Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

When brewing a cup of coffee most everyone knows how to do this but how to perfectly brew a great coffee is something that may elude most of us, me included.

A great cup of cup begins with the type of bean that is used; Arabica and Robusta. Robusta are cultivated at lower altitudes (>3000 ft) and have higher caffeine content. These beans are most often used in commercial grade brands found in stores around the country. Arabica beans are grown in higher altitudes (<3000 ft) and are consider being a better tasting coffee because of the wide range of flavor. Some of the best coffees are Arabica beans i.e. Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain (my personal favorite), Columbian, Santos and Sumatra to mention a few.

Why would you want to pick a mountain grown coffee you may ask? The reason for selecting a high altitude coffee is that the higher the elevation the better the flavor. This is because the coffee beans grow and develop slower, thus allowing the bean to absorb all the nutrients from the soil which provides a more complex flavor in the end. Also, as the bean slowly develops the bean becomes harder which leads to better grinds. Just remember, the higher the elevation, the harder the bean. The harder the bean the better the flavor!

So now you have picked your poison now you may wonder what the best grind is for that particular bean, but really it depends upon the type of brewer you plan on using. In fact this is the most crucial point in making that perfect cup of coffee. Another key step is to use whole beans if possible and to grind them immediately prior to brewing. This allows for the aroma of the beans to permeate the entire brewing process.

Next step. What brewing method are you using? Dependant on the type of brewer you are using will dictate how finely ground the beans are. Below is a description of the types of grinding available:

Coarse - Chunky, distinct particles, reminds me of potting soil.

Brewer Type:

French Press (press or plunger pot) Toddy Makers (cold brew method) Vacuum Coffee Maker

Medium - More the texture of coarse sand.

Brewer Type:

Auto Drip Makers (with flat bottom filters)

Drip Makers (with cone shaped filters)

Fine - Smoother yet. More like sugar or salt when you rub it between your fingers.

Brewer Type:

Stove Top Espresso Pots Some Drip Makers (with cone shaped filters)

Super Fine - Not as fine as flour or powdered sugar, but definitely in that ball park. You can still feel some grit.

Brewer Type:

Espresso Machines

So now that you have all this down the next step to your perfect cup of coffee is adding the water and brewing the coffee. This can be a simple as pouring the water into your brewing machine or press and waiting or as complicated as you want to make it. I prefer using a press and letting it sit for about 5-7 minutes or when it is dark enough that I can’t see through the carafe. To make it easier for you and for me, because after doing all this research and writing, I want my perfect cup of coffee, I have pasted a link to perfect brewing for specific brewers, plus it is a great source of information on coffee! Please check it out and now my coffee is calling to me!

Michiko Burns

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.