The 3 Most Important Steps To Brewing Better Coffee

Brewing better coffee is important. For most of us, it’s our favorite drink. Brewing coffee is an art, it’s a science, but it also isn’t that hard to master. There really are only 3 critical steps you need to take in order to brew better coffee. Let’s take a look.

1. Water

When talking about coffee taste, most people think that it’s the beans (actually berries) that are the most important factor. While they may not be wrong, the one thing that is almost always overlooked is the water being used to brew the coffee.

Coffee can be anywhere from 97% to 99% water. Therefore…

Use purified and/or filtered water! It’s very important!

The use of good, quality water is one of the most critical steps for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Clarity, acidity, fruitiness, etc. are among many other qualities we look for when brewing great coffee. The use of tap water can mask those desirable qualities and lead to a cup of coffee lacking the complexity we are looking for.

2. Coffee Freshness

Coffee does have a shelf life. It will go bad and expire if not used. Just like any other berry, you can’t just let it sit around and expect it to be fresh forever.

Why is freshness important?

Coffee freshness works the exact same way that it does for bread. When bread has been freshly baked its smell is clearly distinguishable from old, stale bread. Likewise, fresh bread tastes way better than bread that has been sitting out for weeks.

Our tasting ability has limitations, as we can only taste five different things:

  1. Sweet
  2. Sour
  3. Salt
  4. Bitter
  5. Umami

This is important because the entire coffee drinking experience involves more than just your sense of taste. A large contributor to coffee taste is your sense of smell.

Coffee is a highly aromatic substance i.e. its smell plays a HUGE role in affecting its taste. The fresher the coffee is, the stronger the aromatic compounds are that contribute to its unique smell and unique taste. Therefore, you should aim to drink your coffee within 3 to 4 days after they’re roasted.

Buy Whole Coffee Beans

The very second coffee is ground its exposure to oxygen causes the coffee to lose CO2, aroma, flavor and antioxidants. So act fast if you want the best tasting coffee.

Also, when buying coffee make sure it is Fair Trade Certified. Not only is fair trade coffee delicious, it helps communities throughout the world earn, grow and work towards sustainability. (Read here about the 7 Reasons Why You Should Buy Fair Trade)

3. Coffee to Water Ratio

Proper ratio: 60 grams of coffee for every 1 liter of water. This is a typical baseline coffee ratio. If you like your coffee stronger (or weaker) than just adjust the ratio accordingly.

If you don’t already use one, using a scale is a critical step for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Every cup is a science project and using the same, precise amounts of ingredients is the only way to guarantee the perfect cup every single time.

Experiment and have fun with your ratio. There is no one out there locking people up for using too many coffee grounds in their french press. You’ll figure out what tastes best for you, that’s what makes all of this so fun and exciting.

Originally published at The Coffee Bodhi.