Preparing the perfect cup of coffee is the holy grail of, well, life. Many devotees think Starbucks has nailed the best coffee stateside. In the event you can’t make it there, or to your favorite local coffee house, you’ll obviously need to step up your java game so you can enjoy a nice, strong cup at home. Because great coffee equals happiness.
According to Consumer Reports, the most delicious cup of joe begins with, no surprise, fresh coffee beans. You want to select whole beans that were roasted within the past few weeks, so check the roasting date printed on the package. No date? Maybe your beans are not as high-quality as you need to achieve the coffee glory you seek.
But there is more to brewing liquid magic than selecting quality beans. Believe it or not, scientists have even sought the answer to how to make the perfect cup of coffee. In the academic journal Matter, a paper co-authored by mathematicians and scientists from the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Switzerland explains that preparing the best espresso is about using less beans ground more coarsely. For the perfect brew, the authors recommend just one tablespoon of coarsely ground beans per single shot of espresso. This is surprisingly about half the amount your favorite Starbucks barista uses. Keep this in mind when you grind your beans at home, which you should not do until right before you plan to enjoy your brew.
The best grind for great coffee
How you grind your beans is also important. Experts agree a burr grinder beats out a blade grinder time and time again. “Burrs give you a consistent grind size, which is the most important thing when it comes to brewing coffee,” Joanna Lareau, general manager at Blue Bottle Chelsea Market in Manhattan told NY Magazine. She added, “Blades just chop the coffee up into inconsistent sizes.” Which leads to inconsistent coffee quality. Which is bad.
If you really want to get technical, buy a thermometer and make your coffee with filtered water that’s between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, a coffee brewing method of choice is highly individual. Some people prefer the convenience of an automatic coffee maker, while others swear French press coffee is the only kind worth drinking. Many baristas may say the best way to make a memorable and unmistakably-delicious cup of coffee is to use the pour over method, which involves pouring hot water through coffee grounds inside a filter that you would place either in a carafe or mug (via Engadget). Or, you can spring for a fancy espresso machine and really wow, well, yourself.
Hopefully these tips will help improve your morning cup of coffee greatly. Maybe it’ll even be perfect!
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