How to Brew a Good Cup Of Joe
There are a lot of different ways to make coffee. There are some very good brewing guides out there. Should you do a pour-over. drip or aeropress? I recommend that you get the fundamentals down and then tailor to your tastes. Get into the savvy guides out there once you the basics down.
Care of the equipment used for making your coffee are no different from the hammer and saw hanging in your tool shed. They should be cared for in order to get the best performance when they are used. The tools you use for your coffee should be clean before you make your brew and cleaned after you make it. There's something particularly good about putting a fresh cup of hot java to your lips and knowing it's hot, clean, and prepared by you. Use hot water to clean your storage containers and your grinder of oily build-up every few weeks. Coffee can taste bitter or rancid if you don't wipe your tools of this oil. Run a strong vinegar or specialty coffee-equipment cleaner to remove the mineral deposits.
What kinds of beans?
The quality of a cup of coffee is largely determined by the quality of the coffee used to make it. Talk to your local grocer, search online, and do some research. We've purchased from a local farmer's market before. A roaster shows up every week and is veteran owned and there are some very good non-vet owned brands. Your coffee flavors should tell you how you brew and what you should brew. There are good roasting guides online and in bookstores. There are good dark coffees, and light ones as well. Selections out there are overwhelming! If we don't get it from the local farmers market on Sunday's we will get it from brands that ship good stuff quickly or reputable grocers. Purchase coffee as soon as possible after it’s roasted.
Try to use coffee that has been roasted within the past two weeks. If you are going to use a lot of coffee than buy more beans to suit your higher consumption. Fresh roasted coffee means a quality cup. Buy your coffee in small batches if you don't drink a lot or it will just be a waste of money and time. Buy a 5- to 7-day supply of fresh beans at a time and keep it at room temperature. Stay away from supermarket bins that sell bulk coffee beans. Oxygen and light will destroy flavor. Bins tend to hold the coffee oils and this can often times be rancid. Unless the store is cleaning the bins on a regular basis we recommend coffee beans sold in packaged vacuum sealed bags. Store your beans in an air-tight container. Containers with runner seals are excellent for keeping air out.
Get good brands. There are some great coffee companies out there. Give a few of them a chance.
A good grinder is the way to go and can be found affordably in shops like Bed Bath and Beyond. Don't grind your coffee until you're just about ready to brew it. Don't over-grind or you might end up with a bitter cup of Joe. Two manual grinders that are popular are the Hario Mill and the Porlex Mini. These grinders will produce a consistent grind.
Use good water. Lots of people in office environments get their water from the tap or the bathroom water faucet. If you're going to do this, then let it run for a few seconds, before filling your coffee pot. Filtered or bottled water is best. If you want to ruin a good cup of coffee with good beans go ahead and use tap water. Some top shops sell charcoal/carbon filters that are attachable to the tap.
Most of us can go with bargain priced paper filters but if you want to obtain more richness than consider using better filters.
Rule of Thumb
If coffee sits for a long time after roasting, it will taste stale. One to two tablespoons of ground coffee is suitable for every six ounces of water. Adjust to suit your tastes. Follow the directions on your brewer. You'll see indicator lines etched into the coffee receptacle. The proper brewing temperature is between 195-200°F, or about 45 seconds off a full boil. Temperature in that range will pull out the aromatics and flavors of the beans without scalding them. Once brewed go ahead and enjoy. Coffee shouldn't be re-brewed or re-heated once it's cooled or it will have a bitter taste.
Enjoy this video by our friends at Noble and Blue