Coffee seems to be the Western world’s beverage of choice.
Although brewing coffee is easy, perfecting the craft is another story. Too many folks don’t actually know how to make coffee the right way. Their product often turns out bitter or burnt – that’s no good.
No wonder so many people say they don’t like coffee: they’ve only had cheap brands brewed poorly.
What about iced coffee and cold brew coffee? Are they the same thing? Not at all.
Here’s everything you wanted to know about making coffee but were too afraid to ask.
Brewing Coffee: How to Make Coffee from Start to Finish
A lot of factors contribute to the quality of your coffee before it even reaches your pot.
The soil, farm location, roasting method, shipment, and freshness all factor into creating a great tasting cup of coffee.
The only way to disrupt this process is by purchasing high quality coffee beans and grinding them yourself. (You probably don’t want to go through the hassle of growing, harvesting, drying, and roasting your own beans.)
Instead, let’s start with purchasing your coffee and move on from there.
Find a Perfect Balance with Grinding
If your coffee is too fine, it will taste bitter. If it’s too course, it won’t have much flavor at all.
Coffee grinders are convenient, but they aren’t the best way to grind your own coffee. You’re better off asking the baristas at the store to do it. They have access to a burr or mill grinder which will make sure your coffee is ground at a consistently optimal size. Your local grocery store might have one, too.
When it comes to brewing coffee, cold and filtered water is always best. Use tap water if you must but avoid using distilled or softened water at all costs.
As a general rule, use one or two tablespoons of coffee (ground) for each six ounces of water you put into your machine.
Keep Your Machine Clean
Keeping your machine clean is crucial not only for your health, but for ensuring you make a great tasting cup of coffee.
Leave the top open after brewing to let the steam air out. Run a vinegar and water mixture through your machine once a week to remove debris and germs. Don’t forget to run a few plain water cycles through afterwards to remove the vinegar smell.
How to Make Coffee
Once you’ve got your pot, grounds, and water ready to go you can start brewing your coffee.
- Measure your water: 6 ounces for each cup. Remember a little bit will evaporate during brewing.
- Add a coffee filter to the basket.
- Add ground coffee to the filter.
- Press the start button and wait for your delicious coffee.
How to Make Iced Coffee
On a hot day – or any afternoon, really – crisp and cool iced coffee is an excellent pick-me-up or treat.
Just like hot coffee, you don’t want your beverage to taste bitter or bland. Here’s how to make iced coffee the right way.
Follow the same steps in the “how to make coffee” guide with one difference: make the coffee stronger because you’ll be adding ice to the final product.
If you plan on sweetening your coffee, add sugar while the coffee is still hot.
After the coffee is done brewing, turn off the machine and let the pot cool for about an hour. After an hour, transfer the coffee to a carafe and place it in the refrigerator for about two hours.
When the coffee is cool, pour it over ice in a tall glass and top it off with some milk.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
Is cold brew coffee the same as iced coffee? Not exactly, it depends how the coffee is brewed.
There are a few benefits to brewing your coffee cold.
- Less acidity so it tastes less bitter
- Very easy: no coffee pot required
Cold brew coffee sounds too good to be true, but it’s really not. Here’s how to make it just about anytime and anywhere.
- Add course coffee grounds to a large pitcher.
- Pour about nine cups of water into the pitcher. The water should be room temperature.
- Let it steep for 8-12 hours.
- Strain the coffee using filters or cheesecloth.
- Enjoy your cold brew with milk, sugar, or just plain.
What’s Your Favorite Coffee?
Coffee is so versatile: it’s great hot or cold and it even makes for a great secret ingredient in your recipes.
The trick to great tasting coffee is all in how it’s made from growing to brewing.
What’s your favorite? Iced with coconut milk, hot with cream and sugar, or just straight black?