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7 tips for making great coffee

Looking to make great coffee? Here are some great tips to do so.

1. Use fresh, whole bean coffee

If you want to make the best, most flavorful cup of coffee, the trick is to use fresh coffee and ensure you grind it before brewing. In essence, the secret to making coffee that tastes delicious and smells amazing is the aromatic compound found in roasted coffee beans.

It is worth mentioning that once you roast your coffee beans, the degassing process begins. Degassing is the process when aromatic compounds start escaping from the coffee beans, taking most of their flavor as they escape. 70% of these compounds are usually gone by the eighth day, and the coffee loses more of its flavor over time. As a result, you will only have stale coffee left.

This process will occur even faster when you grind coffee since more of the bean’s surface area is exposed. This makes it is easier for the compounds to escape faster. Fortunately, you still have a chance to make coffee that tastes and smells delicious. You could sign up for a coffee beans subscription service and enjoy getting freshly roasted coffee delivered to your home.

2. Use a scale

Another tip to making great coffee is using a scale. There are different types of coffee, so when you use a scale, it allows you to measure your coffee by weight instead of volume. Therefore, you will know just how much coffee you are adding into your cup regardless of the type of coffee you are using.

Often, people use the standard rule of making coffee, where they add two tablespoons of coffee to 6oz of water. There is nothing wrong with this rule/recipe or any other recipes for that matter, but they are not entirely practical. These recipes lack the precision that will allow you to brew great coffee.

There are different coffee types, and blends often tend to have a considerable difference between density and size. Therefore, a tablespoon of one kind of coffee may be way more or less than a tablespoon of a different coffee. So, it is best to use a scale to get the amount of coffee you are using right.

3. Use the correct amount of coffee

While coffee recipes may vary from individual to individual, one thing is constant. How weak or strong the coffee you brew is relative to how much water and coffee you use for your brew. The less coffee you use, the weaker the brew, and the more coffee you use, the stronger the cup you brew. But how will you know how much coffee you need to use?

Well, the best approach is using ratios. So, it has to be a ratio between the amount of coffee and water you are using. For instance, if you are using our Single Origins, we often use a ratio of 1:14, which highlights the acidity and delicate flavors. However, if you are using our House Blend, we recommend a ratio of 1:12 to accentuate its silky body and chocolate sweetness. Note that this is 35grams of coffee and 400 grams of water.

4. Use a burr grinder

To make great coffee, you need to invest in the right coffee brewing tools, like a grinder, which is among the most crucial brewing tools. Typically, ground coffee’s particle size will determine how fast you can extract the flavors from the coffee beans. Note that the small particles extract faster than the bigger ones.

Before you begin to brew the coffee, confirm that all the particles are similar in size, as this ensures they brew at an equal rate. You will have more control over your coffee brewing process if you control the size of the ground coffee. Luckily, that is what a burr grinder offers you. A burr grinder allows you to produce a specific grind size repeatedly.

The Handground Precision Grinder is among our favorite grinders to use at home as it allows you to produce the perfect grind size. It also comes with 15 unique grind settings.

5. Grind at the correct coarseness (or fineness) setting

The grind size determines the type of coffee you make. If you intend to make great coffee, you must ensure that your brewing method is suitable for your grind size. However, the big question is, how will you know you are using the right grind size? Well, the easiest way to tell is taste and time. Generally, a French Press needs a coarse grind, Aeropress and Pour-overs a medium grind, and espresso a fine grind.

When using our pour-over recipes, you have to brew the coffee in three and a half minutes. If your coffee brews slowly, this means the grind was too fine, and if it brews quickly, then the grind was too coarse. It is also worth mentioning that if the coffee tastes too bitter, the grind is too fine, and the grind is too coarse if the taste is too sour and acidic.

It helps to adjust your grind to taste and time as it will help you get a step closer to brewing delicious coffee in your home. To learn about the grind settings we use at our cafes, check out our Brew Guides.

6. Use filtered water

The taste and quality of the water you use to brew your coffee significantly affect your coffee taste. You may not know this, but water makes up 98.5% of brewed coffee. Therefore, your coffee will likely have a strange odor or taste bad if the water you use has these properties.

To make a great cup of coffee and genuinely enjoy it, consider using filtered water. Depending on where you live, you may be able to brew your coffee with tap water if the water is pure enough. However, most places do not have pure tap water, so it will be best to use bottled water or filtered water. Ensure you do not use distilled water if you use bottled water, as coffee does not need minerals to taste delicious and brew well.

7. Always confirm that your water is the right temperature

One of the things people tend to overlook is the temperature of the water they use to brew their cup of coffee. The water temperature will affect what you extract and the extraction speed as hotter water will brew coffee faster than cooler water and vice versa. To get the best flavor, ensure that the water you use to brew the coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees F.

If you brew your coffee with water below 195 degrees F, you will not get the distinct flavor or pleasant acidity you enjoy in your coffee. On the other hand, if you use water above 205 degrees F, you will extract coffee with a bitter flavor. Therefore, you must ensure that you brew your coffee in the sweet spot to get the perfect brew.

Generally, it will help to use water that is roughly 30-60 seconds off the boil as it’s within the desired range. Alternatively, you can use a thermometer used for temperature. The Fellow Stag kettle comes with a built-in thermometer.

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