Some people like their coffee full-bodied, rich and hot with no mixers to interfere with the natural flavors and aromas. For others, the perfect cup is a blend that includes added flavors such as vanilla or hazelnut. Regardless of your poison, there are some things that can be done to ensure a perfect cup of coffee is brewed each time. Coffee beans themselves are pretty delicate little creations that begin to lose their flavor as soon as they're roasted. This means the beans purchased in stores have already begun the process of natural decline, but there are things coffee lovers can do to ensure the best cup possible.
Here are some tips for making serious gourmet coffee with a flavor that packs a punch, whether it's rich and robust or mild and nutty: * Grind freshly roasted, or as close to it, beans into a fine consistency, but avoid the powdering stage. The grinds should be big enough to stay within a coffee maker's filter. * Use at least 2 level tablespoons of coffee per six-ounce cup. * Insist on a clean coffee maker. Wash the maker regularly and flush out the entire system, as well.
Before each use, rinse out the maker with hot water. Also be certain to make sure the coffee maker is free from lime or hard water deposits. These can come free during the brewing process and wreck a perfectly good pot of coffee with a bitter, unpleasant taste.
* For the brew itself, use good water. Tap is fine, but bottled water that's fresh and free of chemicals is even better. * Make sure to use hot water and not boiling water for making coffee. Boiling water further enhances the breakdown of the coffee flavor and can produce a more bitter tasting cup of coffee. The noted ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Brew according to the coffee maker's instructions, but be certain to start with a good base coffee, fresh water and ideal temperatures. A good cup of coffee is not at all unlike a fine glass of wine. Meant to be savored and enjoyed, coffee is a drink that fuels the world.
There is a big difference, however, between an average cup and a gourmet cup of a fresh blend. A few extra steps can make all the difference in the world when it comes to flavor, even with pre-ground coffee from a supermarket.
Paul Duxbury writes extensively on Coffee. You can read more of his articles at Gourmet Coffee