Top tips for making the best cup of coffee
It will come as no surprise to regular readers to find me talking about coffee on this blog, I do it fairly regularly (though I do admit that I drink it less often, I leave that to Mr B). We regularly attend the London Coffee Festival, and are the proud owners of a rather fancy coffee machine called the Dual Boiler, made by Sage Appliances we have had it for years and it has never let us down.
What has let us down though have been sub-standard coffee beans.
Because you need really fresh beans to get the best coffee we have found that buying beans in the supermarket doesn’t always get the best results. You have no real idea how long they have been sitting on a shelf or in a warehouse and therefore no clear indication of how fresh they really are. Not many people are aware of that so I thought I would share some of my top tips on how to get a really great tasting cup of coffee.
1. Invest in the most expensive coffee machine you can afford to buy. If that is a cafetière, a press, or a drip filter machine, that is fine, but anything is better than a finely ground powder instant that sells for a few quid for a large jar. Sorry to sound snobby, but there is coffee and there is coffee. If you can really push the budget then any of the Sage Appliances machines are excellent, here is my review of the Precision Brewer that they released last year. For the money it is an incredible piece of kit.
2. Sign up to a company such as Pact Coffee to get a regular delivery of fresh coffee beans, ground coffee, or pods. You simply decide how much you want to spend each month and they will do the rest, supplying you with a regular stream of incredible coffee with information on where it was grown. All their coffee is packed and shipped within seven days of roasting. See below for a special offer
3. Don’t buy more than you will use in about a month. Buying it by the kilo might seem like a great idea but if that will take you six months to get through they will not be as fresh as they could be.
4. Only grind just before you make the coffee. Don’t grind enough for the week and store it, the flavour begins to get lost within half an hour of grinding.
5. Don’t use water that is too hot! If you are not using an automatic machine then make sure you aren’t using water that is boiling as this will scold the coffee. Let it sit for a minute or two before pouring over the ground coffee.
6. Store the coffee beans in an airtight container until you need them.
7. Regularly clean the grinder (if you use one). Oil secreted by the beans or bits of left over beans can all cause the grinder to stop working perfectly so make sure you clean it at least once a month.
8. Always use fresh water. That might sound obvious, but if you have had water that has been sitting around for a while it is just not going to taste as good as the stuff straight out of the tap.
9. Warm your coffee cup. When hot coffee hits a cold cup it will cool it down far too quickly. Run your cup under a hot tap first of all (or make your other half a cuppa with the kettle and swirl some of that boiled water around the cup) and it will keep your coffee hotter for so much longer.
As an aside if you put a cup of the old coffee grinds in the fridge it is a great way to absorb any odours. They are also great for scrubbing pans as their slightly abrasive nature works wonders on caked on food.
And there you have it. My top nine tips on how to make the most amazing cup of coffee you ever tasted*