A Foolproof Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Follow these steps if you want to experience the ultimate cup of coffee.

Step 1: The Coffee

Always purchase whole bean coffee, preferably farm-direct and from a single estate. Make sure the whole bean coffee is freshly roasted and shipped to you in a valve-sealed bag. Store the premium coffee beans in dry, cool, and dark place, either in a zip-locked bag or a sealed container.

CoffeeMan Dan says, “Don’t put coffee in the freezer because the porous beans will absorb moisture, which will in turn deteriorate the coffee’s fine aroma.”

Step 2: Grinding

Use a Burr Grinder, Grind the whole beans just before you brew the coffee and only grind as much coffee as you are going to use at the time.

CoffeeMan Dan says, “Make sure you don’t grind the coffee too finely because that will break up the fibers of the coffee beans and overexpose their aromatic oils to oxygen, causing an excess flavor extraction that creates a bitterness.”

Step 3: Equipment

Use a French Press to brew the coffee and make sure all parts of it are perfectly clean.  The Press should have a stainless steel or gold mesh filter.   Make sure the pot you use to boil the water is also extremely clean as even small amounts of contaminants in the pot can affect the subtle flavors of the gourmet coffee and cause an undesirable bitterness.

CoffeeMan Dan says, “You can neutralize any remaining coffee oils or acids that remain on the coffee-making equipment by washing and rinsing it with baking soda and water.”

Step 4: The Water

Use cold filtered or bottled spring water to brew the coffee.  Boil the water and then let it sit for just a short time before pouring it into the French Press.  The water should cool to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before pouring.  By pouring the water at just the right temperature you will maximize the release of the flavorful oils and aromas

CoffeeMan Dan says, “Use a thermometer once or twice to get an idea of how long you should let your water sit before pouring it into the French Press.”

Step 5: Brewing

Always use the Steeping method when brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

  • Use about 1½ to 2 tablespoons of coffee for each 6 ounces of water.
  • A larger grind size requires a longer brewing time.
  • After you pour the hot water into the French Press, wait about four minutes.  This allows the coffee to steep as the flavors are released.
  • Plunge the press down very slowly when the coffee is ready. This allows the ground coffee and hot water to have optimal interaction, again maximizing the release of the flavorful and aromatic oils.

Other brewing methods include Drip Filtration, Vacuum Filtration, Percolation, Pressurized Fusion, and Decoction.

CoffeeMan Dan says, “Pre-warm your cup before pouring the coffee into it.  You can do this by pouring some hot water into the cup and letting it sit a few moments before pouring the water out.”

Step 6: Enjoy

Begin consuming the coffee immediately after you have poured it into the cup in order to appreciate the optimal aromas and gourmet tastes.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nancy J. Harrington November 26, 2009 at 2:15 am

If you can’t make a great cup of coffee following these directions, well you never will. Thanks for the super instructions on how to make a perfect cup of coffee. Nancy

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