It all starts with the beans
First things first, select your favourite quality coffee beans. Coffee tastes best when the beans are ground fresh so save your beans in an airtight container in a cool dark place or in the freezer and grind only the amount you need as you need it. There is no need to thaw your beans before use if stored in the freezer.
To make things easier on yourself, select a coffee grinder that has removable, dishwasher safe components for easy clean up and a large reservoir so you can grind larger amounts of coffee at a time.
Good Tasting Water = Great Tasting Coffee
Since coffee is 98% water, you want to be sure that you use clean, filtered water for brewing. Or if your coffee maker already has a built-in filter, make sure you clean or change the filter on a regular basis. This will ensure the best tasting coffee.
Most coffee experts recommend a 1:1 ratio when making coffee, meaning for every cup of water used, use 1 tablespoon of freshly ground coffee. This of course can be increased or decreased depending on your tastes or the strength of the grounds, but as a rule of thumb a 1:1 ratio is a good place to start.
Some like it hot
After the coffee is brewed, the warming pad on your coffee maker will keep the coffee warm, but to maintain the best tasting coffee, transfer to a thermos, or a coffee butler and serve. This will keep the coffee warm without making it turn bitter.
Is that nutmeg I taste?
Flavouring can be a great way to add your own personal touch to the coffee you serve. Experiment by adding a pinch of flavour such as cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg to your next pot of coffee.
Aren’t you fancy!
Coffee shops aren’t the only place to experience great tasting coffees. With just an espresso machine you can make fancy gourmet coffee drinks at home. Here is a guide to how to create your own great coffee at home. Experiment with different flavours to create beverages that are uniquely yours.
Espresso - A style of coffee resulting from a unique roasting and brewing process. Served in 1.5 oz "shots", espresso is characterized by its rich, dark aromatic flavor and the golden "cream" foam on top.
Latte – Espresso and steamed milk, topped with frothed milk
Cappuccino – Espresso with an equal measure of steamed and frothed milk
Americano – A single or double shot of espresso, with hot water added instead of milk
Macchiato – A single or double shot of espresso crowned with frothed milk
Choose your equipment
There are many different types of coffee makers, but the most common type is an automatic drip coffee maker which is perfect for daily coffee drinkers. Most take paper filters, which allow the strong coffee flavour to get through and are ideal for those who desire a smooth, clean-tasting, cup of coffee. Gold or stainless-steel permanent filters are more porous and allow for even more flavour to emerge.
For those who prefer to drink less coffee but prefer a stronger, more flavourful cup, or just simply enjoy fancy coffee drinks, an espresso and cappuccino maker may be the perfect thing to satisfy your craving.
French Press coffeemakers allow full contact between the coffee and water for the most intense coffee flavour. The longer you steep the brew, the stronger your coffee will be, usually 5 minutes. When the desired strength is reached, the plunger is depressed, separating the grounds from the coffee to allow you to pour your fresh, hot coffee.
Now for the fun part…
For the best tasting coffee, make sure to clean your coffee maker on a monthly basis.
- Dissolve 30ml of citric acid or vinegar in 1L of hot water
- Add 1L of cold water
- Pour solution into the water section of your coffee maker
- Turn on the coffee maker (don’t put a filter in) and let about half the solution run through.
- Stop the machine and let it sit for 20 minutes
- Turn the machine back on and let the rest of the solution go through
- Rinse by running 2L of cold fresh water through your machine at least 4 times.