One of the most famous, most consumed drinks in the world is the humble, yet always comforting coffee. It gives people energy, it smells nice, it’s a social drink as well as a solo one. Many people wouldn’t ve able to start their day without one, while others will reach for a cup of coffee on any occasion they are offered. Some may call it an addiction, but as it doesn’t affect people’s social life, so best to call it a love for caffeine and coffee.
The coffee lover will appreciate all the possible ways there are to make “a cup of Joe”, concentrated or diluted, hot or with ice, with added spice or plain… the list goes on and on. And as most coffee lovers know – making a cup of this drink isn’t difficult at all, all you need is some ground of coffee, hot water, and a cup, right? Well, yes, but there is a lot to making a perfect cup of coffee.
In the whole life cycle of coffee, there are a few parameters that are important to determine its quality: time, pressure, water content, and temperature. Out of those three, the temperature is the easiest one to control, and that is why so much emphasis is placed on it. From the ambient temperature when the beans are maturing to the temperature of roasting and finally serving it – all of it makes a difference.
When talking about brewing and serving temperature, there are a few things to take into consideration.
For example, one of the simplest and most common types – Turkish coffee, is brewed at a relatively low temperature of only 70 °C so that a froth is formed, but that it does not reach a full boil, otherwise the taste is much harsher. An espresso, on the other hand, requires a slightly higher temperature of about 90 °C to achieve its full potential. The list goes on and on, but the emphasis is the same – the right temperature is critical for making a perfect cup.
All of the above-mentioned wouldn’t be possible without the right tools. Coffee brewing equipment can be found in stores, flea markets, and can even be purchased online. According to the team behind www.fourthestatecoffee.com, without the right tools – some types of coffee cannot even be brewed, such as espresso. And if you want to start even further, you’ll need a coffee mill too.
Buying coffee beans fresh and roasting them yourself is the surest way of getting the most intense smell and taste in the finished product, though roasting and the smell it produces when ground down is a pleasure to itself too. Make sure to not overdo it, as roasting for too long will impart a harsh and burnt taste, not nice at all.
Type of Coffee
As most consumers of this beverage already know, the two most common types of coffee are Arabica and Robusta. Both give a very pleasant taste and smell and are grown commercially in many countries in and around the equator.
Some of the largest coffee companies source their ingredients directly from producers from these countries, and it is hard to beat the price they are getting unless you can grow it yourself. But to be sure you are getting the best ingredients possible to make your brew – you should always check with the seller where the coffee originates from and when was it harvested. The more recent the better.
The Right Surroundings
And apart from the drink itself, what is very important when drinking coffee is the surrounding. Some people like to drink it alone and use it as their special moment of isolation and relaxation. Others would rather use it as an occasion to have a chat and enjoy a conversation while enjoying a hot drink. This second option seems more likely as some studies report coffee makes you like other people more and that is one of the reasons why “coffee houses” become so widespread in the Old world so quickly once this drink came from the Americas.
With the rare exception of Italians who have a fashion of drinking a quick coffee, an espresso, almost on the go and in one sip, the rest of the world likes to take their time and enjoy it longer. There is no need to be in a rush, and for a perfect cup, there should be enough time to enjoy it thoroughly.
Learning the difference between bad coffee and good coffee should be rather quick for anyone who starts drinking it. Though you could put numbers on, minutes here, and temperatures there, a true connoisseur will be able to tell the difference with a simple sip. And really, if you’re looking to make a perfect cup then your senses are at the forefront and everything should be aimed to please them as a judge.