Coffee is the second-most drunk beverage in the world, second only to water. People all over the planet are, therefore, on an endless quest to tinker with the stuff and make it more palatable. It’s not just about the caffeine, but the quality of the beans, the roast, the packaging and even the workers’ paychecks.
Making the perfect coffee to go with breakfast isn’t easy. Sure you can buy a jar of instant, but that’s like watching a concert on TV rather than being there yourself. It’s just not the same.
What goes into the perfect coffee? Let’s take a look.
The Right Roast
Coffee is made of roasted coffee beans. The roasting process brings out that rich, deep quintessential flavour that we all know and love.
It is, however, a finely balanced process: roast the coffee too little, and you’ll end up with something weak and uninspiring; roast it for too long, and it’ll taste bitter and burnt.
While you can roast your own coffee, it’s not advised. As TwoChimpsCoffee.com points out, you need a bunch of specialised machinery to do it correctly.
You can, however, approach third-party roasters and get them to do one-off batches of your favourite bean for you, grinding them into a format you can then use in your cafetiere.
The Right Water Temperatures
When people think about making a great cup of coffee, they almost always consider aspects of the process that doesn’t involve water. They focus on the bean, the grinding process – even the methods that farmer used to grow the beans in the first place!
But when you think about it, focusing exclusively on the bean doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense. After all, it’s actually a junior partner to water in every cup of coffee.
The temperature of the water plays a large part in how the coffee tastes. Baristas have experimented for years with the optimal brewing heat and have developed machines to do it automatically.
Doing it by hand is, as you might imagine, much more challenging. If you pour water in at too low a temperature, below 185 F, it won’t extract the oils from the bean, and you’ll end up with a dreary, dull drink, If the water is too hot, say more than 205 F, you’ll burn the coffee, giving it an overly bitter flavour.
The mineral content of the water matters too. In general, the more minerals it contains, the worse it is for making coffee-based drinks. Compounds react with the coffee at high heat, leading to unfamiliar and unpleasant tastes.
The Right Grinding Technique
The grind is often considered the final stage of preparing the beans to make into coffee. Some sophisticated coffee shop machines grind the beans moments before making a drink to retain maximum flavour.
The type of grinding changes the nature of the drink according to www.npr.org. The more finely that you grind your coffee, the stronger you make it. Smaller particles offer a larger surface area and so can more easily interact with water. Mixing different beans can also change the flavour profile.