The best coffee beans in the world won't make up for a poor choice of water, whether cold or lukewarm. Several factors go hand in hand when making a good brew; quality beans and cold water are two of them. Coffee makers have come a long way, and some companies have made a business of perfecting that cup of coffee. It may take time and experimenting until you find the coffee equation that suits your palate.
Cold water pulls the flavor from the coffee beans and removes acid and fatty oils. As much as 50 to 67 percent acid is removed when cold water is used for brewing. However, running cold tap water may not be your solution for a great cup of coffee. Minerals and chemicals added to city water and even some well water alter the taste of the coffee beans. Hard water contains alkaline minerals that react to the acid in the coffee, resulting in poorly flavored coffee. Water softeners have salt added and this changes the taste also. If the water you use contains additives, a filtering device is one option to purify the tap water. Filtering jugs or filters attached to the tap will purify the water. A second option is to buy bottled spring water.
There is no mistaking the aroma from ground coffee and fresh ground comes bursting with flavor. To determine your coffee strength, start with 6 oz. of cold water and 2 level tbsp. of grounds. Change the strength of the coffee by adding or subtracting grounds. An important factor to remember when grinding beans is that it only stays fresh for one or two hours. Only grind what you'll use immediately because the flavor will be lost. Grinders need to be kept clean according to the instructions for the unit. Leftover grounds that mix with fresh grounds will defeat the whole purpose of grinding fresh coffee.
Keep It Clean
Clean your coffee maker weekly or monthly, depending on the water and how often it is used. A pot of white vinegar removes minerals that have built up inside the unit. Run the unit through a normal brewing cycle using white vinegar instead of water. The vinegar will clean the parts of any impurities. Allow the coffee maker to cool and run cold water through the cycle at least twice to remove any leftover vinegar. The coffee maker will also run faster when it isn't clogged.
Keep the beans sealed tightly in a bag until you are ready to use them and then reseal the bag immediately. Press as much air out of the bag as possible or use a vacuum seal container. Storing the beans in the refrigerator will add to the shelf life of the beans. The contents of a vacuum sealed bag should be used between one and two weeks. Ground beans should be used the same day they are ground.
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