The Crema Revealed: More Coffee Secrets Brewing!

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Welcome back! We have covered some serious coffee ground. From coffee history to the different types of beans and roasts. You have percolated a graduate-level coffee education. I dare say you will graduate Crema Cum Laude.

Today we will cover different ways to make coffee in, The Crema Revealed: More Coffee Secrets Brewing! There are many ways to brew your coffee. What method do you use? Do you prefer a special type of coffee? Many things affect your coffee brew. Below is the list of brewing factors:

  • Amount of coffee used- ground fresh or pre-ground kind
  • Grind size
  • Water temperature
  • Brewing method- gravity, immersion, pressure, boiling water, the pod

The daily grind

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Brewing good coffee starts with a good bean that’s freshly ground. Yes! Fresh ground is the best. I know we all love convenience, but there’s a trade-off. Do you want great-tasting coffee or just ho-hum coffee? I can tell some of you have a pained look on your face. I’ll let you think about it while I tell you about an interesting conversation I had.

A month ago, I had a conversation with an acquaintance who owned a coffee shop. I asked what type of coffee they served. They had an interesting reply. In their coffee brewing adventures, they discovered their rural farming community preferred a darker roast coffee from a “lower grade” coffee bean.

Numerous times they tried to introduce a lighter roast with more taste, but they quickly concluded most rural people don’t understand what makes a great coffee. Their rural clientele preferred the cheaper, watered-down version- and was VERY happy with it. They even name it “Rural Blend”, which got rave reviews.

Now, don’t go thinking the owners were being snobby. It was just a matter of pleasing the customer’s wants and expectations. And they continued with the Rural Blend to the great joy of their patrons. When I mentioned that I used a canned coffee brand, there was a wrinkling of noses, and the comment, “Michele, that is coffee that was ground months back. You’ve totally lost the advantages of fresh ground.”

Water, the right temperature, plus fresh ground coffee= coffee mug love

Image by Huy Lee from Pixabay

The National Coffee Association recommends the ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 195°F and 205°F. It must be between those two temperatures for the best extraction. What is “extraction”? Extraction refers to the flavors and substances dissolved from the coffee beans into your cup.

If the water temperature is too high, it’s tough to control the extraction rate. Thus, you will have an “over-extraction”, and the coffee will taste bitter. The bitterness comes from a lack of oxygen. If the water temperature is too low, you are left with an “under-extraction” resulting in a sour taste. Your coffee is without the sweetness and bitterness to balance each other out. BLECH!

Cold Brew folks, don’t get your coffee filter in a bundle. Cold Brewing has an extended brewing time to compensate for the lack of heat. See? It’s all going to be okay! Coffee on!

Gravity coffee

Image by 旭刚 史 from Pixabay

There are several different options in consideration of time, let’s stick with the Electric Drip Coffee Maker- it’s a home and office classic. The most important aspect of drip coffee is equal water disbursement and maintaining the proper temperature.

Some high-end coffee makers “pre-wet” their coffee grounds to make the coffee “bloom”. Then they shoot pulses of hot water over the grounds for proper extraction.

The average home coffee maker ranges in price from $30-$75. High-end coffee makers can run anywhere from $350 -$2000. Woo! Serious coffee-making going at those prices. I tried coffee from a Jura-F150, and I was blown away by the taste. WOW! This Jura-F150 ground the beans and brewed, leaving you with that beautiful crema.

Crumb sakes! I am out of time and room again. We will pick up this discussion next week. Till then, happy brewing! Here is to good food, good friends, and a caffeinated life!

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