Coffee at Home
Coffee is a very personal experience. It’s a habit; a ritual for many. Some of my earliest memories of my childhood are watching my mother make her morning cup of coffee. I remember the grey mug with the multicolored tulips on the sides. I remember the sound of the spoon clanking against the walls of the mug as she stirred her cream in the cup. I watched her ritual every morning. My mother told me that when I was four, I would ask for a “dup of doffee.” She would then put drops of coffee in my milk in the morning. Guess this is where my coffee addiction started. Thanks, Mom!
Everyone has their favorite way to enjoy coffee at home or as a special treat when they visit Drip Café. Coffee is subjective, so never let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t enjoy. Whether you use lots of cream and sugar or you drink it black, here are some basic tips to help you brew the best tasting coffee every time. The three major factors to deliciously brewed coffee are freshness, grind and water.
First, buy fresh roasted coffee from Drip Roasting Co. (or your other favorite local coffee roaster, but for obvious reasons we prefer this option). Fresh coffee is at its peak of flavor 3-10 days after roasting. We seal our coffee in stay-fresh bags with a one way valve. This valve allows carbon dioxide to escape as the beans go through the process of degassing, but does not allow oxygen to enter to harm the coffee beans. Coffee is always best within four weeks of roasting. After that, the natural flavor profile of the coffee will begin to deteriorate.
Grind your coffee fresh everyday, just before you brew. Honestly, this should be the number one action step to help improve the quality of your finished product, but I had to plug my business first. As soon as whole bean coffee is ground, it begins the oxidation process, slowly losing its natural flavor profile. It is always best to grind your coffee just before brewing.
There are lots of options if you are in need of a coffee grinder; just make sure you are using a conical burr grinder, not a blade grinder. A burr grinder will grind your coffee into consistently sized pieces for better extraction. If your ground coffee is full of different sized particles, smaller pieces will be extracted before the larger pieces, resulting in an uneven brew. You will not get the best tasting flavor from your coffee.
Cusinart makes a great Grind-and-Brew home coffee maker with a thermal carafe. The thermal carafe allows you to keep the coffee hot for hours without using a heating element. Applying heat to brewed coffee is the best way to ruin it fast by scalding the bottom. Always store brewed coffee in a thermal container or insulated mug prior to drinking.
My final coffee brewing tip is simple: water. Coffee is 98.5% water. Use purified or bottled water when brewing your coffee at home. It will make a world of difference, and you’ll notice it immediately. By following these three simple steps, you will elevate your home coffee brewing.