You Can Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee!
Making the perfect cup of coffee can be tricky. There are many variables to consider: the fineness of the grind, the variety of bean, the ratio of grounds to water, the temperature of the water, the brewing device….the list goes on. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, give up, and then promptly walk over to your local cafe and fork over a couple of bucks for your morning fix.
However, the rewards of making coffee at home are substantial. Besides saving money, you can also tailor your joe exactly to your specifications, all while enjoying the satisfaction of doing something well yourself.
So, want to make your dream cup of java? While there are approximately 62 bajillion ways to brew coffee, Amanda, a barista and manager at Old City Coffee, has some suggestions. Amanda has been working in hospitality since she was 14 and has been with Old City Coffee for more than three years. She’s passionate about creating, drinking, and going out for great coffee, and wants to share this passion with others. So, without further ado...
- Start with the method: Amanda prefers a pour-over device, like this one from Melitta (sold at Old City Coffee).
- Put your kettle on. It will be ready only when completely boiling to ensure a clean, complete extraction.
- Grind your beans to a medium consistency and put them in the filter. Amanda suggests about two tablespoons of grounds per eight ounces of cold water.
- Pour your water over the grounds. To ensure an even extraction, use a spiral motion, paying special attention to ensure the edges are saturated.
- Amanda prefers to pour the end result directly into a stainless steel thermos to ensure it stays consistently hot while she drinks it.
Simple, right? Follow these steps, and you’ll be making delicious joe at home in no time! Here are a few other tips from Amanda:
- Don’t store your coffee in the fridge. It tends to absorb other flavors, and while it may not be dramatic, it’s better to keep the taste of lunch meat out of your drink. Instead, just keep it in a cabinet or other dark place.
- Whole beans retain their freshness much longer than grounds. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with having your beans ground for you (this way, you can get the perfect consistency for your device), only grind as much as you would drink in a week or two.
- Buy your beans from local roasters (like, ahem, Old City Coffee—Amanda suggests starting with their Bali Blue Moon). Often, national roasters and chains over-roast and burn their beans to hide their staleness. People often associate “dark” coffee with being stronger, but this isn’t necessarily true—more likely than not, the beans are just over-roasted. Freshness really does make a big difference when you’re drinking your joe, so buying from a Philadelphia-based roaster not only supports local businesses, but it means a better cup.
While this is an excellent place to start, don’t be afraid to experiment with water/grounds ratios or brewing times—remember, everyone has a different preference. Happy brewing!