Does it make a difference how I brew My coffee?
Absolutely. The type of beans, the size of the grind, the temperature of the water, and the brewing method itself can affect the taste of the coffee. There are four common methods of brewing coffee.
The first method, "drip method", or formally Gravity Brewing is the most widely used method and is made by passing hot water through grounds that then flows into a container. A filter is usually used to allow the soluble solids and liquid to pass through unobstructed while the wet grounds are left behind in the brew funnel. The two biggest influences using this method is whether or not your coffee maker gets hot enough, and that you are using the correct amount of grounds at the correct grind. If you have an older normal residential maker over time the coils that heat the water get worn and the maker needs replacing. If the grounds are too fine you may experience an over extracted cup leaving you a bitter taste in your mouth. If the grinds are too coarse you may end up with a watered down cup.
The second method, this editor’s favorite, is the French Press. Formally this is called the Steeping method, a method by which water is poured directly over coarsely ground coffee and left to steep. In a French Press this takes around four minutes before pressing the plunger to force the bloom down through the water toward the bottom along with the remaining solids in the container. The outcome of this method is directly related to the temperature of the water and the steeping time. A near boiling water should be used and a steeping time of about 5 minutes. Of course if you like your coffee a little stronger let it sit and extra minute or two.
The third method, the Pressure Brewing method, commonly used to make espresso, is a method by which near boiling water is forced through finely ground coffee under pressure to create a highly concentrated beverage.
* It is worth noting this is by no means a complete list of brewing methods. Have one you'd like to list send it in to us!
How much coffee should I use to make a pot of coffee?
The Specialty Coffee Association of America sets the standard of 3 ounces of coffee to each 64 ounces of water (or a pot).
Is Dark Coffee better than Light Coffee?
First and foremost, find what YOU like. So much work is being done blending and roasting coffees in a variety of ways. Whether you like dark and robust coffees, or light roast coffees that offer brightness and complexity is completely up to you. There is no "better".
Should I put my coffee in the freezer?
While some companies out there that sell their coffee in plastic containers suggest that you keep your coffee in the freezer, we tend to think it's not the best idea. The taste of your coffee comes from the moisture and essential oils in the coffee after roasting. By putting your coffee in the freezer you are dehydrating this moisture causing a diminished flavor. Air is the enemy of coffee, specifically oxygen. As long as you keep your coffee in an airtight container you should be able to experience the fresh coffee flavor for the life of the coffee.
I use a French Press, what coffee should I use?
The French Press is a good medium for slightly darker coffees ground at a coarse grind. Slightly darker coffees allow for a very dynamic full flavor from the French Press. The oils that are often picked up with drip coffee makers are allowed through the French Press maker and provide for a very flavorful cup of coffee.
Where can I get espresso beans?
Espresso is both a beverage and a method of brewing, but not an actual coffee bean. While most Americans think of Espresso as being dark and heavy many European countries brew it with lighter Robusta coffees. In our experience a nice full flavored French Roast or Midnight Blend creates a very hefty cup of Espresso.
Should I use a burr grinder or a blade grinder?
For the advanced brewer we'd suggest a burr grinder. Blade grinders are a great place to start but the results from a burr grinder are much more consistent. They offer uniformity and the ability to modify grinds to better suit your precise needs.
How long should I leave my coffee on the burner?
A good rule of thumb is no longer than 30 minutes. It's always a good idea to hold coffee in a air pot instead of directly on the hot burner. The burner evaporates the water and tends to burn your coffee is sitting there for any length of time.
I like darker coffee because it's stronger. Is there any truth to that?
Stronger in flavor, perhaps, but a little known fact is that darker coffee has less caffeine than lighter coffee. During the roasting process the coffee is roasted to achieve a certain color. As the heat reacts with the bean the caffeine and oils are also burned up in the process. The longer we roast it (darker coffee), the more oils and caffeine we cook off it.