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Brewing great coffee is a simple process where flavor is extracted from ground
coffee beans using hot water as the catalyst. However, there’s a craft
to brewing good coffee; capturing all the color, aroma, body and great taste
So, if brewing coffee is so simple, what’s the big secret? To get the
peak of flavor, it’s all in the brewing process–the right combination
of ground coffee beans, good water, quality brewing equipment and the right
- During the extraction process, up to 70% of the flavoring compounds of
coffee (both sweet & bitter) enter the brew water.
- Coffee stored in a heated, open vessel will increase in strength as water evaporates
from the brew. Applied heat from a warmer causes chemical compounds to change
- If kept on a warmer fresh brewed coffee will only keep its optimum flavor a
maximum of 30 minutes.
- Water Temperature - A coffee brewer should deliver a steady supply
of hot water and maintain a brewing temperature from 195°–205°F.
- Water Delivery - The brewing equipment should be capable of wetting the entire
bed of coffee grounds thoroughly and evenly in the first stages of the brewing
- Brewing Time - The coffee brewer should provide a consistent brewing time for
the type of grind used.
The amount of time your coffee will stay fresh after brewing
is called the Holding Time. Holding the coffee between 175°–190° (80°– 88° C)
will maintain its fresh brewed flavor over a specified period
When a coffee decanter is placed on a warmer, the brew begins to break down
with the application of direct heat. After 20-30 minutes the coffee begins
to lose its fresh brewed flavor and may no longer be considered acceptable.
Beyond 30 minutes, the flavor will deteriorate to the point of being objectionable.
If you keep fresh brewed coffee in an air pot or other closed and insulated
container without application of external heat, the coffee will stay fresh
longer. Pre-heating the container with hot water will extend the holding time
How Much Ground Coffee Should I Use?
What the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has to say:
A cup is defined as 6 ounces of water before brewing. This will produce
5.33 ounces of brewed coffee. The SCAA defines 10 grams or .36 oz per cup
as the proper measure for brewed coffee if using the American standards.
What coffee beans you use is a matter of personal taste. But the real secret
to great coffee comes in the correct “Coffee-to-Water” ratio–how
much water is used relative to how much coffee there is in the filter. As a
rule of thumb, remember that too little ground coffee brewed with too much
water results in an under-developed, weak-tasting coffee flavor. Whatever brewing
device is used, the optimum brewing formula will fall in this recommended coffee
to water ratio, using traditional ground roast coffee brewed to your personal
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