When you want fresh, sustainable coffees from all over the world, your local coffee roaster is here to help. At home, though, it’s just you and your beans. When their earthy aroma calls to you first thing in the morning, it’s up to you to treat them with the respect they deserve. After all, you know these beautiful beans have traveled a long way to get to your kitchen.
But how do you make home-brewed coffee that tastes as amazing as what you can get at your local coffee roaster?
1. Start With Fresh Beans
Coffee reaches its peak 3-5 days after roasting. After that, it begins to lose its flavor and aroma. Grinding the beans right before you brew results in the freshest, most complex tasting cup of coffee possible. However, if you can’t grind your own beans at home with a burr grinder, consider buying your beans in small quantities and have your local coffee roaster grind them for you.
Equally important, keep those precious beans in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. I know it looks great to have your beans in a cute mason jar on your counter but try to resist the Pinterest pangs.
2. Weigh Your Coffee and Find the Right Grind
Making better coffee at home is all about consistency. The finer the grind, the quicker the coffee can be extracted. Too much coffee extraction will make the coffee taste bitter, while too little extraction will cause the coffee to taste flat and watery.
You should also use a digital scale to make sure that you use the same coffee to water ratio every time you brew. In general, a ratio of 1:20 (7.5 grams of coffee to 150 milliliters of water) will give you a strong cup of coffee.
3. Check Your Water
Most people don’t think about how the mineral content of their water will affect the flavor of their coffee. But, using hard water that’s full of minerals can actually lead to an under-extracted, weak cup of coffee. For the optimal extraction, you are looking for water that’s somewhere between hard and distilled, with a mineral balance of about 150 parts per million.
Water temperature is also key to proper coffee extraction. The desired brew temperature for pour over coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that you don’t want your water to exceed 205 degrees. You don’t want to burn your locally-roasted coffee beans!