I love coffee. I love it so much. You need to know how to grind it properly for the best flavor, because if you don’t, you end up with a bitter coffee, or a weak cup, or you might get too many grinds in the cup.
We’re going to fix all that. Here are some of the most popular methods explained.
Drip coffee is the simplest for most people, but it has some drawbacks in flavor. And since the carafe is on a hot plate, coffee can become burned and ruined easily. If you must use a drip maker, the grind depends on the type of filter you are using. Flat bottom and permanent re-usable filters use a medium grind, similar to the texture of sand. Cone shaped filters should have a med/fine grind, slightly finer than table sugar. Drip coffee is pretty run-of-the-mill boring.
Percolated coffee is stronger, and somewhat harsher. Some people dislike perk because of the high temperature boiling water, which can burn the coffee. There are purists out there who would disagree, of course. For percolator, use a meduim grind. Coffee should be a bit more course to avoid grinds in the cup. A fine grind will make it stronger, but you will have a lot of grinds in the bottom of your mug. If you’re careful with your temp, it’s pretty easy to make a decent cup.
French press has a cult following. I can see why. Once I tried my first cup of french press, I never wanted to go back. It seems to have more caffeine content. The grinds are in constant contact with the hot water, so the longer it sits, the more flavor and caffeine it emparts. You also have more control over the water temperature. The perfect cup, I’ve heard, is brewed between 195 and 200 degrees F. French press uses a coarse grind due to the length of time coffee is in contact with the water, and to keep it from flowing through the filter. All in all, the amount of flavor and caffeine depends on how long you let it sit before hitting the plunger. I really enjoy french press. It offers full control over flavor and temperature, depending on how you want it!
Pour-over coffee is another one of my recent favorites. It takes a bit more skill and timing to get it right. You want to wait until your kettle is boiling before you grind the beans, to make sure everything is as fresh as possible. Ground coffee loses a lot of its aromatics within the first minute of being ground. Cloth filters seem to be ther preferred method of filtering, since it makes a cleaner cup, and allows more of the coffee oils to drip through, something that paper or nylon filters won’t allow. While pouring, the trick is to saturate all the grinds, pouring in a circular motion, SLOWLY, and stir the mixture “slurry” until it drains down into the cup. The grind for pour-over coffee is coarse, like sand.
That’s it. Now get caffeinated!