Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On Coffee

Coffee is so elemental and essential to the cafe experience, yet many laypersons who drink coffee every day do not know their coffee basics.

I picked up some things through observation and reading, though the best advice may be found in Francisco Migoya's book on the "Modern Cafe":

~4 oz coffee per 9 cups water. (About 2 tablespoons grounds per cup)

Beans peak in flavor 1 week after roasting. After that, they are only good for another week in the open unless they are kept in a 1-way airflow vacuum-sealed bag. Opening up an ordinary vacuum-sealed bag then leaving it on the counter for 2 weeks is a no-no. You wouldn't do that with potato chips, and the same is true for air's effect on coffee beans. I have had reasonable results freezing coffee so long as the bag is quickly placed back in the freezer and almost no air is trapped in the bag -- as soon as moisture touches those beans -- game over.

Your grind size and grind time is related to the type of brewing method used:
Automatic drip, medium grind - 15 secs. French press, coarse - 10 secs. Cone filter, fine - 25 secs. The grind size and grind time differs due to the amount of water absorption needed relative to the method: too much saturation= bitter coffee; too little saturation = weak coffee.


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