“Coffee - the favourite drink of the civilized world.”― Thomas Jefferson
Ever since the discovery of coffee 500 years ago, it has become one of the most popular beverages in the world. More than 60% of our favourite coffees come from Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and Columbia and the rest of the 40% from countries like India, Guatemala, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Peru.
Making the perfect coffee has become a skill. According to Erin McCarthy, 2013 World Brewers Cup Champion, “Coffee brewing is a science and an art, and is easy to mess up, Just because you’re getting a coffee that may have been grown, harvested, processed, and roasted well, it doesn’t mean that these things will translate into the cup.” The brewing and making process is as important as the quality and flavour of the coffee.
To help you we've put together a six point guide to the perfect cup of coffee.
The rules behind a winning cup of coffee are as follows:
1. Good Coffee Beans
Good quality beans are whole beans with an appetizing aroma. Coffee is best when it’s freshly roasted and freshly grounded. Beans roast differently depending on which region they come from. They differ in size, sugar levels and density which is important to know to extract its full potential.
|Ethiopian||Sweet, medium and fruity|
|Brazilian||Sweet and smooth|
|Kenyan||Dry and acidic|
|Colombian||Fruity and Acidic|
|Central American||Light and mild|
|Hawaiian||Dry, Sweet and subtle|
|Costa Rican||Dry and Medium Bodied|
|Arabic||Full body/Rich chocolaty Flavour|
2. Correct Storage
Coffee beans once roasted or grounded need to be stored and monitored the right way as the internal structure of the beans changes after this process. According to Giorgio Milos, Master Barista, “roasting the beans dramatically boosts their carbon dioxide levels - dark roasts of beans can have as much as 10 litres for every 1 litre of coffee. To preserve these levels, roasted coffee needs to be kept away from oxygen at all costs. ” It’s all about storing it the right way by using humidity and temperature monitoring. “Scott McMartin, Director of Coffee Education, Starbucks, recommends that “The best way to keep ground coffee or whole beans fresh is to store the coffee on a pantry shelf in an opaque airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture.”
3. Correct Grinding Technique
Grinding beans to the right consistency makes a big difference to the taste of the coffee. There are various types of grinding techniques such as coarse, medium, fine and extra fine. The flavours in coffee beans are differentiated by the way it is grinded. For example, coarsely grinded beans makes the coffee very weak while finely grinded ones make it stronger.
Home Grinding Guide
|Coarse||Chunky||Vacuum Coffee Pot/French Press||10 seconds|
|Medium||Gritty||Drip Coffee Maker (Flat filter)||15 seconds|
|Fine||Sandy||Drip Coffee Maker (Cone filter)||20 - 25 seconds|
|Extra Fine||Almost powdered||Espresso Machine||25 - 30 seconds|
4. Right Amount Of Coffee On Water
The amount of coffee used on water changes the taste of the coffee to a great extent just as skimming on coffee produces bitter brews. The standard coffee measure is 2 tablespoons for 6 ounces of hot water however it all depends on how you like your coffee.
The Black Bear Micro Roastery points out that there are two ways to measure the amount of coffee on water.
Standard Brewing Ratio - “To determine the amount of water to be used with fractional amounts of coffee, multiply the amount of coffee by the following factors: 21.33 (0.046875 is the inverse factor) for ounces of coffee to get fluid ounces of water: 22.2593 (0.04493 is the inverse factor) for grams to get CCs of water.”
Connoisseur's Brewing Ratio - “To determine the amount of water to be used with fractional amounts of coffee, multiply the amount of coffee by the following factors: 16 (0.0625 is the inverse factor) for ounces of coffee to get fluid ounces of water: 16.6945 (0.0599 is the inverse factor) for grams to get CCs of water.”
5. Correct Brewing temperature
The temperature of water affects the extraction of flavours from the coffee. As coffee particles dissolves quicker at a higher temperature, boiling water needs to be at a certain level. Water that is too hot tends to make the coffee go bitter as it releases unpleasant acids from the beans.
According to the National Coffee Association USA, “Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction. Colder water will result in flat, under extracted coffee while water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not over boil. Turn off the heat source and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.”
6. A Clean Coffee Machine
To ensure great tasting coffee, a clean coffee machine is essential. Deposits, residues and other impurities builds up on the machine over time which puts a foul tasting flavour in the coffee. Coffeemakers require a thorough clean throughout once in a month.
Traditional cleaning methods were all about using a strong lemon and vinegar solution however this old fashion technique does not work as efficiently as modern descaling products. Not only does it leave behind a strong lemony taste in the coffee but a long lasting smell of vinegar in the machine.
These days most coffee makers come with plastic and steel components which requires sophisticated method of cleaning. They come with various features such as fully or semi-automatic pod or capsule systems which are sensitive to the traditional way of cleaning unless the machine isn’t as up to date as these types of coffee machines.
Modern cleaning products are designed to be gentle on all kinds of surfaces. They are easier to use and faster at cleaning out debris and in addition less complicated and more cost effective. Durgol Swiss espresso coffee machine descaler can be used on all kinds of coffee machines. They contain machine protection formula for longer lifespan of the coffeemaker. Compared to lemon and vinegar these cleaning solutions take up less time producing better results which in turn equals better tasting coffee.