We recommend using our standard brewing ratio which can be used for all types of gourmet blends and added a couple of other recommendations by the NCA (National Coffee Association).
If you buy whole bean coffee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for maximum freshness. A burr or mill grinder is best because the coffee is ground to a consistent size.
A blade grinder is less preferable because some coffee will be ground more finely than the rest. If you normally grind your coffee at home with a blade grinder, try having it ground at the store with a burr grinder - you’ll be surprised at the difference! (Whichever option you use, always follow manufacturers' recommendations when using your grinder, and be mindful of any necessary safety considerations.)
The size of the grind is hugely important to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it may be over-extracted, or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be under-extracted, meaning your grind is too coarse.
The water you use is very important to the quality of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not good or has a strong odour or taste, such as chlorine.
If you’re using tap water, let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot, and be sure to use cold water. Avoid distilled or softened water.
2.5 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 175ml (milliliters) of water, this can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences.
Safety first! Of course, any time you are working with heat and hot beverages, take all necessary precautions for everyone from those preparing coffee, to those being served, and drinking coffee.
Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 90 and 96 degrees Celsius (195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit) for optimal extraction. Colder water will result in flat, under-extracted coffee, while water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. (However, cold brew does not need any heat.)
If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not over boil. Turn off the heat source and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.
Coffee usually cools rapidly after being served, depending upon the container from which it is being served. And, many coffee drinkers may add cream or milk which also has a cooling effect. Ultimately, the temperature at which any individual coffee drinker will prefer their coffee is a personal preference, like so many other things that make coffee special. These are some of the reasons why it is best to serve coffee right after brewing, when it is fresh and hot – typically at a temperature of 82 – 85 degrees Celsius (180-185F), according to research.
Of course, with respect to drinking coffee, vs. serving, you should always allow your coffee – or any hot beverage – to reach a comfortable temperature before drinking. One study has shown that coffee drinkers typically drink their coffee at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) or below.
The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important flavor factor.
In a drip system, the contact time should be approximately 5 minutes. If you are making your coffee using a French Press, the contact time should be 2-4 minutes. Espresso has an especially brief brew time — the coffee is in contact with the water for only 20-30 seconds. Cold brew, on the other hand, should steep overnight (about 12 hours).
If you’re not happy with the taste of the final product, you're likely either:
Over-extracting - the brew time is too long
Under-extracting - the brew time is too short
Experiment with the contact time until you get the right balance for your taste.
Make sure that your tools — from bean grinders and filters to coffee makers— are thoroughly cleaned after each use.
Rinse with clear, hot water (or wipe down thoroughly), and dry with an absorbent towel. It’s important to check that no grounds have been left to collect and that there’s no build-up of coffee oil (caffeol), which can make future cups of coffee taste bitter and rancid.