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A Guide To Brewing

There are plenty of tips, suggestions, ideas and schools of thought when the topic “brewing a great cup of coffee” comes up. But few of these are hard and fast rules. The key to brewing the very best cup of coffee also depends on your personal preferences and what your taste buds call “perfect.”

Cleanliness is next to perfect. Most people agree that keeping the coffee-brewing equipment clean is non-negotiable. With most blends and types of coffee, this is indeed a rule. But look at the old-timers who brewed coffee week after week in the same pot, seldom doing more than rinsing the pot and often brewing coffee over the same grounds. And if you asked those people, they’d tell you that they’d brewed a great cup of coffee.

That’s not to say that you’ll get a perfect cup of coffee using this method – quite the opposite is true unless you’re looking for a very strong coffee! Just realize that every “rule” in coffee brewing is created for a specific taste and you may have to do some experimenting to come up with the best coffee brewing method for your perfect cup of coffee.

As a rule, keeping your coffee maker, grinder and every tool that touches your coffee clean is a must. Think of all the effort you put into keeping your coffee fresh. If you’re using a grinder with last week’s left over grounds and brewing in a pot with a month’s worth of gunk caked onto the side of the pot, you’re not getting a fresh cup of coffee.

The Grinder

For most coffee makers, any old grinder will do. But that’s not always the case and you may need a finer or coarser grind for some coffee makers. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions.

Is grinding coffee a chore? Think you should just grind enough for several days’ brewing? Think again. Grinding eliminates the best freshness seal coffee can have – the outer layer of the bean. While the bean is intact, it holds freshness better. If freshness is an issue for you, grind only enough for today’s coffee and repeat the chore with each pot of coffee you brew.

Having fresh coffee is another important factor when brewing great coffee. This means that stocking up on coffee when it’s on sale at the local grocery store probably isn’t a good idea. Buy only what you need for the next couple of weeks, and buy coffee that was recently roasted.

The Method

Choosing the coffee maker is important, and you’ll find that there are literally dozens to choose from. Again, personal choice is going to play a vital role in this decision. For some people, a simple, no-frills coffee maker will easily produce an excellent cup of coffee. For others, state-of-the-art gadgets truly add to the coffee experience. Deciding on the equipment you need depends entirely on your perfect cup of coffee.

Some people swear that coffee brewed on the stovetop in an old-fashioned percolator is best. Others require the latest coffee maker. Some believe that brewing one cup at a time is the only way to get perfect coffee and some know that the last cup in the pot is always the best. The point is this: There are many suggestions and tips that can help you brew perfect coffee. Finding the ones that work for you is the only way that you’re personally going to achieve that goal.

Percolators- The old Fashioned way

My Grandmother still swears by her percolator. Many believe that this old fashioned method of brewing coffee makes the best cup, while others say that it produces strong and bitter coffee. This method consists of boiling water flowing through coffee grounds and into a separate chamber, through gravity or pressure. . The water flows through the same grounds continuously therefore this is the reason why some find this method produces a bitter tasting coffee. If you are camping and without electricity, a percolator is perfect for the campfire.

The French Press

This type of brewing device is another method to produce a rich and robust cup of coffee. and is also known as a press pot The name makes sense because that is the important step in this brewing process. The four easy steps are as follows; Put the grounds in the bottom of the container, pour boiling water on top of the grounds, allow to steep, and press the grounds to the bottom of container with the plunger. You then have the grounds separate from the liquid and are left with freshly brewed coffee. Simple and satisfying is what the French Press is all about.

Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

Most homes around the world are furnished with this popular appliance and most families can not live without it. Brewing coffee through an automatic drip coffee maker is the most common brewing method. These coffee makers range from simple one step machines, to more elaborate machines fashioned with timers, grinders and one cup settings. There is a machine for everyone on the market nowadays. This is also a simple form of brewing coffee that in my opinions results in the best tasting coffee. Automatic drip coffee makers operate by pouring water into the designated chamber. The water is warmed by electric and then sprayed over the grounds that sit in a paper filter. The grounds stay in the filter and the liquid is extracted by gravity into the pot. No matter where you live in the world, you can not escape this common brewing method. And why would you want to? Easy and effective is the name of the game when talking about Automatic Drip Coffee Makers.

Cold Brewing Method

Suppose you are stuck on a deserted island and are craving your daily coffee. Well, you may still be in luck, assuming that you carry coffee grounds around, with you. There are many different techniques to cold brewing. The deserted island method- simply put the grounds in a woman’s nylon sock and allow to steep overnight in a cup of cold water.

Well, now, on the serious side, there is actually a theory that brewing with cold water takes some of the acidity and bitterness out of the grounds, resulting in a milder cup of coffee.

Commercial Coffee Urns

Restaurants, banquet halls, hotels, and others in the food industry have different needs than individuals and families. We are now talking about speed and capacity. Have you ever been to a wedding or large event where they serve freshly brewed hot coffee, and wondered how they brewed that much coffee at once. You may personally never need to brew 720 cups per hour, but the capabilities are out there. Today you may purchase from an extremely wide variety of commercial coffee urns, that meet the needs of many different businesses. They operate in a similar fashion as home machines, but brew gallons of coffee at a time. Most urns are constructed from high quality stainless steel and come equipped with computer boards that give the operator the ability to adjust timing and strength of coffee. Technology has allowed commercial coffee brewing to become a state of the art process, that gives restaurants abilities that they never had in the past. Next time you are dining out, take a peek at the restaurants brewing system. You may be amazed and want one of your own.

You Choose

Just like most things in life, you are left to deciding what is best for you. Being informed will help you make the best decision when it comes to your personal brewing method.

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