How to brew the best cup of coffee

What is the best temperature for drip coffee?

According to chemical studies, the optimal water temperature for drip coffee is 95-98C (203 - 208F). Colder water doesn't extract enough caffeine/essential oils from the beans, and above such temperature the acidity increases wildly.

Quality of coffee:

The quality of a brew depend on the following factors:
  1. Time since grinding the beans.
  2. Time since roasting.
  3. Cleanliness with brewing equipment.
  4. Bean quality (what crop etc).
  5. Water quality.
Many times "inferior beans" are due to (a) adulterated beans, either with the skin of the coffee bean or with peanut derivatives, or (b) old grounds and roast.

Today, the availability of quality beans is making it easier than ever to brew a great cup of coffee. Fresh grinds, vacuum packed, are full of flavor waiting to be released.

Long Live The Grounds!

Storing coffee properly will keep it fresh and help it retain its flavor for as long as possible. Keep in mind that the main objective is to keep your coffee away from air and moisture, which deplete the flavorful oils.

To help prolong the life of your coffee, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you plan to keep coffee more than a few days, store some in the freezer.

Once Brewed, Twice Burned

Coffee only keeps for 15 to 20 minutes before beginning to lose its flavor. To keep coffee hot for a longer time, pour it into a vacuum server or thermos. And never, ever reheat or boil coffee.

It's All in the Water

Coffee is 99% water. If your tap water is less than ideal, try using filtered or bottled water instead.

For Good Measure

In addition to using the appropriate grind for your method of brewing, it's important to use the proper ratio of coffee to water.

Very simply, a full-flavored cup of coffee calls for 2 tablespoons of grounds (one coffee scoop) per 6 ounces of water. Although it's okay to use more grounds for stronger coffee, using less grounds will only make your coffee weak.

Why you should never percolate coffee:

Percolators violate most of the natural laws about brewing coffee. Violating these rules may not sound like much, but these are about the only rules there are. The effect of a percolator is to keep passing boiling water/coffee over the grounds until there is no flavor left.

Proper care of coffee makers:

It is very important that you wash your coffee maker pot and filter container thoroughly at least once a week. Bitter oils stick to the glass container and plastic filter holder.

Just washing the plastic filter container and rinsing the glass pot and your coffee will start to taste bad. Wash both thoroughly with plenty of soap. The flavor will improved dramatically.

Some drip coffee makers require periodic cleansing with a solution of water and vinegar.

If you have a coffee/teapot, the inside of which is stained with oily brown residues - also plastic/metal coffee filters, tea strainers, and stainless steel - they can be restored to a shining state by washing in hot detergent.

Get a large plastic jug, add 2 to 3 heaped tablespoons of Automatic dishwashing soap, and about a pint of hot water - almost boiling is best.

Swirl the jug around until the detergent is dissolved, and then pour into tea/coffeepot, and let it stand for 5 minutes, swirling the pot around occasionally, just to keep the detergent moving. Put the lid on and shake it a few times.

Repeat as necessary. Keep it hot with a little boiling water if needed. If you have a thermos, disassemble it, and soak the parts in the mixture for a few minutes, agitating occasionally.

In both cases, the residue just falls off with almost no scrubbing. It does great things with over-used filter machine filters, too.

Important: Rinse off all detergent afterwards, use lots of fresh water.

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