by Staff Writer
There's no reason to spend your time and money at the coffee shop every morning when you can brew the perfect pot of coffee at home for a fraction of the cost. With a little care and preparation, you should have no problem making an excellent pot of coffee at home. The perfect pot of coffee consists of two basic elements: quality beans and quality water.
Whole beans: The first step to a great pot of coffee is using quality beans. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. Avoid instant coffee as well as pre-ground beans, as the flavor begins to dissipate as soon as the beans are ground. Buy whole coffee beans instead. Don't buy more beans than you will use in a week's time. Store the beans in an airtight container in a dry, cool place. Avoid storing your beans in the refrigerator as that will add unwanted moisture.
Grind: Your next step is grinding the beans just before you are going to use them. For this, you will need a coffee grinder. When grinding whole coffee beans, only grind the amount you need for one pot of coffee at a time. To figure out how fine to grind the beans, consider which type of system and filter your coffee maker uses and consult the following table. As always, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions on your coffee machine for specific suggestions.
Percolator or French press: Coarse grind
Permanent filter: Medium grind
Basket filter: Medium-fine grind
Cone-shaped filters: Fine grind
Espresso: Very fine grind
Measure: The amount of coffee grinds you use will make the coffee stronger or weaker, so feel free to experiment and find the measurement that tastes best to you. As a general guideline, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of grounds per every six ounces of water.
Add water: Next, you will want to add cold, filtered water to the water reservoir in your coffee maker. You don't have to buy premium water to brew a good cup of coffee, but if your regular tap water tastes chlorinated, you should consider buying a filter for your kitchen faucet or a filtering water pitcher to keep in the refrigerator.
Brew: Finally, be sure to let you entire pot brew. Stopping the brewing process in the middle to sneak a cup of coffee will change the taste and strength of the coffee. Follow the above steps and you will be sure to brew a perfect pot of coffee every time.