Buying coffee every time you need a cup is convenient, but it is not always budget-friendly. Because of this, many people brew their own coffee at home. Brewing coffee does not have to be difficult, as you can learn how to make a great cup of coffee after a few tries. What many people struggle with is the consistency that is required to make a great cup of coffee every time. So, how do you make better coffee and achieve the consistency needed?
Clean Your Coffee Maker
Regardless of how you make your coffee, all the equipment you use should be clean every time. Residue can build up and cause future cups of coffee to taste different, bitter, or just bad. When cleaning your coffee-making machine, ensure you get into even the tightest of spaces as these are the major culprits causing a change in your coffee’s flavor.
Learn The Different Brewing Temperatures for Different Types of Coffee
A common mistake people make is thinking that all coffee is brewed at the same temperature. The right temperature is 198 to 202 degrees Fahrenheit. However, lighter coffee roasts require a higher temperature of 202 degrees Celsius while darker roasts taste better when brewed at 198 degrees.
Use The Right Amount of Coffee
The amount of coffee you use when blending greatly determines the taste of the cup of coffee you end up with. Too much coffee can lead to very strong coffee, while too little can lead to coffee that looks and tastes watery. To avoid this, many people use a scale to measure both the water and coffee to ensure they end up with a ratio of about 1:12 (1 gram of coffee to 12 grams of water).
A great alternative for those who do not want to measure the coffee every time they would like to make a cup of coffee is pods. These contain a pre-portioned amount of coffee ready for infusion and brewing. The coffee pods from Gourmesso, for example, are easy to use and ensure you have a consistent cup of coffee every time.
Use Freshly Ground Coffee
The aromatic compounds found in coffee are responsible for its color, aroma, and flavor. These compounds begin to diminish as soon as the coffee is ground. When they do, the coffee tastes different. To avoid this, purchase whole grain coffee and grind it yourself. You will have to invest in a good coffee grinder, but you will not mind it when you taste the difference.
Also, remember to only grind the coffee you need. If you grind more than you need for a cup or two, you end up facing the same issue discussed above.
Grind To The Right Size
The extraction process during brewing is dependent on several factors, one of them being the size of the coffee grounds. Coffee that is too fine causes over-extraction due to the increased surface area, leading to coffee that tastes bitter and dry. Larger grounds lead to under extraction due to less surface area. Under extracted coffee tastes sour or watery and you do not want that.
It is OK to experiment with different ground sizes to find one that produces a cup of coffee that you like. The perfect spot is when the coffee has balanced acidity, bitterness, and sweetness.
Preheat your Equipment
If you do not preheat the equipment, it will take away heat from the water, meaning you will not be brewing at the correct temperature. To preheat the equipment, pass hot water through everything before you start.
What constitutes a great cup of coffee is subjective for everyone. However, you can dial in the different variables involved to end up with coffee that tastes great for you. It might take a bit of experimentation, but you will get there eventually.