Interesting facts and general advice for storing, making, and enjoying your favorite coffee beans.
Coffee does not keep better refrigerated. It is best stored in a cool, dry place, out of the sun, in an airtight container — moisture, heat and oxygen are its enemy.
Freezing beans if not being used quickly is controversial. If you must freeze, place beans in a Ziploc freezer bag and squeeze as much air (oxygen) as possible out of it before sealing. Thawing before grinding the beans is also controversial.
Whole bean coffee, when ground just prior to brewing, will maintain its aroma and flavor qualities longer than ground coffee, since less of its surface is exposed to the elements.
To get the best taste and aroma after brewing coffee, it should be drunk immediately. But, if you make multiple cups at a time, don’t leave it on a hot plate, pour it into a pre-warmed thermal container with a tight closing mechanism to preserve flavor & aroma best.
The fresher the beans, the richer and more flavorful the cup. Coffee microroasters, because they roast only small batches of coffee at a time, are the most capable of being able to provide you with the freshest coffee.
The standard proportion of water to grounds is two tablespoons of grounds (about five grams) per 6-ounce cup. Whichever brewing method you choose, cleanliness, coffee freshness, and good water are the three main requirements for good coffee. Descale auto-drip makers every month. Clean all surfaces that come into contact with brewed coffee until no trace of coffee stains remain on them. OxyClean and Dippit are two good detergents for this.
This is the easiest method for home brewing. Simply grind beans to a medium-fine grind (many grinders have a setting for auto-drip), and use two tablespoons (about five grams) of coffee per 6-oz cup.
This method allows more control than most non-commercial auto drip makers. Grind slightly finer than for auto-drip brewing. Heat water to slightly under the boiling point (approximately 190° Fahrenheit). Drizzle just enough water on the grounds to moisten them; wait 10-15 seconds; continue brewing by pouring the hot water over the grounds, keeping the flow of water steady and sufficient to maintain a full filter of completely saturated grounds.
When used properly, the French Press offers the ultimate in flavor extraction for non-espresso coffee. Grind coarseness is very important for the French press, and should be roughly twice as coarse as for auto-drip. A high-quality burr grinder really makes a difference with this brewing method. It might help to ask your barista to grind a small sample of French press grind coffee to set a benchmark for you to aim for at home. Heat water to 185° Fahrenheit for brown roast or full city roast, or 195° Fahrenheit for French roast coffee, while you grind two tablespoons of coffee per six-ounce cup (or maybe even a little more). Preheat the pot by pouring in a little hot water, swirling it a few times, and then discarding the water. While pot is still hot, quickly add the ground coffee and then pour in the water. Stir with a thin plastic or wood stick until the brown foam on top mostly dissipates. Do not use a metal spoon to stir, as it will draw heat out of the brew. Place the plunger and lid assembly on top. Three minutes from the time you pour the water in, press the plunger down. Pour the coffee into cups or a thermos immediately—do not let brewed coffee remain in the press pot with the grounds after brewing is complete.