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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Ok kids...this is m first post so listen up...haha j/k

Alot of people I know seem to always store their coffee incorrectly (my roomate being one of them). The second a coffee bean has finished roasting, time, temperature, and the air around us work against it to compromise its quality; a perfect bean becomes less so with every passing hour, losing flavor and character the longer it’s stored.

The purchase date of your coffee isn’t nearly as important as the roasting date, so when buying coffee, look to be sure it was recently roasted. Jerry recommends buying beans in small quantities to prevent them from sitting for too long in storage. Many people will tell you to put your coffee in the refrigerator but when I was employed at Starbucks, they said just the opposite. I would suggest keeping it in an air-tight container in a dark spot (such as a cabinet) and be sure you kep it away from dampness. Coffee beans have a shelf live of about 6 months after they are roasted and about a life span of about two weeks once ground.

To achieve the freshest flavor, grind your coffee just before you brew it. Small grinders are inexpensive and easy to find—just be sure to wipe them out with a paper towel after each use. When grinding the beans, gently rotate the grinder to ensure that the beans are evenly ground.

Using the best water available is essential when making coffee; if your tap water has an unpleasant taste, you can purchase a purifying filter. One problem inherent in many coffeemakers is that the temperature of the water isn’t hot enough when it pours over the ground beans; what results is a blander, far less interesting brew. For best results, I recommend using a French press, instead of an electric coffeemaker.

In a kettle, bring water to a boil, then let it stand for about a minute. Use two level tablespoons of ground coffee for each six ounces of water, or two ounces per quart. (Follow the same instructions if you’re brewing decaffeinated coffee, but increase the ratio slightly to enhance the flavor. If the brewed coffee is too strong, you can add a bit more water to dilute it.) Place the coffee in the press pot, and pour the water over it. If it bubbles, this is another sign of its freshness; fresh coffee releases gas as it comes into contact with hot water, a process called blooming. Gently slosh the water in the pot to saturate all the grounds, and allow them to steep for two to three minutes. Carefully push the press pot’s top (which contains the filter) to the bottom of the pot, and pour the coffee into heated mugs.

That my friend's is your way to the perfect cup of coffee. =)

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