Watch Cooking Channel

Brew a Better Cup of Coffee… Part 2


Whether you’re looking to get serious about your cup o’ joe, or just want to sip on something richer and more full-bodied, you don’t have to leave home to make it happen. Good things may not always come easy, but brewing a better cup of coffee can.

Last week we talked about how the right equipment and fresher beans lead to a better cup of coffee. Today, it’s all about the brew.

Buy your beans whole.
You might save a few minutes each morning buying pre-ground coffee beans, but you lose big time on flavor — pre-ground beans don’t retain their flavor nearly as well as whole ones. Once ground beans come into contact with oxygen, the flavor will immediately begin to fade. It’s why bags of freshly ground beans smell amazing the first time they’re opened, but loose their aroma soon afterward. By buying your beans whole and grinding them to order, you’ll minimize the oxidation process and ensure those beans don’t lose any of their bite.

Only buy as many beans as you’ll use in a two-week period. After that, they begin to lose their potency.

Keep the grind in mind.
Because different brewing methods expose ground coffee to hot water in different ways, and for different periods of time, it’s important to grind your coffee according to the brewing method you choose.

Infusion methods like the French press steep your coffee for a longer period of time, so you want to grind your coffee on the courser side. If you go too fine, your brew will end up on the bitter side and have bits of coffee sediment sitting at the bottom. For drip and pour-over methods like the Chemex coffeemaker, aim for a medium-fine to medium grind size. (Fine grinds are used for Turkish coffee and stove-top espressos.)

You’ll get the right level of flavor “extraction” on a French Press with a coarse grind.

Choose the right grinder for the job.
When shopping for a coffee grinder, you’ll come across two main types. Blade Grinders work by chopping the beans with spinning blades. They don’t create a uniform grind size, and for this reason I do not recommend them. If you’re stuck with one, be careful not to overgrind. A couple short pulses should do it.

Burr grinders work by cutting the beans between moving wheels. Burr grinders allow you to set the grind size you want, and produce a uniformly ground bean. This means a smoother-tasting cup of coffee. These are on the more expensive side, but the result is superior. If you can, opt for a burr grinder.

A serious grinder for serious coffee drinkers. This is the burr grinder I use at my store in Chelsea Market.

Get the ratios right.
Many folks just eyeball the ratio of coffee to water, but getting more specific here will also get you closer to a better cup. Different roasts call for different ratios, so don’t be shy about talking to your roaster for a recommendation.

A good rule of thumb to start with is 4 tablespoons of coffee for every 12 ounces of water when using a French press, and 4 1/2 tablespoons of coffee for every 12 ounces of water with a Chemex. From there, you can adjust according to your taste.

For the very best results, weigh your coffee with a scale. Volume can be imprecise—different coffees have different densities, and not every spoon is the same. When weighing, begin with 21 grams of coffee for every 12 ounces of water when using a French Press, and 24 grams of coffee for every 12 ounces of water with a Chemex. If that’s too strong, use less coffee, and if it isn’t quite strong enough, add a bit more.

Boiling water is too hot for brewing coffee.
The optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 198-204°F. If you’re using a drip, you’ll almost get there; one of the real advantages to brewing with a French press or Chemex is that it’s easy to get within the ideal temperature range. Just bring the water to a boil, and then let it cool for just under a minute. It only takes about 30-45 seconds for the water to fall within the optimal 198-204°F range, and you’re ready to pour.

For a French press, allow 4 minutes of steep time. The brewing time for a Chemex is 3-4 minutes.

Let boiling water sit for 30-45 seconds before pouring over your coffee grounds.

Read last week’s post on storing beans and choosing a coffeemaker.

Ken Nye, owner of Ninth Street Espresso, is one of New York City’s most prominent coffee people. Since opening his specialty coffee store in 2001, it has expanded to three separate locations and become a mainstay for coffee purists. Ken believes in elevating the standards of coffee, while shedding it’s often snobby reputation.

Tags:

Comments (2159)

  1. Gilet sans manche posted 09/15/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  2. san antonio bail bonds posted 09/15/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  3. PorchLight Denver mls posted 09/16/2013

    Looking around…

    While I was surfing yesterday I noticed a great post about…

  4. Festival of Food posted 09/16/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a fan of linking to quality articles that I like but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  5. directory posted 09/16/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to messing around online and found…

  6. very…

    We are very experienced in this job. So you will get the best service from us in a reasonable price….

  7. emails posted 09/17/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  8. makepayment focuses…

    coastinc neinteresant appointments olteniei grady iosm obiectivului….

  9. buy real facebook posted 09/17/2013

    very…

    We are very experienced in this job. So you will get the best service from us in a reasonable price….

  10. programação posted 09/17/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  11. Smart Pc Tips posted 09/17/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  12. Free Software posted 09/17/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll see the link to some websites that we think you could see[...]……

  13. Dental seo posted 09/19/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  14. wow power levleing posted 09/19/2013

    swtor po…

    My SWTOR; Store; Community; Support; News; Media; Game Overview; Game Setting; Elder Game Guide; New Player Guide; Digital Expansions; Game Updates; Legacy…

  15. followers on facebook posted 09/19/2013

    sharing…

    Making that amount of friends or flowers in any social media is very hard. You may have 1,000 but for 50,000 you need to do something more….

  16. suvs posted 09/19/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am regularly saying that its hard to procure quality help, but here is…

  17. http://youtu.be/xiFn4wYuuPM posted 09/19/2013

    Title…

    [...]The info mentioned within the report are a few of the very best accessible [...]…

  18. Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  19. slotomania cheat posted 09/20/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are few of the websites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  20. sztabki zlota posted 09/20/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  21. addicts seria…

    lament sykesville kihajthato somras cacheafter agencies admonition….

  22. epilepsy watch posted 09/21/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  23. RaceCar posted 09/21/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  24. backlinks schuhe online kaufen posted 09/21/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or visit the subject material or web pages we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  25. revitol stretch posted 09/21/2013

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  26. Mira Mesa Street Fair posted 09/21/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  27. Android Games posted 09/21/2013

    Title…

    [...]The facts mentioned inside the article are several of the best out there [...]…

  28. Text Your Ex Back reviews posted 09/22/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  29. safe blade and soul gold posted 09/22/2013

    safe power leveling and gold…

    we can provide that power leveling faster and safe ,welcome to place order on our website…

  30. play chota bheem games posted 09/22/2013

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  31. The Search Rex posted 09/23/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  32. TrackBack…

    Wow, what a video it is! In fact pleasant quality video, the lesson given in this video is truly informative….

  33. Runescape 2007 Gold posted 09/23/2013

    TSW Pax Romana…

    TSW Pax Romana sale is open on sale, large amount tsw Pax Romana is in stock, if you need instant secret world Pax Romana,…

  34. Title…

    [...]the time to read or take a look at the content or web sites we’ve linked to below the[...]…

  35. Y. posted 09/24/2013

    Title…

    [...]below you will come across the link to some internet sites that we consider you should visit[...]…

  36. TrackBack…

    One extra technique in favor of promoting your web site is posting comments on unique sites with your webpage link….

  37. wow power leveling…

    WoW power leveling is our primary service! 5 Years Leading wow power level service. Buy fast wow powerleveling from NeverBan…

  38. Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  39. paula deen cookbooks posted 09/25/2013

    Title…

    [...]please go to the internet sites we comply with, including this 1, as it represents our picks from the web[...]…

  40. weitere Informationen posted 09/25/2013

    TSW Pax Romana…

    TSW Pax Romana Verkauf ist offen zum Verkauf, ist große Menge tsw Pax Romana auf Lager, wenn Sie sofortigen geheime Welt Pax Romana müssen,…

  41. manually gw2 power leveling posted 09/26/2013

    TSW Pax Romana…

    TSW Pax Romana sale is open on sale, large amount tsw Pax Romana is in stock, if you need instant secret world Pax Romana,…

  42. wow power levleing posted 09/26/2013

    rift platinum…

    Fast RIFT platinum for sale: $1 exchanges thousands gold. All PLAT, power leveling, CD key and time cards never delay. Your all in one solution for RIFT life…

  43. slot book of ra posted 09/27/2013

    Thorn of Girl…

    Superb details might be uncovered on this online weblog….

  44. Runescape 2007 Gold posted 09/27/2013

    rift platinum…

    Fast RIFT platinum for sale: $1 exchanges thousands gold. All PLAT, power leveling, CD key and time cards never delay. Your all in one solution for RIFT life…

  45. Twin Lakes Library posted 09/27/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  46. StopKillingJobs posted 09/28/2013

    Title…

    [...]usually posts some extremely fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]…

  47. manually bns power leveling posted 09/28/2013

    swtor po…

    My SWTOR; Store; Community; Support; News; Media; Game Overview; Game Setting; Elder Game Guide; New Player Guide; Digital Expansions; Game Updates; Legacy…

  48. poe power leveling posted 09/28/2013

    safe power leveling and gold…

    You are performing a really great job…

  49. social bookmarking sites posted 09/28/2013

    short…

    Many people use this site. This site is popular for share short massage. Yes, people can share short massage by tweet option of twitter and it takes short time for spread news….

  50. rift platinum…

    Fast RIFT platinum for sale: $1 exchanges thousands gold. All PLAT, power leveling, CD key and time cards never delay. Your all in one solution for RIFT life…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c