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6 Tips that will Change the Way You Brew Coffee at Home

Given the current health emergency means that many of us will be working from home and avoiding public socializing we though we would put together some tips on how to brew better coffee at home?  There are a few techniques that can immediately help improve the quality of your brew.  Whether you are all about the V60, use an espresso machine or the old faithful French Press these tips will help you improve whatever brewing method you choose

Fresh isn’t always best! 

Depending on your brewing method, picking the freshest coffee won’t always taste the best!  For filter coffees such as V60, Aeropress or Kalita Wave go as fresh as you can get even a day or two after roasting can produce a great cup of coffee. If you have an espresso machine, coffee will be at it’s optimum at between 7-10 days after roasting. This time frame gives the coffee the opportunity to degas which is really important for espresso based coffees.   Super fresh coffee releases CO2 and can be a little erratic, this results in an uneven and unpredictable brew particularly in espresso. This does not mean the coffee will not taste good straight after roasting but it might be slightly more acidic before it has had chance to mellow. If you buy your coffee pre-ground from a supermarket, stop!  You are doing it wrong. As soon as coffee is ground it begins the staling process and is at its best for only 11 minutes.  Ground coffee is often vac packed which does help prolong its life but as soon as you open the bag your coffee is doomed to be of mediocre quality for the rest of its life.  Definitely go with whole beans where possible!  

Make sure you store your beans correctly!

It’s important to store your coffee correctly in order to preserve the flavours for as long as possible.  Oxygen and light are the arch enemies of coffee; they speed up the staling process rapidly so with this in mind it’s important to store your coffee properly.  Ideally a vacuum sealed container is best but failing that keep your coffee in the resealable bag that you bought it in, you will notice this has a one-way valve to let out any oxygen and preserve the flavours.  The aim is to keep it away from light, oxygen and keep it stores in a cool, dry area. Some people do freeze their coffee in order to prolong the life of it, if you do this be careful not to allow in any moisture as this will damage the beans when freezing.  Also ensure that the coffee is kept clear of any food items that have pungent smells as coffee absorbs the flavours of things around it.

The grind really does matter.

Grind your coffee right before brewing to get the best flavour possible.  Your coffee will begin to lose its flavour immediately after being ground.  Ensuring you are grinding to the correct grind size is important. If your grind is too course then you will have an under-extracted brew, if you grind your coffee too fine then your coffee will be over extracted and taste bitter.  Most filter coffee makers i.e. V60, Aeropress, call for a medium-fine grind. There are many coffee grinders available but do your research, sometimes it is worth splashing out that little bit extra in order for your ground coffee to be of a consistent grind, cheap grinders often result in uneven grind and subsequently uneven extraction.

Measure your Coffee.

Making better coffee at home is all about ensuring you can get the same great tasting coffee again and again.  Use the same amount of coffee per unit of water each time you brew, use digital scales to do this, it takes just a second but doing so helps to eliminate variables in order to replicate the brew we enjoyed so much.  

Bloom your grounds.

Chances are, your drip coffee maker misses a crucial step.  Most automatic coffee makes don’t properly prepare the coffee grounds for full extraction.  Manual pour over cones call for a preinfusion or bloom. To do this, you simply prepare the coffee by pouring a little hot water over the grounds.  This helps release any remaining carbon dioxide gas left over from the roasting process. Skipping this step allows the carbon dioxide to repel water during part of the brewing process, effectively making the brew weaker.  

To preinfuse your coffee, insert a filter into the brewer (e.g. V60, Aeropress), pour water over the filter to ensure there is no paper flavour to the brew, and add your coffee grounds, making sure to thoroughly wet all of them.  Let this sit for approximately 30-45 seconds before continuing to add the remaining water.

Brew at the right temperature.

Optimal brewing temperature for extraction is between 93-95 degrees celsius.  New models of speciality brewing kettles have a manual temperature adjustment feature so this is worth looking out for although this is where is starts to get a tad expensive.  Failing that a regular kettle and a thermometer will suffice. Always be mindful of the fact that you do not want the temperature of the water to go above 96 degrees as it will ‘burn’ the coffee.  If you are using a domestic kettle, simply boil it and allow a few minutes for the water to cool slightly.

And there you have it!! 

If you have any further questions or any suggestions please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.  If you have the coffee bug and would like to know more, pop on to our website. If you are in need of some great coffee to brew at home, you can buy delicious coffee here https://coffeecentral.co.uk/coffee/buy-our-coffee/ and if you are in need of brewing kit check out our range of products for home coffee brewing here https://coffeecentral.co.uk/coffee/brewing-kit/

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