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I sometimes fall asleep thinking about the cup of coffee I’m going to have the next morning. Whether your morning brew is a french press, pour-over or drip, these basic rules from Caffe Artigiano's baristas will help you learn how to make coffee to prevent unwanted bitterness and virtually guarantee a satisfying cup of coffee every time.
Without a doubt, coffee is best when used from one
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Once opened, always keep your coffee beans in an airtight container. Glass canning jars or ceramic crocks with air-tight seals are ideal options. Never refrigerate! Roasted beans are porous and are easily affected by moisture and food odors. Coffee experts also strongly advise against freezing coffee, especially dark roasts. Ideally, you should buy a 7–14 day supply of fresh beans at a time and keep at room temperature.
Snobbism among coffee drinkers only rivals that of wine drinkers, but the fact is that an astonishing world of coffee tastes awaits anyone willing to venture beyond mass-marketed commercial brands. Take a second to check out our signature blends and flavour profiles to see which one is right for you.
Coffee starts losing quality immediately upon grinding. The best-tasting brews are made from beans ground just before brewing. Many coffee connoisseurs prefer to grind in expensive burr mills, but affordable electric “whirly blade” grinders do a serviceable job, especially if the mill is rocked during grinding to get a fine, even particle size.
Nothing can ruin a pot of coffee more surely than tap water with chlorine or off flavours. Serious coffee lovers use bottled spring water or activated-charcoal/carbon filters on their taps. If you're from British Columbia, you're in luck, because we've got some of the best tap water in the world.
Note: Softened or distilled water makes terrible coffee—the minerals in good water are essential.
Bargain-priced paper coffee filters yield inferior coffee. Look for “oxygen-bleached” or “dioxin-free” paper filters. Alternatively, you may wish to invest in a long-lived gold-plated filter. These are reputed to deliver maximum flavour, but sometimes let sediment through if the coffee is ground too finely.
The standard measure for brewing a perfect cup of coffee is 2 level tablespoons per 6-ounce cup or about 2 3/4 tablespoons per 8-ounce cup. Tricks like using less coffee and hotter water to extract more cups per pound tend to make for bitter brews, so be mindful of that.
As mentioned above, water that is too hot extracts compounds in the coffee that are bitter rather than pleasant. The ideal brewing temperature is 200°F, or about 45 seconds off a full boil. (Most good coffeemakers regulate this automatically.) Once brewed, don’t expect coffee to hold its best flavours for long. Reheating, boiling or prolonged holding on a warming platform will turn even the best coffee bitter and foul-tasting.
Clean storage containers and grinders every few weeks to remove any oily buildup. At least monthly, run a strong solution of vinegar or specialty coffee-equipment cleaner (e.g., Urnex) through your coffeemaker to dissolve away any mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly before reuse.