It’s hard to make a perfect cup of coffee regardless of the type of bean or the brewing method, so we wanted to give a little overall advice on how you can ensure that you’re brewing the best cup of coffee for your tastes.
We are currently working on a more comprehensive guide to help our customers get the most out of their Carta Coffee, but we wanted to provide a general overview of how you can ensure that, no matter what coffee you are drinking, that you have a general understanding about what goes into making that perfect cup.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Buying Whole Bean Coffee Will Give You The Best Flavor
Choosing coffee beans over ground coffee will give you the most bang for your buck and will provide the best overall flavor. When the whole bean has preserved, the hints of flavor transfer directly into your cup, not to mention there are more brands and flavors to choose from when it comes to purchasing whole beans. If you are worried about the time it takes to grind the beans for your morning coffee, it’s ok to grind them the night before.
Here is what to look for next time you go to purchase coffee.
- Know where your coffee comes from. Many brands these days make it a point to openly discuss their farming practices, and in some cases, allow tours of their farms. It’s important to know how your coffee is grown and produced to ensure you’re getting the best quality.
- Buying as fresh as possible. Buying directly from a farm or roaster is a great way to ensure that your coffee is fresh. In most cases, coffee bought directly from a farm/roaster has not been sitting on a warehouse shelf somewhere for months before being shipped to a supermarket or store.
- The flavor of the coffee. Coffees can vary in the flavors that are presented. Be sure to pick a coffee that appeals to you.
- The coffee roast. The different roasts of coffee can determine taste, flavor and aroma.
Measuring Your Coffee
In general, the more coffee grounds you put into the filter no matter the method, (see brewing methods below), the stronger the flavor and higher the caffeine level the cup will have. It is best to experiment a little bit with the amount of coffee grounds vs. the amount of water to determine which outcome gives you the desired taste and flavor.
Unfortunately everyone’s tastes are different, so while we can give you tips on various ways to differ the taste, flavor, caffeine levels in your cup of coffee, only you will be able to determine which outcome you like best.
Preparing Your Coffee
As we mentioned above, the best way to get the freshest possible taste out of your coffee is to buy whole bean coffee as opposed to ground coffee. You can certainly buy already ground coffee, but if you’re really serious about your coffee, you’ll want to purchase whole bean and a grinder for your home.
Pour Over Coffee
Pour over coffee is one of the most basic ways of making coffee, but it can also allow you to control a lot of the variable aspects in the process. Pour Over devices can cost as little as $5, but can quickly skyrocket in price depending on what you’re looking at, but no matter the price, the idea is still the same. Pour Over devices have a filter on top, where you put the coffee grounds, which you then top with boiling hot water, which then filters the coffee into the glass pot below. It is the same idea as a conventional drip coffee maker, however have more control over the process.
When making coffee in a pour over, we like to stick with 1.5-2 scoops (a scoop is equal to 7 grams or .25oz) of coffee grounds to every cup of water. As mentioned above, you can adjust the water to coffee ratio to enhance the taste and caffeine level to your liking.
In terms of the water temperature, most people will just boil a pot of water and pour it over the grounds, we like to try and keep a consistent temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit when using this method. Play around with the different temperatures yourself to see if you can taste the difference.
The French Press
The trendiest and most sophisticated option is, of course, the French press. Any Manhattan condo or up-and-coming marketing firm wouldn’t be without one of these. The general method behind the brewing is similar to the pour over method, but instead of letting the water drip through the coffee grounds, we’re instead allowing the coffee to bloom in the water after which we force the coffee grounds to the bottom, leaving just our delicious liquid to pour into our cup.
Like the pour over method, we have a lot of control over the brewing process when it comes to the French press. We are taking ground coffee beans (either pre-ground or coarsely ground yourself) and placing them at the bottom of the French press. We then take boiling water, around 200 degrees Fahrenheit and pour about half of it over the coffee grounds. After about 30 seconds, stir the coffee for a few seconds to break up the crust that may have formed and continue to mix the coffee with the water. Once this is complete, pour the rest of the water into the French press and wait another 3 and a half minutes.
Once you have reached the end of the time, slowly insert the plunger into the top opening of the press, and push the plunger all the way to the bottom. Once it has reached the bottom, quickly pour the coffee into your cup, do not wait too long or it may turn bitter.
In terms of how much coffee and how much water to use, we recommend about 14 – 21 grams per 12 ounces of water
The two options mentions above are our favorite choices when it comes to making coffee. We feel they provide the best way to have control over every aspect of the brewing process, and allow the full flavor of the coffee beans to end up in your cup.
Storing Your Coffee
When storing your coffee grounds, the goal is to prevent too much oxidation. Oxidation happens when certain materials, in this case coffee grounds, are exposed to oxygen. This process can cause your coffee grounds to decay and change flavor. Think of what happens to an apple when you cut it open and leave it sitting out, it will eventually turn brown from oxidation, this is what we want to prevent when storing coffee grounds. Making sure your coffee grounds are in a sealed container or bag, stored in a cool, dark place, will help stave off the onset of oxidation and ensure that your grounds keep fresh for as long as possible. It is also best to keep them in an opaque container, while trying to avoid clear ones that can allow more light inside.
In addition to storing your coffee grounds like this, we recommend storing your whole bean coffee in a similar fashion. The key is to maintain a steady temperature while keeping the coffee out of direct light, and with as little exposure to air as possible.
Using these tips as a guideline when it comes to making your coffee will help ensure that you have a quality cup of joe every morning when you wake up. But don’t forget, everyone has their own tastes when it comes to coffee, so what works for one person may not work for another, so feel free to experiment a little bit on the brewing process to find what tastes best to you.
Keep an eye out for our guide on how to make the perfect cup of Carta Coffee where we tell you exactly what we have found to be the best methods for our beans.