When it comes to making delicious coffee, the rules are different depending on who you ask. Coffee making can range from a simple blending of hot water and instant granules to a full 15 minute ritual, complete with hand-grinding beans.
We aren't focused on teaching you how to make coffee right. In fact, the "right way" doesn't even exist. We want to teach you how to make coffee that is delicious.
We've distilled the most important pieces of our coffee knowledge into four basic focus areas for you. If you improve your approach to any of them, there will be a noticeable improvement in your coffee's quality. Delicious coffee can be made at home, it can be made consistently, and making it can fit in anyone's schedule.
Sound good? Let's go!
We start with freshness and wax on about freshness because we believe that freshness is the most important part of great coffee. Fresh beans make a difference. Fresh fresh fresh.
Did you know that most coffee is expired before it hits the supermarket shelves? That's because coffee is best enjoyed between 3 days and 3 weeks of its roast date! After that point, it starts to lose the qualities that make the coffee special.
So if you're accustomed to the flavor of stale beans, you'll love our beans fresh or stale! But if you really want the good stuff, you'll want to order, brew, and drink your beans while they're fresh.
Storing for Freshness
To keep your beans tasting fresh, it's important to store them well. Fortunately, this isn't hard to do.
The most important part is to keep them away from the enemies of freshness!
The easiest way to do that is to just keep your bag sealed and out of direct sunlight.
Many of our customers ask us if they can store coffee in the fridge or freezer to extend shelf life.
Our answer is "sure," because our beans are still better than grocery store beans, even when stored in the fridge/freezer. However, storing them this way will affect the taste of your beans.
To avoid the adverse affects of the fridge's moisture and foody odors leeching into your coffee (wet onion coffee, ew!), store in a sturdy, opaque canister.
But really, the best way is to order small batches of coffee and drink within 3 weeks of being roasted. We make that easy for you by serving only fresh beans with the roast date stamped right on the bag!
Grind for freshness
We always offer the option to grind your beans for you before we deliver them. We do that because so few people really want to grind their beans. Well, also because grind type does make a difference, but we'll get more into that later.
However, if you have the time and the tools, coffee tastes fresher if you grind single servings of beans each time you roast. The reason why is sceincey, and has to do with oxygen etc. But the difference is noticeable if you want to give it a try!
Brew for Freshness
There are so many brew methods (so many!). We won't tell you that any one method is better than another, however we will tell you that how your brew your coffee will make a difference in its taste.
The freshest option? Brew single serve coffee.
Popular single serve methods are:
- Pour over
- French Press
- Reusable pods
- Single-serve drip coffee makers
There is nothing wrong with batch-brewing - great coffee tastes great, even after sitting around in a coffee maker half the day. It is important to note, though, that the flavor of coffee will change the longer it sits around.
Order For Freshness on the Go
Don't have time to brew coffee at home, but you still want it fresh? This is very possible.
Follow these tips:
- Know your barista and the beans they use!
- Keep an eye out for baristas grinding beans per shot
- Drink coffee made to order
- Avoid the batch-brew pump dispensers
- Take your "to go" coffee in an airtight thermos!
Don't let the one-size-fits-all grinder at your local grocery fool you: not all grinds are created equal. If you want the best possible cup of coffee, you'll want to select the grind type that suits your brew method.
Why does it matter? Well, this all gets a bit technical. But, suffice it to say that the grind type effects the extraction of the coffee from the grinds. Depending on the pressure, dose of ingredients, and speed of the water with the brew method you use, you'll need the grind to be the right size for optimum extraction.
The grind types we have on offer are:
In general, if you're noticing that it's taking awhile for your coffee to brew or your extraction is too strong, try a bigger grind. If your brew is too watery, try a adjusting to a finer grind!
Water. It sounds so simple, but when you consider that 95% of coffee is water, it's easy to see why water is such an important element in delicious coffee.
There are two things to think about when you are considering water: temperature and quality.
The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're using a kettle to heat your water, a thermometer is the easiest way to measure this. If you don't have one, that's okay! Let the water hit a rolling boil, then turn off the heat and wait until the sound dies down and the water hits more of a simmer. Then you're good to go!
FYI: Friends at higher altitude - it may be best to work with a thermometer as your water boils at a lower temperature.
Quality water is actually pretty simple to accomplish. Who doesn't love an easy win? You can save your distilled water for your car battery or humidor. All we're looking for here is filtered water.
Using filtered tap water removes the chlorine and water hardness, which improves flavor. It also helps prevent any unwanted buildup in your coffee machine if you're using one.
We won't go too deep into proportion here because our plan is to publish brew guides for you.
It is important to note, though, that an crucial part of your brew recipe is your proportion of water to grounds. This proportion depends a lot on your brew method, as well as your own taste preferences!
Brew guides aside, our recommendation is always to experiment and taste. Each brew method will have its differences, but ultimately your taste buds will be the most accurate when it comes to your version of delicious coffee. Try different doses, take notes about what you change each time, and settle on a repeatable recipe so you can enjoy delicious coffee every time!
*Bonus Tip - Clean!
Having a clean work space and clean instruments will greatly improve your coffee experience.
First of all, your coffee ritual can be a moment of self care. With outer order comes inner calm, so keep your coffee nook looking nice to enhance the calming effect of your coffee experience.
But more to the point of making delicious coffee, clean equipment will keep your coffee tasting consistent and great. No stray grounds floating around in your cup, no flavor caused by buildup or residue on your equiment, no stale beans sitting around in your grinder. Just a clean cup of coffee, enjoyed in a clean environment. That's a "yum" and a sigh of relief waiting to happen.