This FAQ is dedicated to coffee and everything related to it. We will try to answer any questions that might be bothering you.
Below you will find some tips and tips on how to prepare your morning coffee perfectly, starting with the quality of its beans, then going to brewing methods, temperature and water quality, and other factors affecting the final taste of this drink.
1. What is the best temperature for brewing coffee?
According to SCA, the optimum temperature for water for coffee preparation is between 92 – 96 ° C. For manual brewing methods, including French press, you can bring the water to a boil, then leave it to cool for 3-5 minutes. After this time, the water will get the perfect temperature to prepare the coffee.
2. Is water important in the process of making coffee?
The answer is quite simple: coffee consists of 98% water. The higher the water quality, the higher the quality of the infusion obtained. Tap water that tastes good at room temperature will be good water for making coffee.
Many people use filtered or bottled water. If possible, do not use distilled water, because in such water there is a lack of minerals that give a pleasant taste of the final drink.
Remember that taste buds are more sensitive and sensitive when tasting hot liquids, so it’s important to test water for coffee at room temperature.
The quality of coffee
The quality of the finished infusion depends on the following factors:
- The amount of time that has elapsed since the roasting of coffee beans;
- The amount of time that has elapsed since grinding the grain;
- The cleanliness of the accessories in which coffee is prepared;
- Coffee bean quality;
- Water quality.
To maintain the taste and aroma of coffee, keep it in a tightly closed container for up to 4 weeks after it has been smoked. To preserve the highest quality coffee it is best to drink it within 2 weeks of firing.
Freshness of coffee: from the burning of grains to the consumption of a ready-made brew
Before the ready and packaged coffee goes to the store shelves, the roasting plants burn green grains in a specially adapted oven, and then allow the grains to „rest”, because after the firing of the grains begins, the release of carbon dioxide begins.
The process of getting rid of CO2 is called degassing of coffee beans and it can last approx. 2 weeks. For this reason, it is not recommended to consume coffee immediately after firing.
It’s best to wait about 3-4 days, and to get the best grain aroma, it is recommended to drink coffee in the second week of burning. During the degassing process of coffee beans, carbon dioxide is replaced by oxygen (in the so-called coffee bean oxidation process), reacting with the essential oils that are responsible for their unique taste.
In order to avoid aging of the coffee (weathering), the beans should be packed in special three-layer packaging with a one-way CO2 valve, which allows both to remove carbon dioxide, thus preventing oxygen from entering.
You probably will not really buy fresh coffee at the supermarket. Especially if they are coffee already ground. If you really want fresh coffee, go to a coffee shop or coffee shop that has its own smoking room, and ask about the latest coffee, which was burnt the same day.
Do not be afraid to buy coffee online. Most of the good stores take care of its freshness – you can easily check it, because such information is always served on coffee packages or on the product description page. Some online stores are firing grains just before they are sent to the customer.
Quality: Arabica coffee beans
When buying good coffee, remember that the quality of its beans will not be a decisive factor in the taste and aroma of the final drink. If you use bad water, it will take too long to burn or ground the beans, or the coffee brewing equipment will not be clean, then the best grains available on the market will not save the infusion.
A better choice will be to make coffee from slightly inferior grain, but freshly burnt and freshly ground, for the sake of good water quality and accessories, in which it will be a brewed drink.
Fact: Coffee cans available on supermarket shelves often contain large amounts of robusta (despite the 100% Arabica packaging), low quality Arabica and old, weathered coffee beans. He also leaves time to burn grains, which makes it almost impossible to get really fresh coffee.
Most cafes offer only Arabica beans. These grains are usually rich in flavor and aroma while Robusta beans have more caffeine, less flavor and are cheaper to produce. An exception to this rule are coffee roasted under espresso, which often contain a small amount of the highest quality robusta beans.
Remember – if any of the previously discussed factors affecting the taste of coffee is not met, then the final effect of coffee, prepared from the best grain may disappoint.
Water quality and cleanliness of the coffee making equipment
With: freshly roasted and ground coffee, good water and a clean coffee machine, the quality of coffee beans will significantly affect the taste and aroma of the prepared infusion.
Grinding coffee beans
The final step to get the best results is to properly ground the coffee beans. Remember to grind grains just before brewing coffee.
Ground coffee maintains freshness for several hours up to a maximum of one day after grinding in a tightly closed container.
Arabica and Robusta – what is the difference?
Arabica and Robusta are two different types of coffee cultivated commercially. The differences between the two species concern mainly the taste of grains and the conditions under which they are grown.
Each of them has its own unique features, including taste, hardness, caffeine content and the purpose for which they are grown. Within Arabica and Robusta there are also further variations.
Arabica grains have a much wider flavor range between its varieties – from delicate sweetness to harshness. The dry arabic grain processing translates into its intense odor, often compared to berries.
After burning the grains of Arabica, you can clearly feel the sweet notes of fruit. Therefore, Arabica is ideal for light smoking, because it leaves a wide spectrum of its natural taste and aromas.
The flavors of Robusta beans range from the most neutral to the spicy, grain-like grains, some even sense porridge!
Natural Robusta fruits have a pleasant scent that resembles raw peanuts. There are of course high quality robusts, but they are very rare and reserved only for the best espresso.
The climate of growing coffee
Arabica are delicate, require a cool, subtropical climate, high humidity, fertile soil, shade and sun. They are exposed to pest attacks, and very vulnerable to cold.
Arabica beans should be grown at a higher altitude in the range from 600 to 2000 m. and they require a lot of attention and commitment of growers.
Robusta are definitely more powerful plants, capable of good growth at low altitudes (from 200 to 800 meters), are also less vulnerable to pest-related problems.
The reason for this is having a high content of caffeine, which is considered a natural pesticide. They are more efficient in the Arabica collection, thanks to which the cost of its production is definitely lower.
The economic aspect
The habits, trade, supply and demand on the coffee market over the last 150 years have established the relative values of the Arabica and Robusta beans.
In general, all Arabica are considered to be the best coffee, and Arabia’s pure blends are considered the highest quality blends, which is why they are also the most expensive ones.
In the US you will generally find Arabica in coffee shops, cafes and better delicatessens, and robusta in cans in a supermarket. You can only find robust in soluble coffee packaging.
In Italy, the home of espresso, the best brands use only pure Arabica, while popular brands, offering low prices of coffee, most often use mixtures of Arabica and Robusta. Therefore, do not be fooled that the espresso with the wording on the label: „Imported from Italy” on supermarket shelves around the world will be „delicious” coffee.
Important – it’s not that every arabika is better than robusta! It happens that the best robusta beans will be definitely better than Arabica beans.
Many great espresso blends are made on the basis of high quality robusta, because it provides essence and crema. In addition, Robusta beans also have about twice as much caffeine content, which is appreciated by espresso lovers.
Proposal? One should not „blindly” overestimate Arabica in terms of its quality. Over 70% of coffee grown around the world is Arabica.
Most of these crops are unfortunately fruits that are unfit for consumption, so do not assume that only because we buy arabica, we get high-quality coffee.
Espresso Blend – Arabica Vs. Robusta
The fact that Robusta has about twice as much caffeine than Arabica can be a decisive factor for some people when choosing coffee, in particular for espresso.
One cup of espresso is a coffee cup prepared at high pressure and in a short time, creating an intense aroma in a small cup. During the preparation of the espresso, a short extraction takes place, and the espresso itself generally contains 30-50 mg of caffeine as compared to 100-200 mg with a full cup of coffee.
Robusta beans are successfully used in espresso blends ranging from 15% to 30% in relation to Arabica to add caffeine. Another benefit of using Robusta in espresso is the fact that its grains produce more crema than Arabica beans.
How much ground coffee do I need to brew?
The best answer is: 7g of ground coffee per 125ml of water, this amount is given by SCA (Specialty Coffee Association).
To properly measure the amount of coffee and water, we recommend buying a good weight, which in this case will be a valuable investment – if you care about the quality of your coffee.
If we do not have weight then how to deal with it? The easiest way is to use a spoon – 7g will be equivalent to two teaspoons of ground coffee.
Remember that at the end of the day the most important thing is that the coffee tastes just to you.
If you try any instructions or guidelines found online or in the guides from „experts”, and yet the coffee made will get you worse taste, just ignore it.