Our Coffee Tidbits
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Finished at an Italian roast level, it is a vibrant, bold coffee with chocolate notes, hints of berries and a smoky finish.Try some yourself!
CoffeeCON 2013 is in the books, and I was proud to be an Offici..
I was fortunate to be living in Portland, OR last year when it hosted the S..
I've never been so excited for a coffee show! Just three days away...
I'm happy to be an Official Blogger, invited to this year's CoffeeCON in W..
The IKON conical burr grinder is about consistent grinds every time...
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Golden Rules of Coffee
Making a good cup of coffee at home is not a complicated thing. In fact, you only need to remember a few fundamental rules to make good coffee. How many of those rules you adhere to is up to you. The more you adhere to, the better the cup of coffee you brew. Adhere to them all, and you make the perfect cup of coffee at home.
Golden Rule #1
Get your coffee from a professional roaster
The grocery store is one of the worst places to buy coffee - it's convenient but they are are not showing it any special care, and you don't know how long ago it was roasted. Coffee starts to expire after it's been roasted. The best coffee of all is fresh. You only want to buy coffee that was recently roasted, and that comes from a professional roaster.
Many professional roasters make their coffee available for sale online. Click here to see our Vendor Report Card. Alternatively, find a coffee roaster in your area and make it a habit to buy your coffee there. If there isn't one in your area and you do not want to buy coffee online, chain locations like Peets, Caribou Coffee, Starbucks are still better than the grocery store. Buy coffee from the grocery store because you have no other choice.
Learn more about Buying Coffee. If you're not buying good coffee, it's very difficult to make yourself a good cup, even if you get all of the next steps right!
Golden Rule #2
Buy your coffee every 1-2 weeks
Not only does coffee begin to expire as soon as it's been roasted, but it will go stale in a matter of weeks. Since your professional roaster likely roasted your coffee days to a week before you buy, don't buy more than you will go through for one to two weeks.
Buying coffee every week might be tedious, especially since you won't be getting it from the grocery store, so buying two weeks worth of coffee at a time will be fine. Roasters are sometimes located in markets, so why not make it a fun bi-weekly trip?
Golden Rule #3
Buy your coffee in whole bean form
Not only does coffee expire as soon as it's roasted, but ground coffee expires at a faster rate than whole bean coffee. When coffee is ground, it is broken down and goes stale faster. For that reason, only grind as much coffee as you'll need for the coffee you are about to make.
Golden Rule #4
Use a burr grinder
This is one thing you will only need to buy once for many years. There are two conventional grinders: the propellor grinder and the burr grinder. Buy the burr grinder - it doesn't burn the coffee (sapping some of its flavor) like a propellor grinder can, and it gives you a consistent grind which is very important to the quality of the coffee.
Golden Rule #5
Keep your coffee beans in an airtight container at room temperature
As is the case with anything perishable, air is the enemy of coffee. Even light can potentially sap some of fresh coffee's flavor, so keep your coffee somewhere opaque, either in an opaque container or in the cupboard.
But unlike many perishables, keep coffee at room tempature. Do not keep your coffee in the fridge or freezer. Coffee has the uncanny ability to absorb nearby scents - your fridge and freezer are full of those and it will affect the flavor of your coffee. Also, the drastic change in temperature will sap some of coffee's flavor.
Learn more about Storing Coffee. I use several airtight food containers with a latch, and rubber band under the lid for an airtight seal when latched shut.
Golden Rule #6
Invest in a French Press or a good drip brewer - your gear is as important as your coffee
The drip brewer has become a commodity appliance and for that reason, there are a lot of junky drip brewers. At MakeGoodCoffee.com, we put as many of today's drip brewers to the test as we could so that we could provide an objective and unbiased Coffee Maker Report Card. Check it out, so you're getting the most value for your money - price was taken very heavily into consideration so our recommendations cover every price point.
The French Press, or Press Pot, is a simple coffee maker that makes great coffee. Learn more about French Press brewing. If you are already familiar and are looking for a quality product made by the inventor Bodum themselves, click here
Golden Rule #7
Keep everything clean
Use soap and water to clean everything that comes into contact with the coffee. Coffee is oily. That means it's sticky, and its residue will stay on everything. That residue is perishable just like coffee, and if left, will go stale and affect the flavor of your coffee. Coffee pot, utensils, cups, etc. Clean everything.
If you use a drip brewer, occasionally run a cycle through it that is one part vinegar and two parts water. Then, run a couple water-only cycles to ensure the vinegar is rinsed out. Vinegar is a great non-chemical mild cleaner. It will remove mild contaminants from your machine.