Making a delicious cup of coffee is easy if you start with the best beans and follow some simple guidelines.
To help you avoid some common coffee-making pitfalls, Alton Brown offers these tips:
- Always start with fresh, cool water.
- Do use fresh spring or tap water
- Do use clean water with no detectable tastes or odors
- Don’t use demineralized water, such as distilled water, which lacks the necessary level of dissolved mineral solids (100-200 ppm) needed to give the water that “crystal fresh” taste
- Brew with high-quality beans.
- Do use freshly ground beans before brewing to release their fragrant aromatics
- Do store your coffee beans in an airtight container away from light
- Don’t let your beans absorb moisture in the refrigerator or freezer because this hastens staling
- Preparing coffee in a French Press is easy and fun.
- Do preheat the glass pot before brewing
- Do brew with fresh clean water just off the boil
- Do fill the pot, then give it a quick stir. Cover with the plunger lid, allow the brew to infuse for four minutes, then gently depress the plunger through the grounds for 30 seconds
- Don’t leave the coffee in the press after brewing – pour it into an insulated carafe, so it doesn’t get cold or bitter
- Don’t ever re-use coffee grounds, because their desirable, dissolvable flavor solids were extracted during the first brewing
- The proper coffee-to-water ratio makes all the difference
- Do use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water
- Don’t try to make “weaker coffee” by decreasing the amount of coffee you use to brew. This only results in a bitter, over-extracted beverage. Instead, just add a little water to your cup and you will be able to enjoy a less intense, but still high-quality coffee flavor