If it’s the first thing you’re going to smell, drink, and enjoy in the morning it better be good. That’s why we’re here to pump up your java game with a little help from the folks at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. These guys have earned national acclaim at the forefront of third-wave coffee (meaning the practice of treating coffee as a fancy food product and not just a commodity to turn and burn). Basically, these guys know good coffee. Good thing for us (and you), their willing to share the fruits of their experiments on the right way to extract flavor.
1. Get fresh beans
The older the beans, the more likely you are to get oily or bitter results. Stumptown recommends that you should like your beans like you like your paycheck: no more than two weeks old from the time they’re roasted. FYI: don’t roast your paycheck.
2. Grind your own beans
Coffee is an unforgiving mistress. Within 15 minutes your beans begin to oxidize and age after grinding. Leave the pre-ground coffee for the peasants.
3. And get a burr type grinder
It's better than a blade. It will give your beans a more even grind for a balanced brew. Finer ground coffee will take less time to brew. Coarser ground will take longer. Ain’t nobody got time for coarse.
4. Choose a way to “extract” your coffee
Even hard core dudes like Stumptown don't think there's only one way to do it. People who advocate strongly one way or another are basing it on personal preference. Experiment with different methods. Perhaps you prefer a press pot, a pour-over, or an electric brewer. Let your taste buds make the decision… or a magical hedge wizard, whichever is easier.
5. Use fresh, filtered water
Tap water can contain minerals, salts, and other chemicals like fluoride that will flavor your coffee in unwanted ways.
6. Time your extraction
Brew too long and your coffee might get bitter and chalky. Too little time might give you a weak brew with sourness and vinegar tastes. For a press pot, coffee should brew for about four minutes. With a pour-over, gravity will take control.
7. Don’t boil the water
That H20 should be about 200 degrees, which is just shy of the typical boiling point of water (212 degrees). Make sure to account for crazy elevation, as boiling points are different if you live in weirdo places like (shudder) Denver.
8. Pre-heat your coffee cup
A quick rinse under hot water from the faucet (don’t forget to dry it) will keep your cup from cooling the coffee down.
9. Turn off the heat
Don’t leave coffee on a warmer. Make what you need for the moment. Coffee can get old quite fast. Of course, if you like the taste of gas station coffee, go ahead and leave it on for days.
10. Keep you gear clean
Don’t use soap, but you should clean your extraction device every day.Clean your grinder too. Oils build up in the grinder. Use a dry toothbrush to really get in there and solidify your bonafides as a true coffee obsessive.