How to Make the Perfect Coffee – 5 Hot Tips
Friday, November 27, 2015
Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder, noticed his flock jumping with extra enthusiasm after eating particular berries. He munched on a handful himself, felt unexplainable energy and henceforth became addicted. Well, so the legend spawned in the 8th century goes. Fast forward to 1100c., the Arabs learnt to boil water and crush green coffee beans. They eventually figured out roasting and grinding the beans would produce the ultimate brew.
By the 1600s, the “wine of Arabia” had invaded the world leaving wide-eyed coffee lovers drooling in its wake. Parisians opened their first coffeehouse in 1672. Ever since, society has not been able to get enough of the silky liquid invasion countries have even fought for.
Coffee pervades noses and tastebuds from back-alley cafes to homes. Arguments over what constitutes as “damn good coffee” echo across rooftops and courtyards, resting on ears of pressured baristas.
So how do you get a brew just right?
Of course, we can’t give away all of our trade secrets – you need to sign up to our Coffee School course for the full unveiling – but we can reveal 5 tips, which will still go a long way to help creating a beautiful brew whether at home or at a cafe.
1. No Sweat. Get Your Beans Right.
Fresh is best. Keep beans at room temperature. If you roast them, allow them to dry out between 7 to 10 days, weather dependent, before grinding. Only grind beans as you need them (the finer the grind, the richer in flavour). Store in an airtight glass jar away from light and moisture, in a cool (not cold) dry, dark place – not your fridge or freezer (as the myth goes) because moisture is your enemy and will damage your beans.
2. Smooth Lover.
For a smoother taste, go for 100% Arabica beans. Anything with Robusta beans will add harshness to the flavour. Hunt around for speciality coffee brewers. There are as many coffee blends as there are wines, so if you don’t like one, try another until you discover what suits.
3. Water Wise.
Use good filtered water – not tap, not distilled. You need the minerals, but not the taste of chlorine!
Water (or milk) which is warmed to around 63 degrees brings out the best flavour for coffee. Boiling water will burn coffee making it bitter. Don’t let the beans become over-exposed to heat. Reheating, or keeping coffee on a warmer will also turn good coffee into nasty coffee.
4. Don’t Wait Too Long.
Coffee will start to lose its flavour as soon as the shot has been poured, so if milk is required, make sure it’s already been steamed/warmed. Some baristas suggest leaving a shot of coffee for around 12 seconds before adding milk.
5. The Art of Froth.
Frothing milk between 60 and 63 degrees is perfect, as mentioned. Aussies often love their coffee hotter, but never heat above 70 degrees! Add some air time but not a lot of noise. Too much noise creates flat coffee.