For the majority of coffee drinkers, coffee is a drink that requires packets of sugar and creamer t0 be generously added in order to make it palatable. While this can definitely improve the taste, it also effectively makes your cup of coffee a "liquid candy bar". Why do we do this? Probably because most of us haven't been exposed to great coffee. Instead when we think about drinking coffee without creamer and sugar, we have flash backs to that first cup of poor quality badly brewed coffee we tried, and we immediately grab the sugar and milk to make sure we don't have that experience again. I was that way for years. I have now learned and enjoy sharing with others that a great coffee can be sweet, smooth, and delicious all without adding anything. And... it can actually be pretty easy to do once you know the basics, but can seem elusive and mystical (if not impossible) if you don't understand what it takes to get a great cup of coffee.
This blog article focuses on what you, the lucky coffee consumer, can control. So let's assume that the coffee roaster that you have chosen to buy coffee from used specialty grade beans that where grown in the right conditions, harvested when they were ripe, processed properly, shipped and stored in the right conditions. The green "unroasted" coffee beans were then finally roasted with a well planned out and artfully crafted roast profile to the perfect roast level in order unlock the coffees hidden flavor notes. With all of those conditions met, here are six tips to help you on your quest for brewing up that perfect cup!
1) Choose Fresh Roasted Coffee
Coffee is at its peak flavor for the first two week after roasting. If you are buying coffee in a grocery store, your best bet is to choose a local roaster. Any coffee roaster that focuses on quality will have a roast date on the package. If it just has a best by date, beware because some companies will use date that is 3 to 6 months after roasting. At Malone Coffee we ship coffee within 24 to 48 hours of roasting. So buy your coffee as soon after roasting as possible and only buy enough to drink in the next couple of weeks. We also offer two home coffee roasting kits (click here for more info) if you are feeling adventurous and want to try roasting your own coffee at home.
2) Choose Whole Bean Coffee
Forget about preground coffee. Coffee begins to loose its peak flavor 20 minutes after being ground. If you don't have a grinder make sure your read step 4.
3) Try Coffee that is roasted to a Light to Medium Roast Level
We have been preconditioned by the marketing efforts of coffee giants from the past that a great tasting cup of coffee needs to be "Bold" and "Dark Roasted". When coffee is really dark roasted it actually becomes bitter and charcoal tasting, It is the medium to light roasted coffees that can be quite sweet and smooth and are what most people would enjoy drinking black.
4) Store your Coffee in an Airtight Container
Air is the enemy of flavor. Think of coffee it like a bag of popcorn but to a lesser extent. If you left popcorn out on your counter-top within 24 hours it would soon be stale and taste like cardboard. All of our roasted coffees are sold in a foil lined resealable bag to keep the air out.
5) Get a Conical Burr Grinder
After finding a great source for fresh roasted whole bean coffee, getting a good quality grinder is the next most important thing you can do to step up your coffee game. Conical Burr Grinders provide a uniform particle size when grinding and impart less heat on the coffee beans than a blade grinder. We sell one of the best high quality entry level grinders the Baratza Enocore for $129 and it comes with a free bag of Malone Coffee! Blade grinders are much cheaper but they smash the beans with a blade so there is no control on the particle size. With out a uniform particle size for your ground coffee it will make it difficult for you to brew your coffee with consistent results or quality. For example, a great french press or cold brew requires a much larger grind size than a Chemex or drip coffee. The Baratza Encore has 40 different grind settings so you can dial in your taste preferences.
6) Master Your Brew Method.
We use a Chemex or Hario V60 90% of the time. But not everyone wants or has the time to do a manual pour over everyday. There are only a handful of home coffee brewers out there that are certified to make a "Golden Cup" of coffee by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This standard means the water is heated to the proper levels, the grounds are presoaked for the perfect amount of time and then evenly saturated, and finally the coffee extraction process happens in the appropriate amount of time. All of the these factors can impact the flavor and aroma of your coffee. We sell one of the best of them, the Behmore Brazen Plus. It isn't cheap at $199 but it makes a great cup of coffee and of course it also comes with a free 1 lb. of Malone Coffee with your purchase. Because what is a great coffee brewer with out great coffee!
I hope that these six tips will be helpful to you. We will be posting up articles and videos on each of these 6 topics in the next month so make sure to Follow Us on Facebook because that is where we will be posting first. If you have any questions on the above tips please reach out to us or if you just want to drop us a line on about a new awesome local coffee roaster or shop you recently tried, let us know. You can contact us through Facebook Page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always interested in hearing about others awesome coffee experiences.
Malone Specialty Coffee