What’s the key to an exceptional cup of coffee?
It starts with the beans -- the higher altitude the beans are sourced, the better. You can learn more about elevations and what they mean for your coffee experience here.
One you have bought some of the good stuff, your next big decision is choosing your coffee brewing method.
Your choice of coffee brewing method has a significant impact on the taste of your final cup of coffee. For example, different levels of heat will release the various acids in coffee grounds (citic, lactic, malic, etc.) in different proportions, and entirely change the flavor notes that hit your palette.
Similarly, the amount of time the water spends in contact with the coffee grounds in your given brewing method will dramatically change how much of each acid, oil & caffeine are released.
Here are three coffee brewing methods that we at STANDPOINT recommend, and just as importantly, three we don’t.
We Don’t Recommend: Instant Coffee Makers
Instant coffee makers have become very popular in recent years because of how convenient they are for making a single cup of coffee, very quickly, with virtually no clean up.
That being said, instant coffee makers hands down produce an inferior product. Because they use pre-ground coffee (which spends more time oxidizing than a fresh ground coffee), you lose most of the subtle flavours that make coffee so enjoyable. Not to mention with most instant coffee makers, you have no control over the water temperature or brew time.
We Recommend: American Press
If convenience is something you are looking for, look no further than the American Press. The American Press will serve up a fresh cup of coffee with minimal clean up and maximum taste. An American Press is a similar concept to the French Press where you will use a plunger to separate the grounds from the coffee. With an American Press though, you use a filter basket to separate the good stuff from the used grounds. Handy if you are only looking for one cup of coffee to start your day.
American Presses (and French Presses for that matter) are a good solution for brewing darker roasts. This is because the longer time the coffee grounds spend in the water will really bring out the more subtle flavours in a dark roast, that other brewing methods might miss.
We Don’t Recommend: Fast Food Coffee
While going through a fast food drive through and ordering a coffee may be simple, it should be obvious that fast food coffee from a flavour perspective is no good. Their goal when sourcing and roasting coffee is volume, meaning they combine coffee from several regions in the roasting process, neutralizing any subtle flavour notes, to turnout a reliably, consistently, bad coffee.
We Recommend: Pour Over
If you want a simple coffee brewing method that will Impress your friends try the pour over method. Pour over is quite simple as it is basically just pouring hot water through the coffee grounds and filter to extract your beverage. When using the pour over method always use mesh filters to allow the natural oils in the coffee to pass through. This will allow you to enjoy the coffee as intended.
We Don’t Recommend: Adding Instant Coffee Mix to Water and Stirring
Gross…. for so many reasons….
We Recommend: French Press
Classically, you can always use a french press to brew your coffee. This is also a great method for sharing a cup of coffee with your friends. This method, much like the American press, involves combining water with coarse ground coffee grounds in a glass container and using a mesh-screen plunger to separate the grinds from the coffee when it’s ready to drink. Pro tip: for best results, try running the french press under warm water before filling and brewing. This will ensure consistent brewing temperatures.