 204f, another way to help is after your water has boiled let it stand for 30 seconds.
Everyone has their own preferences and tastes, but the “Golden Ratio” for Oceana Coffee is between 16-18:1 water to coffee ratio by weight. Another easy way is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water. Check the indicators on your coffee pot to ensure accurate measurements.
For optimal extraction, your coffee maker should maintain a water temperature between 195 and 205 Fahrenheit (unless cold brewing). Any colder, and the coffee will be flat and under-extracted. Any hotter, and the coffee will be bitter and over-extracted. If you are manually brewing the coffee, let the water come just to a full boil, and then turn it off and let it rest for 30 seconds before brewing.
Coffee cools rapidly, especially when adding milk or cream. The ideal serving temperature is 180 to 185 Fahrenheit, so serve the coffee right away. Most coffee drinkers prefer to allow it to cool to around 140 Fahrenheit before drinking, and immediate service allows each drinker to begin sipping at his or her desired moment.
The amount of time that the water should be in contact with the coffee grounds varies according to the brewing method. A drip system takes about 5 minutes. A French Press ranges from 2 to 4 minutes. An espresso maker needs just 20-30 seconds, while cold brewing takes approximately 12 hours. Experiment with your brewing time until you find just the right timing for your taste preferences.
Instead of guzzling your coffee while doing other things, take a moment to focus on the coffee. Breathe in the aroma and try to note the various flavors in each sip. A coffee break can be an excellent way to slow down and tune into the world around you—a brief respite from the busy modern world.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are in the market for single origin specialty coffee from an award-winning, small-batch roaster you can trust, contact Oceana Coffee Roasters today at (561) 401-2453 to learn more or order your coffee.