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Coffee 101: Home-Brewed Right

There is certainly more to it in making a great cup of coffee. It’s easy to pour whatever is available around you; it can satisfy the “kick” but not always the taste you crave. If it’s good coffee, for me, it doesn’t even need the milk and sugar. If you’ve ever had that perfect cup, you know what I’m talking about! Like any creamy dark chocolate (rich in cocoa flavor, complimented by fruity or nutty notes), coffee can be enjoyed in the same way. Of course it needs to start with the right coffee beans and your pick of roast, but nutty and fruity notes can also be savored in coffee.

My favorite cup is Peet’s Coffee’s deep roast, Guatemala San Sebastian, and the dark roast, Uzuri African Blend. Every time I go in to get my soy café au lait, dry, it’s heaven in a cup. I just tried making coffee this morning and well, not so heavenly (even when using a great brand)! So, I set out to see what can be done at home to insure that I’m doing my part to create that perfect cup. Let’s just say that there are a couple things that would have been helpful to know this morning…

1. Don’t Refrigerate or Freeze

I’ve heard refrigeration is not the best for the beans or grounds, but I’m someone who needs to know the facts before I’m persuaded to change a habit. Today, my coffee came from the refrigerator and that’s one huge “strike out” that was a big factor — use fresh coffee from a sealed jar, stored in a cool dark place (other than your refrigerator!).

Fact: According to an article from PopSugar, coffee should never be refrigerated due to the fact that moisture, air, light, and heat are coffee’s worst enemy. Freezing also destroys the beans. Although, you can store them in the freezer until you are ready to use. But once taken out, never put them back in.

2. Buy Whole Beans

Ground coffee seems like a good idea as a time saver, but you’ll regret it in the end. Coffee AM explains by comparing coffee beans to something very relatable — cake. “Would you cut a cake into pieces the day before you plan to serve it? Would you buy it pre-sliced?” No, I would not.

Fact: Coffee contains oils which are essential for flavor. When you grind coffee, the oils along with the beans break up, exposing more of the coffee to air. You then have dried out coffee, just like the pre-sliced cake (everything gets stale a lot faster this way). Your best bet is to stick with whole beans and grind when you are ready to brew.

3.  Measure It Out

Another good tip is to use the right ratio of coffee to water. I like to use one heaping tablespoon per cup and then one extra scoop to insure a rich flavor (but that’s up to you!).

Tip: Here’s one tip that I haven’t tried, but it sure makes perfect sense! Instead of starting your brew with dry grounds, try wetting them with hot water (one ounce should do). Camano Island Coffee Grinders explains that this helpful tip gets your grounds extracting flavor right at the start of your brew, rather than the extraction process beginning as your coffee is already dripping in your pot.

Enjoy your self-brewed, perfect cup of coffee!

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