This is the most important thing to look for in your coffee. Great cups of coffee can be made or destroyed by freshness. Coffee has a lifespan, believe it or not. In it’s raw and unroasted state it can last for months even years, however the second you apply heat to those beautiful little pits from the coffee fruit the clock starts ticking. In my opinion coffee is best enjoyed about 24 hours after the roast, giving the natural oils a chance to develop and fully extract. From that point you generally have about 10 days to consume it at peak freshness. After ten days, it’s still drinkable however it begins to deteriorate quickly. Do you self a favor, when you’re about to pick up a bag of roasted coffee, look for the roast date, if it’s not within 10 days, move on and search out a better roaster.
Methods of Preparation:
How are you preparing your coffee? You may not be aware of all the things you are doing wrong when it comes time to brewing your cup of daily joe. I was completely oblivious to all the atrocities that I had committed on my own until I began searching for answers. To me there is really no wrong way to prepare your coffee, french press, pour over, aeropress, drip, cold brew, you name it. However there are a lot of ways to screw any of those methods up and here’s some things that I recommend now matter what method of preparation suits you. Buy a scale, one that converts into grams, start weighing out your coffee and water. For me I prefer 18 grams of freshly ground coffee to 300 grams of water. It’s a ratio that I believe gives you a balanced cup of coffee despite method of preparation. Get yourself a proper burr grinder and grind your coffee fresh! Having your beans ground for you is a complete disgrace, do you still have your mom cut your spaghetti for you? Time to grow up Peter Pan! The reason why I stress this point is because if you’re truly looking for a superior cup of coffee, freshly ground beans is the way to go and in today’s age, a proper grinder won’t cost you more than $50. I recommend a burr grinder because of how it grinds, it even breaks to beans into a uniform size rather than randomly chopped up like a blade grinder would do.
Third, water temperature is CRUCIAL! That’s right, there is a thing as your coffee being TOO hot. When you’re brewing your coffee make sure that your water is in a temperature range of 185F-205F any hotter and the water will actually scorch your coffee and leave it tasting bitter. One last little bit of advice, taste your coffee BEFORE adding cream and sugar. Coffee a lot of times and especially when it’s fresh and brewed to perfection doesn’t need anything added to it
Mediocrity and Lack of Passion:
“Good is the enemy of Great.” Jim Collins couldn’t have said it any better, perfectly put, sometimes we all settle for good or “good enough” and that’s truly disappointing. There is no such thing as perfect, just the will to pursue perfection or something along those lines. There’s a lot of really “ok” coffee out there, there’s even people who are succeeding in business by selling a good product. For me, good isn’t good enough, I want to produce a great product. I want coffee that someone is going to try for the first time and say “Wow, this is something else!” It is that reaction that has pushed me to take my coffee seriously and constantly be searching for ways to improve it. “Find your passion, pursue it whatever the cost” is something a mentor of mine once told me. Many people get complacent and comfortable with things being “ok” or “good” however for me, I need to constantly be pushing myself to find something more and hopefully you’ll do the same.
Now get out there and stop drinking bad coffee!