Five Tips to a Superior Brew Any Barrista Would Be Proud of
Making a great cup of coffee is a simple process. Making a dreadful cup is equally simple. What’s the difference? A French Press will help, but mostly it’s about fresh.
Take the Java-Joe pledge: Fie on boiled coffee. Cardboard coffee: never again.
Life is too short to drink bad coffee. No one needs to. The gadget shops want to sell you hundreds, even thousands of dinaro on fancy coffee makers. It won’t matter if you don’t follow these six guidelines.
Freshly Roasted Beans
Buy recently roasted whole coffee beans in small batches –not more than a week’s supply– and store it in an air-tight container just big enough for that quantity of coffee. Store it in a fairly cool place, but don’t freeze it as some advocate. The essential oils in roast coffee change their character when frozen. If your house gets hot in the summer, store the beans in vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Get to know your coffee vendor. Ask her when the beans were roasted. Ideal is to find a vendor who roasts their own on site.
A fanatical purist may want to invest in a home roaster. Simple ones can be bought for less than $35. Fancier, automatic ones go for hundreds.
Fresh, Cold Water
A cup of coffee is 99% water, so good water is a must. If you like the taste of your tap water, it will probably make a decent cup of coffee. If not, you probably already have a water filter device or jug. Get one if you don’t. Avoid bottled water. All those water bottles are overflowing the landfills.
Grind the Beans Immediately Before Brewing
Air is the enemy of roast coffee. Grinding increases the surface exposed to air and multiplies twenty-fold the speed that the ground coffee goes stale. A consistent grind is important, especially with a French Press. For that reason, the fanatical purist will want a conical burr grinder. The ubiquitous electric blade grinders tend to grind “boulders and dust.” This isn’t so critical for drip coffee where a paper filter will keep out the dust. On the other hand, the coffee tastes like cardboard. The French Press uses a steel or nylon screen to filter the coffee. The finer dust particles will end up in your coffee and create a bit of sludge in the bottom of your cup. If that doesn’t bother you, carry on, but avoid drinking the last eighth of an inch of coffee in your mug.
Size matters. Espresso makers want a very fine grind. Drip coffee-makers are best with a medium grind. French Presses work best with a coarse grind, about the size of sea salt or kosher salt.
Brew Only as Much as You’ll Consume Immediately
Air is also the enemy of brewed coffee. It has a lifespan of maybe twenty minutes. Drink it now. Make a fresh pot for your second cup. It’s very easy. It doesn’t take that much time. You deserve freshly brewed coffee. Don’t make coffee ahead to serve your guests with dessert. Never reheat coffee. Yuck.
Don’t Re-Use Coffee Grounds for More Coffee
Coffee grounds are great as a soil additive, but not great for making more coffee. Acid loving plants like rhododendrons and azaleas thrive on coffee grounds. Alternatively, you can mix it in with youor compost.
Armed with these five points, you are ready to learn how to French Press for Great Coffee