Whoever said there’s no right or wrong way to drink coffee clearly had been missing out on a lot—because the best coffee experience doesn’t always come in an overpriced cup, served by a cute but over-friendly barista. You can actually enjoy the perfect cup of coffee right in your own home.
But of course, like many things in life, a good cup o’ joe involves a couple of rules and a little bit of science. And if you’ve been leaving it all up to your 12-year-old coffee maker, well, we suggest you read up and find out the different ways you’ve been sabotaging your own drinking pleasure.
- Drinking coffee made from beans you bought in bulk from the supermarket
Coffee tastes best when it’s freshly roasted. We already doubt those beans you picked up from aisle 6 are less than a few weeks old. Buy a month’s supply of those and you can bet you’ll be sipping coffee with compromised flavor for the next 30 days.
Exposing roasted coffee to bright lights, oxygen, heat, and moisture—which are all pretty much what grocery stores and your kitchen are made of, will kill its flavors and deteriorate its overall quality.
Always make sure to buy beans that are carefully packed in vacuum-sealed bags, from quality-conscious roasters, and preferably, only the amount that you can consume in five to seven days. Store at room temperature, in tightly-sealed containers to keep it fresh.
Bones Coffee Company’s gourmet coffees are roasted-to-order in small batches to ensure a fresh bag is delivered straight to your door.
- Using tap water
Tap water contains chlorine and usually has a bad flavor, which will negatively impact the quality and taste of your brew. The same can be said about softened or distilled water. To enjoy your coffee the best way possible, use bottled spring water. If that’s a bit too much for your daily coffee fix, consider investing in activated-charcoal or carbon filters for your tap instead.
- Using cheap filters
Yes, coffee filters matter, and if you’re stocking up on paper filters priced at $3 dollars a pack, you’re in for a less than superior coffee experience. These cheap filters produce inferior coffee, so if you want to get the most out of your cup, look for oxygen-bleached or dioxin-free paper filters, or even better, gold-plated ones that allow coffee to develop its full flavor without changing the taste as it goes through the filtration process.
- Making it too hot
Extremely high temperature brings out the bitter compounds in coffee. Keep the temp at 200°F when brewing, or about 45-60 seconds off a full boil. Brew just enough for consumption as reheating or prolonged exposure to heat will make it bitter, overpowering the delicious flavor, and giving you a rather unpleasant coffee experience.
- Making coffee with uncleaned equipment
Oil and dirt can build up on your machine and other coffee-making contraptions, and this can affect the flavors of your coffee. Make sure you regularly and thoroughly clean everything—from storage containers to grinders and your coffeemaker.