Not many things can compare to a cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Both the taste and the smell reinvigorate the senses and help you get ready for a productive day. Don’t forget that coffee pairs well with almost any kind of breakfast. A simple croissant, bacon and eggs, or ham sandwich – you name it, and coffee is an excellent companion.
One question still remains, though. How do you brew that perfect cup every morning without too much work? There are a few tips and tricks to ensure a wonderfully brewed cup, and they can be divided into two categories – coffee-making methods and general guidelines. In this article, we’ll discuss both.
According to a survey and info from Home Grounds, almost 80% of Americans have their first coffee at home. Traditionally, drip brewing is the most popular coffee-making method. However, French press and pour over brewers are becoming increasingly popular, especially with millennials. Here’s a quick rundown of some tried and tested brewing techniques for each method.
With drip brewing as well as any other method, it all starts with the beans. In fact, it’s best to get whole beans and grind them yourself. For drip coffee, the ground beans should feel and look the same as table salt (granulated). Of course, you need to aim for uniformity.
You should turn off the drip brewer as soon as it’s done, which is the moment the coffee/machine stops bubbling. This way, your coffee won’t have a foul burnt taste. And don’t forget to give the machine a thorough clean-up every two or three weeks.
This time, you need to bring water to a boil and get your beans ready. Again, you are aiming for table salt-like consistency.
It is crucial to prepare the brewer as well. Place the filter and then pour hot water to get rid of paper residue and get the brewer nice and warm. Of course, make sure to remove the excess water before brewing.
With grounds inside the filter (nice and level), start pouring hot water from the center and slowly work your way towards the edges. They should soak well, and you can stop as soon as coffee starts dripping, then repeat until you’ve used a sufficient amount of water.
It’s also important to get the temperature right. The optimal brewing temperature is between 195°F and 205°F because it allows the grind to release all the aromas and flavors.
In a way, French press is similar to pour over brewing. To be exact, you can get the brewer warm and the water temperature is again between 195°F and 205°F. However, the grounds need to have a breadcrumb-like consistency with as little fine grit as possible.
The optimal brewing time for a French press is about four minutes. You should then gently press onto the plunger to squeeze out the grind. After brewing, you should never leave the coffee in the press. Otherwise, the taste might become bitter.
Coffee Selection and Preparation
The importance of choosing great coffee cannot be overstated. Some might consider this as a bit of snobbery, but once you taste the final result, you’ll understand why people obsess about it. There are two main types of coffee – Arabica and Robusta.
Robusta usually has more caffeine and Arabica has a broad flavor range. In addition, Arabica is thought to be a superior bean, but this doesn’t mean you cannot get a great Robusta. Ideally, you should get the beans fresh and do your own roasting, regardless of the type.
Of course, this takes time and is not something you can do every morning. With that in mind, aim to get the freshest possible roast at your local shop and focus on proper storage and grinding. In general, it’s enough to have a week’s supply of coffee and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
When it comes to grinding, it all depends on the type of coffee you like to drink. Also, it won’t hurt to invest in a good grinder to ensure proper consistency.
For a great morning coffee, regular tap water just won’t cut it because it can be full or chlorine and impurities. If you are a true aficionado, it is best to use something natural like spring water or, at least, install a filter on your tap.
This way, you retain all the desirable minerals that can improve the coffee flavor and remove the water contaminants that could hurt the taste.
Rise and Shine to a Wonderful Cup
There is no such thing as a difficult way to make the morning coffee. That said, it does take some preparation and know-how to make a wonderful cup of coffee without much extra work. The brewing routine that delivers excellent results is half the fun. So go on, make your own cup and enjoy the day ahead.