Best Tasting Coffee

How To Get The Best Tasting Coffee At Home

Posted on 27. Jun, 2012 by in Articles, How-To

What does it take to make the best tasting coffee at home?

Well, a lot of it will depend on what type of coffee you like to drink. For example, are you an espresso fan, or do you prefer a french press? There are a lot of variables that can change in terms of the preparation of your ideal cup of coffee but there are two things that remains consistent and important throughout all of it – which we will come to in just a second!

Before we do however, here are a few links to some of our other articles that once you know what type of coffee you prefer, will help you make the best possible version of that:

Ok, so what does that leave? Well, perhaps unsurprisingly it’s all in the beans.

Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

No matter what flavour of coffee you like or how you like it prepared, the biggest factor that affects the overall taste of the cup is the quality of the beans and how fresh they are.

For the absolutely best tasting cup of coffee you should be using beans that have been roasted between one and three weeks ago.

Coffee beans excrete a lot of gases in the first few days after roasting and in those early stages it can be a bit hit-and-miss as to whether they will actually taste good. If you are using them in a french press this is exacerbated by the amount of gas bubbles that are created when you pour your water in – it can sometimes foam up and half of the press will become a bubbly froth.

For this reason we recommend testing your beans out when they are as fresh as possible, but if they don’t quite work then don’t be afraid to leave them in storage for a week or so.

Now, when your beans start getting towards 3 weeks old they will be reaching their freshness limit. After this they may lose some or all of that freshly roasted flavour.

For that reason, if you want to always get the best tasting cup of coffee possible you should try to buy your beans in small batches. Calculate how much you drink and buy the right amount so that you don’t leave your beans in the cupboard or in the hopper of your grinder for too long.

Click here for tips on how to store your coffee beans

What if you can only buy your beans in bulk?

In the case that you can only buy your coffee beans in large batches, bigger than what you can get through in a couple of weeks, then the best advice is to just do that and then make sure you store the remaining beans as best you can. Separate the large batch into smaller batches which can be stored and not opened until exactly when they are needed, rather than keeping them all in one big container as you will be exposing all your beans to the air each time you open it.

In almost all cases, the fresher the beans, the better the taste and if you have to buy in bulk the flavour will still likely be better than store-bought bags of beans which have been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.

What if you can’t get hold of freshly roasted beans?

It’s a matter of fact that some of us just don’t have a handy supply of freshly roasted beans for one reason or another. In this case, your next best option is to buy the store bought beans. They will not be as fresh as ones you can source locally from a roaster, but they are the best alternative.

Just make sure you stick to the rules in terms of storage (see link above) and only grind the beans you need. Which brings us on to the next most important point…

Grinding Your Way To The Best Tasting Coffee

Next to the freshness of your coffee beans, the most important thing you can do before they even see water is grind them correctly. Your preferred coffee type will dictate exactly how coarse or fine you need to grind your beans but in all cases the key is consistency, which is why you need to make sure you have a good grinder.

Again, only grind the exact amount that you need because it begins to lose flavour almost as soon as it is ground and will become completely flat after just one or two days. That lovely smell that you get when you grind your beans? That’s the flavour escaping!

Just one final thing on the subject of ground beans – for the reason just stated, you should stay away from ready-ground coffee unless you are going to drink it immediately. If you don’t have a grinder the best option is to ask your local coffee shop to grind their beans for you in small batches which you must use up as quickly as possible. Store-bought ground coffee is not going to get you where you want to be if you are here reading this looking for tips on the best tasting coffee!

One final thing…

If you really feel like experimenting and tweaking your coffee flavours to produce the ultimate cup of joe, then you might want to take a look at our recent article on how to roast coffee at home. It won’t be for everyone, but should you master the skill then the pride that you get from roasting your own beans will add that extra few percent of satisfaction into every cup!

Photo credit: anieto2k

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