Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee
by Ry Watkins
The first step in brewing the perfect cup of 53X11 Coffee actually comes before you even grind your beans or implement your favorite brewing technique. Storage plays an intricate role in obtaining the freshest cup of coffee. Coffee is the frequent victim of poor storage practices, if you are looking for the freshest cup of coffee storage is where it all begins! Coffee starts losing its freshness soon after it is done roasting and reaches its flavor peak in the first few days after a short aging process were gasses are released from the roasted coffee bean. One of the biggest misconceptions about coffee storage is that the cool air of fridges and freezers will keep coffee fresher for a longer period of time but this could not be further from the truth. Fridges and freezers, because of their high moisture content, will actually cause the flavorful coffee oils to breakdown even faster than if stored dry at room temperature. Once these savory oils breakdown your expensive coffee will start to absorb outside moisture and will soon taste like the inside of your fridge or freezer! An ideal storage location for an unopened bag is a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry. For opened bags we recommend the same storage technique but encourage that you transfer your opened bags into an airtight ceramic, glass, or non-reactive metal container if you are planning storing coffee for longer than one week.
Do not underestimate the importance of the grind, this will affect your coffee's taste as much if not more so than your brewing technique. You will want to experiment on your own with your preferred grinding technique but a good rule of thumb is if your coffee tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too fine but if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. The best way to automatically get a precision grind is to us a Burr Grinder, this will give you the best possible grind from coarse to a powdered Turkish grind every time. BUT for the typical coffee drinkers you can get a satisfactory grind from a simple blade grinder. When operating a blade grinder only use quick bursts, just holding the button down will cause the coffee grounds to overheat and burn. Once you have decided if you are going to use a Burr Grinder or a simple blade grinder you will want to implement the following chart outlining the best grind for your brewing application. For the best coffee we recommend measuring 2 rounded tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. If you prefer a stronger coffee as we do at 53X11, feel free to fine-tune this ratio!
The quality of water you use for brewing is also very important to the quality of your final product; if your tap water gives off an odor or has a distinct flavor such as chlorine this will influence the flavor of your morning cup of coffee - basically bad tasting water will make bad tasting coffee. Also avoid Distilled or Softened water since it lacks the minerals needed to bring out the natural flavors of the coffee and can leave you with a bitter brew.
The first thing you want to do when brewing coffee, with any technique, is to make sure your equipment has been thoroughly cleaned. Any leftover residue or leftover brewed grounds will leave a bitter taste and even a rancid flavor if not cleaned for extended periods. Baking soda is great for cleaning any plastic components and vinegar or standard dish soap should remove any mineral deposits from your equipment.
There are countless techniques for brewing coffee; drip coffee, Turkish coffee, Vacuum brewing, percolating, French press, etc. But in general guidelines for all brewing techniques is the brewing temperature should be between 194 - 204 Fahrenheit and depending on the coffee grind varying steep times are necessary. For most coffee drinkers the knowledge that your drip coffee machine, when filled to capacity, should automatically brew coffee to these specifications is reassurance enough, but many coinsures that prefer specialized grinding & brewing methods these temperatures should be closely monitored for creating the best cup of coffee!
ENJOY YOUR PERFECT CUP OF 53x11 COFFEE!
Take a moment to enjoy your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, smell the aroma, taste your coffee and notice how your brewing technique has affected the body, acidity and balance of your coffee. If it is your first cup of 53X11 Coffee you should notice that the degree of freshness and some simple changes in your preparation influence the perfect cup of coffee.