Lately, I have been asked a lot of questions about how to brew a better cup of coffee. I’ve heard a few people who tasted our coffee at an event say, “It somehow doesn’t taste the same when I make it at home.” Since I am a passionate coffee geek, I use all the steps listed below. However, if you just incorporate just one of these things to your brewing methods you will find a nice improvement to your coffee enjoyment.
Let’s start with the obvious to get it out of the way. Start with fresh roasted Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee. Fresh roasted coffee is only fresh for 2-3 weeks. After that it is stale coffee. Store the coffee in the air tight bag that the coffee comes in and squeeze the air out through the one way degassing valve. I will refrain from discussing the cost of these bags or the many different features they have at this time but know that we have bought the best.
Use filtered water. Besides not having a pleasant taste, water from the tap has minerals that will create mineral build up in your brewer. This build up will weaken the brewer’s heating ability to get the water to the proper temperature. I personally prefer distilled water but again I tend to go to extremes.
There are a plethora of brewing methods. The most important feature of all of them is to get the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold and the coffee becomes bitter, too hot and the coffee becomes sour. Because one can control the temperature with all the pour over methods, that is the main reason they work so well. I feel our Clever Dripper is the best of all the pour over systems. If you bought the $30.00 coffee brewer you can be assured that it is not getting the water hot enough. At home we use a Technivorm-Moccamaster. There are no bells or whistles on this brewer…..it simple gets the water to 200 degrees.
Water to coffee ratio is probably the hardest concept to conquer. The best way I have found to get a consistent ratio is to use a kitchen scale and a calculator. The ratio I prefer to use is 17:1. Weigh the water you use in your pot an divide that number by 17 and that will tell you how much whole bean coffee to use. A lower ratio will give you a sweeter coffee and a higher ratio will bring out the bitter parts of the coffee.