There are so many ways to prepare coffee and so many types of coffee available that sometimes getting a great cup seems overwhelming. Here are some tips that we’ve developed in the Test Kitchen to help you get the best cup of coffee possible every time you brew.
Water Quantity and Quality
Most coffee makers mark each cup approximately 6 ounces, not the American 8 ounce liquid measure. (Why a 6 oz cup? A “cup of coffee” is based on the Old English teacup that many hotels and tearooms still use today.)
Coffee is mostly water, so the quality of the water you use plays a key role in the taste of your coffee. For the best-tasting coffee, you should use filtered tap water or bottled water. Never use distilled water because it’s missing minerals that add to water’s taste and aid in extraction.
Coffee Beans and Grounds
As a rule of thumb, 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds per cup of coffee should be used, depending on your strength preference. A typical coffee scoop measures about 2 tablespoons in volume.
Whole bean coffee typically stays fresh longer than ground coffee because less of its surface area is exposed to air. To get the best results, look for coffee beans that were recently roasted and grind them every time you make a pot of or single-serve cup of coffee.
Grinding the beans every time you brew can preserve the fragrance, natural oils, flavor and freshness of the coffee. It’s is one of the most important and impactful things you can do when making coffee at home. Coffee grinders are affordable and can be used for other things, too, like grinding spices.
The coffee filter you select matters as well; you should purchase the best quality that you can afford.
Paper filters trap more sediment (which some people find bitter) and let you use any type of grind. Permanent filters require a coarser grind and allow more coffee oils to pass through, producing a stronger and more full-bodied cup of coffee.
How To Store Coffee
Coffee begins to lose its freshness immediately after it is roasted, and especially after it has been ground. Exposure to oxygen, moisture, heat, and light will reduce coffee’s freshness even further. For that reason, most coffee companies advise you to store coffee in an airtight, opaque, odor-neutral container and keep it at room temperature.
Never store coffee in the fridge or freezer as it breaks down the oils that impart flavor and aroma and, because it is porous, can then take on the flavors and aromas of its surroundings.
As a general rule, coffee stays fresh for about two weeks once opened. For this reason, it is better to purchase coffee in smaller quantities or in an amount that is proportionate to how quickly it will be used.
For Hamilton Beach coffee recipes, click here.
I just purchased asingle cup hamilton beach which I am very disapointed in. coffee is cold and coffeegrinds are not fully wet after brewing. therfore. coffee is very week. What is the problem with it?
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