Step 1: Select magic beans
Let’s start by telling you something you already know: to get the best out, you need to put the best in. This means good raw materials; in this case beans. But don’t worry, if you shop smart, quality doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Sure, you can find perfectly adequate beans in the supermarket, and there’s no shame in that. But bear in mind, there's probably better coffee near you.
Best is if you look down at a local roaster and be nice to them. They’ll give you a personal service, work out what beans, blend and roast suits your palate. Finding a quality roaster will dramatically improve your coffee and in-turn, your life.
But what to buy? According to the world barista champion James Hoffman:
“The more popular coffee, the better tasting one, is called Arabica. The other one is robusta. That’s easier to grow and generally doesn’t taste as good. It’s a bit more bitter and got a lot more caffeine. Lots of that ends up in instant coffee.
Whereas if you buy good coffee from a good coffee shop, that’s more likely to be 100% Arabica”
Step 2: Mind the weights and measures
There are charts and graphs and all sorts out there for calculating the “correct” ratio of coffee to water for brewing coffee. The truth is, it all comes down to taste. However, we got a recommendation just as a starting point.
Our advice is to start off as follows and have a tinker.
Step 3: Use good water at the right temperature
Start off with filtered, distilled or bottled water if possible. That might sound extravagant, but chloride is commonly found in tap water and won't do your coffee and favours.
The National Coffee Association directive recommends using water between 91°C (195°F) and 96°C (205°F). In truth, the closer to 96°C (205°F), the better.
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