Everyone has their favorites when it comes to how they like their coffee brewed. Here are a few helpful guidelines to remember when it comes to making your perfect cup.
First off, use enough coffee. Some people prefer a “lighter” brewed coffee, but you can’t get there by just using a little less ground coffee. Too little coffee used with too much water is going to result in over extraction and bitterness. If you want your coffee light, just brew with the right ratios and add a bit of hot water to the final brew. You’ll easily have great flavor and you can make it as light as you want to.
That “just right” coffee to water ratio is about 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. It’s easy to make your final cup lighter by adding more water after brewing, but impossible to make it stronger beyond the initial brew.
Secondly take a look at the grind. The rule of thumb is to use as fine a grind as reasonable for a given type of brewer. For a cone filter drip maker this means the coffee should be ground just a bit finer than granulated sugar. If you use a French Press then just a bit coarser than granulated sugar will do nicely. Also now and then check the temperature of the grounds right after grinding. They will be a bit warm from the friction of grinding. If they’re very warm then try pulsing the on/off switch to keep the coffee cooler while grinding.
Third, use water! Yes the quality of the water makes a big difference. For the best coffee you want water with some mineral content. Start with cold water and heat once. Tap water can be great just depends on your local supply but of course you might want to use one of the many water filters available. And get that water hot enough. Good brewers have this designed in. A water kettle brought to a boil will typically settle into the right range (185-205F) shortly after taking it off the heat.
Fourth, rinse your filter. If you use any kind of paper filter, just run a small amount of water through the filter and let that water go down the drain before you place the filter into your brewer. What will this do? All paper filters have agents used in the manufacturing of the paper. These have a taste. Better to let that taste go down the drain instead of into your cup of coffee. And it just takes a moment to get rid of it. Then add coffee over your moistened filter and enjoy a great tasting coffee any time, every time, to fuel the adventures of your life.