27 August 2008

The enjoyment of coffee is a sensual and subjective experience. There are many ways to brew a satisfying cup of coffee, but the secret to the perfect cup is to remember one thing above all else, brew coffee to suit your own taste. If the results aren't what you expected, try again. Make the grind more or less coarse; use more or less water; purchase and evaluate a variety of coffees.
Here are a few basic ground rules to put you on the right track before you begin to experiment with brewing times and blends.

The Art of Brewing Great Coffee

Use nothing but the best quality Arabica coffee beans.
Only use selected Arabica beans from the world over. Use freshly roasted coffee that has been properly stored away from air and moisture.

Use a clean coffee brewer.
Built-up resins and oily deposits can make your coffee taste bitter, so your equipment must be cleaned regularly.

Use fresh ground coffee.
Grind it just before brewing to ensure maximum freshness (ground coffee loses flavour and body quickly).

Match your grind to your brewing system.
It is essential that your coffee beans are correctly ground to match your coffee maker. In general, the longer that coffee and water spend in contact during the brewing process, the coarser the grind you should use. For example, for a plunger the grind should be coarse, as the brewing time is four minutes. An espresso machine only takes a few seconds to brew, so it requires a much finer grind.

Always use fresh, cold water heated to just off the boil.
Bottled or filtered water is best and don't use softened or distilled water as they will affect the flavour of the coffee. For the perfect water temperature, bring the water to a boil and let it cool a few seconds. Water any cooler will not capture the full flavour of the beans. Boiling or reheating coffee literally boils away flavour.

Use the right proportion of coffee to water.
We recommend starting with one rounded tablespoon(10g)of ground coffee for each 180ml of water. Adjust the amount of coffee to suit your taste.

Drink the coffee freshly brewed.
If you brew more than you can drink right away, pour the extra brewed coffee into a thermal container. It can last for up to an hour without seriously changing the taste. Plunger coffee becomes over extracted and cold by the time the second cup is poured. Drip coffee gets bitter and flat if it sits too long on a hotplate. Never reheat cold coffee.

Evaluate coffee by taste.
If it's too rich, or too light, adjust the grind or amount of water used until you have a perfect brew -- the one that pleases you.

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