Avoid these at-home coffee mistakes

We all love a good cup of coffee -- especially after a long night. Have you ever had those times where your coffee is blasé or boring, and you just can't seem to figure out why it doesn't taste like it did at the coffee shop?   

Why is that?

Let's review some of the factors that might be keeping you from that great morning mug.

1. How fresh are your coffee beans?

Buying coffee can be confusing so we recommend working with a local roaster that focuses on the unique attributes of each coffee while roasting in small batches. The fresher the coffee, the better coffee experience will have.  We recommend buying coffee that's been roasted within 1-3 days of purchase. Quality roasted coffee should last up to 30 days. Be sure to look for roast date on the bag. if there is no roast date then you don't know how old it is. You don't want stale coffee.

2. Does pre-ground and grind quality matter?

Grinding coffee within 30 minutes of brewing will ensure the freshest cup.  When buying pre-ground coffee or when you have it pre-ground, you'll lose a lot of the wonderful flavor the coffee has to offer. Coffee begins to stale pretty quickly after grinding, as the gases in the coffee are exchanged with the oxygen in the air, which can cause a "paper-bag", or stale flavor over time.

Coffee grind-size is one of the biggest variables in making a good cup of coffee. We know it may sound like a lot of money but spending $140 on a burr girder (we recommend Baratza Encore) is worth every penny.  Many people spend a lot more for other appliances that they infrequently use. However, a quality burr grinder is something you will be using every day.

3. How much ground coffee do I need when I brew coffee?

When measuring coffee we recommend using a digital scale instead of using a scoop and eyeballing it. Start with a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio when brewing pour over coffee. So for every 1 gram of coffee, add 15 grams of water. For example: V60 pour over - 25g of coffee with 375g of hot water over 2.5-3 minutes.

4. Does pre-infusion matter? And what is it?

It does matter! Unfortunately, most automatic coffee makers don't properly prepare the coffee grounds for full extraction, because they blast it with hot water and keep right on pouring. Coffee needs a minute to wake up, or bloom. This is also referred to as pre-infusion. Manual pour over cones allow for this step. Pre-infusion preps the coffee by pouring hot water over the grounds to help release any remaining carbon dioxide gas left over from the roasting process. Skipping this step will cause the carbon dioxide to repel water during part of the brewing process, effectively making the brew weaker.

4. Does water temperature matter?

Yes! The optimal temperature for brewing is 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the water is very important. If you have the water too cold it will under extract the coffee leaving it flat and sour and if it's too hot it can taste bitter and burnt.

You may find that some automatic brewers do not get hot enough to extract coffee properly, leaving you with a less desirable cup of coffee. If you want to know if your auto drip is getting hot enough, run it without coffee and use a thermometer to check the temperature.

5.What about water quality?

If you live in an area with hard water you will have a hard time getting a good cup of coffee and run the risk of ruining your kettle or automatic brewer. It may be worth installing an under-counter filter, or purchasing filtered water for your coffee. 

 

Now that you're well on your way to a better coffee experience considering these five tips, make sure you have the right coffee at home. Grab some Angry Barista coffee today.