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Coffee is one of America’s favorite drinks; more than 50% of adults in this country (above the age of 18) have a cup every day, with the daily average being a staggering 3.1 cups. So, yes, it’s true that we love the bitter brew, but do we actually make it correctly? The way that coffee is brewed can affect its flavor a thousand times over, so let’s take a look at four ways you can improve your brewing behavior.
- Buy fresh, whole bean coffee. If you’re buying pre-ground coffee, you’re missing out on a whole new world of flavor. All of the best-tasting coffees are fresh and ground just before they’re brewed; with pre-ground, you have no idea how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. When you buy whole beans, you can at least guarantee that your cup will be freshly ground.
- Store your beans properly. Storage is as important as type when it comes to coffee, especially because freshness is so connected to flavor. In order to keep your beans fresh as the weeks pass, you’ll need an airtight container. Most people rely on mason jars to get the job done.
- Time it perfectly. Coffee grinders offer you the ability to choose the grain size and consistency, both of which play major roles in the resulting cup — too coarse and your pot will be weak, too fine and your coffee will be over-extracted and bitter. However, more important is when you grind; experts say that coffee will begin to lose its flavor within 30 minutes of being ground, so be sure to brew it as soon as you’re done grinding it down.
- Choose your coffee maker carefully. As an experience, automatic coffee makers leave a lot to be desired. Though they can make the process easier and faster, they can also ruin the quality of your brewed coffee. The optimal temperature — which most coffee makers don’t reach — is 195 degrees; make sure your device has a manual temperature function to ensure all of that delicious flavor is being extracted from your beans.
It’s time to leave the taste of instant coffee behind as you move onto greener pastures. Now that you have the knowledge, you have the power; from the coffee maker you use to the coffee beans themselves, the best cup of homemade coffee is waiting for you in your own kitchen.