How to Brew the Best Cup of Coffee

Whether youíre a beginner at making your own coffee or a lifelong coffee connoisseur, these simple steps will help you get the most out of every cup.

High quality coffee beans.

1) Buy high quality coffee beans. Avoid grocery store coffee beans, which may sit on shelves for a long time. Instead, go for beans for sale at a coffee shop or local roaster.

Coffee loses its flavor the longer the beans sit around after roasting, so try to find freshly roasted coffee beans and only buy enough coffee for one to two weeks. Most importantly, buy beans that have been stored in airtight packaging. Find more info about coffee brands here.

Airtight containers for coffee bean storage.

2) Store beans in airtight containers until before you grind them. Exposure to oxygen makes coffee beans lose their flavor, so keep them separate from air.

Storing coffee in the freezer can make it last an extra five to ten days. But you should store the beans in several small packages so that what you take out is what you use. Taking coffee in and out of the freezer adds condensation to the beans, meaning beans are exposed to oxygen from the water. Oxygen makes the beans lose their flavor faster, thus defeating the purpose of freezing them in the first place.

Grind beans to the correct coarseness for your coffee maker.

3) Grind your beans to the correct coarseness. A good coffee grinder will let you vary the coarseness of your coffee grinds. While the coarseness you use should depend on the kind of coffee maker you have, each grind works best for different types of coffee drinks. Coarse grinds are best for French Presses and percolators. Medium grinds are the most general, all-purpose grinds. This works for most drip-type coffee. Fine grinds are suitable for espresso. Finer grinds can make the coffee stronger for those using a drip brewer. For a fresher taste, only grind enough for the pot youíre currently making. Read about top coffee grinders here...

Equipment to be cleaned

4) Clean your equipment. For the best tasting beverage, you should clean your coffee maker before every use. The filter basket, especially, can get clogged quickly and should be cleaned well and often.

Coffee filter

5) Put a filter in the filter basket. Cheap, generic filters are more likely to clog, so itís better to go with a slightly more expensive filter. Consult your coffee maker manual for device-specific instructions.

Coffee grounds measured out

6) Measure out the coffee grounds. The standard strength is 2 tbsp. for every six ounce cup of coffee, but you should adjust the strength to suit your personal preferences. Using too little coffee will over-extract the grounds and lead to a bitter taste.



More Steps...


Watch a video with a coffeehouse employee about working with coffee every day...

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Copyright © 2008 Kelsi Krieger

Please e-mail me with any questions or feedback at kak830@ufl.edu!