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Great Tasting Coffee with the Help of This Quick Guide

Coffee; this word conjures images of a delicious beverage drunk with religious fervor by people from all walks of life.

In its current form, coffee has been around for centuries when people first discovered that the berries of the coffee plant could be roasted and brewed into a drink that was both delicious and stimulating.

Today, the beverage is one of the world's most popular drinks, and it is the second most consumed beverage after water. 

Coffee machine
Image by Andrew Leinster on Pixabay

What You Need To Know

Before you begin brewing your own cup of Joe, you should learn a few things about what can affect its taste and quality.

The Different Varieties

Robusta and Arabica are two types of coffee seeds that produce two kinds of coffee beans, which are also different in some ways. Robusta coffee is a variety that has thicker skin and is used to create low-grade coffee. 

Arabica is the most common variation. It grows in the form of small berries and has a fruity and aromatic flavour. This type of bean is thinner and less acidic. Arabica beans are widely used in a variety of coffee drinks, such as espresso. Robusta beans are also used to make instant coffee.

The Processing Method

Coffee is roasted by putting green beans in an oven. An oven is preheated to the desired temperature, and a container with green beans is placed inside. The lid is then placed on the container, which is then placed in the oven. 

The beans are roasted until the desired colour has been reached. The beans are removed and cooled. When coffee beans are roasted, they actually turn brown. 

Different roasting methods produce different results, depending on the type of bean and other variables.

Filter coffee
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

Which Beans Should You Use?

Arabica is considered the highest quality bean and also the one that produces the best taste. Nevertheless, it is down to personal choice and what you intend to make from them. 

The coffee authorities over at we spill the beans suggest that if you don't know your preference, you should get a variety to test and then come to a conclusion. It is much better to form your own opinion rather than merely follow the consensus. Taste is a very personal matter, so it is best to try different options.

Importance of Water

Your coffee tastes better if you use filtered water when brewing coffee. It makes the coffee taste cleaner and fresher.

The main issue when using tap water is that it is often treated with harsh chemicals and, depending on your location, could be too hard or soft.

Furthermore, if you live in an area where there is an abundance of calcium in the mains water, you will find that your machine will build up limescale over time. Since they usually work to tight tolerances, limescale will destroy your device.

Measuring Your Coffee

When you drink coffee, you know that great-tasting coffee can actually be achieved at home and that the best tasting coffee is one that has been precisely measured out

Unfortunately, if you buy pre-ground coffee in the store, you will not know how much ground you purchased, and you won't know how much coffee you are actually getting out of your machine.

Brewing great coffee is a mixture of art and science; however, if there is something that you can measure, then you should.

Using the correct amount of ground coffee is something that you can easily measure by using an affordable digital scale.

Why You Should Avoid Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is a popular way to make coffee on the go. It's quick, easy, and convenient. But there's a drawback: the taste. Instant coffee is often overly sweetened, and sometimes it can even taste bitter. It is made with the inferior Robusta variety, which results in this taste difference.

Most Popular Methods to Brew Coffee At Home

There is an abundance of ways to make coffee, some more complicated than others. The way you prepare your coffee will depend on what equipment you have and your preference regarding flavor.

Pour Over

Making coffee with a pour-over technique is a straightforward but classic method. This method involves brewing freshly ground coffee by pouring hot water over it. 

Oils from coffee can be extracted more evenly and intensely in this manner. Because of its simplicity, this is one of the more popular methods of making coffee.

Moka Pot

The Moka pot is one of the simplest devices to make and use coffee. Unlike a drip coffee maker, it uses a direct, pressurized water flow to boil the water and then evaporate it as steam. 

The bottom chamber is heated through direct contact with the flame of a burner, and it is used to boil water to make the coffee. The result is a more concentrated coffee and has a smoother flavour than a straight-through drip coffee maker. 

It's also easy to clean up since there is no need for filters and the coffee grounds are only in one section. Moka pots come in various sizes, and some models have automated safety features to stop over-pressurization.

Coffee - Moka Pot
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

French Press

Essentially, the French press (or coffee press) is a piece of equipment that consists of a glass or ceramic container and a mesh strainer. 

The mesh screen filters the coffee to prevent it from getting stuck in the filter. It's typically used for brewing coffee at home, but it can be used to brew tea or other hot beverages as well.

Cold Brew

Cold-brewed coffee is a method of making coffee that preserves the original flavours of the beans by using cold brewing. This technique of brewing coffee is produced by placing ground coffee beans into a container (preferably stainless steel) and covering the container with a fine-mesh filter and a cloth. 

The beans are then steeped in cold temperature water (preferably placed in the refrigerator) for 12 to 24 hours to extract all flavours. 

The coffee is strained and sometimes sweetened. Cold-brew coffee can be served hot or cold, and the taste is more profound than regular coffee.

AeroPress

As a coffee fanatic, it's hard to imagine that this simple method could be the basis for making coffee better than ever. But thanks to the simplicity of the AeroPress brewing system, all it takes is the right beans, a little experimentation, and some practice.

Espresso Machine

This option will require the purchase of the machine and grinder, but it arguably produces the highest quality coffee out of all the methods mentioned. There are some other tools that you will need to get the most from your machine:

Grinder: A burr grinder is the preferred option over a conventional spinning blade grinder. You will use this item to grind the coffee beans into a fine powder to be processed.

Portafilter: This device is used to measure and transfer the coffee grinds into the filter basket. This is necessary to ensure that the coffee grinds go into the basket evenly without unnecessary spilling.

Tamper: You will use this device to compress the coffee ground into the portafilter basket. This is essential to allow the water to run through the grounds at the correct pressure.

History of Coffee

Coffee, the most popular drink on the planet, is an integral part of human culture, and as such, has inspired countless works of art, music, and literature. Its history is long and varied and, as per legend, began in Africa.

Ethiopia

Historically, coffee grown anywhere in the world has its roots in Ethiopia's ancient coffee forests. The legend states that the humble goat herder first stumbled upon the beans and took the fateful first step in discovering their effects. 

Essentially this goat herder saw how energetic the beans made his goats and must have thought he was onto something. 

The herder shared this revelation with a local priest who allegedly brewed the first cup of coffee, which provided him with the energy to make it through a marathon nighttime prayer session; from there, the word to the Arabian Peninsula.

Arabian Peninsula

Eventually, the coffee bean reached Yemen in the 15th century, then Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey in the 16th century. At this moment in time, it was primarily enjoyed in public coffee houses rather than brewed in people's homes. 

As a result, this popular beverage began to spread because thousands of pilgrims came each year to Mecca from all parts of the world and brought some back with them.

Europe

European travellers who visited the Middle East reported a dark black beverage, and by the 17th century, Europe had become a significant market. 

In a similar fashion to what occurred in Arabia, people would flock to coffee shops to socialize and discuss the day's events. 

Then from Europe, it spread worldwide and was planted in Southeast Asia by the Dutch and French and the Americas by the English and Spanish.

It is a beverage that is extremely popular globally and is available in so many flavours that you will always find something that will suit your tastes. 

From its humble beginnings creating hyperactive, Ethiopian goats, it has grown into a global phenomenon with numerous variations.

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