Before brewing coffee, it is worth learning about the main factors that affect its taste.
- Coffee freshness
To make delicious coffee, the beans must be freshly roasted.
During roasting, important flavoring compounds are formed – they are responsible for the taste and aroma of coffee. After roasting, the coffee bouquet continues to form.
However, two weeks after roasting, the coffee taste and aromas are starting to fade.
After two months, and with each passing day, the taste becomes more flat and less attractive.
The aroma loses the characteristics of the country and region of the coffee bean.
To prepare delicious specialty coffee Colombia, you need to use the coffee beans in the first two months after roasting – during this period, coffee can be considered fresh.
There are subtleties. Too fresh coffee for making espresso is also not very good.
If you are making coffee by any other method, the bean can be used the day after roasting.
However, if you are making espresso coffee, you need to let the beans “rest” for at least five days after roasting. Then the potential of coffee will be maximized.
Coffee as a beverage contains almost 99% water, so it is important to have the right water.
Water for coffee should not have a high content of salts and minerals because it affects brewing. The content of minerals and salts is called the mineralization of water.
Coffee that has been brewed with water with low mineralization gets a sharp and overly bright character and bitter taste could appear.. And if water has high mineralization the taste will be dull and with notes of paper.
The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) recommends brewing coffee with water with mineralization of 75 to 175 mg/l. We believe that the ideal level of mineralization is 100 mg/l.
In addition to mineralization, it is important that the pH is between 6.5 and 8.
To achieve ideal water characteristics with a filtration system, you need to:
purify it with a professional reverse osmosis filter to obtain distilled water,
either mix in more mineralized water or use remineralizing cartridges.
For those who are uncomfortable with such a system, bottled water or special sachets with minerals are suitable, which can be mixed with distilled or osmotic water.
3. Coffee storage
Fresh roasted coffee got old very quickly. To slow down this process, it must be properly stored.
The ideal packaging for coffee is an opaque tight bag with a degassing valve and a zip lock. Such a bag protects the roasted beans from sunlight and contact with air, while the degassing valve helps to remove carbon dioxide, and the zip lock allows you to open and close the bag many times.
The ideal shelf life for coffee is one to two weeks. The month is acceptable. We recommend buying the amount of coffee that you will be able to drink within this period of time. If you need to keep coffee longer, you can put it in the freezer. The main thing is that there are no compromising and smelly odors.
Coffee can be stored in the freezer for up to six months, but it can only be thawed once and only at room temperature. You cannot freeze again. After defrosting coffee, you need to drink coffee within one to two weeks.
There are subtleties. Unfortunately, you can’t store ground coffee, it lost its aromas in minutes. That’s why you need to grind coffee right before brewing.
We do not recommend buying ground coffee in the store.
4. Coffee Grinding
The coffee grinds should be uniform. If the size of coffee particles varies from very small to large, the taste of coffee is unpredictable.
Of course, it’s impossible to get the perfectly uniform grinds, but it is important to get the variation of particle size is as even as possible. Only in this case, the taste of the drink will be clean.
Good electric coffee grinders with grind adjustment are not cheap. If you are not ready for such purchases, you can use manual burr coffee grinders. Cheap electric coffee grinders should not be used because they do not grind evenly.
There are subtleties. In addition to uniformity, the size of the grind is also important, but it is different for each method.
5. Equipment cleanliness
A dirty coffee maker or coffee grinder will nullify all efforts. Dried essential oils or ground coffee left in the grinder will turn the coffee rancid. Even if there is not a lot of it. .
In good coffee shops, coffee grinders are cleaned daily, and coffee machines twice a day. Even if a person is not very knowledgeable about coffee, he will recognize coffee that is made on dirty equipment. In such a situation, adjusting the grind or changing the water will not help – you just need to clean the equipment regularly.
The equipment is cleaned with water, brushes and special cleaning agents.
Coffee requires maximum precision in preparation. If you approximately measure the dosage , the result will always be random. Scales help you understand the correlation and the reasons of good or bad cup of coffee in the end of the brewing.
You need to weigh both grind and water when pouring if you are using the alternative method, and espresso if you are using an espresso machine. The scales will help you accurately maintain the proportions of 60 grams per liter for an alternative and 17–20 grams for a double espresso.