Today’s Best Recipe is 10 Tips for Getting the Most of Coffee Beans.
While some of us enjoy the convenience of a drive-through window at a gourmet coffee shop, the majority of us are brewing our morning coffee at home.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to get incredible-tasting coffee.
The secret is in the coffee beans.
They are a huge part of what makes the coffee smell and taste complex, delicious, and needed.
The aromatic compounds in roasted coffee beans are the star.
Immediately after roasting, the aromatic compounds begin escaping from the bean–in scientific terms, it’s a process known as degassing.
This process takes a lot of flavor with them.
Within eight days, 70 percent of the compounds will be gone.
Time moves forward, and more flavor is lost, resulting in that stale-tasting coffee.
Grinding the beans makes the process happen faster because it exposes more surface area of the bean, making it easier for the aromatic compounds to escape.
You might also enjoy our Pinterest Coffee Board for great coffee recipes and more tips like these for getting the most of coffee beans.
Tip 1 – Buy Better Beans:
No, we don’t just mean the more expensive bag in the coffee aisle.
Fresher beans equal better coffee, so look to smaller, independent coffee shops that stock roasted beans on the premises or nearby.
Quality establishments will stamp your coffee with its roasting date, so you know exactly how fresh it is.
Coffee taste peaks from 1-3 days after the roast, and if stored properly, will last up to two weeks.
Using only fresh coffee and grinding right before you brew will help ensure you get the most flavorful cup out of your beans!
Tip 2 – Store Correctly:
Contrary to popular belief, you should never store beans in a freezer or a refrigerator.
Coffee actually absorbs aromas from surrounding foods, and freezing the coffee will alter oil properties affecting taste.
We recommend transferring whole bean coffee into an air-tight container after opening and storing it in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Tip 3 – Do it Yourself:
Freshly ground coffee makes a world of difference, as beans start losing flavor immediately upon reaching the grinder.
Grind beans yourself right before you brew, and pay attention to the coarseness of the beans, as different filter shapes require different textures.
For example, mesh filters require a coarser grind, paper filters require a finer grind, and espresso requires grinds almost of a sugar-type consistency for optimum flavor.
How do you know if you’re using the right grinding size?
There are two critics here: time and taste.
When it comes to time–learn about your coffee.
For most pour-over coffee, the preference is three to three-and-a-half minutes.
If the coffee brews too quickly, it means the grind is too coarse.
If it brews too slowly, it means the grind is too fine.
If the coffee tastes too acidic and sour, it usually means the grind was too coarse.
If it tastes too bitter, it means the grind was too fine.
Generally speaking, here are the grinds that yield the best results:
- espresso=fine grind
- pour-overs and AeroPress=medium grind
- French Presses=coarse grind.
Adjusting your grind setting to time and taste will bring you one step closer to delicious coffee at home.
Try our Caramel Macchiato Forte recipe.
Tip 4 – One for Good Luck:
We recommend measuring ground coffee out to equal one tablespoon of grinds per 5 ounces of water, plus one heaping scoop at the end for good measure.
A note about that one tablespoon.
That spoon in your drawer lacks precision.
It’s what is holding you back from taking your brewing to the next level.
Different coffees and blends can have a wide difference between the bean size and density, so a tablespoon of one coffee might weigh significantly less than a tablespoon of another coffee.
Using a scale lets you measure by weight (instead of volume), which guarantees that you know exactly how much of it is going into your cup no matter what coffee you’re using.
Tip 5 – Water Works:
The quality of the water being used is extremely important. we recommend using cold, filtered water, especially if your tap water is not of good quality or emits a strong odor or taste.
Since coffee is 98% water, the taste of the water will come through in the brew.
For extracting the best flavors out of your coffee, the water used to brew’s optimal temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Technically, the temperature only affects extraction speed–(cooler water brews coffee more slowly than hotter water).
It does also affect what gets extracted.
Water below 195, creates much of the pleasant acidity and distinct flavors that are loved–they wouldn’t show up if the water was less than 195 degrees.
More bitter flavors are extracted from coffee with water above 205 degrees.
In addition, when brewing a pour-over, make sure to prepare your filter by wetting it with hot water and letting it drain.
This brings the filter to temperature and washes away a lot of paper flavor that would otherwise wind up in your coffee.
Tip 6 – Don’t Hesitate:
Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately, as it will begin to lose its optimal taste mere moments after brewing.
Coffee should never be left on an electric burner plate for longer than 15 minutes, or it will develop a stale, burnt taste.
If not served immediately, coffee should be poured into insulated containers and used within the hour.
As a rule of thumb when using Thermal Carafes, we recommend running hot water in the carafe prior to brewing; otherwise, the cold stainless steel will cool down the liquid much too quickly.
Tip 7 – Become a Coffee Connoisseur:
Much like a fine wine, coffee should be enjoyed with all the senses.
Take note of acidity, aroma, bitterness, body, and nuttiness.
Tip 8 – Quick Sips:
Drinking smaller, more frequent servings (about 1/4 cup every hour) will preserve the flavor.
Research shows that caffeine works best in small, frequent doses, and a large cup can actually lead to a crash.
Tip 9 – Butt Out:
Studies show that caffeine combined with Nicotine intake significantly reduces caffeine’s staying power.
Nicotine suppresses the effect of caffeine, cutting some of its stimulating properties in half.
Tip 10 – Cat Nap:
Since it takes about 20 minutes to feel the effects of coffee, and sleep is the only solution to really offer a feeling of restfulness, the best way to get that second wind is by drinking a cup, then taking a quick nap while the caffeine sets in.
Remember, proper storage is essential. You can find tips on NCAUSA‘s site on how to store coffee.
You’ll wake up feeling alert and refreshed!