Tag Archive | "brewing"


The Key Is The Water

The Key to the Perfect Cup of Coffee is the Water

Chris Hendon, computational chemist, writing for the Royal Society of Chemistry, University of Bath, has assisted a local British barista win the title of “world’s best barista”.  He is quoted as saying, “the secret to success lies in using the perfect water.”  As brewing coffee is probably the most practiced chemical extraction in the world, it is not rocket science.

Now, everybody believes that they know the secret to making the perfect cup of coffee and breaking the coffee process scientifically.  Chris Hendon doesn’t discount obvious factors in making a the perfect cup of coffee or espresso including bean origin, roast, size of grindings and others, but, when it comes to the major ingredient, water he is quoted as writing, “

“This variable is less obvious, but it is clear that the chemical composition of water plays a very important role.” Specifically, different types of water bring out different flavors from the coffee bean – sometimes good and sometimes bad. And being both a chemist and coffee lover, Hendon wanted to experiment with how different variations could be used to extract specific flavors from coffee.

“This was particularly intriguing for the signature drink which featured an espresso shot mixed with two grape extracts brewed in different water – one with high cation content, one with high base content – to extract different flavours from the grapes,” he writes.

For its part, the National Coffee Association says, “The water you use is very important to the quality of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not good or imparts a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. If you are using tap water let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot. Be sure to use cold water. Do not use distilled or softened water”.

Hendon’s explanation can sound a bit complicated if you don’t have a strong base of knowledge in chemistry. But put simply, he says many of the assumptions about the ionic composition in water types are too broad, since the actual composition of water varies in different regions across the world and in places, like England, where it rains a lot.

He and his team used an atomic absorption spectrometer to experiment with different ionic levels, leading to winning a national coffee competition which can be interpreted as a victory for science.

So, the next time you encounter a coffee snob who wants to tell you about the perfect type of coffee you can respond with, “Sure, but what’s in your water?”

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Great Coffe

Top Tips For Great Tasting Coffee

Great tasting coffee does not occur by chance, but the end product of good practices and dedication.

The starting point for great tasting coffee does not come from choosing the right blend of coffee or even the type of brewing equipment to be used, but in the quality of the water used and the cleanliness of the equipment!

As coffee is more than 98% water it should come as no surprise that the quality of the water has a dramatic impact of the quality of the finished beverage.

Freshly filtered water should be used when making coffee. Many domestic and commercial water filters and calcium treatment units are available and most do an excellent job in removing heavy elements, impurities and odours from water.

Be sure to draw a little water from the system first, and pour it away. Use fresh clean cold water for starting off the process of brewing your favorite beverage.

The equipment used to brew the coffee should be clean and free of coffee stains and grounds. Coffee contains many complex compounds that can go rancid when left on equipment for a while and will adversely affect the quality of the coffee produced.

Choose a good quality roast coffee bean to suit your taste and make sure you buy it in a sealed bag or container.

Avoid buying pre-ground coffee – it may be more convenient but it will start to oxidize the moment you open the packet and even if subsequently kept in an air-tight container much of the damage will have been done. The flavour of freshly roasted coffee can deteriorate remarkably fast and within a week or so and much of the flavour will be lost.

Whole roast coffee beans will also begin to lose some of their flavour once the seal has been broken on the coffee bag, but as long as you keep them in a cool dry place, out direct sunlight and not exposed to the atmosphere they will stay fresh longer.

For these reasons you should only grind as much coffee you need for the brew in question and not be tempted to grind more than what it going to be used immediately.

Storing your ground coffee in the refrigerator is not a good idea as other goods may taint the flavour.

The grind of the coffee is very important to the taste of the final coffee brew. Always follow the guidelines of the brewing equipment used and grind your coffee beans to their specification. Grind too large and the final beverage will be too weak, grind too fine and it may clog up the system.

Typically a standard pour and serve drip method coffee brewer should take between four and six minutes to complete the brew.

And always remember to keep your grinder clean.

Grind a little coffee and then discard it, this should get rid of any old stale coffee within the grinder that you cannot see or reach after cleaning.

It is best to wait until the coffee jug has completely brewed before serving. Typically a drip filter machine will produce slightly weaker coffee at the start of its cycle as it comes up to temperature and slightly stronger towards the end.  Remember, good things come to those who wait!

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Organic Coffee Pods

Organic coffee pods are individual portions of coffee grounds, which are pre-sealed in a coffee filter paper.

They are similar to tea bags, which can be dipped into hot water to brew a cup of tea. But coffee pods need to be dropped into a special coffee pot that drips very hot water on the pod, providing you with a cup of freshly brewed coffee in about thirty seconds.  It is a quick, neat, and easy way to get a fresh brewed cup of coffee with every cup you drink.  There is a huge variety of flavours available to the coffee connoisseur. The ten most popular flavours are almond, cinnamon, caramel, chocolate, French vanilla, hazelnut, Irish cream, peppermint, espresso, and cappuccino.  But there are many, many more, and new combinations pop up all the time.

If you check online under organic coffee pods, you will discover hundreds of distributors, each with their own lines of coffee and choices of flavours.  You will be able to find both organic and traditional, the various roast choices and any number of flavours to pick from.  Many people, once they have tried organic coffee pods, feel that making coffee by the pot full gives you a lacklustre, stale cup of java.

They also love the convenience of not having to deal with loose coffee messes. These pods are packaged in packages of six, sixteen, or twenty-five single pods, depending on what brand you buy, and can be purchased in one flavour or style or in a mixed variety.  The pods are sixty-two mm wide and weigh seven grams each. They brew one cup of coffee per pod.

So what are the real advantages of organic coffee pods as compared to buying it loose and by the pound? The types of roast available are light, medium, dark, flavoured, and decaffeinated.  This is true of both kinds of packaging. For one thing, you won’t need a coffee grinder to get a fresh brewed cup of coffee. It is as easy to use as a tea bag, and gives you the taste of fresh home brewed coffee. And it is so much less messy than loose grounds are. The coffeemaker is also simple and easy to use.

Let’s face it. If you want a consistent, perfect cup of coffee every time, using organic coffee pods is the way to do it. There will be no mess, no waste, and the perfect taste every time you pour a cup of java!

by Paul Easton

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Brewing A Great Cup Of Coffee

Today, I will propose to you how to make a great cup of coffee. You can do it. There are a few secrets to the process. I will share these with you.

Start with the bean and pick your roast. Quality coffee can only come from a quality coffee bean that is properly roasted. The process of roasting a coffee bean is complex and can result in a given bean tasting very different depending on how it is roasted. If you desire a strong intense flavor to your coffee, choose a dark roast (ex: French Roast). If you like to a light flavor, less intense, choose a lighter roast.

Never use pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee will lose its flavor and essence within a short period of time. Grinding before you brew will assure you that no flavor is lost due to time.

Always use cold filtered water when brewing your coffee. The water you use represents 98% of your cup of coffee. Filtering the water will remove impurities that could affect the taste. Poor quality water can come from a variety of sources. Example, older house will have older pipes. Theses pipes tend to give the water an off flavor. You will want to remove this by filtering. The basic rule is the better the water, the better the coffee.

Skip the paper filters and go for the gold. Yes, these are 23k gold plated stainless steel filters. Paper filters will influence the flavor of the coffee in a negative manner. The Gold plated filters influence the flavor by allowing natural oils to infiltrate into your brew, adding a level of flavor and aroma you wont find with paper coffee filters. Another plus is that these filters can be reused over and over, and will last a very long time. Not only will your coffee be better, but you will be helping the environment by saving on waste.

Never over do it on the add-ins. Cut down on the sugar, cream, and other flavor add-ins to really enjoy the true essence of the brew. If we disguise the coffee to much; we will never know the true taste.

Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is how and when we enjoy it. We all have our favorite time and rituals. For me, nothing beats enjoying a great cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and reading the paper.

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The Art Of Roasting Coffee

Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can’t be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you’ll be in Java Heaven.

Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.

There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.

When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.

Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home. It’s best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don’t give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.


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