The Secrets to a Great Coffee

13-11-2014 Coffee culture

In the same way that a chef will only consider cooking with the finest ingredients, so to must coffee lovers. That’s why it really does pay to pick up Jones Brothers’ coffee when doing your weekly shop. But having the best beans is really just part of the equation. Of course, if you buy our capsules all the hard work is done for you but if you buy a bag of beans, as with much in life, preparation is key! We’ve all been victim to making a bad cup in the past … going overboard on the grinding, clogging the coffee maker or leaving the countertop look victim to a black sand volcano … but follow a few golden rules and you can be sure of great tasting coffee, time after time.

– Always buy good coffee. Read: Always buy Jones Brothers coffee

– In theory, you should grind your own beans just before making your coffee but not everyone wants to grind their own so provided you buy fresh and then use the coffee within a few weeks, it’ll still taste great! Just remember that coffee is perishable so you want to give it as little exposure as possible to air. Ground coffee also deteriorates at a much faster rate than whole beans due to the higher surface exposure of grinds compared to whole beans. Jones Brothers coffee fyi is always super fresh as we roast and grind ourselves and retain complete control of the process

– Never store your beans in the fridge. Or the freezer. The change in temperature that your coffee beans will experience from room temperature to chilled / frozen then back to room temperature and to brewing will cause a condensation of the humidity that is natural in fresh coffee. This condensation will result in the humidity leaving the bean when it congeals and with it, much of its flavour and freshness. BUT if it’s a decision between throwing out good whole beans because you’re not going to use them soon and freezing them for freshness, then just freeze them! Just make sure they’re sealed in an airtight container.

– Always make sure your beans are kept dry, in a dark place and in an airtight container at room temperature

–  Always use fresh clean water! Given that coffee is 99% water, if you start with water that tastes funny, expect your coffee to taste funny too. Water that’s treated with chlorine can dampen the flavour of your coffee even if the water itself doesn’t have a strong taste. Likewise, water with a high mineral content won’t allow your coffee to shine to its fullest. We’re lucky in the Netherlands to have awesome water straight from our tap

– Water should be hot. Water temperature is critical to extracting the most flavours from coffee. The difference among coffees brewed at 80°C, 90° C and 95° C is honestly so great that even the most casual of coffee drinkers would notice the difference. The optimum temperature for brewing coffee is 93° C plus or minus 2%. If the water is too hot, you’ll end up with coffee that tastes bitter or astringent. If it’s too cool, you’ll find the coffee flat and lifeless. Bring water just to a boil and then allow it to cool briefly (about 45 seconds) before brewing

– Use the right coffee-to-water ratio! If the ratio is off in either direction, you probably won’t enjoy it.  Use one tablespoon of coffee for every cup, plus one more. This makes for pretty strong coffee but that’s what we love right? Just keep a tablespoon measure in the coffee bag then you have it handy

– Use the right grind setting! The grind you use for brewing should match the brewing method and the brewing time. Coffee ground too coarsely doesn’t provide enough surface area, resulting in under-extracted, weak-tasting brew. On the other hand, if the coffee is ground too finely, you’ll over-extract the coffee due to the increased surface area and end up with bitter coffee

– Clean up. Coffee is an oily product so unless you thoroughly clean your brewing equipment, these oils will turn rancid and can easily spoil future brews. Anything that comes in contact with the coffee should be thoroughly cleaned after each use

– Never reheat. Brewed coffee will taste its best when kept at approximately 80° C, because the chemicals compounds that make coffee flavourful are most stable at this temperature. The best way to achieve this is to decant the coffee into a thermos that’s been preheated with just boiled water; if you don’t preheat, your brew will lose critical heat when it acclimates to the cool container. You can also preheat the serving mugs.

So spend the next week and beyond following these golden rules and you’ll soon perfect the art of making great coffee. Jones Brothers Coffee. Sweet!

Love what we brew!
The Bean Team