02 September 2008

Storage
Store The beans in an airtight container and grind them just prior to brewing. If you must store The beans for longer than a week, store them in an airtight container in a dark cupboard.

Freshness
Stale coffee is bitter and the flavor is flat at best and rancid at worst. Staleness comes from exposure to air over a period of time.

Grinding
Grinding is very critical point. Ground too coarse you get weak coffee. Ground too fine you get bitter coffee. The blade grinders that are sold in most stores do an adequate job. Grinding for 10 to 12 seconds, and adjust that time to your taste.

Brewing
To get the best tasting drink, start with a ratio of two tablespoons of ground coffee per 5 ounces of water and adjust the taste. If you prefer your coffee weaker, it will taste better if you make
it full strength, then dilute it with hot water or milk.

Tap water should be free of any strange flavors, odors or textures. If it is not, then use filtered or bottled water. Avoid distilled or softened water! Some minerals are essential to coffee flavor. Tap water
should be cold and allowed to run for a few seconds to aerate it before it goes into a maker or water kettle.

Water should be heated to just below boiling (200 degrees F.). For drip brewers, the brew cycle should be completed in 5 minutes. Other good methods are the "French Press" and "Vacuum pot" which brew in about 4 minutes. Avoid percolators and electric pots with brew cycles that take longer than 6 minutes. These will over-extract the coffee and cause bitterness.

Serve brewed coffee within 30 minutes or store it in a "thermal" or insulated carafe. Coffee will remain fresh and tasty in this kind of container for 60 minutes. Coffee that has been left exposed to air or left on a hot burner deteriorates rapidly.

To keep coffee warm, a thermal carafe by pre-filling it with hot water ahead of time, then emptying it of the warming water and filling it with the freshly made coffee. This method also works to warm up cold ceramic mugs.

Re-heating brewed coffee can breaks down coffee's many delicate components, leaving only a warm beverage with a poor flavor.

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