Have you ever wondered why your favorite specialty retail shop coffee always tastes better than home brewed coffee?
YFPA offers quick tips for brewing retail coffee flavor at home!
1. Coffee Quality and Freshness
Start with good coffee. No judgment here, you like what you like.
However, brewing Folgers hoping it will taste like Blue Bottle, Verve or Weaver's retail coffee is a waste of time. Specialty coffee roasters source high quality Arabica beans, roast in small batches and serve fresh coffee daily. Coffee sealed in packages or cans is not fresh and typically a blend of low quality Robusta beans. Not fresh implies the coffee could have been sealed for years stored in a warehouse.
Fresh roasted coffee slowly releases gas trapped inside from the roasting process. A good way to tell if your coffee is fresh, does it have a rich brown crema, when you pour hot water over the grounds? Fresh degassing or blooming coffee smells fresh and has rich brown color. Coffee that is not fresh smells stale and looks more pale brown when blooming. Coffee packages that have a valve to allow the beans or grounds inside to slowly release gas, are most likely to contain fresh coffee. Packaged and can coffee without valves, is not degassing and therefore not fresh.
2. Correct Water Temperature
The correct water temperature is essential to extract the true flavor from coffee grounds. For brewing coffee, 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit or 93-96 degrees Celsius is the ideal range. Boiling water, 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius is too hot and scalds the coffee grounds, giving the coffee a burnt flavor. To get water to 200 F or 93 C, without a thermometer, just remove the water kettle from the heat and let sit about 30 seconds after the boil.
3. Auto Drip Brewer vs. Pour Over
Common in many homes is the auto drip brewer. With only 120 volts, the auto drip brewer does not have enough power to heat water to the correct brewing temperature of 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit or 93-96 degrees Celsius. Usually an auto drip's maximum temperature is around 180 F or 82 C. Brewing at lower temperatures will not bring out the true coffee flavor. Think of trying to make Earl Grey tea with just warm water. If you want to recreate the in-store coffee flavor with an auto drip brewer, it will be difficult.
Though not as flashy, try an inexpensive, simple one-cup cone with paper filter, also known as a pour-over. You can adjust the amount of grounds with a pour-over and use correct water temperature to get the desired flavor profile. The one-cup pour-over might be the best option to reproduce the retail coffee flavor profile at home.
4. Pre-Heat Mugs and Containers
Don’t forget to pre-heat coffee mugs or thermal containers! Pouring or brewing hot coffee into a cold mug or thermal container will immediately cool your coffee. The drop in temperature changes the flavor and results in warm coffee. Use hot water from the stove kettle or even hot water from the faucet to pre-heat coffee cups. Pre-heating only takes 5-10 seconds to ensure your coffee will taste better and is hot.
Happy home brewing!
If you have questions, we would love to hear from you! Please let us know if this post was helpful. Your feedback is always welcome!
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