It is 2023 and time to pick a great New Year's Resolution. Why not start the year right by improving your coffee? Here are four quick steps to get closer to re-discovering your favorite cup of coffee again.
Whole Bean Coffee
Buy whole bean coffee. Whole bean coffee holds freshness longer than pre-ground coffee. A study from Taylor Lane Organic Coffee explains that once coffee is ground there is about seven days of freshness compared to three to four weeks of freshness in your whole bean coffee. This is because the ground coffee degasses faster than the whole bean coffee and loses its freshness faster.
So grind your coffee fresh every day before you brew and enjoy less bitters in your cup. It is an extra step, but totally worth it.
Fresh Local Coffee
Find a local roaster. Do you want the freshest coffee possible? Then start visiting your local coffee shops. Many cafes do their own roasting and sell bags of their coffee in their cafe. If they do not roast their own coffee and sell it, then they probably have great recommendations. Just ask.
And if you don’t know where to start or what “good quality” coffee is; you are not alone. Luckily, our friends at Sprudge have different guides for where to find great coffee based on your location. You can check them out here.
Some of our favorite roasters in the United States are:
Use a burr grinder to grind your coffee. This creates better tasting coffee because of grind consistency, which creates even extraction. If the grind is not consistent then some coffee fines will extract faster and others slower resulting in an unwanted mixture of bitters ruining the preferred sweetness you were looking for.
Consistency is key to achieve that magic cup every time. Make sure to avoid buying a cheap blade grinder. These type of grinders just bounce the beans around the spinning blade completely lacking grind uniformity. Sometimes whole beans can remain unground as seen below.
One of the best value burr grinders that everyone at our office at Third Wave Water recommends is the Baratza Encore. It will provide you with great grind consistency and grind size variability ranging from AeroPress (very fine) all the way to cold brew (very coarse). It sells for around $170.
Water Water Everywhere
Use water that is engineered for coffee to brew your coffee.
There is a reason that specialty cafes around the world spend so much money to install specialized water systems to brew their coffee. They know that you will have a much better experience with their coffee in their cafe than you will anywhere else. They are protecting their investment by providing you a great experience.
The water you use at your house flattens your coffee because it does not contain the proper amount of the right minerals needed to help your coffee taste its best. Tap water is engineered to be potable, or drinkable and is usually filled with chemicals, minerals that flatten coffee and other allowable contaminants that will ruin a great cup of coffee.
And if you use distilled water, there are no minerals for the coffee oils to latch on to in the brewing process, which will cause a lack of extraction making the taste of your coffee dull, flat and lackluster.
What should be in your to help your coffee taste its best anyways? The SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) provides ranges of results to guide us located here.
Third Wave Water created four different minerals blends for a variety uses:
Cold Brew Profile - Use with cold brews that want the typical (RTD) ready to drink lower acidic rich flavors.
The Classic and Espresso Profiles fit the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) guidelines for coffee brewing water. This ensures that your coffee will taste great and you will protect your machinery from scaling because of the types of minerals we use in our mineral profiles.
Third Wave Water is also easy to use. Simply add a stick of your preferred mineral profile to one gallon of distilled or reverse osmosis water, shake it up until the minerals dissolve (typically 15-30 seconds), then add to your coffee brewer or kettle.
“Oh wow was I surprised with how tasty my coffee is at just a base level now with Third Wave Water.” - Cory C.
Create a new base level of quality for your coffee like Cory and try updating your grinder or finding fresh coffee.
Which new years resolution are you going to start with this year?!
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