The absolute best coffee starts with the beans. The beans should be fresh, best if you roast them yourself or purchased directly from a store that roasts them on site, then stored properly. Purchase just enough for a two-week supply of coffee and grind the beans right before you make coffee. Make certain you keep the grinder clean and free of oils. Oil residue eventually becomes rancid and affects the flavor of your coffee in the grinder. This can occur in stores that allow you to grind the beans on site. Coffee is best when you grind the beans right before making it.
Contrary to popular belief, storing your coffee beans in the refrigerator doesn’t keep it fresher—it simply makes it stinkier. That’s right, coffee and coffee beans absorb the smells of the refrigerator that affect the flavor of the coffee. Instead, store your beans in a cool dark place away from moisture and bright light. Exposure to not just light and moisture, but also oxygen is a flavor killer for great tasting coffee. You’ll find storing beans in a canning jar or airtight crock keeps it freshest. If you happen to get a great deal on coffee beans, you can store them in the freezer, but first reduce the bulk purchase to several bags containing two-week supplies of coffee beans. Once you take a bag out the freezer, don’t refreeze, just store as you would with fresh beans.
Buying good coffee is important. Most coffee connoisseurs identify the Arabica bean as the start for great tasting coffee. A coffee purchase containing 100 percent Arabica beans will make the mellowest cup of coffee. However, if taste isn’t important, but caffeine content is, you can look for the cheaper alternative containing Robusta beans. While the coffee might have a nasty bite to it, it will keep wound up longer because of the caffeine content.
Bad tasting water makes bad tasting coffee. If you live in a city where the water tastes like chlorine, use bottle spring water. You don’t want distilled water, since some of the minerals add to the flavor of the coffee. Water from a water softener is totally out of the question.
Unfortunately, filters may add unwanted flavor to your coffee taste. Even though oxygen-bleached or dioxin-free filters are slightly more expensive, they make better tasting coffee than the bargain basement types.
Using the appropriate amount of coffee, not too little and not too much, is also another key factor to the greatest cup you’ll ever taste. When measuring your coffee, you need to put 2 ¾ tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounce cup. Some people, even restaurants, use hotter water and less coffee to cut their costs. However, it makes the coffee slightly bitterer and far less palatable, so always use the proper 200 degree Fahrenheit brewing temperature.