I was asked in the office the other day how to make a perfect pot of coffee. It is a simple undertaking and easily repeatable. Nobody should ever have to endure a bad cup of coffee if they can control a few variables and follow a few simple steps.

Start with a clean brewer. Do not treat your coffee making system like a cast iron pan, CLEAN IT, often with soap and hot water, This is a critical step as coffee residue imparts a bitter taste. Use a paper filter, bleached or unbleached is up to your environmental karma. I personally hate “gold ” or the metal reusable filters. I think they make a terrible cup of coffee and the last cup out of a pot is more like turkish coffee.

So your brewer is now clean. The next variable of bean freshness is mitigated by purchasing good coffee beans from a reputable seller (ignore any coffee in a can, unless you are fighting zombies then all bets are off on coffee snobbery). Then use those beans fast or store them well. A good rule of thumb is try to only keep a 2 week supply on hand. Store your coffee in an air tight bag in a cool dry place. Refrigeration of your coffee is not necessary and in fact some coffee snobs will claim cold hurts the flavor of the bean.

What kind of bean you buy and how it is roasted is the most personal part of coffee and just know that there is no wrong way so have fun with figuring it out. My favorite is dark roasted “aged” Sumatra. Now we will assume you know what kind of bean and roast you like, the path to the best flavor is to fresh grind that whole coffee bean. When your ready to brew a pot take out only enough beans to make that pot of coffee.

The type of grind will greatly affect the taste of your coffee and this is easy to control by paying attention to how your grinder works. Don’t get bogged down in what kind of grinder and all that jazz. Buy any grinder and figure out what you like for example, I used a blade grinder for years and found that a count of “12 Mississippi” gave me a perfect grind, but I like my coffee very strong. Mind your grind and very shortly you will know how long for your perfect coffee.

The amount of ground coffee you should use is somewhere between one to two tablespoons per six ounces of water depending on how strong you like your brew, more coffee the stronger the brew.

Water is the last step and it is where the rubber hits the road. To get the most out of your coffee you want to brew with good, clean, purified water at or as near 200 degrees fahrenheit as you can get. I never said good coffee was going to be easy.

Once you add the hot water to your coffee (or poured the water in the top of your fancy coffee maker) your brewing coffee. As long as your using some kind of commercially produced brewing system you don’t have to sweat brewing time. If your using a french press, I will wager that you did not read this as your already a coffee snob (if you did read this you have found a host of things you disagree with and will have told me so in the comments) so your on your own for french press info.

Once your coffee is done brewing enjoy that hot cup of coffee as soon as possible. If your going to store brewed coffee for later please only use a thermos as the next good cup of coffee that you pour might just be for me.

Summary:

  1. Start the day with a clean brewer.
  2. Buy only good fresh whole bean coffee.
  3. Grind only the coffee your going to use that day.
  4. Use only filtered water.
  5. use 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ground coffee per 6oz of water
  6. Brew at 200 degrees fahrenheit
  7. Enjoy immediately.