Tips & Tricks
Most people find that when 20% of soluble solids are extracted from the coffee grounds, the brew has the best flavors. Too much extraction (too fine grind, too long brew time, too hot water, too much ground coffee) and the brew tastes bitter. On the other hand, under-extraction results in a thin, weak, sour cup. Simply using more coffee grounds doesn’t correct under-extraction. It is a good idea to weigh your coffee or use a coffee scoop that you know will hold 10 grams of coffee. (General rule of thumb is 10.5gm coffee to 6oz of water)
-Coffee particle size.
A finer grind means more surface area of the bean is exposed to the water. For a brew method that uses a longer dwell time such as French Press, a coarser grind is necessary. An even grind of any size is ideal, follow the directions on your grinder, it may take some experimentation to find the best grind for your brew method.
-The Water Temperature.
The ideal water temperature is 195-205 f, since water is a better solvent at near-boiling temperature. This is why it is always better to brew a full batch on an auto-drip machine, since they are built to get a full batch of water up to the proper temperature.
Stirring the coffee-water infusion increases the extraction rate of soluble solids. Keep in mind that pouring water over the grounds causes agitation. In immersion brew methods it is important to agitate (stir) the brew again during the dwell time.
-The quality of the water.
Bad tasting water makes for bad tasting coffee. Also, do not use distilled water. You need some mineral content to properly extract the good stuff from your coffee. The absence of some minerals can lead to very sharp and bitter tastes.