5 Things That Ruin Your Coffee
Every coffee addict knows the struggle of having to wake up every morning only to realize that they have to go through the troublesome act of brewing coffee. We need coffee to wake up, but we also need to wake up in order to make coffee.
Like any person addicted to coffee, you aren't the only one who needs that thunderous jolt of caffeine from a cup of coffee to start the day. However, a barista-standard cup takes practice, effort, and the right equipment. Here are 5 things that ruin your coffee:
1. Lazy Coffee Bean Storage
Everybody is bound to have come across storing instructions that read, "Store in a cool, dry place protected from light." That is your primary instruction for properly storing your coffee beans, but you will ruin your coffee long before you start making it if you are lazy.
If stored near heat or in a warm place, coffee beans run the risk of attracting bacteria. While there is no need to freeze them, do not store coffee beans where they may catch the sunlight or a cupboard near the oven or stove. Beans should be stored in a cabinet farthest from your stove and electrical appliances at the room temperature's cooler end.
Coffee beans must also be kept dry and protected from moisture. For coffee beans that come in packaging that cannot be resealed after opening, you will have to buy airtight containers like Ziploc bags or coffee canisters.
When exposed to light and the UV radiation in it, the breakdown of the chemical compound found in coffee beans accelerates. To prevent light from interacting with the beans, use an opaque container.
2. Dirty Coffee Gear
Just like any kettle, all coffee gear gets calcified over time. Calcium deposits and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Calcified or moldy equipment will give you a bad case of food poisoning and produce bad-tasting coffee.
It isn't always easy to reach places where you will find the worst of molds that calcium residue attracts. Coffee equipment like your automatic coffee brewer will prove to be unusually difficult to clean up. However, since it's an issue everyone making coffee inevitably faces, there is a universe full of knowledge to keep your coffee maker clean.
If your machine does not come with such a decalcification indicator, keep an eye out for chalky, white residue on the inner surfaces of your coffee maker. To start, add equal parts of water and vinegar to the machine's reservoir and initiate the brewing cycle. Halfway through, let water and vinegar sit for an hour. Then, run the rest of the cycle. After that, pour out the water and vinegar and hand wash the whole machine to get rid of the residue. Once done, fill the reservoir with clean filtered water, run a cycle and dispose of the water. Repeat two more times and make a perfect cup in the next cycle.
3. Batch Grinding
A cup of good coffee begins with perfectly roasted beans. This makes the roast one of the most deciding factors of a barista's standard cup. Unfortunately, immediately upon roasting, coffee beans begin to interact with the surroundings and begin to lose their freshness.
Coffee tends to lose its freshness faster when ground due to the greater surface area that coffee grounds have exposed to the elements. Because of this, coffee connoisseurs suggest buying whole beans instead of ground coffee.
Despite suggesting that coffee only be purchased in whole bean form, that is not where the connoisseurs draw the line. You might think batch grinding or grinding your coffee beans for the next week in one go will save you time, but that will be ill-reasoned. Once ground, coffee has only around 30 minutes before rapidly losing flavor and quality. The aromatic oils which give your coffee its rich taste will dry up, and the chances of your next brew tasting like mildly flavored hot water will be high. And there is no way of fixing ruined coffee.
Instead, the next time you want a cup of coffee, grind the whole beans only immediately before you need them to brew your cup.
4. Really Hard Water
When your coffee machine hasn't been cleaned in ages, your cup tastes minerally. Imagine what coffee must taste like when made from hard water. Residue in your coffee maker isn't the only way calcium ruins a delicious cup. Your coffee gear may be squeaky clean, but if you continue to use hard water, your coffee will keep coming out chalky yet strong and bitter. All those pleasant aromas and rich flavors get masked quickly by the high calcium content.
So, do your taste buds a favor, and use good water. While water with high mineral content will extract too much flavor from the coffee beans, soft or distilled water will not pull enough. Therefore, neither hard nor soft water is the perfect fix for your coffee and, since coffee lovers are generally not chemists, the composition of the water you use to make coffee doesn't have to be an exact science. You should use purified water that is low in its mineral content but not entirely lacking either. Should you reside in a hard water region, at the very least filter the water before you brew your coffee with it.
5. A Closed Mind
Coffee is a drink that can be made a million different ways. You can vary its taste by the way you brew it, the blends you use, the beans, the type of beans, the origin, it goes on. You may know just how you like your coffee, but you may not know what you are missing.
The flavor of your cup can now be controlled in so many ways. You can enhance some flavors while keeping the rest subtle as per your taste. Experiment with your coffee. Of course, only you know what you like best, but there may be something out there that you might like better yet don't know it exists. Take a gamble and let your cup surprise you.
Remember, many things can ruin your coffee before you even get to the stage of brewing it. We have listed 5 of those mistakes that you may have been making so you can start brewing your delicious cup of Joe today
6. Adding Too Many Ingredients.
Coffee is a great source of antioxidants. Recent research proved that we can get the same amount of antioxidants from coffee with or without milk. Hence, both options are good for our health. The idea to put milk in coffee first appeared in France. Undoubtedly, it gives the drink a special taste and cools it a little, decreasing the risk of esophagus cancer. But an excessive amount of milk or sugar can ruin the taste of even the freshest coffee.
7. You save on coffee.
The price matters. If you want to buy high-quality coffee beans, saving money isn't an option. It's worth remembering that the price of a coffee drink is directly connected with its taste, so really good coffee can't be super cheap.
Tip: it's better to choose moderately-priced coffee in specialty stores. Plus, a shop assistant can help you choose a good product.
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