espresso, latte and other concoctions...
|Brewing Tips||Espresso Drinks||Grinding||Making your Brew||Concoctions|
• Brewing Tips
So far there has been a tremendous amount of work by a multitude of lovely people to get you the best coffee bean possible. What’s next? Well, just don’t sit there, you Ninny, it’s time to take some responsibility. Take those exquisite beans in hand and brew them! Brew them I say!
• First Things First
Rules, rules and more rules... Oh, stop complaining! I’m trying to teach you how to brew the flawless cup. Remember our goal here is perfection, nothing less. Follow these simple principles and you’ll soar to new coffee heights, as your taste buds lead you to pleasurably-pontificate-endless-exclamations such as:
“Professor Peaberry, old boy, you’re positively genius! Who knew that cleaning the sludge from the bottom of the coffee pot could be the key to coffee nirvana?”
“Ohhhh, you brilliant, fat, little sexy man! Mother was right. Technique is everything!”
The Professor Peaberry Principles:
• Buy Only High Quality Beans.
Start with fresh roasted coffee from any one of the fabulous roasters we feature on our site. They are the crema of the cup. The coffee elite. The best. The ultimate. The superior. Anyone else is most likely inferior. Yes, I am biased. Go-Coffee-Go! Rah-rah-rah-sis-boom-bah.
• Keep it Fresh
Buy your toilet paper at Costco, not your coffee. If your coffee is not fresh, the notes fade and so will its potential in your cup. Buy coffee that is roasted-to-order. Look for the roast date as proof on the bag.
Air, heat, light and moisture are coffee’s enemy. You see oxygen is the biggest antagonist to our little bean friends and quite the bully. So with that, fresh roasted coffee is the only way to go - unless a gamma ray burst from a distant star blasts away our oxygen rich atmosphere - well we wouldn’t be here anyway, so this is a moot point. Therefore, coffee beans should be stored properly in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. I prefer a ceramic container with a rubber gasket on the lid for a tight seal.
Coffee reaches its joyful peak 3-10 days after it is roasted.Sadly, it degrades quickly after two weeks, losing its voice, its song, thus its vanquished into an abyss, into a proverbial Coffee Black Hole after a month. Yes, this roasted bean’s short life is over - like that of the Hu-hu-ma-tu-tu. But don’t be sad. Just order some more and the notes will sing and dance across your palette once again!
Freezing your beans -- A chilly proposition. Though hotly debated amongst the coffee elite, some experts believe, if done properly, you can indeed extend the life and freshness of your beans for up to a month by freezing them. (See the chilling details below.)
• Only grind your beans right before use
Once coffee is ground, it degrades rapidly! Purchase a Burr Grinder and grind beans only as needed. No dilly-dallying here, grind and brew for results that are truest to the bean itself.
It’s simple: good water is the start of good coffee. Since coffee is 99% water, any unpleasant taste in your water will pass into your coffee. Just make sure it is fresh and clean. Avoid tap water that is heavy with minerals or tastes chemically treated, such as with chlorine. Pool water is a no-no! Fish pond as well! For best results used filtered water. Likewise, avoid water that is free of every mineral, like distilled or heavily filtered water.
Don’t let the innards of your coffee making device du jour get coated or encrusted with icky, brownish goop. Gadzooks! Coffee contains oils and these oils that are left behind can grow rancid. Pew! Clean up after yourself, you Dirty Bird! Use a gentle sponge and little or no dish soap, so your coffee doesn’t end up tasting lemony fresh. Remember: Cleanliness is next to flavorableness.
• Temperature and Time
Coffee’s ideal brewing temperature is between 199 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Period. If, for instance, you boil water separately for a French Press or Pour-Over Cone, let the water sit for a minute just after your kettle whistles, then use. This allows the temperature to drop. Depending on the method and grind choice, coffee brews anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes. You may use a stopwatch, if you wish. I do.
• Good Measures
Check any pertinent directions on your coffee device regarding what measure constitutes a cup.Trial and error is often needed, but a good rule to observe is one tablespoon of coffee, properly ground, per 6 ounces of water. What’s that? You prefer a mug and its 8 ounces? Then measure up! Some use 2 tablespoons of coffee for an extra rich cup. Taste is subjective, thus proceed with reckless abandon. Experiment, I say... Brew in the nude! Brew standing on your head! Just remember to brew a cup worth brewing! For those of you who are anal enough to weigh their beans for precision brewing, I applaud you. My rectum does as well. So pull out your digital scales and weigh those beans!
Important Factoid: Light and dark roasted coffee beans may measure the same, however they do not weigh the same and this is why weighing is the most precise manner for initiating your cup.
French Press: 25 grams of beans for 10 oz. of water.
Melitta Brewers: 25 Grams of beans for 10 oz. of water.
Vacuum Pots: 7 to 8 grams for every 5 oz of water.
Electric Drip: 7 to 8 grams for every 5 oz of water.
• Serve Promptly
After brewing, a tardy cup of coffee is faux pas. Coffee that sits for as little as 15 minutes can lose its true flavor as natural oils that provide taste break down and evaporate. It becomes the proverbial sludge. After an hour of “warming” coffee on its “burner,” you might as well discard the remaining scorched glop in the pot and make haste by moving to another voting district because your reputation as a coffee aficionado is ruined. I highly suggest if this is you to -- Quick hide and find your Mormon disguise. You see, Mormons do not drink coffee, thus no one will suspect it was you. Perhaps the solution is truly simple to avoid such difficulties -- just pour your precious brew into a fine quality insulated carafe or thermos immediately after brewing to preserve all of its goodness.
As stated earlier, keep your beans in an airtight container, out of the light in a dark cupboard in a temperature of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee is best brewed fresh, so when it comes to storing coffee beans for long periods of time, simply don’t do it, unless one chooses to go cryogenic. Do so at you own risk. No human has ever come back from the deep freeze - Shall a bean? Thus...
• To freeze or not to freeze – that is the question?
Would I roast my ice cream? Then why in the hooey would I freeze my beans! Let’s explore this controversial paradox, shall we?
Yes, it is true; many experts believe that freezing does indeed help preserve the freshness of coffee. But rules must be followed. If you choose to freeze your beans, never do it for longer than one month. It’s actually the process of freezing and thawing, and freezing and thawing that can harm the quality and flavor notes of your beans. In the freezer store your beans in individual Ziploc Baggies, preferably in one-day to a maximum of one-week portions. This way no condensation or unpleasant frostbite will occur. So once you take them out of the icebox, do not put them back in.