I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I miss dedicated coffee shops.
Sure, you could sample the wares of your local fast food joint, but why would you do that to yourself?
A cup of whatever they’re delivering isn’t going to match up to the carefully crafted brew of a barista.
That’s why most coffee drinkers know that the best coffee you’re likely to drink during the lockdown is the one that you make in your own home.
Not everyone has the chops to get that right, however. To help you on your way, Real Simple has put together a list of five of the most common mistakes standing in the way of the perfect cup, and how to avoid them.
1. Not matching the grind size to your brew style
Your preferred method of making coffee comes with its ideal grind style.
This is because the extraction rate of coffee grounds is higher when they’re more finely ground (thanks to the larger surface area that’s exposed to the hot water).
Using more finely ground beans also increases the amount of time it takes water to pass through the coffee grounds—think of it as a more “crowded” filter basket—which ups the amount of time that the water and grounds are in contact.
Brewing methods with a shorter contact time, like espresso, Turkish coffee, or Aeropress require more finely ground coffee beans. Use a medium grind for stovetop coffees, and course grounds if you’re making a cold brew.
Cold brews are tricky, and can be ordered online if you’re not up to the task of trying at home.
There’s no shame in leaving that one to the pros.
2. Tap water is the enemy
Coffee is mostly water, which means that nailing the proper water chemistry could drastically improve the taste of your brew.
Tap water is rarely right, and even spring water could be too soft. The water from a fridge dispenser is often ideal.
3. Brewing at the wrong temperature
The ideal temperature for making coffee is somewhere between lukewarm and boiling. The easiest way to achieve this is by boiling your water, and then letting it stand for around 30 seconds before you brew.
4. Not measuring your coffee
It’s common practice to add more coffee to ensure a stronger brew. I know I’m guilty of this, so we’re learning together:
There’s only so much caffeine you can extract from your beans before you ruin the flavor, due to the contact time, extraction rate, and water to coffee ratio.
If you want stronger coffee, rather than adding extra grounds, buy a lighter roast.
Too much coffee could lead to sour flavours, which isn’t what the average person looks for in a cup of the good stuff.
5. Using expired coffee
The quality of the coffee that you’re using makes all the difference. You want to ensure that you’re using brands known for quality.
You should also ensure that your coffee isn’t past the ‘use by’ date, which would undo all the work that you put into following the first four steps.
The fresher the coffee, the fresher the taste.
If you’re unsure where to go to find the perfect grind, Terbodore Coffee Roasters has a reputation for excellence, and they’re permitted to deliver during lockdown.
Coffee, groceries, capsules, cold brews, and the tools of the trade can all be found on their online store.
Best of luck with your home brewing.
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