How to Care For Your Coffee Like a Pro
Do you love coffee as much as I do, oftentimes relying on it as the only thing to get you out of bed in the morning? That bitter yet sweet smell greeting you as you rub your eyes while the aroma welcomes you to begin a new day with a kick of joy? Or perhaps you’re someone who has just one cup a day—after lunch maybe, when you need a little afternoon boost. Regardless of when you get your fix, there are a few basic things that every coffee drinker should know about the storage and preparation of their coffee. I’ve always wanted to learn more about things that I love, and after visits to Jacques Coffee in Queensland, Australia and Yahava Coffee Company in Western Australia, I’ve picked up a few tips that I want to share with the masses. Just a little bit of knowledge about how to care for your beans can go a long way:
Never store your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer. This causes whatever moisture might be in the container to thaw each time the coffee is removed, saturating the beans. Why don’t you want moisture to be present in your bag of coffee? Well, it’s the perfect environment to stimulate mold growth. And none of us want that in our morning cup.
Coffee should be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature. Ideally, you should buy your beans or grinds fresh, and keep them for about 2-3 weeks before buying a new batch. It’s a common misconception that coffee can be bought in bulk, and stored in large quantities for a rainy day—if you’re concerned about quality, you should buy small amounts fresh every few weeks—and pay attention to how it’s stored!
Never make coffee using boiling water. For example, if you are preparing coffee in a French Press, you should never pour water straight from the kettle into the press. The boiling water will burn the grinds and ruin the taste. Ideally, the water should be about 205°F. Those fancy electric kettles with different settings aren’t looking to bad now, are they? The only problem is they’re ungodly expensive…so alternatively, you can boil water in a kettle and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before making your coffee.
A French Press is considered the best way to make a cup of coffee. Since we now know that exposing the coffee grinds to boiling water burns them, we can’t really consider any method of making coffee which exposes the grinds to boiling water to be the best, can we? Percolators, drip–coffee makers, and stovetop boilers all make it difficult to control the temperature of the water. A French Press is one of the simplest methods of making coffee, but sometimes simple is best! Pro tip: two fingers worth of coffee in any sized beaker is just about the right amount!
When pouring multiple cups from a French Press, swirl the beaker in a circular motion when pouring each cup. This seems silly, but when you make a pot of French Press, you’ll see foamy stuff on top—this is called the crème. If you pour straight into the first cup, the first cup gets all of the crème, leaving none for anyone else. Swirling the beaker when pouring distributes the crème evenly, so that everyone can get a little bit of the foamy goodness that lies on top!
Don’t clean your coffee pot with soap and water every time. Hot water will usually suffice…using too much soap and not rinsing properly can give your coffee a soapy taste. Yuck!
Armed with these tips, you can rest easy knowing that you’re able to properly care for one of the greatest drinks known to mankind—coffee!