It's 2013, and you're probably making lots of resolutions for the new year. Personally, I'm making goals, and if you need a good goal or resolution for 2013, might I suggest this one: Makeover your home coffee for 2013. It's very easy to do, and I'm going to show you how. This is not only easy, but very affordable, coming in at less than one of those Keurig machines, and the coffee for it is cheaper, as well. More affordable, better quality, more delicious, it's a win-win-win.
Start with a good burr grinder.
I recommend the Baratza Encore
grinder, which can be found for around $100, and Baratza often has refurbs for a tad less. One of the biggest pieces to good coffee at home, most often overlooked, a burr grinder crushes the beans into more uniform pieces, created a more consistent extraction. Ever notice how your blade grinder chops up the beans into very fine powder and big chunks all at the same time? Ever notice how hot the grinds get? This is all bad for brewing better coffee. So, upgrade your grinder, and you'll instantly upgrade your coffee life.
Pick up a kitchen scale that measures in grams
Measure your coffee out in grams, instead of scoops or cupfuls and you'll immediately make a more consistent cup of coffee. Scoops or cupfuls will give you different amounts each time, especially with many sizes of beans, measuring by weight is easy and consistent! I use ones by AWS Scales, like this one
and these can be found around $20-$30.
Then, take a look at the water you're using to brew said coffee
Most folks just use tap water, and if you want to get the best tasting coffee out, you'll need to use the best tasting water you can use. I recommend filtered water, like the kind you get with a Brita filter, or the PUR system. Personally, we use a Brita fridge shelf unit, and it does make a difference. So, clean up your water, and you'll taste the difference. Also, make sure you're using the proper temperature for brewing coffee. Coffee is best extracted at between 195-205, so make sure you're using the proper temperature water, as well!
I always recommend the Clever, because it provides most folks with the easiest and most consistently good cup of coffee at home. It's very easy to use, clean-up is very simple, and it's very inexpensive at around $15-$20. I put together a little video on how to use it here
. Clean up is very simple, as you simply pull out the filter with spent grounds, and you can compost both, rinse the Clever out with hot water, and it's done. Great filters are also needed. I recommend the oxygen rinsed white filters
you find in stores, as opposed to the natural filters you see. The natural filters give off a distinct paper taste that greatly affects your cup of coffee.
Lastly, you really do need fresh roasted coffee, ground just before you use it
That means most coffee you can buy at the supermarket won't cut it, because most all of it is older coffee, and fresh coffee makes a HUGE difference in the taste of your morning cup. I recommend you never buy coffee without knowing when it was roasted, and knowing it was roasted within a few weeks of your buying it. Atlanta is loaded with great, fresh coffee, as Batdorf & Bronson roasts here on the Westside, and fills coffee shelves all over Atlanta, from it's Dancing Goats® Coffee Bars, to Star Provisions, Whole Foods, West Egg, Belly General Store, really all over. Check the bag, look for a roast date, make sure it's fresh. Open the bag, does it smell good? If it doesn't, there ya go, it's probably not gonna make a great cup of coffee.On bags of Batdorf & Bronson's® coffee, the roast date is on the bottom.Fresh roasted coffee, ground just before you use it, makes all the difference in the world. I recommend you start with a great coffee like the Guatemala Finca El Valle from Batdorf.
And that's it, it's really a simple makeover, but makes such a huge difference! And let me know if you have any questions, or would like to see this in person, I'm always happy to help!