Rule 1 Pick the right beans – Arabica at the earliest possible roast date
Aim for the highest quality coffee possible and look out for the following:
1) Roast date – buy beans that hasbeen roasted as recently as possible.
2) Buy Arabica – ensure the beans are of the arabica variety rather than robusta. Which are of a much higher quality and have a sweeter and more balanced taste. Robusta beans tend to be very bitter.
Rule 2 Grind it yourself at the last minute before brewing your coffee
Grinding the beans ahead of time discounts much of the work that has gone into producing the coffee. When the cells inside the coffee beans are exposed to air, they begin reacting to it and lose aroma and flavor every second after.
A day or two after being ground, the coffee will have lost almost all its flavor. If your coffee has been ground for 5 or 6 days, it has essentially lost all its flavor, and it is almost irrelevant how much longer you keep it.
The oils in the coffee also begin to dilute from exposure to the moisture in the environment when coffee beans are ground. These coffee oils are delicate and are easily contaminated. Whatever other odors or aromas are near your grounds can form inside your beverage.
Ground beans have a higher surface area that is exposed compared to the whole beans which only expose the outer shell to air and contaminants. When ground beans are exposed, carbon dioxide is released. Within 60 seconds of grinding, 80% of the gas is released into the air (that’s why it smells so good). The loss multiplies in the loss that follows. Resulting in exponential loss of flavor with time that passes.
Rule 3 Get the water temperature right
One of the most important yet most neglected is brewing the coffee at the right water temperature. If your water is too hot, you risk over-extraction of coffee flavors and, in turn, a burnt, bitter cup. If your water is too cold, you risk under-extraction of coffee flavors and, in turn, a weak, sour cup. The recommended temperature range is 189-194°F (86-90°C). The goal is to prepare at the middle of those two temperatures. At which you will be able to extract the most flavor from a bean without imparting any unwanted tastes.
Rule 4 Getting the coffee grind to water ratio right
The amount of coffee grounds you use in relation to the amount of water used is a critical variable to nail down when brewing coffee. Generally, the espresso machine’s coffee capsule or puck holds only the required amount of coffee ground by design. Ensure you fill-up the grounds to the required amount.