I’m a coffee lover. As in, I have a real opinion on real coffee. And while I like the occasional fluffy sounding coffee treat, as a general rule, I prefer just a plain mug of a fantastic regular brew. For awhile my fav was a local Greenville, SC roaster called West End Coffee Company and while it’s probably still my favorite, at the rate that I go through it…it wasn’t the best for my budget. I’ll drink the Maxwell Houses and Eight O’Clocks of the world happily at your house too…but in my house, I’ve found a soulful connection with Whole Foods’s Pleasant Morning Buzz which is a little more dinero than it used to be but still not too bad at about $13 for a 24oz bag.
I was thinking this morning as I arose to drink my happily anticipated cup of morning coffee that it seems that too many people don’t know how to make a decent cup of coffee. I only say this because several of my friends have even confessed that they don’t know how to do it well. So I thought I’d give ya’ll the low-down… especially since the holidays are upon us and you may likely find yourself with more opportunities to brew coffee than you’re typically accustomed to doing.
So here are some tips:
Buy decent coffee, and if you can make yourself grind it, then buy it in whole bean form when you can and keep it in an airtight container. Buying a one-week supply is ideal. Contrary to popular belief, coffee beans and grounds should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain their best flavor. (Now’s the time to rescue those beans from the freezer…yes…NOW.) If you know you won’t grind it yourself, then it’s ok…buy the pre-ground stuff…I’m coming to hang out with YOU anyhow…not your coffee.
Use good water…In Greenville, our water was rated to be some of the best water in the country…so I use tap water. If you have nasty minerally water, then your coffee will only be as good as your nasty water….which is well….kinda nasty. Filter that stuff and you’ll be happier.
Ideally, grind your coffee beans just before brewing. (If you’re using pre-ground, that’s okay, too. I know what it’s like to be busy!) The faster your brew cycle, the finer you should grind the beans. A good rule of thumb is to use a fine grind (20–25 seconds in a blade grinder) for vacuum pots and one-cup cones, a drip grind (15 seconds) for most drip brewers and a coarse grind (10 seconds) for plunger pots and cold water extractors. (this little tid bit was from Whole Food’s website.)
Here’s the part that trips up most of the people I know. The coffee to water ratio. The rule of thumb is about 2 Tbsp per 3/4 c water that will be poured through…no matter how much you’re making. On our standard coffee pots, 3/4 cup is about what they consider to be 1 cup. So my own personal rule of thumb is to use a crazy full heaping Tbsp for every 2 cups…which when I measured it this morning to tell you this was just shy of 2 Tbsp. Here’s what I do though…take the number of cups you want to make (a standard coffee pot makes 12)…half it (so we’re at about 6)…and then add one to grow on (so 7 ginormous heaping tablespoons for 1 standard pot of coffee.) And if you’re making a lot of coffee or anything else for that matter, know that there are 4 Tbsp in 1/4 cup. So do the math and cut down on your scooping. (Tuck that little measurement conversion into your back pocket for the next time you’re doubling a recipe too.)
And, when you drink your coffee….it’s gonna taste the best within the first 30 minutes it’s brewed.
Hope this helps! Now you’ll be the one among your friends who becomes known for a good cup o’joe! Happy brewing!
Starting on Monday, I’m going to show you a few crafts that I’ve been working on with all those hymnal pages I told you about!
Before I leave you today, I thought I’d show you how to make my MOST favorite cup of coffee ever.
<—-This old pot….
A fire in the fireplace…—->
<—- This view…
From this porch…
Pretty much the most perfect cup of coffee ever.
And I’ll be enjoying my coffee that way every morning over Thanksgiving in the mountains too!