Americans are obsessed with coffee. Kuerig has replaced the basic coffee maker in most kitchens. There seems to be a Starbucks on every block. Surveys from Gallup say almost two-thirds of adults drink coffee each and every day. Unfortunately, despite more ways to find coffee, Americans are not always adept at creating that great cup of brew. Since financial experts are frequently suggesting you skip that $4 latte, here are some tips for becoming an expert coffee maker yourself.
Learn How to Grind
There are plenty of great places to find expensive and inexpensive beans. However, it’s not the expense of the bag of beans that matters. It’s how you brew them. It starts with buying whole beans and learning how to grind.
Grinding your own coffee means you need to buy a grinder. Will this really make a flavor difference? Yes! Grinding whole beans ensures that what you are tasting is as fresh as can be. A basic grinder shouldn’t be more than $20. The purpose of a grinder is to grind the beans uniformly, so that they are all even when they are brewed.
Those of you who don’t want to invest the $20 can ask retailers like Whole Foods to do it for you.
Buy a Scale
A scale might be even more important than a grinder. Why? Because most Americans use way too many grinds, resulting in good coffee getting thrown out in the trash. It also causes bad-tasting cups of joe. A good gram scale is only a $9 or $10 investment.
While we’re discussing the scale, get used to measuring your water. The right ratio of water to coffee makes certain that the pot you are brewing is ideally proportioned.
Using tap water is fine for most quick cups of coffee. However, to impress your friends or to give yourself a satisfying cup, then you should be using filtered water. You don’t need to buy bottled water to brew good coffee, even though it is relatively inexpensive. Just use a water filer to eliminate the basic chemicals present in tap which could interfere with the coffee taste.
Heat It Up
Tea drinkers are familiar with the different temperatures to brew different kinds of teas. But coffee drinkers tend to view heat as no big deal. The thing to remember is that boiling water and pouring it on coffee grinds is a big mistake. If you use a French press or other pour-over method of brewing it should be a touch under the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The easiest way to avoid worrying about the heat is to just use a very good coffee maker, which will do this work for you.
Steeping is for Tea
A common misperception is that coffee, like tea, gets deeper in flavor with extra steeping. This is a myth. Some people also think that to get the most caffeine kick, a person should let it steep longer. But scientists say this is untrue. The caffeine gets out during about the first 60 seconds of the brewing process, then its ready to drink.