If you’re like most people [and if you’re reading this there’s the very real chance that you’re not, but bear with me anyway] you may have noticed a pronounced difference between the brewed coffee you can buy at your local specialty coffee house, and the coffee that you brew at home. Chances are, that’s at least part of the reason that you ended up at that coffee house in the first place. What is it that makes coffee shop coffee so much richer, more full of flavor, body and aroma?
The simple truth is that if your local coffee house didn’t pay a lot of attention to the quality of the coffee they serve, they wouldn’t be in business for very long. In contrast, most people [you know, those other people] pay about as much attention to how they make coffee at home as they do to how they make toast — that is, put stuff from a package into a kitchen appliance, flip the switch, wait, remove finished product…. and then add more stuff to make it taste better. It doesn’t have to be this way.
No matter what method you use for brewing [manual drip, auto-drip, press pot, vacuum pot, to name just a few] there’s a very simple recipe that will give you great cup of coffee, every time.
It’s a question of just a few factors, really: the quality of the water, the freshness of your coffee, the proportion of coffee to water, and the temperature and turbulence of the brewing process itself. Of course, this is all predicated by a simple assumption… that your brewing equipment is clean. Really clean. Lots of folks [not you, of course, it’s those other people again] think nothing at all of brewing fresh coffee into pots and carafes that are layered with the residual oils of countless pots that came before. To brew a great cup, or a great pot of coffee, it’s important that you start with equipment that sparkles.
With your equipment ready to go, let’s take a closer look at the first part of our formula… the water.