Klaus Becker, owner of Caturra Coffee, has these tips for brewing the perfect cup of coffee:
• Always purchase whole bean coffee, preferably farm-direct and from a single estate. Make sure the coffee is freshly roasted and shipped to you in a sealed bag. Store in a dry, dark place in a zip-locked bag or a sealed container.
• Purchase coffee as soon after it has been roasted as possible and in small amounts – only as much as you can use in a given period of time. Ideally you should purchase your coffee fresh every week.
• Grind the whole beans just before you brew the coffee and only grind as much coffee as you are going to use at the time. Pre-ground coffee will be more convenient, but will not taste as food as freshly ground beans.
• Use cold filtered or bottled water to brew the coffee. Boil the water and then let it sit for a short time before pouring into a French Press or percolator.
• If your coffee tastes bitter, is may be over-extracted or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be under-extracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse.
• The ratio of water-to-coffee is very important. Too much extraction (too fine grind, too long brew time, too hot water, too much coffee in the recipe) and the brew is bitter.
• The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of your coffee.