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The key to brewing better coffee at home lies in the details.
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Good Eats

How to Brew Better Coffee at Home

by
Feb 3rd, 2017

Cutting-edge espresso machines cost a fortune, but so does buying a cup of coffee every day for a year. Do you currently get your morning coffee at a cafe because it tastes or works much better than coffee you brew at home? With a mid-range coffeemaker, some high-quality beans, and the tips provided below, you can brew much better coffee in your apartment. You’ll save money in the long run. And knowing that morning jolt is waiting for you in your kitchen may help you spring out of bed easier and be more productive during your morning routine.

Buy quality beans

Several factors contribute to a great cup of coffee. But without high-quality beans, you’re never going to get there. Do research to find reputable roasters near you. Try a few blends to get a feel for what you like best. If you’re a creature of habit, stick to a certain blend once you find something you love. Otherwise, mix it up. Just be sure the beans you use in your apartment are always high-quality and always freshly roasted.

Grind at home

Another key to a good cup of coffee is freshly ground beans. Buy whole beans, and don’t grind them at the roaster or grocery store where you buy them. Grind them in your apartment kitchen, and do it right before brewing. Coffee’s flavor comes from its essential oils, which evaporate quickly after the beans are ground. Burr grinders are superior to blade grinders because they deliver consistency and are adjustable. Consider a manual burr grinder if automatic burr grinders are too steeply priced.

Store to prevent oxidation

The best way to store coffee beans is in airtight containers, as oxidation contributes to flavor degradation. If using clear canisters, store beans in a dark and cool place. Light exposure also leads to flavor degradation.

Measure, don’t estimate

Precise measurements matter when brewing a cup of coffee, just as they do when baking. Use a scale and a measuring cup to achieve your ideal coffee-to-water ratio. The industry standard is one part coffee to 18 parts water. Depending on your tastes and how intensely you want the coffee to hit you, you may want to adjust this.

Use purified water

A cup of coffee is nearly 99% water. Even though quality coffee beans have a wealth of a flavor, poor tasting water can influence the final product. Use purified water to ensure the flavor of your coffee beverage comes from the coffee beans you use, and not the chemicals in your water.

Get the temp right

You may have heard that boiling water burns coffee. This is true. It’s also true that your coffee will taste flat if the water you brew it with is not warm enough. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the water you use to brew is between 198 and 202 degrees.

Jump on the pour over train

Pour over coffee is all the rage in cafes these days, and for good reason. Pour over methods liberate flavor from beans, resulting in better coffee. Whether its fancy Chemex or a simple French press, be sure you have a pour over setup in your apartment.

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View All Posts by Jason Ernst
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