5 tips and tricks for brewing better coffee at home
If you enjoy great coffee, you likely already know you can brew a great cup at home for less than what you'd spend at a coffee shop.
It doesn't require any expensive equipment, just a few simple techniques that can greatly improve the taste of your coffee, regardless of how fancy or basic your coffee machine is.
Here are five tips and tricks to improve the taste of your coffee at home.
A cup of coffee is only as good as the beans that you start with.
So if you're purchasing bags of preground coffee from your local supermarket you're doing it wrong.
Instead, buy fresh whole bean coffee and invest in a coffee grinder.
Coffee is a perishable item.
It reaches its peak flavor just a few days after it's been roasted, and it tends to go stale a month to a month and a half after its roast date.
And that's the major reason a lot of coffee roasters don't put the date which the coffee was roasted right on the bag.
The stuff you find in your supermarket has probably been on the shelf for months.
Your best option is to try to find a local coffee roaster and buy the coffee when it's Still fresh, just a week or two weeks off roast, and try to finish that bag before about a month after the roast date.
If you're buying fresh coffee you might as well do what you can to keep that coffee as fresh as possible for as long as you can.
Can, and the way you store that matters a lot.
A quart size jar is perfect for storing a 12 ounce bag of coffee, but you can also downsize as you go through the bag, to a pint size, or even a 4 ounce jar for single servings.
Experts say that coffee begins to lose its flavor just 30 minutes after it's been ground.
Imagine a bag that's pre-ground and has been sitting on the shelf for months.
Your best option is to grind your coffee just before you brew.
And it doesn't require a very expensive automatic grinder, you can actually get a hand mill for relatively cheap.
Making better coffee is often about eliminating as many variables as possible.
And one way to do that is to use the same ratio of coffee to water every single time you brew.
Using that scoop to measure your coffee is a pretty ineffective way to do that.
Instead, what you wanna do is weigh your coffee.
Volume varies from coffee to coffee, especially on different roast levels.
A common ratio found in coffee shops is one part coffee to 20 parts water.
Some people find that a little weak and will go as high as one part coffee To 12 parts water.
But other people find it a little too strong so they'll go as low as 1 part coffee to 30 parts water.
A crucial step that a lot of automatic coffee makers skip is preinfusion, also known as the bloom.
In this step you prep the coffee for extraction by pouring hot water over the grounds.
This helps release any remaining carbon dioxide left from the roasting process.
If you skip this step, the carbon dioxide left in the grounds can actually repel the water, leading to under extracted coffee, or effectively, a weaker brew.
Check to make sure your coffee maker has a pre infused option and that it's enabled.
If not, you may wanna heat up a little water and preinfuse the coffee grounds on your own.
Before you start the automatic brewer.
For more on coffee and other tips and tricks, be sure to check out cnet.com/howto.
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