Earlier this year we gave you 7 tips for a better cup of coffee. While those work well in a general sense, they don't paint a complete picture. There is so much more involved in making an absolutely perfect cup of coffee. Here's how to go above and beyond.
Before we get started, however, here are some fun coffee facts. Coffee also helps prevent Alzheimer's disease. Also, it is delicious.
But enough facts! Well, enough of those facts. Here are those that pertain directly to brewing some fantastic coffee.
First, you will want to take a look at your brewing ratio. Using "scoops" per cups of water is inaccurate, especially considering the different sizes of a "grind". Instead, pull out the big guns (we're going for the PERFECT cup, after all) and weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale. One simple ratio is about 70g of grounds per liter.
Also, pay attention to your grind size. Different brewing styles require different grinds. You'll want something pretty coarse for a French press. Personally, I use an AeroPress which requires a bit of a finer grind. I use a burr grinder and set it between drip and espresso.
Water temperature matters for brewing. According to the National Coffee Association, the water should be between 195° and 205°. Some people recommend not going more than 200°. I actually personally go a bit cooler when I use the AeroPress and keep it around 175° to 180°. Use a thermometer to check, but the simplest way is to boil the water and let it cool down to the correct temperature.
Try to keep an accurate time of how long it's brewing for. 4 minutes is good enough in a French press. A minute is good for the AeroPress. Keep the lid off the French press while it brews. After the four minutes are up, use a spoon to "skim" the floating grinds off the top of the water before you press. The floating grounds should be a bit of a cake which is easy enough to scoop up.
So there you have it! The slightly more complicated process to better coffee. What are your secrets to getting a better brew?