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Coffee Brewing Tips with a Water Filtration System for Home
One of the rites of passage for many adults is drinking coffee on a regular basis. It gets us up and keeps us going all day long. Usually, our hurried lifestyles don't afford us the chance to take control of our coffee experience and we often times find ourselves settling for whatever is convenient or inexpensive. But, if you value the experience of quietly sipping that perfect cup, read on for some coffee brewing tips.
Roasts fall into three categories
- Light: These beans are roasted for the least amount of time. For the most part, light roasts have the most caffeine and subtle flavors so they are a great choice to start the day or for those who are not fond of that "coffee taste".
- Medium: Roasted slightly longer, medium roasts are a happy equivalent with pronounced flavors that evoke all aspects of the palate.
- Dark: The "darkness" comes from carbon introduced during the roasting process. These often have the strongest taste that hardened coffee drinkers enjoy.
Brewing the Perfect Cup
You can't have coffee without water! Serving as half of the equation, if water quality and temperature are neglected the rest of the brewing experience is hamstrung. For peak flavor, water needs to be between 195-205 degrees F, to extract enough oils and caffeine for the perfect cup.
Quality is important as well. Be sure to invest in water filtration for the home such as a faucet or whole house filter system. Mineralization should be low to preserve the taste of the beans and should be cool before brewing as hot water draws in ambient material from the surrounding air.
Brewing advice that holds true in all manner of coffee preparation: use fresh beans that have just been ground. Advanced grinding exposes the beans to air causing them to lose flavor and go stale very rapidly. Using 1/3 ounces of ground coffee per 8 ounces of water constitutes the standard "cup" and should be the ideal measurements for any method.
Most are familiar with the automatic drip brewing method. The easiest by far and requires only filling with water and fresh ground beans. Drip brewing provides a reasonably good, consistent cup of coffee. Beans should be medium ground to extract the most flavor and should not be gritty which would indicate too fine a grind. The average drip cup of coffee has between 115-175 mg of caffeine.
French pressing is just a touch more labor intensive than an automatic drip. This method treats coffee almost like tea in that the grounds need to steep to get the best results. Coarsely grind your beans and be sure to achieve that ideal water temperature of about 200 degrees. When you pour water over the grounds they are likely to rise with the water level. Give them a gentle mixing with a spoon. However, be sure not to use a metal spoon as it can affect the overall taste of your brew. Caffeine content on average is between 80-135 mg.
Brewing espresso is a fine art requiring practice and finesse. Professionals the world over compete on espresso brewing and only a few are recognized for genuine talent. At home, however, you have ample leeway to brew your way. Espresso equipment is rather easy to find but is more expensive than other methods. When tackling espresso, fine grind your beans to extract the most potential. Comparatively, a 2 ounce shot of espresso has between 80-150 mg of caffeine (between 2-3 times more than a drip cup)! Espresso can be enjoyed alone or mixed in with other drinks. Too bitter for most to be had alone, milk is often used to even out the taste or it can be diluted with water.
Ultimately, coffee comes down to taste. When using things like cream and sugar, hardcore coffee drinkers and tasters don't use either. For neophytes, keep in mind that sugar goes a long way. Our suggestion: taste the coffee and not what you put in it!