Other Helpful Tips
Choosing a Coffeemaker The type of coffeemaker that you use has a direct correlation to the end flavor in your cup. The two key variables that matter most in a coffeemaker's performance is the water temperature and the brew process time as both directly impact the extraction level of the coffee. Many drip coffeemakers do not heat the water to this level so attention should be given to this attribute when purchasing an electric coffeemaker. The coffeemaker's brew cycle is also important as the longer the brew cycle, the higher the extraction. At the extreme, press pots and percolators have the longest brew time and thus the highest extraction levels.
Amount of Coffee to Use
A standard cup of coffee is based on six ounces of water. For medium grind coffees, it is traditionally recommended that two tablespoons (roughly 10 grams) be used per standard six ounce cup. For finer grind coffees, it is recommended that only two teaspoons be used per six ounce cup. As coffee taste is a very personal matter, it is recommended that you adjust upward or downward the amount of coffee you use until you find the right portion for your own tastes.
Flavored Syrups and Creamers
These are added to the coffee after it is brewed. In general, this type of flavoring tends to overwhelm the actual flavor of the coffee.
The best temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 F and 205 F. If using a manual drip coffee maker, this can be achieved by letting your kettle rest 30 seconds after coming to a boil and then pouring the water over the coffee grounds.
Care must be given not to over-extract or under extract coffee. If too little is extracted from the ground coffee (because the grounds are too coarse or the water contact time is too short), then you will not get all the essential flavors from your coffee. If too much is extracted (the coffee was ground too finely or the contact time is too long), then the coffee will be bitter.
Brew Only What You Plan to Drink
Freshly-roasted, freshly-brewed coffee should never sit around, but should be enjoyed as soon as possible. If coffee sits on a burner or is reheated, it will have a scorched taste and will lack the aromatic complexity of freshly-brewed coffee.
Adding natural ingredients such as ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, bits of vanilla bean, ground roasted nuts, citrus peel, figs, etc. provide a very unique coffee experience. Natural ingredients should be added to the ground coffee just before brewing. Chocolate syrup or hot chocolate mix can also be added to brewed coffee.
With flavored coffees, flavoring is evenly sprayed on to the roasted coffee prior to packaging. This type of flavoring typically does not add any calories to the coffee and depending on the brand offer a consistent taste.
Flavored Syrups and Creamers
These are added to the coffee after it is brewed. In general, this type of flavoring tends to overwhelm the actual flavor of the coffee. The sweetness of these products varies by brand, but they can be sweet enough to mimic the addition of a packet or two of sugar.