Making the Best Cup of Coffee
Now you’ve just roasted the perfect coffee. What do you need to know to be sure you get the best taste when you brew it? The NCA (National Coffee Association USA) has some important factors to consider before you start brewing your perfect cup of coffee.
Be sure all equipment is cleaned thoroughly. After each use rinse your equipment with hot water and dry it with an absorbent towel. Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of coffee oil. Such residue can impart a bitter or rancid flavor to future cups of coffee.
Next you will want to be sure you have the right grind for the brewing method. Over or under extracting can cause your coffee to taste bitter or flat. Find out what the recommended grind is and adjust your grinder accordingly. Never reuse your coffee grounds. Once brewed, the desirable coffee flavors have been extracted and only the bitter undesirable ones are left.
The water you use is VERY important to the quality of your coffee. Try to use filtered or bottled water if your tap water isn’t good or imparts a strong odor or taste, like chlorine. If you have to use tap water let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot and be sure to use cold water. Do not use distilled or softened water. Ideal water temperature is between 195 and 200 degrees F. You can always use a thermometer to check your water temperature or remember that as a general rule water reaches its boiling point at 212 degrees, so when your water begins to boil take it off the heat source and let stand to cool for a couple of seconds and it should be at the ideal temperature.
The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of your coffee. If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, it is possible that you are either over extracting (the brew time is too long) or under extracting (the brew time is too short). Experiment with the contact time until you can make a cup of coffee that suits your tastes perfectly.