Newsflash 18 August 2011: new harvest of Mandheling has arrived
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Coffee tastes much better if ground from beans just before brewing and drunk immidiately after brewing.
Here are the golden hints on creating a great tasting cup of coffee:
Use pure hand-picked high-altitude grown Arabica coffee (speciality coffee).
Most importantly, use coffee that was recently roasted. Less than two weeks ago is best - freshness is key. Stale coffee tastes....well, stale (also, when making espresso, stale coffee gives little crema).
Use 60g of coffee per litre of water.
Grind the required amount of coffee in a burr grinder just before brewing (coarse for plunger, finer for filter, even finer for espresso).
Use water that tastes good (bad tasting water will continue to taste bad in the coffee...).
Heat the water to 92 degrees celcius or less - never use boiling water (coffee will brew at room temperature; it just takes several hours).
Make sure the brewing equipment is clean.
Warm up the equipment and cups before brewing the coffee.
Drink the coffee immediately after brewing - coffee has a wonderful unique taste because it is a reaction of over 900 flavour compounds with water that is in progress while you drink it. The water reacts with the coffee for about 15 minutes; then the game is over - ditch it and brew a new cup.
Brewing with a french press (plunger, Bodum): pour a little cold water on the grounds first. Stir coffee grounds while brewing (more).
Brewing with a drip filter machine: run two cups worth of water through the machine first to warm it and wet the paper before adding the coffee.
Espresso brewing: Grind each shot individually. Tamp square, straight and hard. If the grind is too fine, tamp lighter. Pull the shot for between 20 and 25 seconds. The stream of espresso should be about 3mm to 5mm accross. Rinse and then wipe the group handle with a dry cloth between shots.
Coffee is a truly unique drink and it requires unique treatment. Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
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