Regardless of whether you are brewing coffee using a french press, espresso machine or any other kind of equipment there are a few key ingredients to ensure that you get the best tasting brew, each and every time!
By following these few simple steps each time you make yourself a pot of coffee you will ensure that you have done everything possible to control the quality of the brew. This post is not going to cover off the in's and out's of what each piece of equipment can do - so it is important you follow the directions for the particular type of equipment you will be using to make sure it gives you best results.
Every method of brewing coffee requires water. Seems simple yes? Yet this is a step that lets people down almost each and every time they brew. When it comes to coffee or even tea it is imperative that the water you use is not only fresh but filtered water.
Filtered is important for two reasons. Firstly by filtering the water it removes any foul tastes and odours that may be present in the water. These tastes and odours can ruin a pot of coffee by changing the taste profile of it all together.
Secondly it assists in removing a degree of the minerals in the water (depending on the type of filter being used) this can be an advantage especially when using espresso machines, or machines with boilers to reduce the build up of scale. This is not necessarily a replacement for descaling your machine - but helps to prolong the life of your equipment.
Fresh Coffee Beans
Sounds like a no-brainer - right? But the freshness and quality of the coffee beans you are using can have a massive impact on the quality of the end product.
As beans become stale, they oxidise which when brewed leaves you with a drink that can be sour and less full bodied that you would like. For this reason it is a great idea to buy your beans in smaller quantities depending on how quickly you use them. This reduces the risk of wastage.
It is also necessary to make sure your beans are being stored correctly to maximise the freshness of the product. You can find out more about correct storage of coffee here . The main things to remember are to store beans in an airtight container, in the cupboard/pantry (not in the fridge or freezer) & stored away from the light.
It is generally good practice to clean your coffee brewing equipment after each use, especially in the case of french presses & percolators. Super Automatic & Traditional Espresso machines need a quick clean daily and a thorough clean weekly. This regular maintenance removes the build up of coffee oils from previous extractions. These oils, if left to build up will affect the taste of future brews and impart a rancid or bitter flavour.
Not only does it help keep the flavour of your coffee true, it will prolong the life of your equipment by reducing wear on components, and allowing it to work as intended.