… or how I learned to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
Java, Joe, Brew, Sludge. Call it what you will; coffee is integral to the social proprieties of many cultures. It is a concoction that provides the lubricant to many an interaction. In our own family, it was a ” right of passage” signaling (with the addition of cream and sugar) that one was becoming an adult, after which coffee became a thing of beauty–something to always look for in its best presentation.
Yes, coffee snobs are we–it “ain’t purty” yet alas, it is what it is. Anything less would be ordinary and a diminishment. With that said, below are the steps to making your own perk perfect:
- INVEST IN A BURR COFFEE GRINDER. It’s amazing what a difference that one thing makes. When you grind coffee you increase the surface area of the coffee bean that is exposed to air hastening the release of the oils that give it its rich flavor. Grind coffee right before you use it.
- Buy Good Coffee. The better coffee you start with the better beverage you end with. Chocolaterie Stam has a full line of European style and flavored coffees roasted by an artisanal Iowa roaster. They roast in small batches and ship weekly to our stores ensuring that the freshest coffee possible is each Chocolaterie Stam location.
- KEEP YOUR DRIP COFFEE MAKER AND COFFEE POT CLEAN. Coffee oils cling to everything and once they’re deposited they start growing rancid. Wash out your pot and filter basket every time you make a fresh pot and clean your coffee maker once a week. Descale it once a month. And do remember to clean the shower heads up under where the filter basket goes
- USE ENOUGH COFFEE The biggest mistake that people make when making coffee in a drip coffee maker is using too little coffee. You should use a full tablespoon of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. Measure it out the first few times and you’ll be surprised how much coffee that actually is.
- USE FRESH, COLD WATER. Some people recommend using distilled water with all the minerals and impurities removed. Frankly, distilled water is good for your machine, but it makes flat tasting coffee. If your tap water is good for drinking, it will make good coffee. If it’s not, use a water filter or use spring water.
- AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO USE THE BREW PAUSE. The first cups or so of coffee will carry most of the coffee flavor. If you pour that off and return the pot to fill the rest of the way, the first cup of coffee will be very strong, and the rest of the post very weak. Practice patience, grasshopper.
- TAKE THE COFFEE OFF THE WARMING PLATE WHEN IT’S DONE BREWING. Coffee left on the warmer plate will continue to “cook”. Instead, pour any coffee that’s left over into a thermal pot, preferably one with a vacuum seal.
- THE RIGHT MUG. Great coffee comes from great mugs. Don’t forget it.