There are many methods of brewing a delicious cup of coffee and no one technique is right. The method you select for brewing your coffee should be based on your unique coffee flavor preference - and it takes experimentation to discover what you deem "perfect". To optimize the quality of every cup of coffee you drink, try incorporating the below suggestions.
1. The Equipment
Make sure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned after each use. Rinse it with clear, hot water and dry it well. Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of coffee oil anywhere. Coffee residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavor to the coffee, so it's very important that the equipment is clean.
2. The Grind
Always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible. A burr or mill grinder is preferable because all of 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 may be surprised at the difference!
Do not underestimate the importance of the size of the grind to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. The size of your ground should match the equipment you will be brewing the coffee in. Will you be using a plunger pot? A flat drip filter? A cone drip filter? A gold mesh filter? The grind should be specific for the preparation method you have chosen and the equipment you use.
Our ground Longevity Coffee is a drip grind suitable for automatic drip machines and pour over cones.
Never reuse your coffee grounds. Once brewed, the desirable coffee flavors have been extracted and only the bitter undesirable ones are left.
3. The Water
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 imparts a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. If you are using tap water let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot. Be sure to use cold water. Do not use distilled or softened water. Spring water is the best choice of water and is recommended when brewing Longevity Coffee™.
4. Ratio of Coffee to Water
It is important to use the proper amount of coffee for every six ounces of water that is actually brewed. Please be aware that some water is lost to evaporation in certain brewing methods.
A general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences.
Be sure to check the 'cup' lines on your brewer to see how they actually measure.
5. Water Temperature During Brewing
Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction.
Colder water will result in flat, underextracted coffee. Water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not overboil. Turn off the heat source and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.
We also recommend the Cold Brewing Method if you'd like the lowest acidity level possible in your final coffee product.
6. Brewing Time
The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of your coffee.
In a drip system: the contact time with the water should be approximately 5 minutes.
In a plunger pot: the contact time with the water should be 2-4 minutes.
To make Espresso: the contact time with the water should be 20-30 seconds.
If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, it is possible that you are either overextracting (the brew time is too long) or underextracting (the brew time is too short) your coffee. Experiment with the contact time until you can make a cup of coffee that suits your tastes perfectly.
Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately!
If you pour the coffee into a warmed coffee cup, it will maintain its temperature for as long as possible.
Brewed coffee begins to lose its optimal taste moments after brewing, so only brew as much coffee as you will drink immediately.
The coffee should never be left on an electric burner for longer than 15 minutes because it will begin to develop a burned taste. If the coffee is not to be served immediately after brewing, it should be poured into a warmed, insulated thermos and used within the next 45 minutes.
Never reheat your coffee, because frankly, it's just not going to taste very good!