If you want the best tasting coffee you've ever had, follow our handy tips and you'll always enjoy great coffee at home or work.
1. Buy freshly roasted, whole bean coffee
From a few days after it is roasted, coffee begins to go stale. If you've been buying pre-ground coffee from the supermarket then it is highly likely that it has lost a lot of its original flavour and character by the time you pick it up off the shelf. It could actually have been several months since it was roasted.
You should always use coffee within a month of its roasting date to make sure you get the best flavour. Why do you think that the large coffee producers don't include a roasting date on the packet?
Whole bean coffee lasts longer. Once it's ground, it should be used within a few hours for maximum freshness. Always buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself when you need them.
You can buy freshly roasted coffee in our online shop.
2. Store the beans properly
If you've bought freshly roasted coffee beans, then make sure it lasts as long as possible by storing it properly. Choose a container with an airtight seal - preferably one with a one-way valve that allows air out but not in. If your container doesn't have a valve, just make sure it's not overfilled so that the pressure doesn't build up. Freshly roasted coffee gives off small amounts of trapped Carbon Dioxide, which is why a lot of coffee packaging has an in-built valve.
Fortunately, all our coffees are sold in resealable bags with an in-built valve - so you can keep the coffee for longer. It's not necessary to keep it in the fridge or freezer to preserve it's freshness - just make sure you drink it within a month of roasting. If you love our coffee then worrying about how long it will last is not usually a problem!
3. Grind the coffee beans when you're ready to brew
Hopefully you've taken the advice from our first tip and bought whole bean coffee. As I said earlier, it lasts for about a month after roasting. However, once it's ground up some experts believe that it only retains its freshness for about thirty minutes! The reason is that once the coffee has been ground up the surface area exposed to the air is dramatically increased.
For best results, grind the beans using a burr grinder. These types of coffee grinder produce a very even grind, unlike the cheaper ones that chop up the beans a bit like a mini food processor. If the grind is not even then you lose control over the level of extraction you get from the coffee and you'll get inconsistent results.
4. Use the right amount of ground coffee
The way the coffee is roasted has a big impact on its volume. As the coffee beans are roasted, the size of the bean increases and it becomes lighter in weight. Therefore to get a more consistent result, weigh the coffee out rather than use a measuring scoop. The best way to do this is to buy some scales that have a "tare" function (a reset button that sets the weight back to zero after you've put something on them).
5. Pre-infuse the coffee grounds
Using a manual dripper (otherwise referred to as a pour-over coffee dripper) enables you to pour a little of the hot water over the grounds to start the process off. This is sometimes referred to as the "bloom" - the sudden release of Carbon Dioxide on contact with hot water. The bloom is important for better extraction when you add the remaining water. The short video below shows the bloom in action...
6. Don't use boiling water
Boil the kettle and wait for 30 seconds before pouring it on the coffee grounds. The perfect water temperature for brewing is between 90 and 95 degrees Celsius. If it's hotter then there is a danger that the hot water will burn the coffee and affect its taste.
7. Use a good coffee brewing method
To achieve the best brewed coffee, use a manual coffee dripper (or pour-over) that gives you ultimate control over the process. The Hario V60 is the perfect way to get a lovely coffee without having the extra cost of an automatic machine.
Shop for Hario V60 coffee dripper set.