Step 1: Use 1 part ground coffee for every 15 parts water
For a 4-cup French Press, that would be about 4-5 tablespoons (30 grams) of coffee, and 430 mL of water. Boil your water and let it sit off the boil for about 30-45 seconds.
Step 2: Add your coffee grounds to your press
Pour enough water to fill your French Press a quarter of the way and wait 30 seconds.
Step 3: Stir, then add remaining water and steep for 3:30
Let your grounds steep in the water for 3.5 minutes, instead of the usual four minutes. Make sure to put the plunger back on top and plunge slowly and evenly after 3.5 minutes of steeping.
If your French Press coffee tastes bitter or over-extracted, there are 3 easy ways to transform it into the delicious brew you’re after:
→ Use less coffee
Since pre-ground coffee is generally finer than the coarsely ground coffee most French Press recipes call for, it will tend to be over-extracted. To combat this, you can reduce the amount of coffee you’re using per batch.
→ Use cooler water
Generally, French Press coffee calls for water at about 195-205°F. If your brew tastes bitter and over-extracted, you can try letting your water cool off the boil for a little longer—aim for about 185°F.
→ Decrease your brew time
Since pre-ground coffee has more exposed surface area than a typically coarse grind for a French Press, its flavors are extracted faster. Try steeping your grounds for less than the standard 4 minutes.
Step 1: Use 1 part ground coffee for every 6.5 parts water
For a standard Chemex, for instance, that would be about 6 tablespoons (55 grams) of coffee, and 750 mL of water. Boil your water and let it sit off the boil for about 30-45 seconds.
Step 2: Add your coffee grounds and let them bloom
Slowly pour enough water to wet the grounds, working your way from the center out in concentric circles, and wait 30 seconds as the grounds bloom.
Step 3: Pour remaining water with care
Pour the remaining water slowly and deliberately in circles, ensuring all the grounds are evenly exposed to the water. Let drain completely.
If your pour over coffee tastes off, there are 3 variables you can experiment with: coffee, water, and time.
→ Coffee: Water Ratio
Since you’ve chosen the convenience of pre-ground coffee, instead of adjusting the grind size you can play with the amount of coffee and water you use to brew. If you’re getting a bitter, over-extracted brew, try using less coffee per batch. If your coffee tastes weak or watery, you can add a bit more coffee grounds.
→ Water Temperature
Generally, pour-over coffee calls for water at about 195-205°F. If your brew tastes bitter, you can try letting your water cool off the boil for a little longer—aim for about 185°F.
→ Brew Time (Pouring Speed)
One of the best things about brewing a pour over is how much control you have over the speed of the brew process! For bitter-tasting, over-extracted coffee, try pouring your water faster, thereby decreasing the overall time. To combat weak-tasting coffee, pour at a slower rate to allow the water and coffee to interact for longer.
Step 1: Use 1 part ground coffee for every 11 parts water
For a standard Aeropress, that would be about 3 tablespoons (20 grams) of coffee, and 220 mL of water. Boil your water and let it sit off the boil for about 30-45 seconds.
Step 2: Add your coffee grounds and water
Add the grounds to the Aeropress, then saturate the grounds by pouring about half of the water. Let the coffee bloom for 45 seconds, then stir.
Step 3: Fill, Filter, and Flip
Pour the water up to the top, put the filter cap on and let it steep for 2:15, instead of the usual 1:45. Carefully flip over the Aeropress on top of your coffee cup and plunge until you hear a hissing sound.
If your Aeropress coffee tastes watery or under-extracted, try experimenting with the variables you can control until you achieve your ideal brew:
→ Use more coffee
Since pre-ground coffee is usually coarser than the medium-fine ground coffee most Aeropress recipes call for, it will tend to be under-extracted. To combat this, you can increase the amount of coffee you’re using per batch.
→ Use hotter water
Generally, Aeropress coffee calls for water at about 195-205°F. If your brew tastes watery and under-extracted, you can try using water at the higher end—aim for about 205-208°F.
→ Increase your brew time
Since pre-ground coffee has less exposed surface area than a typical medium-fine grind for an Aeropress, its flavors are extracted more slowly. Try steeping your grounds for more than the standard 3 minutes.
For the best cup of coffee, start with quality beans and store them properly to maximize freshness and flavor.
Your beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light.
To preserve your beans’ fresh roasted flavor as long as possible, store them in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Coffee beans can be beautiful, but avoid clear canisters which will allow light to compromise the taste of your coffee.
Keep your beans in a dark and cool location. A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun.
Coffee's retail packaging is generally not ideal for long-term storage. If possible, invest in storage canisters with an airtight seal.
Coffee begins to lose freshness almost immediately after roasting. Try to buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee more frequently - enough for one or two weeks.
Exposure to air is bad for your beans. If you prefer to keep your beans in an accessible and/or attractive container, it may be a good good idea to divide your coffee supply into several smaller portions, with the larger, unused portion in an air-tight container.
This is especially important when buying pre-ground coffee, because of the increased exposure to oxygen. If you buy whole beans, grind the amount you need immediately before brewing.
Freshness is critical to a quality cup of coffee. Experts agree that coffee should be consumed as quickly as possible after it is roasted, especially once the original packaging seal has been broken.
While there are different views on whether or not coffee should be frozen or refrigerated, the main consideration is that coffee absorbs moisture – and odors, and tastes – from the air around it since it is hygroscopic (bonus vocabulary word for all the coffee geeks out there).
Most home storage containers still let in small amounts of oxygen, which is why food stored a long time in the freezer can suffer freezer burn. Therefore, if you do refrigerate or freeze your beans, be sure to use a truly airtight container.
If you choose to freeze your coffee, quickly remove as much as you need for no more than a week at a time, and return the rest to the freezer before any condensation forms on the frozen coffee.
Freezing your beans does not not change the basic brewing process.
Light brown in color, this roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface.
This roast is medium brown in color with a stronger flavor and a non-oily surface. It’s often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.
Medium dark roasts
Rich, dark color, this roast has some oil on the surface with a slight bittersweet aftertaste.
This roast produces shiny black beans with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage. Dark roast coffees run from slightly dark to charred, and the names are often used interchangeably — be sure to check your beans before you buy them!
A coffee bean is actually a seed. When dried, roasted and ground, it’s used to brew coffee. If the seed isn’t processed, it can be planted and grow into a coffee tree.
Coffee seeds are generally planted in large beds in shaded nurseries. The seedlings will be watered frequently and shaded from bright sunlight until they are hearty enough to be permanently planted. Planting often takes place during the wet season, so that the soil remains moist while the roots become firmly established.
Depending on the variety, it will take approximately 3 to 4 years for the newly planted coffee trees to bear fruit. The fruit, called the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested.
There is typically one major harvest a year. In countries like Colombia, where there are two flowerings annually, there is a main and secondary crop.
In most countries, the crop is picked by hand in a labor-intensive and difficult process, though in places like Brazil where the landscape is relatively flat and the coffee fields immense, the process has been mechanized. Whether by hand or by machine, all coffee is harvested in one of two ways:
Strip Picked: All of the cherries are stripped off of the branch at one time, either by machine or by hand.
Selectively Picked: Only the ripe cherries are harvested, and they are picked individually by hand. Pickers rotate among the trees every eight to 10 days, choosing only the cherries which are at the peak of ripeness. Because this kind of harvest is labor intensive and more costly, it is used primarily to harvest the finer Arabica beans.
A good picker averages approximately 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries a day, which will produce 20 to 40 pounds of coffee beans. Each worker's daily haul is carefully weighed, and each picker is paid on the merit of his or her work. The day's harvest is then transported to the processing plant.
Once the coffee has been picked, processing must begin as quickly as possible to prevent fruit spoilage. Depending on location and local resources, coffee is processed in one of two ways:
The Dry Method is the age-old method of processing coffee, and still used in many countries where water resources are limited. The freshly picked cherries are simply spread out on huge surfaces to dry in the sun. In order to prevent the cherries from spoiling, they are raked and turned throughout the day, then covered at night or during rain to prevent them from getting wet. Depending on the weather, this process might continue for several weeks for each batch of coffee until the moisture content of the cherries drops to 11%.
The Wet Method removes the pulp from the coffee cherry after harvesting so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. First, the freshly harvested cherries are passed through a pulping machine to separate the skin and pulp from the bean.
Then the beans are separated by weight as they pass through water channels. The lighter beans float to the top, while the heavier ripe beans sink to the bottom. They are passed through a series of rotating drums which separate them by size.
After separation, the beans are transported to large, water-filled fermentation tanks. Depending on a combination of factors -- such as the condition of the beans, the climate and the altitude -- they will remain in these tanks for anywhere from 12 to 48 hours to remove the slick layer of mucilage (called the parenchyma) that is still attached to the parchment. While resting in the tanks, naturally occurring enzymes will cause this layer to dissolve.
When fermentation is complete, the beans feel rough to the touch. The beans are rinsed by going through additional water channels, and are ready for drying.
If the beans have been processed by the wet method, the pulped and fermented beans must now be dried to approximately 11% moisture to properly prepare them for storage.
These beans, still inside the parchment envelope (the endocarp), can be sun-dried by spreading them on drying tables or floors, where they are turned regularly, or they can be machine-dried in large tumblers. The dried beans are known as parchment coffee, and are warehoused in jute or sisal bags until they are readied for export (grainpro bag).
Before being exported, parchment coffee is processed in the following manner:
Hulling machinery removes the parchment layer (endocarp) from wet processed coffee. Hulling dry processed coffee refers to removing the entire dried husk — the exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp — of the dried cherries.
Polishing is an optional process where any silver skin that remains on the beans after hulling is removed by machine. While polished beans are considered superior to unpolished ones, in reality, there is little difference between the two.
Grading and Sorting is done by size and weight, and beans are also reviewed for color flaws or other imperfections.
Beans are sized by being passed through a series of screens. They are also sorted pneumatically by using an air jet to separate heavy from light beans.
Typically, the bean size is represented on a scale of 10 to 20. The number represents the size of a round hole's diameter in terms of 1/64's of an inch. A number 10 bean would be the approximate size of a hole in a diameter of 10/64 of an inch, and a number 15 bean, 15/64 of an inch.
Finally, defective beans are removed either by hand or by machinery. Beans that are unsatisfactory due to deficiencies (unacceptable size or color, over-fermented beans, insect-damaged, unhulled) are removed. In many countries, this process is done both by machine and by hand, ensuring that only the finest quality coffee beans are exported.
The milled beans, now referred to as green coffee, are loaded onto ships in either jute or sisal bags loaded in shipping containers, or bulk-shipped inside plastic-lined containers.
World coffee production for 2015/16 is forecast to be 152.7 million 60-kg bags, per data from the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.
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Coffee is repeatedly tested for quality and taste. This process is referred to as cupping and usually takes place in a room specifically designed to facilitate the process.
Samples from a variety of batches and different beans are tasted daily. Coffees are not only analyzed to determine their characteristics and flaws, but also for the purpose of blending different beans or creating the proper roast. An expert cupper can taste hundreds of samples of coffee a day and still taste the subtle differences between them.
Roasting transforms green coffee into the aromatic brown beans that we purchase in our favorite stores or cafés. Most roasting machines maintain a temperature of about 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans are kept moving throughout the entire process to keep them from burning.
When they reach an internal temperature of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, they begin to turn brown and the caffeol, a fragrant oil locked inside the beans, begins to emerge. This process called pyrolysis is at the heart of roasting — it produces the flavor and aroma of the coffee we drink.
After roasting, the beans are immediately cooled either by air or water. Roasting is generally performed in the importing countries because freshly roasted beans must reach the consumer as quickly as possible.
The objective of a proper grind is to get the most flavor in a cup of coffee. How coarse or fine the coffee is ground depends on the brewing method.
The length of time the grounds will be in contact with water determines the ideal grade of grind Generally, the finer the grind, the more quickly the coffee should be prepared. That’s why coffee ground for an espresso machine is much finer than coffee brewed in a drip system.
Espresso machines use 132 pounds per square inch of pressure to extract coffee.
Coffee is personal - the right way to make it is how you like it best.
That being said, mastering a few fundamentals will help you perfect your technique. From here, we encourage you to experiment with different roasts, origins, or preparation methods.
Here are our tips to brew a classic cup of coffee.
Make sure that your tools — from bean grinders and filters to coffee makers— are thoroughly cleaned after each use.
Rinse with clear, hot water (or wipe down thoroughly), and dry with an absorbent towel. It’s important to check that no grounds have been left to collect and that there’s no build-up of coffee oil (caffeol), which can make future cups of coffee taste bitter and rancid.
Datasets by ncausa.org
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