Water: The Foundation of Great Coffee
Always start out with fresh cold water. As general rule of thumb, the water you find most refreshing to drink will make the best coffee! Water that has reached room temperature or has been boiled will lose oxygen and have a flat taste; your coffee will taste accordingly. I make sure to draw fresh, sparkling water to build the best possible cup of coffee.
Make sure your coffee maker heats the water to the proper temperature. To fully extract the unique flavors and aroma of the beans, the water temperature needs to be between 195° and 205° Fahrenheit; if the water is hotter than 205°, the coffee is scalded and will be bitter to the taste. If the water is less than 195°, the coffee will tend to taste weak and thin. Therefore, investing in a high quality coffee maker is a worthwhile investment.
Always use the best grade, most freshly roasted coffee you can find. There are two kinds of coffee generally available in the stores, Arabica and Robusta. While they may come in exotic sounding names, and have monikers like French Roast, or Madagascar Gold, essentially you are purchasing either a superior or inferior quality coffee bean. Arabica beans are the best quality coffee beans available. More delicate in taste, the final Coffee result is delightful and tasty! Robusta beans are grown at lower altitudes, and while hearty, produce a less flavorful cup of coffee. Make sure to purchase the highest grade coffee available. We believe life is too short to skimp on quality.
How Much Coffee?
Getting the best taste from your Lonely Monk coffee bean can seem somewhat counterintuitive. The ratio of coffee to water must be correct to secure the best taste from your coffee. If your coffee to water ratio is too low, those elements extracted from the beans containing the most flavor will be diluted by the water. The weaker coffee will actually taste more bitter than strong coffee. The industry standard is one tablespoon of coffee per six ounces of water. The standard can of course be adjusted to accommodate personal taste. By using the proper ratio of coffee to water, your coffee will be filled with flavor and aroma and give maximum satisfaction.
Adding to Your Coffee
Many people use cream, sugar, or some other flavor in their coffee. There is nothing bad about combining excellent flavors to enhance your coffee experience. But sometimes the reason people need to add other tastes is due to the poor quality coffee they are drinking. They need to cover the inferior taste with another flavor. Coffee aficionados consider freshly roasted, properly prepared coffee to be a sweet drink all by itself. More than one person has told me that after they began drinking fresh roasted coffee they discovered they no longer needed cream or sugar. Put another way, you may need nothing in your coffee other than your lips.
Whole Bean or Ground
Oxygen is one of four elements that will degrade the flavor and aroma of coffee. For that reason, grind your beans just before brewing. The grinding process exposes the bean to far more oxygen than when left in whole bean form. Keeping the bean whole, until just prior to brewing, exposure to oxygen is minimized and you will enjoy the best aroma, taste, and flavor your coffee has to offer.
Your Coffee Canister
Oxygen, heat, light, and moisture are the four enemies of proper coffee storage. Following these few tips will ensure proper storage. Store the whole bean in an airtight canister at room temperature. Some like to use the refrigerator or freezer, but each time the beans are removed from cold environment, condensation forms. Condensation is moisture and moisture degrades coffee flavor and aroma. Ironically at least three of the elements that are bad for coffee storage (oxygen, heat, and water) are absolutely essential to a great cup of coffee. This could be said to be one of coffee’s great mysteries.
Even the very best coffee bean, stored in the best way will not taste good forever. Eventually it will go stale and flat regardless how you store it. Many coffee aficionados can taste the difference seven days after roasting. The average coffee drinker however will taste a difference only after three to four weeks. Buy your Lonely Monk Coffee in amounts that last two or three weeks. That way you are guaranteed exceptional coffee that is always fresh.