In my circle of friends it's pretty well known that I like my coffee. And while no one has said anything to my face, I'm quite certain they think I'm a coffee snob. Although, I guess I've probably earned that title. I've been known to show up at a friends house for coffee, and bring my own. (Which is wrong on so many levels, I know.) It's just that, I really like good coffee. And I like it the way "I" make it. While I'm just an average "Joe", and definitely not a "connoisseur" of coffee, I know what I like, and I know what I don't like. I like it black. I like it hot. And I like it more.
Anyhow, even though my friends may see me as a coffee snob, I firmly believe that I've mastered the art of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Now, while my perfect cup may not be their, or your perfect cup, I have definitely discovered a few tips and tricks that will make any cup better.
So, here are my 5 tips to a better cup of coffee..... for the average Joe.
(See what I did there?)
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1. Buy a better bean.
I know this probably sounds redundant, but you get what you pay for. I'm not saying you have to buy the most expensive coffee out there but, buying the cheap stuff is going to taste, well, like the cheap stuff. Better grounds make for a better cup of coffee. If you're looking for a great tasting coffee, Kicking Horse just might be the best coffee out there!
2. Purchase whole beans and grind them fresh.
This makes such a HUGE difference! For years, I opted out of buying a coffee grinder though, I'm not sure why. I think it was just because I didn't want to spend money on a coffee grinder when I figured it wouldn't make much of a difference in taste. I was so wrong! Grinding my coffee fresh, right before I brew it, is the best decision I've ever made! It really does taste so much better!
Plus, the smell of fresh ground coffee is so fantastic, it would be worth the effort (which is really none at all!) even if it didn't taste better. It's all about the senses, my good people. I once read an article that said approximately 75% of
emotions are triggered by smell, which is linked to pleasure, well-being, and memory. So, basically they're saying that smelling fresh ground
coffee = happiness! And really......who couldn't use a little more happiness?
3. Try a French Press
Look, I get it........ It's really hard to give up the convenience of your counter-top coffee maker. Or, perhaps you have a "one cup wonder" machine, where all you have to do is pop a plastic cup into the machine, hit start, and voilà! Instant cup of coffee! I promise you...... there is just no comparison to coffee made in a French press. I'm enjoying a fresh ground, French pressed, cup as we speak, (well, technically, as I type.....) and trust me! It's delicious!
Or, if you're not quite ready to go to a French press, you could also try the pour over method. Basically, you place your filter in a pour over cone, add your fresh, ground coffee, and pour just boiled water over top. This also will also result in a delicious cup of coffee. Here's why these two methods make a superior cup..... It's the water temperature. Without getting all technical about specific degrees, coffee tastes better made with water just before boiling point. Simply put, wait a few seconds after your water boils, then pour it in the press, or over the filter! Water temperature makes a big difference......... which brings me to my next point.
(If you change nothing else, change this!)
4. Start with fresh, COLD water.
Really cold water. Run you tap until it's as cold as it will get, before you start your coffee. This makes a better cup. Honestly. The same holds true for tea. Starting with cold water makes a big difference. This is one of the reasons why I personally, do not prefer those "one cup wonder" machines. The water sits in the reservoir for too long. You can't start with fresh, cold water.
5. Add a pinch of salt.
I see your raised eyebrows but, adding a pinch of salt to your coffee will reduce bitterness. Honestly, if you've invested in good coffee, you most likely won't need it but, if your coffee is less than par, (may it NEVER be so!) adding a pinch of salt can often salvage it. I rarely drink coffee in a restaurant without adding a pinch of salt. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer my coffee black, and I often find coffee in restaurants to be a titch on the bitter side. I always add a pinch of salt to it. And, every once in a while, even with my superb, freshly ground beans, I add a pinch of salt just because! If you try this, let me know what you think!
Here's the thing......... if you're going to have a cup of coffee (or maybe three) you might as well have a superb cup! Life is too short to be wasted on crappy coffee! Next time you're going to have a coffee, try at least one of these tips and see if it improves your cup!
P.S. Here are two more, slightly odd but, still delicious, things to try in your coffee if you're feeling brave........
Add a dollop of real, good quality butter to your coffee and mix well. Delicious!
If you're ever in the mood for a bit of flavor, add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves to your coffee grounds for a warm, earthy, spicy flavor. It smells divine!
Do you have any tips for a better cup?
If so, I'd love to hear what they are!