Friday, January 4, 2013

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

I love coffee.  While going out to share a cup with someone else is an experience in itself, it is so important for me to be able to enjoy a great cup every morning at home. Here are some tips from an article on Yahoo that I wanted to share with you. 
Don't: Buy pre-ground beans My fellow lazy coffee-brewers, it's time we face the facts. Freshly ground beans make for better coffee. "Your best bet for coffee longevity is always whole beans," says Marks. It doesn't matter if you grind the beans in the grocery store, the minute you've mashed your java it's already losing its flavor. Blame oxidization or the cruelty of nature, but the fact is a cheap grinder is a better investment than pricey bag of pre-ground coffee.
Don't: Store your beans in the freezer Shoot. For a few dollars, Marks suggests purchasing an airtight container at any home-goods store. That's your best bet for storing beans. Keep the tin on a shelf, away from sunlight, and definitely don't let it near the fridge. Both freezer and fridge add moisture to your beans, cutting down the flavor and replacing it with remnants of that stale Chinese food from last week.
How to make Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte at home
Don't: Eyeball your measurements. Get a scale. The best tool for a perfect cup of joe, aside from a coffeemaker, is a scale. “A $10 scale is the best investment you can make for your coffee game,” Baca told the New York Times. 
It may seem like an oddly scientific step between getting grinds into a filter, but Marks agrees, you've got to weigh your key ingredient. "Scoops are not very accurate, so you need to weigh things out," Forty Weight's Marks says. A ratio of 16 to 1 water to coffee creates the maximum rounded, full-body flavor. That translates to 11.25 grams of coffee (about 2 tablespoons) to 3/4 cup of water, creating 6oz of coffee, a standard small cup in the industry. And adding more grounds won't make your coffee will taste better. “If you use too much ground coffee relative to water, everything tastes bitter and over-extracted,” explains Marks. “If you use too little, it’s going to taste weak and underdeveloped.” If your measurements are accurate, and you’re still not satisfied, try adjusting the settings on your grinder. “If your coffee tastes too weak, try grinding the beans on a finer setting,” suggests Marks, “and if it’s too strong and bitter, try a coarser setting."
Don't: Use tap water Got a Britta? Use it. The Specialty Coffee Association of America found that minerals in tap water taint an otherwise decent cup. Filtering your water (which should be brewed at a temperature of 195 to 205 degrees if you want to get really technical) makes all the difference.
Don't: Add milk If you've just put all that hard work into making the perfect coffee, why not show it off? "I don't think milk helps coffee," says Marks. "I think people are used to dumping tons of milk and sugar because they're used to bad coffee, but if you're brewing good coffee, you're basically covering up all the nuances with milk." If you're a latte lover, however, milk is part of the show. Just don't make it skim. "The more milk fat the better the coffee steams," says Marks. "Whole milk, not skim, is industry standard." 
Do: Make coffee before you make coffee
This is just my suggestion. I don't know about you, but before I take measurements or listen to loud bean-grinding noises, I usually need an average cup of coffee coursing through my veins. It doesn't need to be perfect.

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