Type of grind
Plunger / french press
Drip filter & stove top espresso
Brewing the Perfect Coffee
Experimentation - trying out various coffee beans and different brewing methods - introduces coffee lovers to the rich variety of gourmet coffees. There are a number of dos and don'ts associated with good coffee-making that are common to all methods. Here are several recommendations:
1) Store fresh unused coffee in an air-tight container in a cool dry place, whole bean coffee stays fresh longer than ground coffee.
For prolonged freshness ground coffee may be kept in a refrigerator for 7-10 days maximum.
Freezing coffee is best if you must keep it for extended time before using.
It is best to allow the beans to thaw to room temperature before grinding.
However, it is recommended that coffee be ground nearest to the time of brewing whether at the gourmet store or at home. Be sure that the coffee is fresh at the start; refrigeration will not restore stale coffee. Coffee attracts and absorbs foreign odours, so be careful to protect your coffee from foreign flavours and odours that can affect the flavour.
2) Always use the correct grind for the particular brewing method you have chosen.
Cafe Hernandez will have suggestions about the perfect grind for you.
Often, if your coffee is bitter and overly strong, the grind is too fine or you have used too much coffee.
If the brew lacks flavour or strength, it is likely that the grind is too coarse, or you have used too little
coffee. The grind of the coffee should be adjusted to the type of brewing and equipment used.
Generally speaking, the faster the brewing method, the finer the grind.
3) Always use freshly drawn cold water. Hot water has a tendency to be flat and stale.
Never use softened water - it produces a bad-tasting brew.
4) Never guess amounts. The recommended proportions of coffee and water is two level tablespoons
per six ounces (one cup) cold water for regular-strength coffee - preferably measuring both.
Slight adjustment can be made to suit individual taste preferences.
5) Make sure the coffee brewer and server are clean and thoroughly rinsed.
Coffee quickly picks up off-flavours during the brewing process.
6) For best results, always brew to the full capacity of your coffee maker.
7) To prevent bitterness, remove the grounds from the brew as soon as the brewing cycle is completed. For the same reason, never re-use grounds.
8) Serve coffee immediately after brewing. With drip methods, stir the brew before serving. Fresh-brewed gourmet coffee allowed to sit in a warmer will begin losing flavour immediately. The longer it is held, the less desirable it becomes. Brewed coffee stays flavourable for about 20 minutes and drinkable for about one hour maximum.
9) Never reheat cooled coffee or allow it to sit on a heat source - the coffee will lose it flavour quickly if the brew begins to boil.
10) An air pot, such as a thermos or any other kind of vacuum container with a glass or stainless steel insides will keep freshly-brewed coffee warm for a long time. Storing coffee this way also keeps the coffee from breaking down and losing its flavour. Be sure that the interior is glass or stainless steel, for other materials may hold old flavours.