The perfect cup: Coffee brewing for beginners
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to your favorite cup of warm coffee each morning? However, it can be such a dread to drive all the way to your local coffee shop and wait in line just for your caffeine fix. If you are a coffee lover or someone who just wants to grab a good cup of joe whenever they can, you should definitely consider brewing your own coffee instead. It will save you time and money, develop or refine your coffee palate, and expand your skills and knowledge about coffee. Interested in mastering the art of coffee-making?
Start by checking out these beginner-friendly brewing tips below.
The four traits of coffee
Coffee connoisseurs evaluate their cup of coffee based on its four major distinct traits: aroma, acidity, body and flavour. When brewing coffee, you should focus on the sensory quality and taste profile that you are aiming for. Is there a particular type of acidity that you are looking out for? Are you going for a full-bodied taste or a light-bodied taste? What is the level of sweetness or bitterness that works best for you? Each of these factors affects your overall coffee experience, so if you are planning to brew coffee in the comforts of your home, it is best to already have a solid picture of what you want to attain during the whole coffee-making process. Additionally, if you want to expand your coffee palate and distinguish different coffees and coffee flavours better, a coffee cupping session is highly encouraged.
Type of coffee beans
The first step in brewing a magical cup of coffee is getting familiar with the type of coffee beans that you should work with. There are about 25 coffee species globally, but only 3 of them are cultivated for commercial consumption. These coffee species are named Arabica, Liberica and Robusta. Arabica beans are mostly used for gourmet coffee. It has a highly complex aroma with multiple layers of flavour. Liberica, on the other hand, is known for producing full-bodied coffee with a smoky and nutty aroma. It tends to appeal to people who have acquired a taste for strongly dense and woody flavours. Lastly, Robusta has a smooth mouthfeel and distinct notes of chocolates. It is often used in instant coffee mix and fillers of lower grade coffee blends.
Now that you have a clearer picture of different types of coffee beans, you have to think about finding the perfect coffee grind. Make sure to take coffee grind size into account as it also affects the quality of your brew. You can easily grind your coffee using a coffee grinder, but if you do not own one, there are several DIY hacks you can follow. This coffee grinding guide from CoffeeDino.com can help you find the most convenient way for you to grind your coffee without a grinder. Alternatively, you can just buy readily available pre-ground coffee beans from your local grocery stores, but if you want to keep your coffee grind fresh and retain its distinct acidity and aroma, grinding coffee beans in a grinder or through another method is the way to go. Pre-ground coffee tends to get stale quickly so if you want to maximise your home-brewed coffee experience, just do it from scratch.
Did you know that your brewing method affects the finish and the quality of your cup of joe? There are multiple factors that are involved in your brewing method. These are the coffee-to-water ratio, water temperature, contact time, agitation, heat retention, water quality, coffee grinds quality and cleanliness of your equipment. All of these should be taken into account when coming up with your own brewing process.
To help you out, here are some tried and tested methods suggested by coffee experts that you can do from the comfort of your home.
- French press – this method uses a press pot where you combine hot water and coffee before filtering/pressing. This results in a stronger brew and uses a lot of coffee ground.
- Drip – this method involves pouring hot water into the coffee grounds placed in a pot. This often delivers a much cleaner taste.
- Pod filtration – this is the most popular method for pre-ground coffee. This method requires pouring hot water through a capsule of coffee grounds.
Learning how to brew coffee at home comes with several benefits. However, you have to take time experimenting with different brewing methods and invest in quality coffee beans until you find the perfect mix to suit your taste. Ultimately, the perfect cup of coffee will still depend on your personal needs and preferences.
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