No matter what your brewing method is, there are a few important guidelines to follow that will make a dramatic difference to the taste of your brew.
Find High Quality Beans.
At Coffee Mojo we are committed to sourcing beans from farmers who take pride in cultivating the highest quality beans and who strive to continually improve the quality of their coffee. Our tribute to these farms is indicated by the fact that the farm name is prominent on all our single origin labels
Use Fresh Roasted Coffee
Fresh roasted coffee needs a period of time to degas after roasting. This degassing best takes place when the coffee is stored in bags with a one-way valve that lets CO2 escape but doesn't allow oxygen to enter. Degassing takes about 2-3 days post-roast but is generally a bit longer if the coffee has been roasted for espresso extraction. However, once the coffee has degassed, it needs to be consumed within around 2-3 weeks of roasting, otherwise it begins to fade and lose its subtle flavor notes. As this process is accelerated when the beans are ground, try to always start with whole beans. Invest in a decent burr grinder and always, always look for the roast date on the bag. Store your coffee in a cool,dry place in an airtight container. When possible, buy only one to two weeks' supply of beans at a time and grind just prior to brewing.
Use the Correct Grind
Ensure that your grind is optimal for the extraction technique being used. Generally, coarser grinds are used for longer brew cycles, so a French Press (Cafetiere) with an extraction time of around 4 - 5 minutes will have a much coarser grind than an espresso grind which is extracted in 25-30 seconds. The key to a good grind is consistency and uniformity of grind particles which is why a burr grinder is favored over a blade grinder which tends to chop the beans in a very uneven manner leading to a wide variation in grind particle size. If you have a lot of fines in your grind then these fines will be over extracted leading to increasing bitterness in your brew. However, a blade grinder is a better option than buying pre-ground coffee. If you do use a blade grinder shake it gently while you grind to produce better uniformity.
Grind Before Brewing
Have you ever smelt the difference between freshly-ground black pepper and pre-ground pepper? Well the same principle applies to coffee beans. Ground coffee stales very quickly and the finer the grind, the quicker it stales. Although we recommend grinding your coffee prior to brewing we understand that it may be easier to purchase pre-ground coffee, so we do include the option to grind. You can choose between drip or french press grind settings. However, because there are so many variables to making espresso, we do not pre-grind beans for espresso extraction.
Use the Proper Dose
For brewed coffee use approximately 5.5 to 6 grams of coffee (about one rounded tablespoon) for every 100ml of water. Using the proper dose and correct grind will result in ideal extraction and a sweet cup of coffee, free of bitterness. To get some consistency use some measuring device whether it be volumetric or a scales to measure the amount of coffee to make your brew. Scales are more accurate as a dark or light roasted coffee will have different volumes. If you don't have a scales or are brewing in the bush or on the go, a rounded tablespoon weighs around 6 grams.
Clean Equipment is Essential
Before brewing, it's important to make sure that your equipment is clean and free of both old grounds and stale coffee oils from previous brews. For the best results, always clean your brewing equipment with water and a little bit of elbow grease immediately following the brew cycle. It only takes a few minutes, but in the long run, you will be able to taste the difference. Avoid using detergents on certain equipment. Soap will leave a film residue and foul the flavor of your coffee. If you use paper to filter your coffee, rinse it with hot water before brewing to avoid getting the taste of the paper in the coffee.
Good quality water is essential for a good brew. Avoid water with too much minerals or conversely with no minerals at all. Try to use filtered water.
The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 92oC and 96oC. So after boiling your water, don't pour it straight away, but let it sit for a minute. Then time the brewing cycle for around 3-6 minutes depending on your brew method and grind.
Brewed coffee should be served immediately. Coffee that sits for more than 20 minutes starts to go stale.