Making the perfect cup of coffee usually depends on the unique coffee preference and taste of the ones who will be drinking it. People have individual preferences of brewing method and taste.
Though the taste is largely preferential, there are general guidelines in brewing coffee. First and foremost, it is important to buy the best “fresh roasted” 100% Arabica high quality coffee. It is the most popular coffee ground beans to give the perfect roast. Or for any kind of beans you prefer, always choose the top quality ones.
Coffee beans easily lose its flavor when exposed to air. This is why it is packaged in vacuum-sealed containers. Only ground a small amount of beans you intend to brew for the day. Keep the rest of the ground beans well-stored.
If you have options in a coffee maker, choose a burr grinder. It is the most accurate and consistent in producing ground beans. Blade grinders can also do the job but produces a less consistent output. It sometimes still requires shaking the grinder.
You can also buy those coarse-medium ground coffees for a Cafetiere or French Press. A good kind is the Costa Rica Tarrazu. For a Drio Coffee Maker or Cone Filter, you can buy those medium-fine ground coffees, like Yirgacheffe or Breakfast Blend. For Espresso Machines, you can buy those finely ground coffees, like Brazil Mimoso.
A bitter coffee indicates that the beans were grounded too finely, or were over-extracted. Flat, weak coffees are grounded too coarsely or under-extracted. Adjust the grind by keeping the same dosage of coffee and measuring the coffee by volume instead of by weight.
Next, also take note of the water content. The water to coffee ratio is crucial in making a perfect cup of coffee. Basically, about .35 oz or 2 tablespoons of ground coffee is good for each 177 ml or 6 fl. oz. of water. It is also advisable to dilute coffee when it tastes very strong. It is better than using less coffee. For a weaker type of coffee, you can just add some hot water to it.
Make sure that you only utilize crystal fresh, tap or cold spring water. It is said that in a cup of coffee, about 98% is composed of water. This will definitely affect flavor. If using tap water, allow it to run for a few seconds before you fill your cup. You can use bottled or filtered water if you suspect that there is a strong taste or odor in your tap water. Never use softened or distilled water. The estimated perfect water temperature for brewing is between 195oF to 205oF. If you brew using boiling water, you will lose some of the delicate flavors.
It is advisable to drink coffee right after brewing. Do not reheat or reuse coffee grounds. A coffee does not taste the same when reheated. Do not take for granted cleaning immediately your cups and spoons after finishing the drink.
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There is an oily film that coffee leaves that makes the cups and spoons rancid if left unwashed for a few days.