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  • What is the best temperature for brewing coffee?
    According to chemical studies, the most suitable water temperature for drip coffee is 95-98C. According to my notes, colder water doesn't extract enough caffeine/essential oil from the beans, and above this temperature the acidity increases wildly.
  • Coffee quality
    The quality of a brew depends on the following factors (in no particular order): Time since kernels were ground. Time since frying. Cleaning with brewing equipment. Seed quality (what crop, etc.). Water quality. Fact: Unless you're buying some big dumps, core quality doesn't matter much compared to 1-3 and 5.Fact: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains large residues, so be careful when choosing. (See note below).Fact: The quality of the beans makes a big difference when you have freshly roasted and ground coffee, filtered water, and equipment free of oil residue from the last brew.NOTE: A coffee can in a supermarket usually contains a mix of Arabica and robusta beans, while most coffee shops only sell Arabica beans. Arabica beans are generally rich in flavor, while Robusta beans contain more caffeine, less flavor and are cheaper to produce.Whether you buy coffee in a coffee shop or a supermarket, you want to get 100% Arabica, except for espresso blends, which can be a combination of both. My personal experience says a 100% Arabica espresso blend is better, but a lot of people (including many Italians) disagree on this point, so get whatever you want.For freshness, it's better to buy popular fast-acting blends at a coffee shop, while at the supermarket vacuum-packed containers with an expiration date are your best bet.You probably won't be able to get really fresh coffee in a supermarket. If it has been prepared beforehand, it is an absolute truth. Call their own roaster in the coffee shop and ask what was roasted that day. If the person behind the counter doesn't know, ask to speak to someone who cares about coffee. If no one knows, go elsewhere. As a side note, it should be noted that coffee is best after 12-24 hours, so if you plan to brew the same day, daily coffee may also be of interest to you. Also grind your own coffee. Buying fresh and then grinding defeats the purpose. Ground coffee only lasts for a few hours or a day.Back to Directory What is the difference between arabica and robusta?Arabica beans and robusta beans are two different types of coffee. They are the main types of coffee that go into the American cup. The general differences are the differences in taste and the conditions under which the two species differ in production.Taste: Arabicas have a wider flavor range between varieties. Their flavors range from sweet-mild to tangy-sweet. Their unroasted scent is sometimes likened to blueberry. Its roasted scents are perfumed with fruity notes and sugary undertones.The Robustas flavor range is neutral and harsh, and they are often described as having a grain-like, oatmeal flavor. Their unroasted scent is often described as raw peanuts. Roasted odors are often compared to burnt rubber.Production Conditions: Arabicas are sensitive, they require cool tropical climates, ample moisture, rich soil, shade and sun. They are attacked by a variety of pests and are extremely vulnerable to cold and abuse.Robustas are harder plants, grow well at low altitudes, and are less prone to problems with pests and rough handling. They yield more pounds of finished product per acre at a lower production cost.Economy:For the last 150 years, customs and trade, supply and demand have determined the relative values of Arabica and Robusta beans. Generally speaking, the best coffees are all Arabica, and the best quality blends are pure Arabica blends. They are also the most expensive.In the US you'll usually find Arabicas in the coffee shop and specialty food store, and robustas in supermarket boxes and jars.In Italy, the homeland of espresso, the top quality brands are pure Arabica, and popularly priced products like here are blended with robusta beans. You'll find robustas in some Italian brands available for sale in the US, as an ordinary supermarket-quality Italian espresso "imported from Italy" can make "gourmet" coffee in the US.The coffee you love is a very personal thing. You may find that you really prefer purely arabic mixes, or you may feel comfortable with something less just because you love it. This is good. Thanks to the Specialty Coffee movement out there, the American market is now rich enough to find something for every taste and wallet in terms of roast types, types, varieties, blends, brews, grinds and price points.
  • How much ground coffee do I need for X amount of coffee?
    a. Whatever feels right to you. b. It may vary slightly from coffee to coffee and by freshness. c. What the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) says:One cup is defined as 6 ounces of water before brewing. This will produce 5.33 ounces of brewed coffee. Or 125 ml and 110 ml for European style coffee machinesThe SCAA defines 10 grams per cup, or .36 oz, as the appropriate measure for brewed coffee if using American standards. If using Euro standards, the measure is 7 grams per 125 ml.To mix things up even more, I'll add a few more measures:3.75 oz per 1/2 gallon55 grams liter2.25 gallons per 1 poundIf you'd like to learn more, see the SCAA's web page at www.scaa.com. d. According to Diana Rosen's book "The Coffee Lover's Companion" the standard is 2 tablespoons. per 6oz of water. This seems very high to me, but I've never tried it. e. My personal taste is 1 "standard measure" per coffee. A standard measure is about 1 tablespoon. this is a plus or minus equation depending on the coffee I use, the degree of roast (darker = more coffee due to weight loss to maintain the same weight per ounce), and the coffee pot I'm brewing. I believe this should be approx. In line with SCAA's recommendation.
  • Drop
    The drip is the most common form of coffee served in the United States. This method essentially pours near-boiling water over medium-grade coffee grounds to produce coffee. This is probably the easiest method of making coffee. A few words about filters: There are two types of filters available for drip coffee. It is a kind of paper. The other is a metal or plastic permanent filter. Neither is inherently better, but they produce different coffee flavors. A paper filter will trap some of the essential oils released from the coffee. Some people have a preference for it. There are several brands of paper filters with various thicknesses and types of paper that will more or less absorb oils. One of the selling points of paper filters is that they are very easy to clean; just throw them away. Of course, that means more landfills and more tree felling. Some people also find that paper filters give coffee a papery taste. Permanent filter has some distinct advantages and disadvantages over paper. I'll just add a few ideas about them here. One, use metal; plastic doesn't last long and can give your coffee a bad taste. The two permanent filters require light grinding and you may end up with some sediment in your glass. This is probably comparable to the sediment in a coffee press. I'll just add a few ideas about them here. One, use metal; plastic doesn't last long and can give your coffee a bad taste. The two permanent filters require light grinding and you may end up with some sediment in your glass. This is probably comparable to the sediment in a coffee press. I'll just add a few ideas about them here. One, use metal; plastic doesn't last long and can give your coffee a bad taste. The two permanent filters require light grinding and you may end up with some sediment in your glass. This is probably comparable to the sediment in a coffee press.
  • Press Pot or French Press or Cafetiere or Bodum
    A French press is a glass vessel with wire mesh attached to a plunger. To make coffee, first let the water come very close to the boiling point, but slightly below this point. If you are heating water in an open pan, remove your water when you see it starting to boil. The overall temperature of the water from top to bottom should be in the ideal range for coffee. If you're using a covered teapot, this is where the water in the pot starts to sound different. For more information on temperature, see the water temperature section. The press must be preheated before pouring the coffee. This helps the cup absorb a lot of heat when hot water is put into the press, resulting in hotter coffee when you pour it. The press should contain approximately the same amount of coarse ground coffee as you would use for filter coffee. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes or until it is easy to press the plunger down, and then submerge the wire mesh. This filters the coffee. Ground coffee is a must here or there will be too much sediment in the cup. You will have a small amount of sediment no matter what. Due to the absence of a paper filter, all oil enters the glass. This is a great cup of coffee.
  • Espresso
    For information on espresso, see David Bogie's Home at http://www.islandnet.com/coffee/faq.html See Espresso Maker Mini-FAQ. Also check the information in this file under the recipe section.
  • Vacuum
    This is a method I've never experienced, so if anyone with first-hand experience wants to redo this, let me know. The steam accumulating in the lower chamber forces the water to enter the funnel, where it mixes with the ground coffee. A quick stir will submerge the floor, and the little water left in the bowl keeps the steam coming in and the temperature stable. Brewing continues for about 2 minutes (it may take longer, but you can't get more flavor) and then we take the siphon from the stove. In the chamber, where no more steam is produced, a vacuum is created that sucks the brewed coffee through the filter. I've heard this makes a great cup of coffee and is pretty fun to watch.Cona (original) in the UK, Hario in Japan and Yama Glass and Bodum in Taiwan produce vacuum containers. Corey & Silex would make them in the USA, and Sunbeam also made a metal model with built-in heating.
  • Percolator
    Percolators violate many of the natural laws of brewing coffee. Do not overdo the oils and flavors . Percolators work by taking coffee and reheating it and throwing it over and over again. Never reheat/boil coffee. This destroys the flavor. For the best flavor, boil the water, run it over the ground and maintain the heat. Do not reheat. Violating these rules may not sound like much, but they are about the only rules that exist. The effect of a percolator is to keep running the boiling water/coffee over the floor until there is no aroma left and the aroma in the coffee is so dead that it is a worthless waste.
  • Pitcher
    This is currently being worked on.

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